DSL, Puppy Linux, Netvoyager and CurrentCost

After some procrastination I now have a tiny home server:

Netvoyager LX-1000

The Netvoyager comes with some thin client software pre-installed, which I’m thinking of leaving alone for now, since it might turn out to be useful if I ever get a SLUG as well. (Well it is my birthday in a couple of months!!)

The first tiny hurdle was trying to boot a DSL USB stick I have. Unfortunately I discovered the BIOS is password protected so hitting Del didn’t get me very far. Luckily Netvoyager support helped out by telling me to press F8 to bring up a list of devices to boot from. I’m hoping they’ll also tell me the BIOS password to avoid having to do that every time because it got a bit annoying this weekend!

My attempts to boot using DSL were met with mixed results: booting from a USB CD drive worked a treat, but no amount of hacking got it to boot from a USB stick. It seems to be GRUB rather than DSL that’s the problem. It turns out that there is quite a bit of information about for the Netvoyager, under its Microclient and eBox-2300 aliases. Puppy Linux seemed to be the favourite option, so I had a go with that and, while being a bit slower, it’s working a treat. It had an added bonus of having a few other bits I needed that DSL didn’t. For now it’s happily publishing data for CurrentCost power graphs but I plan to break it again at some point to switch to a command line only cut down Linux install.

Definitely pleased with the Netvoyager decision so far, despite people suggesting even more alternatives since I got it! Cost, features and power use are spot on for what I wanted.

Update: Found a couple of useful Netvoyager links while playing around with new Linux distros. (24 October 2010)