Hacking LaCie ethernet Disk mini to multiple samba shares 
Sunday, February 5, 2006, 07:31 PM - General applicable solutions

The LaCie ethernet disk mini 300GB is a linux based device. The early versions of this device with firmware lower than firmware 2.0, are not capable of handling more than one share, which with a networked device is far from optimal. To be able to handle more than one share, this manual has been written. Lacie was also contacted by a Lacie user about this issue, and he also got a response saying that they were already addressing the issue in firmware 2.0. By downloading the firmware, you can add your shares the easy way. If you want to do more, you can use this article to know ahead what you will run into hacking your lacie drive.

Linux based, so what about GPL

Sources can be downloaded from the LaCie website. They use a kernel tailored to there own, and several applications, among which samba and busybox.

Where is the configuration stored

Lacie stores the configuration on the device its harddisk. This makes the task at hand a lot easier. To start with, the partitions can be backupped up easily so in case of trouble they can be restored.
The main system boots from the extended partition in the ethernet disk:
fdisk output:
/dev/hda5 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/hda6 83 Linux // probably /boot, contains the kernel
/dev/hda7 83 Linux // busybox & other applications, also a /etc with basic settings, overridden by /dev/hda8
/dev/hda8 83 Linux // The settings the system uses

The changes

At this moment all what is needed is to edit /etc/samba/smb.conf to an acceptable multiple shares layout. It is handy when you already made the users by using the webinterface, so you only have to address the shares itself. The samba config directs to /home for the standard share. You could keep that for yourself, and add subdirectories in /home (once mounted) to use with samba.

How to apply the changes

Disassemble the ethernetdisk mini by unscrewing the two screws at the back (voids your 2 year warranty!!). Take out the disk and mount it in your pc running linux.
Make backups from /dev/hdX6,7 & 8 with dd.
Mount /dev/hdX8 and edit the smb.conf file to your liking.
Shutdown, reassemble the ethernet disk and start it.
Do not use ethernetdisk mini configurationtools anymore. They will overwrite your new config!

Just a handy change

Since you do not want to disassemble your PC and lacie every time you want to change something, it might be handy to included /dev/hda7 & 8 in your samba configuration file with special permissions. This way you can update the smaba configuration with a text editor and the new config will than be available after reboot.

Further research for adding more features

The CPU in the lacie is a Freescale MPC5200. Some programs need to be compiled for this CPU, based on powerPC architecture, see "Work to be done".

Work to be done

- Add telnet or ssh (preferred ssh), possibly by just downloading a powerPC distro (for example yellow dog linux), and copy the libraries & programs to the lacie.
- Discover what username/password storage is used to have the shared login
- Maybe update the userinterface.
- Maybe put a little bit of pressure on lacie to update their software to accomodate multiple shares, add telnet, and tell which processor architecture is used so nice additions can be made.
(Help is welcome, answers will be posted here ASAP)

Bjorn Bergli  
Monday, March 12, 2007, 01:16 PM
Ethernet mini 250GB Diskimage

I contacted Lacie today, but they had no way to make a diskimage downloadable from their website.

If anyone got a 250GB ethernet mini and have the possibility to make a complete bootable diskimage, contact me at bjorn<at>turbulens.no

Bjorn Bergli  
Monday, January 29, 2007, 02:48 PM
I originally bought my two ethernet minis to use as mirrored backup solution. I was at that time not aware of the limitations of the build in os. This is about a year ago and the only available hack at that moment was the multiple share hack from this site. My goal was to add ssh and rsync availability's. But in my frustration I reformated the two harddrives for use in a ubuntu dapper server project. I would realy like to try the new hacks that is available, but I have no idea how to build up the harddrives from scratch with the lacie source. If someone have any advice how to accomplice that or have the possibility to build an image of the lacie setup and but it on a server for download I would be realy greatfull.

Yours sincerely

Bjorn Bergli

Mikael Holber  
Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 11:48 AM
I followed Jims notes a while ago. I also contacted lacie about usb-support. The board contains a TI usb-host chip with a custom firmware. This firmware seems to validate the username and password. From the TI-site http://focus.ti.com/docs/prod/folders/print/tusb6250.html it looks as it is possible to change the firmware to the chip default. However, I haven't dared to try this yet, I'm afraid it might make the usb useless on windows and mac to.

I previously used the linux-client for usb but it doesn't work on Ubuntu Edgy, it crashes without any output. Lacie support thinks I should go back to Dapper with LTS.

If someone knows some script or something for usb, please e-mail me.

Thursday, December 7, 2006, 12:11 PM
Nice article. Unfortunately, I discovered this just after I hacked my EDmini. My goal was to put Debian on the machine though (inside a chroot). Sameless self-promotion: see http://luon.net/~admar/journal/LaCieEthernetDiskMini.html for a small guide on how I hacked my EDmini.

Jim Studt 
Thursday, June 1, 2006, 07:26 AM
I went through the exercise and added rsync to my edmini. I wrote some notes at http://www.federated.com/~jim/edmini/
I'm getting about 24mbit/sec in daemon mode, 6mbit/sec running rsync through SSH.
I can't find enough information to rebuild a linux kernel, but cross compiling packages to add software is fairly straightforward.


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