This is a list of steps and resources used to set up my Dlink DNS-323 RevB NAS.

##Phase 1: Upgrade firmware

Upgrade to the latest firmware

##Phase 2: Correctly format 4k drives

Western Digital 4k sector drives (EARS) are not correctly formatted by the DNS-323, and the partitions must be setup manually to align with the cylinder boundaries.

##Phase 3: FFP

3.1: FFP

Install Fonz Fun Plug (FFP) and enable ssh. Then setup additional packages and install bash, dnsmasq, screen, sudo and vim packages.

Advantage: Installs ssh, telnet, bash and other useful tools

Disadvantage: Files stored on /ramdisk so have to replace modified config files each reboot.  No git package

3.2: Optware

Install optware which allows many more packages to be installed.

Advantage: Installs git

Disadvantage: Still have to workaround ramdisk issues and fragments package management - some built-in, some in ffp, some in optware

##Phase 4: Alt-f Replacement Firmware

Debian Squeeze (testing at time of writing) is available only in the newer armel architecture, not in the older arm architecture.  The default firmware is arm and therefore cannot run squeeze.

Alt-f is an alternative custom firmware which is running on the armel architecture as well as supporting some things that the default does not, such as ext4.  It can be run on-top of the default firmware, but that has the same problems ramdisk problems as before. It an replace the default firmware by flashing the device but that seems a little dangerous and with limited benefit.  This may be required is Lenny as no longer supported.

##Phase 5: Debian chroot

5.1: Debian Etch

Advantage: No more ramdisk issues, more control over package management and running a real linux distro

Disadvantage: Running an old version of Debian (stable) which is arm, not the newer armel architecture (which may not be supported anyway…)

5.2: Debian Squeeze Chroot

Download, create and install Debian Squeeze chroot.

Advantage: A newer version (unstable) of Debian.