LS Hardware and Software information

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This article originally Based on work by nix, frontalot, and admin. Originally by admin. at Linkstationwiki.org


Linkstation-debdux.gif

Contents

June 14, 2006

This was the date this wiki + forum was opened on www.linkstationwiki.net.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] They can be modified[9] 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 .

LinkStation

The LinkStation

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[10][11] and in the US/Europe[12][13] 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 [14] 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[15]. 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[16] [17] for the hard drive.

Kuro Box

Kanji for Kuro Box

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[18][19] had from the Linkstation. Recent versions of the Kuro Box use later Linkstation hardware or hardware very similar to the one of the Linkstation[20]. 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 - (Literally: expert box) in silver lettering on the side panel.

TeraStation

The TeraStation

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[21]. It comes in a grey Cube shaped box.

Linux community

LinkStation

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[22] which is based on the official Buffalo firmware with some improvements and features added. The other is FreeLink[23], which is a Debian distribution. It also may be possible to run Gentoo Linux on the device.

Kurobox

The product was designed by the manufacturer to accept a user supplied Linux distribution for the PowerPC. Several[24] 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[25],and Japan[26] .

TeraStation

Like the LinkStation the device runs its own version of Linux. Supposedly[27] Debian, NetBSD, and Gentoo Linux distributions have been ported to it.

Uses

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 [28] TwonkyMedia server, a SlimServer, an Itunes server using the Digital Audio Access Protocol[29], 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[30] with the device and the version 2.6 Linux kernel's[31] 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.

Power-architecture-logo.png MIPS Logo color.png ARM Logo hires.png
LS1
HD-HLAN v1
HD-H(G).jpg
LS2
HD-HLAN v2
HD-H(G).jpg
HG
Gigabit
HD-HGLAN
HD-H(G).jpg
HS
Linkstation Home Server
HS-DGL
HS-LS.jpg
LSPro
Linkstation Pro
LS-GL
LS-Pro.jpg
LS Live
Linkstation Live
HS-DHGL
HS-DHGL.jpg
LS LGL
Linkstation EX
LS-LGL
LS LGL.jpg
LS Pro DUO
LS-WTGL/R1
LS-WTGL-R1.jpg
LS Quad
LS-QL/R5
LS-QL.jpg
MIPSel HD-HLAN (LS2)
Power-architecture-logo.png ARM Logo hires.png
KUROBOX
KUROBOX
Kuro-box.jpg
KUROBOX HG
KUROBOX HG
Kuro-box.jpg
KUROPRO
KUROBOX Pro
Kuro-box pro.jpg

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
possible
- - - - - - - - -
Network 10BASE-T
100BASE-TX
10BASE-T
100BASE-TX
10BASE-T
100BASE-TX
1000BASE-T
10BASE-T
100BASE-TX
1000BASE-T
10BASE-T
100BASE-TX
10BASE-T
100BASE-TX
1000BASE-T
10BASE-T
100BASE-TX
1000BASE-T
10BASE-T
100BASE-TX
1000BASE-T
10BASE-T
100BASE-TX
1000BASE-T
10BASE-T
100BASE-TX
1000BASE-T
10BASE-T
100BASE-TX
1000BASE-T
Crossover
Switch
YES NO NO NO YES NO NO NO NO NO NO
Newest
Japanese
firmware
1.54
23,May.2006
2.31
5,July.2007
1.65
5,July.2007
1.62
26,Dec.2006
1.01
19.Nov.2004
1.01
19.Nov.2004
1.11(-1a)
27,Aug.2007
1.11β
29,Nov.2007
 ? 1.01
21,Aug.2007
-
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
2.4.20
2.6.12.6-arm1
or 2.6.16 *3
2.6.12.6-arm1
or 2.6.16 *3
2.6.22.7 armv5tejl 2008-09-30 2.6.12.6-arm1 2.6.12.6-arm1
Special - - - - telnet/ftp enabled
in EM Mode
telnet/ftp enabled
in EM Mode
- - - - boot possible from
flash & hdd
GPL-Source [1] [2] [3] [4] NO NO [5] & [6] [7] & [8] [9] [10] 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
100BASE-TX
10BASE-T
100BASE-TX
10BASE-T
100BASE-TX
10BASE-T
100BASE-TX
IEEE802.11g/b
Newest
Japanese
firmware
1.24(a)
1,Jun.2004
2.13(a)
1,Jun.2004
3.01
2.13
23,May 2006
Crossover
Switch
YES YES? YES? NO?
GPL-Source [11] [12] [13] [14] & [15]
*1: There are some which have a MiniPCI slot depending on a lot.[32]
  1. CNET/ZDNET:LinkStation
  2. CNET/ZDNET:TeraStation
  3. LinuxDevices.com:LinkStation
  4. LinuxDevices.com:TeraStation
  5. PC Magazine:LinkStation
  6. PC Magazine:TeraStation
  7. Tom's Networking:LinkStation
  8. Tom's Networking:TeraStation
  9. English version of “Why don’t you hack the LinkStation/Kuro Box.”*
  10. http://linkstation.yi.org/ - A Japanese website dedicated to hacking the LinkStation.
  11. http://www.type-g.com/ - A Japanese wiki which contains some LinkStation information.
  12. http://linkstationwiki.net - The Linkstation Wiki
  13. w:Yahoo! Groups: LinkStation General
  14. Buffalo Technology
  15. LinkStationwiki.net: Hardware comparison (LinkStation and Kuro Box)
  16. LinkStation - SATA Version
  17. TeraStation - SATA Version
  18. Revogear.com- American suppliers of KuroBox
  19. www.kuroutoshikou.com- Japanese supplier of KuroBox
  20. Hardware Specifications for the Kuro Box Original,HG, and HG WR models
  21. Buffalo's Terastation Listing
  22. LinkStationwiki.net: Openlink
  23. LinkStationwiki.net: Freelink
  24. www.kurobox.com: Projects
  25. http://www.kurobox.com/ - The Kurobox Page
  26. http://www.kurobox.info/ - A Chinese language forum covering the Kurobox and LinkStation.
  27. http://www.terastation.org/ - The Terastation Wiki
  28. LinkStationwiki.net, Category:Mediaserver
  29. Alan's KuroBox-DAAP Information (Bonjour/DAAP/iTunes)
  30. LinkStationwiki.net, Category:USB
  31. LinkStationwiki.net, Category:Kernel
  32. Why don't you hack the LinkStation/KURO-BOX

What are the more verbose differences between the (LS1, LS2, and HG/HS)?

HD-HLANv1 (LS1) HD-HLANv2 (LS2) HD-HGLAN (HG)/HS-DGL (HS)
CPU 200Mhz Freescale MPC8241 with MPC603e Motorola PowerPC core. 400MHz IDT 79RC32434-400BC with MIPSel CPU core 266Mhz Freescale MPC8241 with MPC603e Motorola PowerPC core.
RAM 64MB Micron MT48LC16M16A2-75 SDRAM 64MB Micron MT 46V32MI6-SBC SDRAM 128MB ELPIDA DS2516APTA-75 SDRAM
Flash ROM 4MB ST M29W320DT HG003 4MB Macronix MX29LV320T. 4MB ST M29W320DT HG001
USB 2 type A(rear - /dev/usb/lp0, front - /dev/usb/lp1) - NEC D720101GJ 2 type A(rear - /dev/usb/lp0, front - /dev/usb/lp1) - NEC D720101GJ 2 type A(rear - /dev/usb/lp0, front - /dev/usb/lp1) - NEC D720101GJ
NIC 10/100Mb ADMtek AN983B PCI ethernet controller 10/100Mb Realtek 8201CPPCI ethernet controller 10/100/1000Mb Realtek RTL8110S-32 PCI ethernet controller
IDE Controller Silicon Image SiI 0680acl144 IT8211 PCI IDE disk controller. Silc0680acl144 OR IT8211 PCI IDE disk controller
Stock Firmware 1.x 2.x 1.x
AVR AT90S2313-4SC AT???????-??? AT90S2313-4SC
AVR Analysis powerpc-hdhlan AVR Analysis mipsel-hdhlan AVR Analysis powerpc-hdhglan AVR Analysis
Benchmarks powerpc-hdhlan Benchmarks mipsel-hdhlan Benchmarks powerpc-hdhglan Benchmarks
Bootloader powerpc-hdhlan Boot Loader Overview mipsel-hdhlan Boot Loader Overview powerpc-hdhglan Boot Loader Overview
Flash ROM powerpc-hdhlan Flash ROM Analysis mipsel-hdhlan Flash ROM Analysis powerpc-hdhglan Flash ROM Analysis
Hardware powerpc-hdhlan Overview mipsel-hdhlan Overview powerpc-hdhglan Overview
Kernel powerpc-hdhlan Kernel mipsel-hdhlan Kernel powerpc-hdhglan Kernel
LED powerpc-hdhlan LED Analysis mipsel-hdhlan LED Analysis powerpc-hdhglan LED Analysis
Software powerpc-hdhlan Filesystem contents mipsel-hdhlan Filesystem contents powerpc-hdhglan Filesystem contents
Watchdog Timer powerpc-hdhlan Watchdog Timer Overview mipsel-hdhlan Watchdog Timer Overview powerpc-hdhglan Watchdog Timer Overview

Buffalo Links