The DNS-323 enclosure was connected to a TP-LINK wireless router running OpenWRT that was being used for other developments. The router is configured to use my laptop as its network gateway and was providing a DHCP service to the DNS-323. I am guessing that the DNS-323 is designed to be connected to a home router and this setup is replicating this situation without having to use my actual Internet router.
The enclosure has been loaded with a 1.5 TB Seagate hard drive.
Connecting to the web interface
On the TP-LINK router, I needed to learn the IP address that had been assigned
by DHCP. The
/tmp/dhcp.leases contained to following line. That means
that the DNS-323 is assigned 10.0.0.242. If you are connecting to the DNS-323
directly without DHCP, the documentation says that you will find it at
192.168.0.32 after it failed to get an address from DHCP.
1338723234 00:1e:58:98:8a:b8 10.0.0.242 dlink-988AB8 01:00:1e:58:98:8a:b8
Connecting to this address with a web browser should display the D-LINK DNS-323
login interface. The user name is
admin and the password is left blank.
Preparing the hard disk
In the first step of the configuration wizard, I formatted the (single) hard disk without RAID. The progress bar was stuck at 94% for quite a while… I gave up and reset the thing, but don’t do that! It is long, but it will eventually finish and ask to reboot. It took just less than an hour.
The beer I was having is L’Interdite from Brasseurs du monde. They claim 100 IBU (that is, extremely bitter) but I found it quite average and I am also convinced that I had more bitter beers before such as the Pénurie from Trou du diable. Sadly the bitterness of the hops defines most of the flavour of this beer, leaving a quite unbalanced experience.
Load a new firmware and install Debian
There are some limitations caused by the current stock firmware using the older
arm architecture, so we need to flash some firmware to use the newer
armel architecture. Doing so will permit to install a version of
Debian that is not already obsolete. I will be following the instructions from
First, we download the installer image and use the web interface to
flash it to the device. After a while, the DNS-323 is rebooted and eventually
the installer will be accessible with SSH. Here we run
ssh firstname.lastname@example.org. The password is
Without waiting any longer, I select to start the installation and choose an
archive mirror (in this case, ftp.ca.debian.org). It failed to download the
Release file at first, but it was just because the firewall on the wireless
router was preventing requests from leaving the LAN. After that, everything
went smoothly. Just answer the questions :) Again, I formatted the disk as one
big partition – well not really, there are still
/boot and swap
partitions. It will take a while.
Selecting installed software
At first, I chose the Web server (Apache, PHP), SQL database (Postgresql), SSH server and Standard system utilities collections. This will give us a good start. It will be easy to install most web applications that the system will be running.
After the DNS-323 is rebooted, it should listen to SSH connections to the usual address (don’t forget to use the new username you specified during the installation), and there should be a web server telling us It worked!