LS Hardware and Software information
From NAS-Central Buffalo - The Linkstation Wiki
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Revision as of 07:11, 6 October 2006
This article originally Based on work by nix, frontalot, and admin. Originally by admin. at Linkstationwiki.org
June 14, 2006
This was the date this wiki + forum was opened on www.linkstationwiki.net.
- LS Hardware and Software information: Information about the hardware versions, CPUs, etc.
- Frequently Asked Questions: General Frequently Asked Questions
- Frequently asked questions about the LinkStationWiki Site & Projects
- LinkStationWiki Legal Disclaimers
Buffalo network-attached storage series
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Buffalo network-attached storage series are network-attached storage devices sold by US and Japanese computer retailers, and have been reviewed by the computer press.  They can be modified into miniature general purpose Linux-based computers. The LinkStation and TeraStation are intended for the general public, while the Kuro Box is intended for expert hackers as a cheap platform for Linux development .
The LinkStation is a network-attached storage appliance sold in North America and Japan, that is significantly notable among the Linux community both in Japan and in the US/Europe for being "hackable" into a generic Linux appliance and made to do tasks other than the file storage task for which it was designed. The Linkstation has Ethernet, USB, and serial ports, but does not have a video output. It is made by Buffalo Technology  a division of Melco. Produced in Japan, as of 2006 it is also available at American retailers such as Best Buy and CompuUSA, as well as in Europe.
The Linkstation has undergone various improvements since it was first produced. For example, the first generation of this device had a 100BASE-T network adapter using a Parallel ATA hard drive. The most current version includes a 1000BASE-T-capable connection. Most versions of the device use a PowerPC processor but one uses a MIPS processor. Future versions of the device use the SATA interface  for the hard drive.
The Kuro Box is the name for a series of PowerPC processor based computers intended for use as a network-attached storage device. The original Kuro Box was made from spare hardware components the manufacturer had from the Linkstation. Recent versions of the Kuro Box use later Linkstation hardware or hardware very similar to the one of the Linkstation. All Kuro Box versions are provided without a Hard Drive. The case has the same physical dimensions and shape as the LinkStation, but it is black in color and has the Japanese symbols for Kuro Box - 玄箱 (Literally: expert box) in silver lettering on the side panel.
The TeraStation is network-attached storage device using a PowerPC processor similar to the LinkStation. It uses 4 internal Hard drives mounted in a RAID array. It comes in a grey Cube shaped box.
As the device runs Linux, Buffalo was required to release their Source code as per the terms of the GNU General Public License. Due to the availability of source code and the relatively low cost of the device, there are several community projects centered around it. There are two main replacement firmwares available for the device: the first is OpenLink which is based on the official Buffalo firmware with some improvements and features added. The other is FreeLink, which is a Debian distribution. It also may be possible to run Gentoo Linux on the device.
The product was designed by the manufacturer to accept a user supplied Linux distribution for the PowerPC. Several including a Kurobox specific distribution called Sylver, Debian, Gentoo Linux, and Fedora Core have been ported to it by various user groups in both the USA/Europe,and Japan .
The device in various iterations ships with its own Universal Plug and Play protocol for distribution of Multimedia stored on the device. It can also be configured as a variety of different media servers  TwonkyMedia server, a SlimServer, an Itunes server using the Digital Audio Access Protocol, a Samba server, MLDonkey client, as well as a Network File System server for Posix based systems. For use as a backup server, it can be modified to use it with Rsync to backup/synchronize data from one or many computers in the network pushing their data, or even having the LinkStation pulling the data from remote servers - beside the use of the Buffalo provided backup software for Windows. It has also found use in a number of other ways. Notably through it's USB interface which comes configured as a Print server but can also use the Common Unix Printing System to act as such for a USB Printer. Users have managed to get it to use a number of other USB devices with the device and the version 2.6 Linux kernel's enhanced USB support. Additionally, because the Apache HTTP Server web server software is already installed for the purpose of providing the Buffalo configuration screens, the device is easily converted to be a lightweight web server (and the Buffalo content deleted) and then can serve any content of the operator's choice.
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.
- ↑ CNET/ZDNET:LinkStation
- ↑ CNET/ZDNET:TeraStation
- ↑ LinuxDevices.com:LinkStation
- ↑ LinuxDevices.com:TeraStation
- ↑ PC Magazine:LinkStation
- ↑ PC Magazine:TeraStation
- ↑ Tom's Networking:LinkStation
- ↑ Tom's Networking:TeraStation
- ↑ English version of “Why don’t you hack the LinkStation/Kuro Box.”*
- ↑ http://linkstation.yi.org/ - A Japanese website dedicated to hacking the LinkStation.
- ↑ http://www.type-g.com/ - A Japanese wiki which contains some LinkStation information.
- ↑ http://linkstationwiki.net - The Linkstation Wiki
- ↑ w:Yahoo! Groups: LinkStation General
- ↑ Buffalo Technology
- ↑ LinkStationwiki.net: Hardware comparison (LinkStation and Kuro Box)
- ↑ LinkStation - SATA Version
- ↑ TeraStation - SATA Version
- ↑ Revogear.com- American suppliers of KuroBox
- ↑ www.kuroutoshikou.com- Japanese supplier of KuroBox
- ↑ Hardware Specifications for the Kuro Box Original,HG, and HG WR models
- ↑ Buffalo's Terastation Listing
- ↑ LinkStationwiki.net: Openlink
- ↑ LinkStationwiki.net: Freelink
- ↑ www.kurobox.com: Projects
- ↑ http://www.kurobox.com/ - The Kurobox Page
- ↑ http://www.kurobox.info/ - A Chinese language forum covering the Kurobox and LinkStation.
- ↑ http://www.terastation.org/ - The Terastation Wiki
- ↑ LinkStationwiki.net, Category:Mediaserver
- ↑ Alan's KuroBox-DAAP Information (Bonjour/DAAP/iTunes)
- ↑ LinkStationwiki.net, Category:USB
- ↑ LinkStationwiki.net, Category:Kernel
- ↑ Why don't you hack the LinkStation/KURO-BOX
What are the more verbose differences between the (LS1, LS2, and HG/HS)?