NSLU2 and python - a love story ?

Discussion in 'Python' started by Thomas W, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. Thomas W

    Thomas W Guest

    Has anybody done any work using Python on the Linksys NSLU2[1][2]? I'm
    especially interested in stuff related to compiling additional modules,
    like PIL. There are allready a bunch of stuff available in the current
    replacement-firmware, but PIL seems to be missing.

    If you haven't heard about the NSLU2-box yet start with the references
    below and then google for it. It's very small, quiet, cheap and runs a
    complete linux system, with python available ( and MySQL, PostgreSQL,
    Apache etc etc ). It's very cool =)

    Anyway, any information related to python and the nslu2-box are of
    interest.

    Regards,
    Thomas

    References :
    [1] : http://www.nslu2-linux.org/
    [2] :
    http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?grid=35&scid=43&prid=640
     
    Thomas W, Jun 1, 2005
    #1
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  2. Thomas W

    Terry Reedy Guest

    "Thomas W" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > If you haven't heard about the NSLU2-box yet start with the references
    > below and then google for it. It's very small, quiet, cheap and runs a
    > complete linux system, with python available ( and MySQL, PostgreSQL,
    > Apache etc etc ). It's very cool =)
    > [1] : http://www.nslu2-linux.org/
    > [2] :
    > http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?grid=35&scid=43&prid=640


    The Linksys product literature [2] never mentions the word Linux, so I
    gather a) that it is an add-on and b) that the user group [1] is quite
    unofficial. For those curious, the price is about $100.

    The product lit also says 0 about the internal hardware but I found this:
    http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/Info/CPUOverview. 266 Mhtz, 32 Mb Ram + 8
    MB flash, which is pretty minimal these days. So unless one wants it for
    the designed purpose (or similar), it is not obviously cheap.

    I am curious what Python application you have in mind.

    Terry J. Reedy
     
    Terry Reedy, Jun 1, 2005
    #2
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  3. Thomas W

    Thomas W Guest

    Well, AFAIK people are running web-sites using apache, php and mysql on
    it and with ok performance. I'm not saying this would replace a real
    server, but for normal home-use with not too much traffic it seems to
    do the job.

    It's a fact that Linksys uses a somewhat modified version of linux on
    the NSLU2, maybe they don't advertise it on their web-page, but who
    cares? They got similar products based on or running linux which also
    have replacement-firmware. The point is that alot of people have
    modified their NSLU2, which by the way don't remove any of the
    functionality of the original product as I understand it, and made it
    possible to do cool things with it; run a subversion server for their
    projects etc. and by adding up to two large ( 300GB + ) drives you have
    enought storage for most things. And FYI the root filesystem can be
    stored on one of the USB-devices. It doesn't have to be stored on the
    8MB flash.

    My interest in it is due to the fact that my current two servers makes
    alot of noise, are big and uses alot of eletricity. If I could replace
    them with a NLSU2 running linux and python I could use all my allready
    developed software on a system costing 1/10th of my current server,
    with almost no noise and consume very little eletricity. I just think
    that's very interesting.

    The first project I have in mind is a web-interface to my digital image
    collection, in which I can organise the pictures in categories, add
    metadata, generate galleries and slideshows etc. From what I can see
    the NSLU2 would have little problems serving this specific purpose, in
    addition to serving the images thru samba as well so I can access them
    with my laptop, my KISS DP-558 PVR and my XBox. The
    "distro"/replacement-firmware for the NSLU2 allready have most of the
    modules I need ( CherryPy, pySQLite/SQLite ). The only thing missing
    is, as I said earlier, PIL.

    I think anything running linux and especially Python, is awsome, I'll
    admit that. Perhaps I'm just blinded by all that and cannot see the
    fact that 266Mhz isn't enough "juice". But I really do think the NSLU2
    is suitable for running a project like I described above, based on the
    stuff I've read about other projects using the box. If I'm wrong a
    heads up would be great so I can save my money. Save money to buy a
    mini mac/mini intel/barebone, because that's the alternative for me
    right now, and really silent barebone systems tend to cost alot more,
    generate heat and use electricity like a normal computer ( and pack
    alot more punch of course ).

    I don't own a NSLU2 yet, but intend to buy one soon. If the python
    project is successful I'll post some info here.
     
    Thomas W, Jun 1, 2005
    #3
  4. Thomas W

    Terry Reedy Guest

    "Thomas W" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > have replacement-firmware. The point is that alot of people have
    > modified their NSLU2, which by the way don't remove any of the
    > functionality of the original product as I understand it,


    There are two replacement firmware images. One extends the original
    firmware functionality (moving data back and forth from ethernet/internet
    to usb strorage). The other, for Linux experts, replaces it.

    > My interest in it is due to the fact that my current two servers makes
    > alot of noise, are big and uses alot of eletricity.


    I had not thought of that aspect.

    > The first project I have in mind is a web-interface to my digital image
    > collection, in which I can organise the pictures in categories, add
    > metadata, generate galleries and slideshows etc. From what I can see
    > the NSLU2 would have little problems serving this specific purpose, in
    > addition to serving the images thru samba as well so I can access them
    > with my laptop, my KISS DP-558 PVR and my XBox. The
    > "distro"/replacement-firmware for the NSLU2 allready have most of the
    > modules I need ( CherryPy, pySQLite/SQLite ). The only thing missing
    > is, as I said earlier, PIL.
    >
    > I think anything running linux and especially Python, is awsome, I'll
    > admit that. Perhaps I'm just blinded by all that and cannot see the
    > fact that 266Mhz isn't enough "juice".


    It depends on your image sizes and amount of processing you want to do on
    the NSLU2. For uncompressed TIFFs from multimegapixel cameras, 32MB will
    be cramped. One can apparently expand memory, but "A new kernel will be
    necessary to enable usage of the extra memory. " I don't know if this
    means the new kernel in either or both the replacements or one that one has
    to supply.

    60K jpeg web images are a different story.

    For interactive processing of such large images (like color correction,
    edge finding, etc) my experience (with 300-400MH Win machines) suggests
    that you might find 256MH somewhat pokey. But I don't know what you are
    used to with your laptop or current servers. I don't know what 'generate
    gallery' requires.

    Terry J. Reedy
     
    Terry Reedy, Jun 2, 2005
    #4
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