D-Link DNS-321

Just got my very own D-Link DNS-321 a couple of days ago. Spent the holiday weekend hacking it.


At this point I’ve temporarily installed a 250 Gb drive I had lying around so I could get started. One of Western Digital’s 1 Tb “green” drives is on the way from Best Buy.

With the help of the DNS323Wiki I’ve so far been able to install the latest version of the Fonz fun_plug packages and get several services up and running. One is a telnetd server that provides the shell access needed to install and configure other packages. Others are an sshd server, and a DNS and DHCP server provided by the dnsmasq plugin. Still others are an ntp server and lighttpd web server. I’ve left the shipping ftp, samba and nfs servers in place for now, although some of the lists indicate that fun_plug’s samba may be better than what ships with the unit.

Some really nice features of the DNS-321 are its 500 MHz ARM cpu, 32 Mb RAM and Linux operating system (as of the latest firmware this is kernel version, compiled Aug 10, 2009). Another great feature is the price, just over $100 from Amazon and other vendors.

So far I’ve reconfigured all the clients on my small home network to use the new device for DNS and DHCP. I’ve also moved my main internal web “portal” over to it (just a simple web page with lots of useful links for the family). Once the big disk arrives I’ll move all our media files and software archives over to it. Last night my trusty CentOS 5 workstation got its first full night’s rest in … years.

I plan to document my experiences with this little unit over the course of a couple of articles here, mostly for my own use when I re-configure it to use the bigger disk. Hopefully others will find them helpful as well.