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What's the difference between OpenLink and FreeLink? Which one is right for me?

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).

Can I install OpenLink or FreeLink on an HD-HG300?

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:
  1. 15803350910xxxx
  2. 45803351010xxxx
  3. 45803351011xxxx
  4. 458011650810xxx
  5. 458011650910xxx
  6. 458011650911xxx
  7. 45801650910xxx
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 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., 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

and change:

/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:
(source : http://forum.nas-central.org/viewtopic.php?p=40065 )

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


Terastation Wiki FAQ: How do I change the web interface from Japanese to English?

I get the error "A LinkStation is not connected" when I run the firmware updater, but I can browse the shares & use the web interface

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?

See Upgrade to the 2.6-kernel (ppc only)#System control phase