My Slug, my PS3 and me

As Juan, I’m one of the proud owners of a Linksys NSLU2 (aka Slug) perfectly (and continuously) running the Debian/NSLU2 distribution for more than 6 months, currently featuring the following configuration (both sw and hw), after some slightly changes:

  1. Attached 500Gb 2,5″ HD (powered through its USB2.0 connector).
  2. MediaTomb uPnP media server, to keep a nice “media center” running always available.
  3. Samba filesharing server (to easily share files with any device connected to the LAN)
  4. rtorrent bitTorrent client, to use the Slug as a dedicated machine always up and ready to download whatever you want.
  5. The ‘screen’ command line utility (useful to easily keep the rtorrent app always running and “detachable” ;-) ).
  6. OpenSSH server (ssh port forwarded in the router to access the Slug from the Internet), to easily manage my Slug from anywhere in the world.

With the exception of the HD (which used to be a 3,5″ 120Gb HD since June to December, when I replaced with the 500Gb one), the rest of the configuration was amazingly working with no problems at all for more than 6 months, as I previously stated. This, along with the fact that this  device is quite small, noise-and-heat-free (no fans) and only needs 8W (it’s the 266Mhz, ‘underclocked’ version) to work, makes it one of my favourite devices I ever had :-) .

But all this was kind of “incomplete” stuff until I got a PS3, as a present from my girlfriend during last Christmas holidays, which gave it a new dimension to the Slug, since the PS3 bundles a nice uPnP client for pictures, audio and video which works perfectly with the MediaTomb server installed in this cute device.

The point now is that I no more need to copy the video files I download with my Slug to another device (a desktop PC, a laptop…) to watch them, either in such a device or in the TV (with the help of a multimedia HD)… all I need to do is just:

  1. Have the MediaTomb server continuously running in the Slug, watching (through its inotify feature) to the /storage/videos directory for new videos (I want it to index them whenever I copy new downloaded videos under that path).
  2. Have the PS3 connected to the local network, either through it’s wired or wireless interface.
  3. Move the video files, as soon as they get fully downloaded, from my /storage/downloads path into /storage/videos

This way, just by the moving the downloaded media files as explained in (3), and waiting a couple of minutes for the MediaTomb to index them, I have that media content available to be directly watched in the TV, which is really cool and very handy, by the way :-)

Of course, you can also do the same with regular pictures or audio files (which is very nice also if you have, like me, the PS3 audio output also plugged into a Hi-Fi), but I think you’ll agree with me that watching video files seems to be the best way to make the most of the Slug+Ps3+TV combo :-) .

And that’s all, I think… just to mention I’ve written this post while I was listening to a nice Thin Lizzy album (“Dedication“) stored in the Slug, through the PS3 and my Hi-Fi equipment. It sounds good, doesn’t it? :-)

PS: One of these days I’ll post more in detail how to set up the configuration for all the components I’m currently using in my Slug (rtorrent, Samba, MediaTomb…), just in case someone found it useful.