Last weekend I had a small weekend project to move my All-In-One Printer/Scanner from my Xen host server to a spare NAS200 I had lying around. Since the NAS200 has a i486 compatible CPU, and I had been able to run a CentOS 5 distro before, I figure it would make a good server with low power consumption.

nas200

For that I updated my NASCC firmware so that it would boot a USB key, and update my CentOS image creation script. This worked well, I was able to boot CentOS without that much effort altogether.

I myself have an Epson Stylus CX5500 which unfortunately only comes with binary drivers. This was not much of a problem since the NAS200 has a i486 compatible CPU. I find this is relatively unique among different NAS models.

Alas, the performance was quite disappointing. I should be used to the NAS200 underperforming. But really, this was truly sad. I did not bother to test the printing, but I did try scanning with it. Running scanimage to scan a single page was taking over 15 minutes before I hit Ctrl+C.

It was an idea, but the results were so sub par. The only take-aways of this are:

  • I was able to run open source as well as binary blobs on a NAS200 relatively easily.
  • I was able to use CentOS5 pretty much out-of-the box. No recompiles required. Did notice though that cups would seg-fault. My guess is that the i386 package some how got some i686 optimizations on it.
  • My Linux Ethernet Console made a very good network console. I was able to troubleshoot some very early boot problems with it.
  • NAS200 performance for scanning was abysmal.