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ACTLab TV Low Cost Server Hack V1.0

At ACTLab TV we know first hand that money is hard to come by. With only our pockets as the resource for any hardware issues, when we had to figure out a way to serve many gigabytes(10's if not 100's) of video we started looking into low cost server solutions.

ACTLab TV's LC Server

It all started when we figured out that we had no way of conventionally adding storage space to our current servers. If we were a big company or research group our gut reaction would have been to go out and buy some big server with gigabit, SCSI RAID and all the trimmings, however this was far from the case. With a little bit of tooling around we were able to come up with a solution that cost less then 200 dollars!


After scouring the web, Brandon found a website talking about the Linksys NSLU2 and how you could flash it with OpenSlug, a linux distro. This would allow us to run the services we needed: SSH and Apache. After making a run to fry's to pick up the linksys and Joseph offering up a USB Drive and USB Flash drive (to store the extra services) we were in business.


Here is a parts list


$80 Linksys NSLU2 (Ethernet device with USB 2.0 Mass Storage Support)

$30 80 gigabyte hard drive

$20 Vantec USB 2.0 Enclosure

$20 128mb USB 2.0 Flash Drive

(cables come with the devices!)


$150 dollars total (if you had to buy everything new)


Checkout more about modding the NSLU2 at http://www.nslu2-linux.org/


Here are a couple of pics:



ACTLab TV is made possible through the ACTLab Program at the University of Texas at Austin. The ACTLab is constantly looking for talented and motivated individuals. Check out their program and their current research!!!


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