View Full Version : Gigabit Linkstation flashing with Openlink or Freelink or original firmware?

2006-06-20, 13:42
I am thinking about buying a Buffalo Gigabit Linkstation (HD-HG 300LAN).
As I already read I do need to install either Openlink or Freelink in order to get slimserver running. Which one do you prefer? Do both versions work with slimserver? Is it possible to flash the linkstation a a later stage again with the original firmware ( just in case of warranty matters)? Where can I get the firmware from?
Will it be possible to install a webserver (i.e. apache) and/ or a database system (i.e. mysql) in parallel to the slimserver software on the linkstation?
Does anybody know where I can get the Gigabit Linkstation at a bargain price in Germany?

Thank you very much for your help in advance and best regards,


2006-06-20, 14:47
Welcome. In addition to this forum, there is a lot of information on LinkStations at www.linkstationwiki.org -- that site also has a forum. Also be sure to take a look at the pages on installing slimserver on a LinkStation that are on the Slim Devices wiki (http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?SlimServer )

Now, to start answering your questions. Both OpenLink and FreeLink work with the HD-HG. I started with OpenLink, and then reflashed to FreeLink because I wasn't always able to find or build the Perl modules that I needed. OpenLink is easier, because it includes the basic services that you need and preserves the original LinkStation browser-based management interface. FreeLink is more flexible because it's a regular debian install, but you have to install and configure a lot more things manually, such as samba, webmin, etc.

You can get the firmware from the linkstationwiki.org site. Just be sure to get the right version for your LinkStation. The gigabit HD-HG models are PowerPC models, not MIPS.

I am pretty sure that you can reflash to the original firmware, but I can't rule out the possibility that you could so totally "brick" the LS that you can't get the original firmware back on. It would be good to check the linkstationwiki.org site and/or forums for other advice on this.

** I _strongly_ recommend running your LS for awhile with the stock firmware before you try flashing it. That way if you receive a defective unit you won't have as big a hassle getting a replacement under warranty.

Finally, if you want to install a webserver and/or mysql, then FreeLink is likely to be a better option for you. But before you place too heavy a load on the LinkStation, keep in mind that even though these are great devices, they don't have a lot of power. The HD-HG only have 128MB RAM and 266MHz PPC processors.

Good luck. I've been very happy with my HD-HG250.

2006-06-21, 12:19
Aubuti, thanks a bunch for your very good and detailed answer. This helps me a lot and I am happy that I got your answer that fast.
Best regards,

2006-06-21, 14:28
I'd have a look at the qnap ts-101, I find it much better than my Linkstation and it comes with Slimserver built in.

2006-06-22, 09:58
Be careful with the HG300. It's been known to brick when you flash it with ANY firmware. I have one myself and bricked the first one. The replacement one I got, I opened it up and fixed up stuff on it from a PC running Knoppix.

I'm not sure buying an LS to run slimserver on, is such a good idea anymore (Slim Devices is dropping the support for the LS on version 6.5 of SS). Many other NAS'es offer built-in support for slimserver these days at similar or slightly higher prices.

My 2 cents,

2006-06-22, 13:31
There were problems with bricking the HD-HG300 when flashing the firmware, but I think they've been resolved. Check the HG forum at http://linkstationwiki.org/forum/ Either way, Daniel is right that you should be careful.

I'm not so sure about the claim that SD is dropping support for the OS. Their "support" for the LS is basically support for Linux, and I don't see Linux disappearing from their development plans anytime soon. I'm running 6.5b1 on my LS just fine, although it's an early-May version that doesn't use mySQL. But there's a mySQL package for Freelink'd HD-HGs, so I don't see why that wouldn't work. I've been waiting until things get a bit more stable before upgrading my LS to a MySQL version of slimserver.

Prices are always changing, but last time I looked the LinkStation was much less expensive (just under $1/GB) than built-in solutions like Infrant, even the least expensive Infrant. And some of it will depend where you are, as a lot of NAS solutions seem to have limited distribution networks.

So there's pros and cons all around, but you should be able to settle on something that will work for you.

2006-06-22, 17:55
Yeah, I apologize. I misunderstood what Dan meant exactly when he mentioned not offering support for the LS in 6.5

Yes a Linkstation is cheap. If you can afford something better, consider it. Otherwise an LS (gigabit or otherwise) will work.


2006-06-25, 14:01
Many thanks for all your answers and comments. I read a lot about bricking the HG300 - but my feeling is that with a current european version the risk of bricking is not too high. What do you think?

Actually I am looking for a cheap solution. I saw the HG300 for 250 Euro. I don't know anything about the qnap ts-101 and how much it will cost. Where can I get more information about the qnap ts-101? Does a comparison of both system exist somewhere?


2006-06-26, 11:50
I've been out of the loop concerning flashing the HG300 for a long while. Ever since the original "ordeal" of last December/January and Buffalo's "non-support" on the issue, I've decided to copy stuff to the HDD from my PC and to never flash the little critter for fear of inflicting cerebral death to it.

2006-06-26, 14:18
Actually I am looking for a cheap solution. I saw the HG300 for 250 Euro. I don't know anything about the qnap ts-101 and how much it will cost. Where can I get more information about the qnap ts-101? Does a comparison of both system exist somewhere?
I've never seen a comparison of both systems, but it shouldn't be too hard to round up enough info on each to make your own comparison. For info about the qnap with slimserver installed, try www.cooltopia.com. There is also a LONG thread (approaching 700 posts!) on the qnap in this forum, mostly centered around the device sold by Progressive Consumer Electronics Ltd. (I have never been clear on whether Cooltopia and Progressive are the same outfit, or even related).

There's info on the LinkStation HD-HG hardware on the www.linkstationwiki.org site, but the short story is that it has a 266MHz PowerPC processor (I forget the model number) and 128MB of RAM.