A few months ago I received my Guruplug server plus, but I only just had time to finish the configuration. Basically it is a small Linux server, equipped with an Marvell 1.2 Ghz (ARM) processor, 512MB of RAM, 512MB of NAND flash, 2 gigabit ethernet ports, wireless, bluetooth, 1x eSATA, 2x USB and 1x microSD. And yes, this is the successor of the Sheevaplug.
Currently my Guruplug is acting as the replacement for my ancient home server (Pentium 450Mhz, 512 MB RAM), which has now been taken offline. I was quite stubborn, since I wanted to do the configuration and installation “my way”. This is what I did:
- Build and configure the Debian root filesystem using debootstrap (note: make sure your fstab and partitions are set correctly).
- Copy the root filesystem to the microSD (in my case: Transcend 16GB microSD, class 6, with wear-leveling). Test if it works, by using the pre-installed kernel and your custom root filesystem.
- Cross-compile a minimal custom kernel (2.6.35-rc3) on another machine (in my case: a quadcore AMD machine). You do not want reboots during your kernel compilation or want to wait a long time before it is finished. Native support for the Guruplug has been added to the kernel since 2.6.35!
- Update uBoot, so it will correctly recognize/run the original kernel and the custom kernel.
- Test the custom kernel by putting it on a FAT16 partition on a USB stick (or TFTP server), before permanently writing it to the NAND flash. Unfortunately uBoot did not work with the ext filesystem (ext2load) or from the microSD.
- Low price
- Low power consumption
- Silent operation
- Debian pre-installed
- Dual gigabit ethernet, dual USB, WLAN, eSATA and bluetooth in one tiny box
- CPU heat dissipation. The plug suddenly reboots (probably thermal shutdown) when it gets too hot, which is very nasty. There are some creative solutions on the forum, which will void your warranty!
- WLAN. The wireless chip still is not supported by the kernel, so you will need the Marvell kernel module (uap8xxx.ko) and tool (uaputl) which are shipped with the Guruplug.
- uBoot. Default uBoot version does not support loading the kernel from ext filesystems or the microsd card (but it works from TFTP, USB and NAND flash), but it can easily be updated.