Project: Automated offsite backups for an NSLU2 -- part 5

Posted on 11 November 2006 in NSLU2 offsite backup project

Previously in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

In order to get automated offsite backups from my NSLU2 to Amazon S3, I've determined I need to use s3sync, a Ruby script. Obviously, this means that I need to get Ruby running on the "slug".

As I noted earlier, the standard firmware will not support Ruby, so the first step is going to have to be to install new firmware. The matrix of possibilities on the NSLU2-Linux site lists a bunch. My gut instinct is to stay as close to the original firmware -- to the left of the matrix -- as possible. I've been using Linux for a long time now - on and off since 1992 -- but I've never really got to a serious kernel-recompiling porting-it-to-a-ZX81 level with it. So let's keep things as simple as possible.

Conveniently, it looks like Unslung, the most simple replacement firmware, and one that is compatible with the original firmware -- hopefully meaning that I won't need to do anything like reformat the disk I currently have attached -- has some level of support for Ruby. At least, there is a Ruby package in the list of "cross packages". Brief investigation implies that I may have to compile the package myself -- hence the "cross" --but hopefully that won't be too tricky.

Before doing anything else, I need to safeguard my data. Although it's all backed up on the IBackup system I mentioned earlier, it's better to be safe than sorry -- so, the first step is to copy it all over to my main workstation's hard drive.

Once this is done, it's time to install. There is a new user's guide on the NSLU2-Linux site with strict instructions to follow the README, which lives next to the binaries on -- they have a complicated click-through license that I shan't deep-link past. The README is very detailed, and is full of dire warnings about the consequences of not following it.

As it will take a while to back up the drive, let's try out s3sync on a regular Linux box while we wait.

Next: s3sync on Ubuntu.