Can I use a USB Hub to attach other devices to the NSLU2?
Yes... and No...
This question depends mainly what hardware you want to attach, what type of hub you plan on using, and which firmware is installed on the NSLU2.
For Unslung firmware:
Unslung firmware up to and including 5.5 is not able to make use of more than 2 drives at any one time, however it is possible to make use of additional hardware such as BlueToothAdapter, USB Ethernet, Printers, Webcams, Tape Drives and VGA adaptors. However, in order to make use of more then two individual devices at a time, you will need to be able to attach a USB hub.
Therein lies the catch. The drivers that came with the Linksys firmware (which are still being used in the Unslung firmware) do not play at all nice with most USB 2.0 hubs. USB 1.0 hubs appear to work fine which is OK if you only want to attach a single storage device to your slug.
The following USB hubs have been tested and appear to work with Unslung:
Connectland™ BLUE MINI USB2.0 4 PORT HUB(approve sites) - Tonymy01
USB 2.0 4 Port Hub with 1x Rotatable Port - Lurch (works for USB disk drives but not for USB speakers)
For OpenSlug firmware:
Openslug firmware appears to play nice with most USB hubs. The following hubs have been tested to work with OpenSlug:
Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 4-Port Hub(approve sites) - grahame_falvey
noname? USB Mini 4-HUB (1.0/1.1 compatible to 2.0 with 12MBit/s)(approve sites) - cheef-daniel
For Linksys firmware:
Reports are that this firmware can now support USB hubs and multiple hard drives. However how many has not yet been confirmed.
>myslug - no problem with USB-hub on port1 (unslung on port2) managing a printer, a webcam and a 2nd usb-ntfs-drive on the hub
>neeltje57 - You can only use FAT/NTFS formatted disks at port1. You have to format them on another system. You can not make shares on that disks, but partitions are allowed (did not try that though). The disks are called HDD_1_1_1 (port1,disk1,partition1), HDD_1_2_1 (port1,disk2,partition1). On port2 the disk is still called "Disk 2" and you can still make shares on that one. So far i only used 2 disks at port1 (300 and 160 GB) and 1 disk on port2 (300 GB) and no problems. - neeltje57<
>neeltje57 - Update - I experienced so many problems with this configuration that i decided to go back to the original setting with 2 disks ext3-formatted. The above configuration caused me many hangups and when i did a scandisk on a Windows XP, many errors where found after hours of scandisk-ing. I thought i had to write this here too. - neeltje57<
Prior to NSLU2_V23R63
Not possible to attach more than 2 drives at a time to this version of the firmware so no use for a hub.
>Sandgrub - Update - NSLU2_V23R63 - On Port 1 I have added an external usb hub (The USB hub has its own power supply)and have successfully connected eight hard drives formatted with NTFS / FAT32?. Of which the largest is 500GB (LaCie? D2) The eight drives are available as root shares named hdd_1_x_1 where x is the drive number (i.e. hdd_1_1_1 is first hard drive). This firmware limits drive managebility / renaming shares, so forget trying to manage security. This configuration works fine, the read write is available to each drive, (windows based sharing). BUT the download fall to such is this... the NSLU2 requires additional time to poll & catalog the directory structure on each disk. (After the ready for action beep.) The amount of time is directly related to the number of files & directories on each disk. Performance suffers tremendously (Even with the 266 Mhz Unslug mod) as the directory structure for the queried disk must be re-read before access. (Even if mapped as a network drive.) About 2TB is the max I have successfully placed online with acceptable performance (Four drives). Form your own opinion, the NSLU2 performance would suffer greatly if more than 10 users were accessing the 2TB structure. (Memory would definitely help here.) << -- SANDGRUB