May 6, 2021

GuruPlug Howto

GuruPlugs are tiny servers about the size of your fist that plug into the wall like a fat nightlight (or have a traditional cord if you want) and have 2 ethernet ports, 2 USB ports, an eSATA port and a microSD slot for a mini-hard drive. They run on 5 watts of power and some people use them for low power website servers, since they run Debian Linux and can run apache, mysql, php. Also, some people use them as home servers and gateways, and they also have a wireless access point built in, pretty slick eh?

Setting up a GuruPlug

First thing you’d think is hooking into it via wired port if you knew the IP and looking around using ssh, but these are set up to be accessed initially as a wireless device with a web-enabled setup panel for common tasks, not really intuitive, but here’s what you do:

1. turn it on and let it whir for awhile, maybe a minute, while all the LED’s go through their cycles

2. After awhile, you’ll see a new wireless device on your network, something like “Plug2-uap-xxxx”, with surprisingly high signal strength relative to other home wireless access points

3. Connect to that wireless device (might complain about limited connectivity, ignore that) and then go to http://192.168.1.1 , that’s where the control panel is

4. If you just want to use it as a home file share, or a couple other basic options, just click through the menu options. I wanted to use it as a server, so ironically I had to change to “Wireless VLAN mode” following the link:

If you want to switch the mode of Wireless Sheevaplug(AP<->WLAN Client) click on -
mode-switch.cgi

which takes you to a page where it tells you what IP your wired port would then have with a message like:

The current IP address of Wireless SheevaPlug on the WAN side is : 192.168.1.x

the problem is many (most) home network routers you might already be using and want to plug the Guruplug into are probably already on the 192.168.1.x network, with a gateway of 192.168.1.1, which the Guruplug already attempted to use, which will make your home router puke. I took the lazy way out after not being able to figure out how to change the Guguplug WAN from their menu, and after logging in via ssh over wireless with:

username: root
password: nosoup4u

and not being able to find where to change the default subnet to something I could use, of changing my home router to be something like 192.168.10.x, truly a pain, I think many new users would have a tough time figuring this out, and possibly stop there. If you happen to have an upstream subnet that’s not 192.168.1.x, it would automatically detect it using DHCP and hook up, not sure most folks would know that.

if you don’t need a more complicated setup, like if you just want to use it as a home wireless access point you can plug a shared hard drive into for all your computers, the rest *should_be* easy, you just plug your usb stick/hard drive into a usb port, and use the menus to hook up to it, then your other computers should be able to get to it using a Windows share like:

\\192.168.1.1\

which should give you a list of usb devices you can select from.