DebianOn is an effort to document how to install, configure and use Debian on some specific hardware. Therefore potential buyers would know if that hardware is supported and owner would know how get the best out of that hardware.

The purpose is not to duplicate the Debian Official Documentation, but to document how to install Debian on some specific hardware.

Translation(s): none

Models covered

Overall Status

Core Components


Boot Standard Kernel:


LAN network card (Generic Ethernet):


Detect CD/DVD (Generic DVD+RW) :


Detect hard drives:


Extra Features

CPU Frequency Scaling




Sleep / Suspend




- OpenGL


- Resize-and-Rotate(randr)


Switch to External Screen



- Built-in (Trackpoint)


- Built-in (Touchpad)






Keyboard's Hotkeys


Legend :
{OK} = OK ; {X} Unsupported(No Driver) ; /!\ = Error (Couldn't get it working); [?] Unknown, Not Test ; [-] Not-applicable
{i} = Configuration Required; X-( = Only works with a non-free driver and or firmware


The D-Link DNS-323 is an ARM-based device and the armel architecture is fully supported by Debian.

Debian can be flashed to replace the original firmware on DNS-323 devices, by installing a "firmware upgrade" which in reality contains the Debian installer. When you restart your device, Debian installer starts and allows you to login via SSH to perform the installation. Debian will be installed to your SATA disk, the original firmware in flash will be replaced with Debian, and your disk will be erased.

Since Debian is installed on disk, your machine will not boot without the disk. Debian does not install a web interface to configure your machine, although it's possible to install such software (for example, Ajenti.

The D-Link DNS-323 doesn't have a recovery mechanism that would allow you to load a firmware image via the network. If something goes wrong, you'll have to connect a serial console to access the recovery mechanism. Please proceed only if you want to replace your firmware with Debian and if you can make a serial console for your device in case there are problems.

Requirements and Preparation

In order to install Debian, you need the following:

Making a Backup

You have to make a backup of all the data stored on your D-Link device before starting with the installation of Debian since the whole disk will be formatted during the installation.

Starting the Installer

  1. Check in the original firmware that your network settings are correct. The Debian installer will use the same settings as your original firmware, so please choose either DHCP or configure a valid IP address, gateway and DNS.

  2. Download the installer image to your PC - A netboot image for Wheezy is available from the Debian archive. If you have a revision C1 device, the netboot.img file needs to be re-packed:

    1. Install the package used to re-create the .img file:
      # apt-get install dns323-firmware-tools

    2. Unpack the current image of Debian stable:
      $ splitdns323fw -k kernel.uboot -i initrd.uboot netboot.img

    3. Remove the .img file:
      $ rm netboot.img

    4. Re-pack it into a new .img that will work on the C1:
      $ mkdns323fw -k kernel.uboot -i initrd.uboot -p 7 -c 1 -m 1 -o netboot.img

  3. Access the admin interface of your device with your web browser in order to install the firmware image (netboot.img) containing the Debian installer.
  4. Log in as user admin (the default password is empty), go to Tools and choose Firmware.
  5. Hit the Browse button and select the installer image you downloaded before (look for netboot.img).
  6. Press Apply and the Debian installer will be written to flash.
  7. When the firmware update has completed, restart your device.

After you have flashed the Debian installer image and restarted your device, the Debian installer will start. Since the DNS-323 doesn't have any display, SSH net work access will be used for the installation. The installer will bring up the network, start the OpenSSH server and you can then connect to the device using SSH. You have to wait a few minutes after starting the system before you can connect. Only then will you be able to connect to the Debian installer. The installer currently doesn't use the LED to signal when it's ready.

Connecting to the Debian net installer

Since the DNS-323 doesn't have a display, the installer cannot tell you which IP address to connect to or which password to use.

Please make sure that your device is on a local network to which only you have access since the installer uses a very generic password,

Connect to the installer (again, replacing the address in the example with the actual IP address of your device):

$ ssh installer@

Accept the usual warning about establishing the authenticity of the host (answer 'Yes'):

The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is df:f9:5b:71:be:83:9f:26:3c:fd:c8:2a:5a:43:e4:fa.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes 

The default username and password for the installer are installer and install respectively.

Important note: When you connect to the installer, one of the first screens will allow you to select additional installer modules. Make sure to select the ext3 module. If you don't select the ext3 module, the installer will not work correctly due to Bug #729445.

The installation itself should be pretty standard and you can follow the installation guide. The installer knows about the DNS-323 and at the end of the installation it will flash a kernel and ramdisk that will automatically boot into Debian.

Since your device boots from flash you don't have many limitations as to how you partition your hard drive. You can use LVM and RAID and a number of filesystems.

At the end of the installation, the installer will write the new kernel to flash. Afterwards you will get a confirmation that the installation is complete.

Confirm, wait for the installer to finish and once your SSH session terminates, wait a few minutes before you can connect to your newly installed system via SSH. You will be able to log in as root or your newly created user.

You should now have a complete Debian system running on your DNS-323. You can use apt-get and other tools to install additional software.


B1 revision board

C1 revision board

Important Notes

Fan control

According to Anselmo Luginbuhl, you should be able to use the lm-sensors package to automatically control the fan:

"Execute pwmconfig, it will make some tests and generate the fancontrol config file. At the end of the procedure it will ask you to "Select fan output to configure, or other action:", just be sure to pass through choice "1" or it would not fill in the configuration file, save the configuration and start the daemon /etc/init.d/fancontrol.

Probably the only thing that needs some attention to get an optimal result is to choose the right parameters for max and min temperature at which the fan should start or stop to minimize the °C and the noise."



This device is headless, as such it can only be managed using a web interface once it's booted, or via a serial console.

A serial port must be added by soldering a cable to the board.

Power Management


System Summary


lspci -nn


lsusb [C1]

# lsusb -v | grep -E '\<(Bus|iProduct|bDeviceClass|bDeviceProtocol)' 2>/dev/null

Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
  bDeviceClass            9 Hub
  bDeviceProtocol         1 Single TT
  iProduct                2 Marvell Orion EHCI

lshw -C network [C1]

# lshw -C network
       description: Ethernet interface
       physical id: 1
       logical name: eth0
       serial: 00:26:5a:71:f5:5e
       size: 1Gbit/s
       capacity: 1Gbit/s
       capabilities: ethernet physical tp aui bnc mii fibre 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd 1000bt-fd autonegotiation
       configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=mv643xx_eth driverversion=1.4 duplex=full firmware=N/A ip= link=yes multicast=yes port=MII speed=1Gbit/s

cpuinfo [C1]

# cat /proc/cpuinfo
Processor       : Feroceon rev 0 (v5l)
BogoMIPS        : 331.77
Features        : swp half thumb fastmult edsp 
CPU implementer : 0x41
CPU architecture: 5TEJ
CPU variant     : 0x0
CPU part        : 0x926
CPU revision    : 0

Hardware        : D-Link DNS-323
Revision        : 0002
Serial          : 0000000000000000



Some configuration files and sample outputs.


Many thanks to Martin Michlmayr, whose guide on Installing Debian on the DNS-323.

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