Based on work by nix, frontalot, tklee, admin. and mindbender.
Originally by mindbender, Frontalot and admin.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The LinkStationWiki Site
What is the LinkStation?
- The LinkStation is a small electronic appliance about the size of a book that's intended for use as a w:Network-attached_storage network-attached storage device, but which has earned a fair bit of ubiquity in the Linux and hacker community because of its ability to be converted into a general purpose w:Linux Linux computer and adapted to tasks completely different from the purpose for which it was sold. Look here for more info:
What is a LinkStation I? What is a LinkStation II? What is a Gigabit LinkStation?
- The powerpc-hdhlan LinkStation is sometimes referred to as the PPC LinkStation or LinkStation I. The mipsel-hdhlan LinkStation is sometimes referred to as the MIPSel LinkStation or LinkStation II. The powerpc-hdhglan LinkStation is sometimes referred to as the HG LinkStation or Gigabit LinkStation.
What are the differences between the powerpc-hdhlan, mipsel-hdhlan, and powerpc-hdhglan LinkStations?
- The powerpc-hdhlan and mipsel-hdhlan LinkStations are essentially the same system running on different hardware (PPC versus MIPSel). The powerpc-hdhglan LinkStation also is a PPC system but features a gigabit ethernet connection and a faster processor than the powerpc-hdhlan LinkStation.
LS1 HD-HLAN v1 LS2 HD-HLAN v2 HG
Linkstation Home Server
LS-GL LS Live
HS-DHGL LS LGL
LS-LGL LS Pro DUO LS-WTGL/R1 LS Quad LS-QL/R5 KUROBOX KUROBOX KUROBOX HG KUROBOX HG KUROPRO KUROBOX Pro
What about the differences between the different LinkStations and KuroBoxes?
Type LS1 LS2 HG *1 HS *1 KUROBOX KUROHG LS Pro LS Live LS EZ LS-LGL KUROBOX Pro HD-HLAN V1 HD-HLAN V2 HD-HGLAN HS-DGL KUROBOX KUROBOX HG LS-GL HS-DHGL LS-CL LS-LGL KUROBOX Pro CPU PowerPC MIPSel PowerPC PowerPC PowerPC PowerPC ARM9 ARM9 ARM9 ARM9 ARM9 CPU Clock 200MHz 400MHz 266MHz 266MHz 200MHz 266MHz 400MHz 400MHz 266 BogoMIPS 333MHz ? 400MHz FLASH ROM 4MB 4MB 4MB 4MB 4MB 4MB 256KB 256KB ? 256KB 256KB + 256MB D-RAM 64MB 64MB 128MB 128MB 64MB 128MB 128MB 128MB 128MB 16(!) 128MB USB Port 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 0 2 MiniPCI - Installation
- - - - - - - - - Network 10BASE-T
YES NO NO NO YES NO NO NO NO NO NO Newest
- Webinterface YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES NO NO Stock Kernel 2.4.17 2.4.20 2.4.20 2.4.20 2.4.17 2.4.17 *2 or
or 2.6.16 *3
or 2.6.16 *3
18.104.22.168 armv5tejl 2008-09-30 22.214.171.124-arm1 126.96.36.199-arm1 Special - - - - telnet/ftp enabled
in EM Mode
in EM Mode
- - - - boot possible from
flash & hdd
GPL-Source     NO NO  &   &    NO
- *1: the HG and the HS are identical from the hardware point of view
- *2: only early japanese Kurobox HG`s have the 2.4.17 kernel in flash
- *3: depends on the preinstalled firmware. they moved to 2.6.16 with firmware 1.10
Models were available in Japan only
Type ? ? ? ? HD-LAN V1 HD-LAN V2 HD-LAN V3 HD-HLWG CPU PowerPC PowerPC MIPSel MIPSel CPU Clock 200MHz 200MHz 400MHz unconfirmed FLASH ROM 16MB 4MB 4MB unconfirmed D-RAM 64MB 64MB 64MB? unconfirmed USB Port - - - unconfirmed MiniPCI 1 *1 ? unconfirmed Network 10BASE-T
YES YES? YES? NO? GPL-Source     & 
- *1: There are some which have a MiniPCI slot depending on a lot.
What are the more verbose differences between the (LS1, LS2, and HG/HS)?
Which LinkStation is the best?
- Each LinkStation has its strengths and weaknesses. The powerpc-hdhlan and powerpc-hdhglan LinkStations have been available longer and thus have been more thoroughly hacked. The powerpc-hdhglan LinkStation is the only unit with gigabit ethernet connectivity. You may examine our benchmark results and make your own decision.
Which is better, the LinkStation or the NSLU2?
- The LinkStation has (1) a faster processor, (2) more RAM, (3) a large internal hard drive, and (4) optional gigabit ethernet connectivity. The NSLU2 (1) costs less and (2) has a more developed hacking community.
- Both firmwares replace the original Buffalo firmware when you flash them onto your Linkstation; all Linkstation firmwares (operating systems, so-to-speak) are Linux based.
- OpenLink is our effort to provide firmware which “opens” your LinkStation, thus providing full access to the LinkStation. The OpenLink firmware is built upon the most recent official LinkStation firmware release. It retains all the stock capabilities of the official LinkStation firmware while adding a number of binaries and libraries. OpenLink is close to the look-and-feel of the Buffalo firmware, but enhanced: You can log on as root (system administrator), tweak the configuration, and install additional software. This makes OpenLink the first choice for less experienced Linux users.
- FreeLink is our effort to provide firmware which “frees” your LinkStation The FreeLink firmware is built upon the most recent official LinkStation firmware release. It replaces the stock LinkStation Linux build with the latest Debian stable build. Debian is one of the most popular Linux distributions. Debian is highly regarded for its powerful package management system and huge software repository. The price for this is that you will lose the web based configuration tool shipped with the stock firmware - if you are familiar with Linux and your LinkStation, this should be no problem (otherwise you should consider this fact).
- Because of a perceived increase in bricked HD-HG300's at a certain point in time, some people came up with the theory that there is a series of HD-HG300 LinkStations out there which are somehow inherently broken and can't be flashed. This is a theory, there is no proof of this. The thought is that some series of the 300 gigabyte HG Linkstations will always be bricked if you attempt to flash them with OpenLink or FreeLink, because these are thought to be defective. Kuroguy has revived one of these bricked boxes via JTAG, so if you brick your box, all is not lost. The serial numbers below are not number ranges, they are single serial numbers where the last three digits have been anonymised.
- The theory says you have have one of these LinkStations if your Serial Number is below:
- See here for more information: Non Flashable HD-HG300
Will I lose my data when installing a new firmware?
- No and yes. There are three partions of the LinkStation by default (hda1 - 394MB) (hda2 - 271MB) (hda3 - remaining). The operating system is kept on hda1, hda2 is a swap partition. The hard drive partition arrangement and data on hda3, which contains the LinkStation’s Samba, Netatalk, and FTP shares, is preserved between flashes. When you flash the firmware either with updated buffalo firmware (after all that's what the firmware updater is for) or OpenLink or FreeLink the data on /dev/hda1, which includes the operating system, will be completely erased.
How can I change my LinkStation’s firmware? The firmware updater won’t allow me to!
- The version number for the firmware updater is contained in the file linkstation_version.txt or /etc/linkstation_release.txt. Change this number to something higher than the existing firmware version. The linkstation_version.txt firmware version number is only used for comparison to the existing firmware version number; the real firmware version is stored inside the flash firmware. Take precaution when downgrading from modified firmware to official firmware because there is version specific information (for example, passwords for extracting the firmware) that Buffalo Technology may change with an update.
I’m trying to run the firmware updater and I receive the following error: The Network Address of the Computer and the LinkStation Differ, Hence an update cannot be completed. Please change one of the IP addresses so that the Network Addresses are the same. How can I run the firmware updater?
- Usually when the LinkStation is not connected to anything it will revert to its default IP address of 192.168.11.150. To be able to connect to it and run the update you will need to set your PC to be in the same range as the unit, e.g., 192.168.11.40. If you connect the unit directly to your PC and set the IP address on the PC, you should be able to open the config screen for the LinkStation and then run the update.
- Before trying the steps above, you should disable any network interfaces (physical and virtual - e.g. those installed with VMWare) that are not connected to the network to which the LinkStation is connected. The Firmware Updater seems to only use the first network interface it finds, and there is no means of selection on the GUI.
I can’t install OpenLink/FreeLink/stock firmware! The firmware updater always fails halfway through. What’s wrong?
- The Windows XP firewall is the number one cause of a failed firmware update. Disable all firewalls on or between your PC and LinkStation before running the firmware updater. If your computer has 2 network cards, disable the one which isn’t connected to the LinkStation.
I wish to start from scratch because my stuff is royally screwed. Where should I start ?
- Look Here: Recover a non working "bricked" Linkstation
- After you're done with those instructions, if you wish to increase partition1's size to 1G or more and make the swap 512M or more to make room for more programs, use parted or fdisk to delete p2&p3&p4 that the Linkstation created and then increase the existing p1, then recreate p2(swap type) &p3. Once p2&p3 are recreated, use this to mkswap and other things:
- Convert your PPC LinkStation into a full-blown Debian system
I downloaded a custom firmware and now telnet no longer prompts me for a password. What’s going on?
- Since we don’t know the stock root password and cannot overwrite the existing passwd file with a firmware flash (yet), we need an easy way to gain root access. Thus we are forced to automatically open the root shell prompt, enabling the user to make some needed changes. Once you have gained root access by changing the password of root with "passwd", open up /etc/init.d/utelnetd with
- vi /etc/init.d/utelnetd
- /sbin/utelnetd -l /bin/bash &
- /sbin/utelnetd -l /bin/login &.
- Reboot your LinkStation and you’re good to go.
google for "vi quick reference" if you need any help with vi.
What is the password for the powerpc-hdhlan 1.x firmware image.dat?
What is the password for the mipsel-hdhlan 2.x firmware image.dat?
What is the password for the powerpc-hdhglan 1.x firmware image.dat?
What is the password for the arm9-ls-gl 1.x firmware hddrootfs.img?
What is the password for the arm9-ls-gl 1.x firmware initrd.img?
- If this doesn't work, then try one of these:
Where can I get firmware to open the HSDGL LinkStation ?
- Telnet enabled firmware is available here (direct download)
How do I change the web interface from Japanese to English?
- Edit /www/cgi-bin/mellib.pl and go down until you see this:
- $defLANGE = 'JP';
- $defLANGE = 'EN';
- and save, Afterwards, the buttons on the left in the Web Interface will be in English.
- This only works for ppc/mipsel based boxes. the arm9-boxes have a completely different webinterface.
- Thanks to mindbender for these instructions
- See Also: I followed all tips from the FAQ-section...i disabled my Firewall, i try to directly connect the LS with a crossover-cable....i can connect to it over the webinterface, the samba shares and over telnet...but the firmware updater does not find the Linkstation....what else could be wrong?
- Chances are that your running version 2.6 of the kernel - presently, you can only flash on v2.4. Please read this thread on the forum as this matter is currently under investigation
I used the Upgrade to the 2.6-kernel (ppc only) instructions, After a power failure my system seems to be back on Kernel 2.4 What is the best way to just reinstall or select the Kernel V2.6?
What version of Samba does the stock LinkStation come with? Netatalk? thttpd? WU-FTPD? ProFTPD?
- Samba 2.2.8a-ja-1.1-beta5
- Netatalk 1.6.4
- thttpd 2.25b
- WU-FTPD 2.6.2
- ProFTPD 1.2.9.
smb.conf keeps getting regenerated every reboot, and all the changes I made to it are erased. How do I fix this??
- The /etc/samba/smb.conf file is regenerated automatically on every reboot by the melco-scripts. Samba 3.0.23 is not compatible with the smb.conf that gets created for samba 2.2. In order to use use your handmade samba config, and tell the LS not to touch it: Have a look at
- How to disable the automatic update of smb.conf, proftpd.conf, Applevolumes.default
Does the LinkStation offer NFS (Network File System) support?
- Yes for later HG models. Other versions will but you will need to install the additional kernel modules first.
- Currently Kernel-NFS is possible on the LS1, LS HG with 2.6-kernel and on the LS2 with the kernel-modules of the stock kernel.
- Look Here Articles/GeneralNFS
I want to Install XXXX Piece of software or use a device that requires Kernel Modules not available in the stock 2.4.XX Linux Kernel Release. Is there a way to get a 2.6.XX Linux Kernel with more support/modules that will allow me to do this?
- PowerPC Only This method only works for the powerpc-hdhlan and powerpc-hdhglan LinkStations
- You can upgrade to a 2.6.XX kernel from the 2.4.XX currently included in the Debian (FreeLink) release, on LS1, HG, KuroBox, and KuroHG. There's a package with additional files for users on Openlink, Sylver, or Stock Firmware.
- The 2.6.XX kernels address virtually all shortcomings of the LS stock kernels: Very good USB support, NFS, routing, quotas, lots more.
- The 400+ modules are optional -- you could delete them, as the "LS core functions", support for mass storage devices and printing, have been compiled into the kernel. There's even an automatic webinstaller
I can’t seem to log in via FTP as root. How can I do this?
- There are many good reasons why you shouldn’t log in via FTP as root (too many to list here). You should consider whether you really need to log in as root. If you absolutely must log in as root, edit /etc/ftpusers, and remove the prohibited username root.
I managed to lock myself out of the web interface. How can I fix this?
- Delete /www/.htpasswd and /www/cgi-bin/.htpasswd. The LinkStation will automatically regenerate the appropriate files.
When connected to the LinkStation via telnet, pressing enter/return once actually results in two carriage returns. How can I fix this?
- Under PuTTY’s configuration menu, select “Connection,” then “Telnet,” and uncheck
- Return key sends Telnet New Line instead of ^M.
- Hz4711 had this problem: the linkstation has a service called ls_servd(apservd) which is needed for the firmware updater. it did not start. over telnet he could delete /var/run/ls_servd-eth0.pid because it was pretty old (you can check this by doing a "ls -a" in /var/run)...
- afterwards start apservd:
- /etc/init.d/apservd start
- hopefully this happened only with an old openlink-version
I cannot connect to the Buffalo's FTP-Server?
- The location and password have changed numerous times but the ftp-server now (at last check) allow anonymous connections (finally!):
Host: 188.8.131.52 Username: anonymous Password: anonymous Path: /disk1/share
- direct link for your browser:
Where can i download the GPL-sources for the stock firmwares?
- buffalo.jp provides them here:
- http://opensource.buffalo.jp/ <- newer sources!
thx to r0m we now have a mirror!:
Why is my clock all screwed up? The localtime is set to Japan, how do I change it. Can I use ntpdate? and where I can insert the timeserver?
- The Original Buffalo Way, The Mipsel-hdhlan Buffalo Way, and Fixing the Buffalo Way
- The Correct Way - Typical, The Correct Way - Large Clock Drifts
- Correct the LinkStation time zone setting using TZCONFIG
- Use apt-get to install the NTP packages. And use the Network Time Protocol (ntpdate)
/bin/more doesn't work. It says 'more: /dev/console: No such device'.
cd /dev mknod tty0 c 4 0 mknod tty1 c 4 1 mknod tty2 c 4 2 mknod tty3 c 4 3 mknod tty4 c 4 4 mknod tty5 c 4 5 mknod tty6 c 4 6 mknod tty c 5 0
- (by ramon)
- If you move files from hda1 to hda3 you must take care to add all necessary symlinks, to solve problems with busybox and perhaps other programs. Instructions are in the article on freeing up space on hda1.
A lot of commands stopped working. Busybox is overwritten after installing Development Tools.
- This is very possible if you install some package which overwrites busybox through its symbolic links. For example, the Development Tools overwrites 'cmp' (through /usr/bin/cmp -> /bin/busybox) and this may ruin your busybox. One way to prevent this is add the k option (non-overwriting) for tar in install.sh.
- If your busybox is overwritten, you might not even be able to boot. In that case, you'll have to rescue your busybox through other means, e.g. mount your HD under PC and use ext2_fix to write back the binary file.
- I found busybox is easily overwritten, so I always keep another copy somewhere else and copy it back after any potential writing into /bin, /sbin, or /usr/bin.
My Linkstation has a static ip-adress and is connected to a router. How do I add (permanent) access to internet?
general settings: Ip-adress of my router is 192.168.1.1. Ip-adress of my Linkstation is 192.168.1.4. After installing mipsel-openlink-052b, first I checked /etc/resolv.conf:
root@LS2:~# cat /etc/resolv.conf nameserver 192.168.1.1
I did not need to edit resolv.conf. No idea who did it for me, but thanks anyway ;-)
Adding a route manually (routing information is gone after reboot).
root@LS2:~# route add default gw 192.168.1.1
Adding a route permanently (routing information is restored after reboot).
root@LS2:~# vi /etc/network/interfaces auto lo iface lo inet loopback auto eth0 iface eth0 inet static address 192.168.1.4 netmask 255.255.255.0 broadcast 192.168.1.255 gateway 192.168.1.1 root@LS2:~# reboot
In the file above I only had to change gateway from 0.0.0.0 to the adress of my router.
Verification by following commands
route -e (same as netstat -r) as well as ping google.com (and successful downloads using wget)
Can I connect multiple USB devices to the LinkStation via a USB hub?
- Yes. Please see GeneralMoreUSBDevices for detailed instructions.
Help! I was attempting to do “xxx” and now my LinkStation won’t work. What can I do?
- Provided you haven’t altered the flash memory, reapplying the firmware update will usually return the LinkStation to the stock configuration. If you are not able to communicate with it on multiple levels (i.e. pings, ssh, web) You can try to boot into EM-mode, depending on the problem, this may give you access to certain areas, such as web interface and file sharing. You can also remove the hard drive from the LinkStation and connect it to a Linux workstation for repair. See the Articles area for instructions on how to disassemble the LinkStation.
- The red button causes the LinkStation to reboot. On reboot it replaces the current password files with the stock versions. If the hard drive is not present or partitioned then it may go into EM mode where the system can be flashed via the firmware updater.
- You may force EM mode by holding the red init button and then powering up the unit. You will notice on the front of the unit, the power disk full and diag light will flash in unison.
What is EM mode?, How do I get my LinkStation out of EM mode?
- EM Mode officially means Engineering Mode, but we also call it Emergency Mode. If the LinkStation encounters a serious error with the hard drive or file system it will enter EM Mode. When in EM mode the LinkStation loads its file system from the flash instead of the hard drive. The LinkStation can be seen on the network with the IP address 192.168.11.150 but can only be reached via ping or the LinkStation firmware flasher. The firmware updater is able to find the Linkstation, only if UDP-Port 22936 is open. This is always true in EM Mode. An FTP server appears to be running but we currently don’t know the username/password and what can be done via FTP.
- You will need to correct the hard drive error and re-flash the firmware to get the LinkStation out of EM mode. Some users have reported success with installing a blank hard drive (in ext3 format) and flashing the firmware.
How noisy is the LinkStation? Is it fit for bedroom use?
- The fan is relatively quiet compared to the average PC fan. However, it certainly isn’t silent (as Buffalo Technology advertises) and may be too loud for people who require absolute silence. Reports from several users seem to indicate that mipsel-hdhlan LinkStations are noticeably louder than powerpc-hdhlan or powerpc-hdhglan LinkStations.
Can I replace the LinkStation fan?
- Yes. The stock fan is a 40mm x 10mm 12V fan, ADDA part #AD0412LX-G76 (see http://www.addausa.com/model_index.htm for more information). It can be replaced with most any equivalent fan. It may be easier to get the three pinned smart fans so that the system wont lock up.
What are the default settings of the LinkStation HD
- This is true only for the 160 GB SAMSUNG SP1604N disk, which came with my LS2:
- Cache Size: 2048 KB
- S.M.A.R.T. Status: Good
- Max. ultra DMA mode: 5
- Acoustic management: Disabled
- Power management: Not supported
- Write cache: Enabled
- Read look-ahaed: Enabled
I checked the settings above with Hitachi Feature Tool which is able to change aoustic settings on other brands as well.
There are three partions of the LinkStation by default (hda1 - 394MB) (hda2 - 271MB) (hda3 - remaining). The operating system is kept on hda1, hda2 is a swap partition. hda3 is the partition that is mounted to store your "data" into. When you flash the firmware either with updated buffalo firmware (after all that's what the firmware updater is for) or OpenLink or FreeLink you overwrite the operating system, in this case Linux on hda1 only. Your "data" on hda3 should remain untouched.
What are the default partition sizes?
- hda1 - 394MB
- hda2 - 271MB
- hda3 - remaining
I’m nearly out of hard drive space on hda1. What can I do?
- You can relocate the /home, /usr, and /var directories to /dev/hda3 (/mnt or /mnt/hda on the LinkStation) and use a symbolic link on /dev/hda1. Detailed instructions are in the article on freeing up space on hda1.
Can I dynamically repartition the LinkStation hard drive?
- You may be able to dynamically repartition the hard drive by using GNU Parted. Try it at your own risk! Resizing ext3 partitions with parted has an important limitation: The start of the partition must stay fixed. See parted documentation.
How do I do something cool with my LinkStation?
- Check out the Articles section which shows all the various articles on the Wiki by category. The community may have done something already that would interest you!
- Search the Debian repository for PowerPC packages you can use Apt-Get to obtain if you have FreeLink on your LinkStation
SourceForge.net and Freshmeat.net
- Search through SourceForge and Freshmeat to find something useful, Add it to the Wiki if you get it to work!!
Kurobox.com and NSLU2-Linux
- See if the Kuro Box folks or the Linksys NSLU2(Slug) Folks have done something useful that you can use! The Kuro Box Forums and Contests are often especially useful.
This category has only the following subcategory.
Pages in category "FAQ"
The following 29 pages are in this category, out of 29 total.
- Terastation FAQ
- Troubleshoot Memory usage
- Troubleshooting Windows shares (samba)
- TS Hardware and Software information