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A few useful tips for setting up a LinkStation Network
This may be a no brainer for advanced types, but since I found no succinct help on this otherwise, here you go. I recently struggled with setting up a BuffaloTech LinkStation on my home network, which consists of a DSL modem / wireless access point, my iBook, my girlfriend's Sony Vaio notebook, and a shared inkjet. The notebooks are wireless, and the LinkStation plugs into the one ethernet port on the DSL / wifi base.

The LinkStation supports a USB printserver. The queue for this server is called lp. Set this printer up as an 'IP printer,' uncheck the 'Use default queue' and type lp into the text field. The LinkStation supports PostScript printing, so if you are running OS 10.2 (or earlier), you'll need to install Ghostprint and GimpPrint software to successfully print to a non-postscript (ie inkjet) printer.

When mounting as a network drive, the LinkStation works fine using SMB. Read and write are no problem from the Finder. But backup software (I'm using Softobe Folder Synchronizer) got all sorts of permission errors. I also couldn't mount a disk image either. The LinkStation does support AFP, so use this protocol. You may have to manually type it in. This sorts out all the permission problems and disk the disk image mounted fine.

This is the basic version, as everything else I learned doesn't directly solve this problem. The LinkStation seems to be running a version of embedded Linux and uses the EXT3 filing system. All told, the LinkStation has been working well, but documentation is poor, especially for Macs.

Author's Update, December 2004:
Backing up a Mac using AFP protocol to the LinkStation works fine with one exception. The LinkStation limits the file name length of Mac compatible shares to 32 characters for compatibility with OS 9 and earlier. There is no way around this limitation even if you update to the latest firmware (1.45 as of this writing). The official workaround to long file names is to use a Windows share via SMB protocol. I cannot get a successful backup with this setup using Folders Synchronizer X, even with no "security" or login required to the share. The Mac file name length limitation is documented pretty widely on the web, but I'm still trying to sort out the SMB permissions problem.

I have run diff from the terminal to compare my backup against the original files on my iBook, and it appears that the only files not copying over (AFP to a Mac share) are those with over-32-character file names (no problems with special characters). It seems Folders Synchronizer X is doing a fine job. A better job than RsyncX, which had many more files missing from the backup based on running diff again.
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A few useful tips for setting up a LinkStation
Authored by: evanz on Aug 17, '04 01:18:50PM

Also worth mentioning on the Linkstation:

you can drag a folder to the Panther sidebar and it will mount the drive to that location with one click.

the company says they are working on an ftp server as a firmware upgrade to allow remote login.

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A few useful tips for setting up a LinkStation
Authored by: PeteVerdon on Aug 19, '04 03:07:35PM

An ftp server won't provide remote login.


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A few useful tips for setting up a LinkStation
Authored by: Ian Downie on Dec 26, '04 07:10:19AM

I've just tried a very unsystematic test using Synk 5.04 at - it is free to educational users, shareware 20 dollars otherwise.

Anyway, I have found in the past that it dealt very well with backing up to and from Windows shares via SMB as I work in a University which tolerates but does not support the use of Macs. I recommend Synk highly because unlike other backup applications, it seems to copy everything without fuss. The same seems to apply to the Linux based Buffalo Linkstation, to which I have just backed up my website twice, once to a directory mounted via AFP and again to a directory mounted via SMB (both directories in the default Windows/Mac share directory on the LinkStation).

The unsystematic test consisted of browsing the backed up copies of the website (OK, no very long filenames). In both cases, random browsing threw up no errors or missing pages.

Encouraged by this, I also tried using diff. Since I had to figure this out for myself, I thought it would be worth documenting it for others like me, climbing the learning curve of Unix.

You will find the LinkStation share folder (assuming you have already mounted it) in the directory /Volumes. I called the two test backups Mac Backup Test (AFP) and Mac Backup Test 2 (SMB) - in retrospect, I should have omitted the spaces because Unix does not like these.

My website was in the directory ~/Documents/Sites (~ is the short way of referring to the directory /Users/<your username>). Since it contains subfolders, I had to use the recursive option -r to make diff check the subfolders. The full command (open Terminal to issue it) was:

diff -r "/Volumes/share/Mac Backup Test" ~/Documents/Sites

The quotes are needed because I had named the directory with spaces in it. The command terminated with two error reports, showing that the hidden files .FBCIndex and .FBCLockFolder existed only in the original directory, presumably because Synk had not copied these hidden files. They are connected with Sherlock searching and I will ask Ben Rister, the Synk author, if he can explain why they are not copied - I suspect he has done this deliberately

These two files are not essential and the test proves that Synk successfully copied all the files (it's only 1.5 Mb but there are lots of little HTML and image files in it). A second test against the SMB version on the LinkStation produced the same result.

Ian Downie

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A few useful tips for setting up a LinkStation
Authored by: Ian Downie on Dec 26, '04 04:07:02PM

Just confirming that the .FBC files are deliberately excluded from Synk backups as verified by the program author, Ben Rister.


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Setting up a Printer on a LinkStation
Authored by: NickLambert on Jul 18, '05 04:16:08PM

These following steps got my Mac's talking to a Epson Inkjet via a LinkStaion.
First make sure the default settings are in your LinkStation:

Log onto your LinkStation, click USB, click USB Print Setup
Print Server: Enable
Custom Printing:
Printer Type: Postscript

All other settings default values

Click "Apply"

Now on your Mac (Tiger 10.4.2) go to Utilities:
Open Print Setup Utility, Click "Add", wait for search to find nothing, then:
Click on "More Printers..."
Select "Windows Printing" from the 1st drop down menu (AppleTalk)
This first line of text then appears:

HD-HLAN253 LinkStation
(Default LinkStation Name) (Default LinkStation Descripton)
(Will be your Name if changed) (Will be your Name if changed)

Select this text, then:
Click on "Choose"
Dialogue box appears asking for Name & Password, leave both blank, Click "OK"
This line of text then appears:

lp Network Printer for Windows

Select this text, then:
Select your Printer Model: EPSON
(My Printer Type)
(Select your model if different)

Select your Model Name: EPSON Stylus Photo 810 - Gimp-Print v5.0.0-beta2
(My Printer!)
(Select your model if different)

Click on "Add"

This worked for me :-) Hope it helps someone.

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A few useful tips for setting up a LinkStation
Authored by: m_user on Sep 16, '05 11:49:15AM

Here's the wrap up to my original post for anyone who was following this topic. The "best" solution when using this version of the Linkstation is to connect using the SMB protocol. The trouble I had when using this protocol came from checking the preference "Run as root". With this preference FoldersSyncronizer copies the files as "root" user. The Linkstation, being embeded linux, also has a root user. I don't have a great deal of knowledge about this, but my understanding is that for obvioius security reasons root logins from different machines don't trust each other. Hence, no files copied. Uncheck the box and suprise, everything copies over - long file names and all.

As a final note, I am using FoldersSyncronizer X 3.5.2 with OSX 10.4.2 over the SMB protocol with continued sucess.


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