NetCat-A UBoot-Friendly Network Utility

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What is Netcat?

Netcat is a flexible network utility for network access to ports on computer systems. It can connect to a variety of ports, by either TCP or UDP. For LinkStation owners with UBoot installed, it provides one with the means to do a variety of tasks, including controlling the boot process, altering environmental variables, and flashing data/images to ROM. The official site for Netcat is here.


Getting Netcat and Installing it for Use with UBoot & LinkStations

Using Netcat w/ UBoot to control the boot process

First, get your network adjusted so that the ip addresses are what UBoot expects them to be. Your desktop/laptop must have an IP address of 192.168.11.149. Your LS needs to be at 192.168.11.150. The network should be 192.168.11.0 and the subnet mask 255.255.255.0, though these last two seem to take care of themselves. (Note: If your version of UBoot was custom made with a different IP range for a network like 10.0.1.0, then adjust accordingly.)

To connect to your UBoot-equipped LS during its boot process, do the following almost simultaneously:

  • execute the following command
nc -u -p 6666 -v 192.168.11.150 6666
  • right after that (within seconds) turn your LS on and wait for something like this to appear:
nc -u -p 6666 -v 192.168.11.150 6666ads.linkstationwiki.net/mirrors/hvk
10.0.1.6: inverse host lookup failed: Unknown host
(UNKNOWN) [10.0.1.6] 6666 (?) open

U-Boot 1.1.4 LiSt 2.1.0 (Nov 15 2006 - 18:03:28) LinkStation HG / KuroBox HG
stdin :   nc
stdout:   nc
stderr:   nc
IDE:   Bus 0: OK 
  Device 0: Model: Maxtor 6L300R0 Firm: BAJ41G20 Ser#: L6318AEG
            Type: Hard Disk
            Supports 48-bit addressing
            Capacity: 286188.8 MB = 279.4 GB (586114704 x 512)
Boot in 07 seconds ('s' to stop)...s

If you press "s" and enter, then the boot process will stop.