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Author Topic: Is the SheevaPlug dev kit right for me?  (Read 4512 times)
hansamurai
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« on: August 21, 2009, 07:28:32 AM »

I've been looking at the SheevaPlug dev kit and its variants for a while now and am a bit intimidated by some of the disaster posts on this forum.  I'm a Linux user but far from super experienced, and I'm mostly just looking for something that will just work.  Key features are mounting an external hard drive, serving media on the LAN, and downloading torrents.

Is the dev kit really worth it for me?  I guess I'm comparing that to something like the PogoPlug or the TonidoPlug (though I'd rather not have to sign up for services that may go away some day just to use my hardware). What are the advantages of the dev kit?  The extra IO?

Thanks for your input, I'm excited to jump into the world of plug computing.
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mgillespie
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2009, 09:14:12 AM »

I don't consider myself a Linux expert, I have enough knowledge to get by.  I have had no problems setting up my Sheevaplug to do pretty much exactly as you describe your requirement.   It uses twonkymedia to serve media from my USB HDD, it's got a webserver, and wTorrent (rTorrent with a web interface), and a few other tricks up it's sleeve.  Running mine with the alpha6 installer, updated to the latest jaunty with apt-get dist-upgrade, and get the latest pre-built kernel from http://sheeva.with-linux.com/sheeva/

If you have a little Linux knowledge, I say jump in, there are plenty of people on these forums, the general ubuntu support forums (although most scratch their head with ARM/embedded questions and don't quite get why you don't want full X-Windows with your apt-get...)
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AutoStatic
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2009, 12:59:13 PM »

I agree with mgillespie, and the services you mention (torrents, mounting drives and serving media) can be easily handled by the plug. The advantages of the SheevaPlug is that it is the most widely spread and used plug computer at the moment. And judging by the wiki and this forum the user base/community is already pretty solid!
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hansamurai
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2009, 08:19:06 PM »

Thanks for the replies, I think you've both given me enough confidence to make the purchase.  I guess I'd better order quick considering how long it takes to ship.
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DozenCrows
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2009, 01:38:55 AM »

While you're waiting for your plug to arrive, I'd recommend experimenting with a "virtual plug" setup using something like VirtualBox - you can experiment on a virtual Linux machine with the software that you want to use. I did this with Ubuntu Server 9.04, and it saved me a lot of time and effort when my plug finally arrived. If you make mistakes, you don't wind up with an unusable brick - you can just delete the virtual machine and start again.

However it is worth checking that the software you want to run is supported on the Sheevaplug architecture; or that someone has at least reported that they can build and run it.

When you get your plug, I'd also recommend moving the kernel and root fs onto an external storage device, and leave the onboard NAND untouched as a fallback position. That way there's less risk when upgrading the kernel and packages in the future.
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mgillespie
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2009, 05:36:11 AM »

On a related note, is there a ARM emulator that can emulator the Marvell feroceon CPU?  Would be handy to try stuff out on a Windows PC, in a emulated enviroment.
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AutoStatic
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2009, 05:46:21 AM »

qemu can emulate an ARM CPU: http://www.qemu.org/status.html
Not sure though if the Windows version of qemu is able to emulate an ARM CPU, the linux version does support it.
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greenguy
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2009, 09:53:14 AM »

TonidoPlug comes with web based torrent client and Ushare DLNA server (Beta feature). It also has standard ubuntu jaunty installation as sheevaplug. You can ssh into the Plug and do whatever you want to do. You are not depended on Tonido Service to use TonidoPlug. Only service Tonido provides is that dynamic dns to your plug. You can always switch that to other provider as dyndns. As additional bonus, TonidoPlug also comes with a list of fun and productive apps. Of course, finally you need to decide whether that satisfies your requirement.
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