View Full Version : Squuezebox2 + NLSU2 or Linkstation - Will I be happy?

2005-08-04, 05:13
Hi Folks,

I've just started researching this and have a setup in mind but would like to hear opinions on how well it's all going to work.

I have approx 500 CDs which I'd like to get digitised to a lossless format - probably FLAC. Sound quality is important to me.

I would prefer not to have a PC running as a server due to noise, space restrictions so have been looking at either NLSU2 or Linkstation running slimserver as an alternative.

I have read some reports about such devices operating as a server being unacceptably slow for song browsing. I suspect I'd only want to browse by Artist/CD. Will that be acceptably fast?

I've also heard web browsing is too slow. What do you typically use the web interface for?

Which would be better, NLSU2 or Linkstation?

Basically asking whether I'll be happy with my proposed system or whether there will be anything performance wise that will plain annoy me?



2005-08-05, 01:14
NLSU2 or Linkstation?
reading some of the links on the Linux forum (http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=15491) it looks like the NSLU2 has too little memory to run slimserver, and even if you overclock the NSLU2 the CPU may be too slow too. The NSLU2 only comes with 32mb of RAM.

The Linkstation comes with 64mb of RAM and it has a better CPU too. There are a number of pages up on web about getting the Slimserver running on the Linkstation too, so a lot of people have already got it working. I think that the IDE disk would be quicker than a USB connection too.

Marc Field has a very good write up on how to get the Linkstation set up here http://fieldnetworks.com/slim/linkstation.html

I run slimserver on a Kuro Box HG, which is a spec above the Linkstation and it works very well. Buffalo is releasing a Linkstation Gigabit (http://www.tomsnetworking.com/Reviews-207-ProdID-HDHG250LAN.php), which is the same specs as the Kuro Box HG, and would be the NAS of choice, IMO.

hope this helps

2005-08-05, 03:32
Thanks for the info Pete. That's really helpful. I'd more or less come to the same conclusion that Linkstation would probably be more suitable but had slight concerns over which version I'd end up with.
It seems the Linstation now has 2 variants with different processors but trawling around it seems folks have been able to make both work with SB2.

I didn't know about the Linkstation Giga. Has anyone succeeded in running slimserver on that yet?

Out of interest, where did you get your Kurobox HG from? I can't find anywhere that sells it in the UK


2005-08-05, 05:59
Hi Paul,
my Kuro HG is exactly the same specs as the Linkstation Giga - I've even got the firmware from the Giga running on my Kuro (thanks to a lot of help on the Kuro forums).

I bought my Kuro directly from buffalo (http://www.revogear.com) but thier shop site is down and doesn't look like it will be back up anytime soon. I also had to buy the transformer from Maplins for 10.

If you are interested in the Kuro go to http://www.kurobox.com for more details. I saw someone selling them on ebay earlier this week too for around 130-150.

The Linkstation is a lot easier to find in the UK, and it comes with UK power supply too. I don't know if the Giga is actually selling in the UK, or even the US for that matter, yet, but it should be out soon. The current versions of the Linkstation look to be able to run slimserver with no problems, but I like the idea of extra memory and faster CPU so I can play around with running web and print servers on the same box.

If you want any more information let me know

2005-08-05, 07:21
Pete, Thanks again. I think I'm nearly convinced.

This place is selling Linkstaion Gigabit (300G) for approx 270

A place on Ebay is selling Kurobox HG for 165 which I'm guessing by the time you add hard disk, power supply and postage will make it cost a bit more than the LS GB.

So I'm very tempted by the Linkstation Giga but my only reservation is that because it's new I can't find any reports of anyone hacking it to support slimserver and I'm certainly not (yet!) a linux expert.

So what do you reckon? Shall I go for it and hope that I can sort it out? I guess it wont be too long before there's plenty of these devices out there so somebody will crack it...


2005-08-05, 11:40
This box is in a different price range but I'll mention it just to make sure you're aware it's out there. The ReadyNAS from Infrant (www.infrant.com) is another option. You can buy this box with no drives and fill it with the SATA drives of your choice. The memory is a standard DIMM and so you can upgrade the memory when you want to run SlimServer. Infrant is providing a copy of SlimServer on their website and their firmware will load it for you. I was running SlimServer fine with 128MB of RAM but just upgraded to 512MB at the suggestion of the Infrant engineers.

2005-08-05, 13:38
I'm running Slimserver on a Linkstation2 and it does what I want. It plays my music to the amp!!!!

That said the web access is slow, but I only really use that to set the preferences up. The speed for searching via the squuezbox2 is OK, about .5 sec or less delay with nearly 8000 songs. The only time I have had any skips in music play is if I access the web browser at the same time. That said it is for only a short time and does not happen all the time.

I used the guide at fieldnetworks for some help as well as looking at the linkstation wiki to get the slimserver on the Linkstation. They have a version of firmware that gives you telnet access as well as all the files needed.

2005-08-08, 06:21
Hi Paul,
doing the same googles that you have done I too cannot see any real information about people hacking into the Gigabit LS, apart from a Japanese site or two, and even then the google translator doesn't offer a great deal of insight.

Having said that, the HD_HG* series should be hackable as it's a PPC based linkstation. I am pretty sure that the MIPS-based had the telnet connection turned off, but I see people have opened those up now too (here http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LinkStation_General/ and http://linkstationwiki.org/).

At the end of the day it's a risk you have to weigh up. At least the Linkstation is pretty well supported, whereas the Kuro has a much smaller development and support community, so the odds are pertty good that once the HD-HG* comes onto the market in bigger numbers there will be an active community pulling it to pieces.

The ReadyNAS looks an iteresting paltform, the only problem being that the OS is not open - if you want to add anything else to it you are relying on Infrant to supply it.

Anyway, you are the one who has to feel comfortable with the product you buy, I have been lucky that the kit I have bought has worked well for me, with a bit of effort from me and a lot of effort from the developer community.

Good luck, and let us know how you get on

2005-08-11, 03:39
It looks like the Linkstation HG is beginning to get opened up with the release of an Openlink firmware on


and the PPC modules developed for linkstation are reported as being compatible with HG.

So I'm decided - I'll go for the linkstation HG. I'll certainly let you know how I get on.

Thanks again for the help.


2005-08-22, 00:34
I promised I'd let you know how it went. I bought the Linkstation HG and have just managed to install slimserver which runs just fine. Ripped approx 150 CDs to FLAC and so far no performance issues at all.

I'm very happy with the purchase. Both the squeezebox2 and Linkstation HG are excellent products.


2005-08-29, 02:06
I promised I'd let you know how it went. I bought the Linkstation HG and have just managed to install slimserver which runs just fine. Ripped approx 150 CDs to FLAC and so far no performance issues at all.

I'm very happy with the purchase. Both the squeezebox2 and Linkstation HG are excellent products.

Paul Could you say whether you did anything to it other than what it says in the box to install. You seem to imply you did, but I wanted to be sure. Thanks.

2005-08-30, 01:40
All of what I needed I got from the linkstationwiki web pages.

Firstly it involved upgrading to the latest openlink firmware to enable root telnet or SSH access.

Then I installed the development tools (though I'm not 100% certain I needed them)

Next I installed the perl version of slimserver6.1.1

Next downloaded PPC slimserver modukes (from linkstationwiki)

Finally I followed the instruction on Mark Feild's website on making slimserver start automatically on boot.


2005-09-13, 14:25
I am wondering about the "slow" comments. I think I could live with a bit of a slow response to slimserver web access. I haven't seen anything that talks about linkstation + slimserver + any codecs (like flac or ogg). So my thinking is people are either leaving that specific out because it works fine and they are grouping it in with the "slimserver" comment or that they are only pushing along data that is supported directly by the SB hardware (mp3,wav to SB1 or mp3,wav,flac to SB2). So would linkstation serving flac to SB1 have a problem?

2005-09-14, 12:19
I'm successfully using a Kuro Box HG (266 MHz CPU, 128 MB RAM) as my SlimServer. With a 400GB hard drive. You can buy the Kuro Box at https://www.revolutionstore.com/revogear/. It's bascially a more hackable Linkstation, where you add your own hard drive.

I'm also using it to rip my CDs into FLAC. I'd say it's a good idea to do it in FLAC because you'll keep your CPU load down, and FLAC encodes faster than MP3. Either FLAC or MP3 will not require transcoding which would probably slow things down a bit to the point where you might get dropouts while using the Web interface.

The menus are pretty responsive, looking things up works fine. I can play music and rip CDs without any problems (the ripping process runs at a low priority so it takes longer but the music keeps playing.)

I'm writing up my experiences at http://chairthrower.org/blog.

2005-09-14, 16:04
Either FLAC or MP3 will not require transcoding which would probably slow things down a bit to the point where you might get dropouts while using the Web interface.

I imagine you are using a SB2 with this then. I am wondering about using flac (or ogg vorbis) on a SB1. I have both SB1 and SB2. Which brings up another question. Is more than one SB going to have a big impact on the needed processing?

2005-09-20, 06:50
anyone tested a linkstation setup + SB2 + the new hardware wma decoding ??
Fancy going down the linkstation route when I move, but unsure if I will get reliable performance.

I would also want to run a web server on the linkstation.

2005-09-20, 07:14
> anyone tested a linkstation setup + SB2 + the new hardware wma
> decoding

No experience. But as the decoding is done in the SB2 there's no
additional load on the linkstation to be expected except for higher
network throughput.



Help translate SlimServer by using the
SlimString Translation Helper (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

2005-09-20, 07:47
I would be expecting less load, as you say, but wondering if its enough of a reduction to improve some of the slowdown that people have mentioned when using the linkstation