How to Set up an NSLU2 with a Mac (For Dummies Like Me)

I’ve linked to several articles covering this before, but none of them did the type of “walk-thru for dummies” approach that I was in desperate need of for quite some time. As a result, I felt like an idiot when I figured it out. To save others the same pain, I provide the following:
1. Plug at least one blank USB 2.0 drive into the NSLU2.
2. Plug the NSLU2 into your network and make sure your router and machine are both set to IP addresses in the family for setting up the device (you can change this later).
3. Launch your browser of choice and type in (the NSLU2’s default IP address). You will be met with a web-interface to the device.
4. Click on Administration. You will be prompted for a login and password. Both are “admin” by default on the NSLU2.
5. You need to let the NSLU2 format your drive before you can make any changes. This is the stupid step that kept me scratching my head for far too long: To do this, you have to click on the “Advanced” link under the management tab. There you will find the “Disk” link that you had been searching for for hours and read so much about (d’uh). Click on it. You will most likely be prompted for the same admin/admin login and password again.
6. Now you will have a page that looks like this:

NSLU2 format page screen shot

Here you can choose to format your disk. Click and wait. It took about 15 minutes to format my 200GB drive.
7. Now go and change all the passwords, create different user accounts / share spaces, etc. through the web-interface.
8. Once you’re done with all the configuration on the NSLU2, click on the Finder, choose Go–>Connect to Server… (or Command+K), type in “smb://″ and click Connect. You will be prompted for a user name and password and you can choose whether to mount a share or the disk as a whole (if you didn’t set a data cap on the shares then all of these will be the size of your entire drive). Check the “Add to keychain…” (or whatever it is) box, so that you won’t have to re-enter this information each time you want to connect.
9. After the drive mounts, drag it to your Dock. Ta-da! Now you can connect to your NSLU2’s shared drive space whenever you like by simply clicking on that icon in the Dock!!!

Your USB drive is now formatted in ext3 format, so if you want to ever plug it directly into your Mac, you should go here and download this. If you want to do more crazy hacking with the device, check out these three articles and join the two Yahoo! Groups.

About C.K. Sample III

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31 Responses to How to Set up an NSLU2 with a Mac (For Dummies Like Me)

  1. d says:

    Hi useful informative articles on using the slug
    your links to Toms hardware just go the current home page,
    searching with your titles gets ‘not found’ response.

  2. David says:

    Great instructions, but there’s an even easier way. My router was setup on a different IP address and only allowed certain MAC addresses to connect. Instead of following the instructions above I booted up my MacBook, turned off wireless, turned on built-in ethernet, set the IP to, the subnet to and left the router, DNS and the rest empty. I then applied these changes and connected the NSLU2 directly to the ethernet port on the MacBook. The NSLU2 was ‘on’ and there was a blank USB drive attached to ‘disk 2′. I opened the browser and surfed to and there was the NSLU2 ready and waiting to be configured. I then followed your instructions to format the disk, changed the IP to match my home network, checked the MAC address was as indicated on the NSLU2 packaging (it was), rebooted the NSLU2 and connected it to the router – everything worked fine, first time. Of course, it was connected to a Mac, so I expected it to ‘just work’. I have this vague recollection that Macs can tell when a network cable is directly connected to another machine and act as a crossover cable … whatever, it was up-and-running in minutes, patched to firmware v.63 a few minutes later and left to get on with things. Firmware upgrade takes longer than expected considering the file is only ~8Mb. Enjoy ;-)

  3. Cmdrfish says:

    Did basically the same thing as David. Found out that it had a address of, when I was running a 192.168.0.x lan address, so I used a standard Cat 5 cable and hooked it directly to my PM G5 and accessed the NAS directly. Changed the address on the NAS and then restarted it back on my router.
    It found my Fat32 HD, but said my HFS+ needed formatting. Saw what you wrote about needing to format it using the NAS to format it as EXT3. That worked. Mounted it on my desktop and transferring the files via ethernet. Was hoping to avoid that problem since I will have to transfer about 150G via my Network instead of USB2/ Firewire ( my ext drives have both capabilities.. OUCH …my slower). Oh well, cant expect to get Gigabit ethernet on a $50 NAS, can I …??? So far so good.

  4. Lisa Marie says:

    This is helpful I think. I am using both a mac and a pc. I am using the linksys with an airport extreme and a western digital 1t hd. I had no trouble setting up on the linksys on my pc and no trouble on the mac book pro. I even got both to do auto backups. However at some point in the backup process on the mac–the linksys disappeared and I have not been able to get it to reappear. I can still access the linksys on my pc laptop and desktop. What am I missing?

  5. c.k. says:

    Hmm… did your MacBook Pro switch wireless networks mid backup? Make sure you’re on the correct network and if so, you may need to flush the machine’s cache. To do so, download Onyx for OS X and give it a whirl.

  6. Pingback: Linksys NSLU2 - smarter than your average NAS | acidlabs

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