Initial setup


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 If you are connecting to the DNS-323 directly without DHCP, the documentation says that you will find it at after it failed to get an address from DHCP.

1338723234 00:1e:58:98:8a:b8 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

Waiting for the disk formatting

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

Debian installer

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 Martin Michlmayr. 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 installer@ The password is install.

We're used to it by now...

Without waiting any longer, I select to start the installation and choose an archive mirror (in this case, 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.

Final reboot

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!