FAQ/General

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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. For a detailed listing of hardware differences, see LinkStation Information.

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.

How can I find out which LinkStation I have?

You can find the version number by calling “Maintenance/System Status” in the web interface. For systems which do not have gigabit ethernet, 1.x firmware designates a powerpc-hdhlan LinkStation while 2.x firmware designates a mipsel-hdhlan LinkStation. For system which do have gigabit ethernet, 1.x firmware designates a powerpc-hdhglan LinkStation.
The powerpc-hdhlan LinkStation can also be identified by the presence of a crossover switch located at the rear of the unit; the mipsel-hdhlan and powerpc-hdhglan LinkStations do not have a crossover switch as they are auto-switching.

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.

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?

A simple solution is to 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. Do the following:
cp -Rdp /home /mnt
cp -Rdp /usr /mnt
cp -Rdp /var /mnt
rm -R /home /usr /var
ln -s /mnt/home /home
ln -s /mnt/usr /usr
ln -s /mnt/var /var
You should be able to continue to access the directories as though they are still located on /dev/hda1.

mindbender: wasn`t that a bad idea? i remember that this action messed up all the busybox links on openlink. we should at least write here how to recover the busybox-symlinks.

This script makes the needed changes:
(it changes the ../../bin/busybox links to /bin/busybox):
#!/bin/awk -f
BEGIN {
FS=" "
while ("ls -al /usr/bin | grep ../../bin/busybox" | getline)
{
system("rm /usr/bin/"$9)
system("ln -s /bin/busybox /usr/bin/"$9)
}
while ("ls -al /usr/sbin | grep ../../bin/busybox" | getline)
{
system("rm /usr/sbin/"$9)
system("ln -s /bin/busybox /usr/sbin/"$9)
}
}

--Trevor 22:33, 27 June 2006 (EDT)

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!

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.

Can I connect multiple USB devices to the LinkStation via a USB hub?

Yes. Please see GeneralMoreUSBDevices for detailed instructions.

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.

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. 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.

What does the red button on the back do? Is it a reset button?

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.

My LinkStation LED(s) blinks X times and then powers down. What do the blinks mean?

Please see the powerpc-hdhlan, mipsel-hdhlan, or powerpc-hdhglan LED Analysis.

What is EM mode?

If the LinkStation encounters a serious error with the hard drive or file system it will enter a special mode called EM. 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 firmware updater. An FTP server appears to be running but we currently don’t know the username/password and what can be done via FTP.

How do I get my LinkStation out of EM mode?

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 ext2 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.
This FAQ is based on original work by frontalot at linkstationwiki.org