Large file support with an Unslung NSLU2

I have written previously on how cool the little NSLU2 is as a customisable NAS device. I have set mine up as a little backup device, it silently backs up my server files (using rsync), creates tar files from all the files and then presents these archives to Retrospect on my Mac for backing up to external media and taking off-site. Unfortunately the default 'ls' and 'tar' programs that come with the Unslung distribution do not support large file sizes or long filenames to fix this problem download the far more up-to-date versions using ipkg:

Linsys NSLU2, one cool little NAS

Weighing in at a couple of hundred dollars the Linksys NSLU2 is a very tidy little NAS device. It's a small (three CD cases stacked) unit that holds a 266mhz PPC processor (underclocked to 133mhz), 40meg of RAM, two USB ports and one network interface. Linksys have fashioned together a Linux-based OS running Samba to provide a very tidy, home/home-office level NAS device that can be easily administered via a clean web-based interface.

The Linksys NAS connected to a 2.5" 80gig drive (click to enlarge)

Where the little box gets really interesting is its ability to be hacked in almost any direction. There is a large community of Linux hackers producing custom Flash images that allow everything from the addition of extra software packages to the installation of a full-blown Debian system on the tiny box. The hackers have cleverly got around the flash memory limits of the onboard hardware through a method known as 'unslinging', or more precisely the ability to boot and run the device off a connected hard drive. Coupled with this there is a raft of hardware hacks that range from the relatively simple (removing the underclocking on the CPU) through to the really difficult (boosting RAM to 256meg by soldering together RAM chips).