Trusty D-Link DNS-323

As mentioned earlier, my trusty old server has finally decided to give up on me after abusing it since year 2001. Had managed to shift most of the hosted services to other devices on the network. Shifted print server to a wireless G print server (DPR-1260), and the rest of the functions onto the DNS-323.

So what is the DNS-323 doing now? The list of stuff my DNS-323 is doing:

  • Downloading and seeding files
  • Tunneled connection for my Internet needs at public hot spots
  • Automated backup using rsync for some network clients
  • Web server for some project work

To minimize the harddisk reads and writes, most of the services are running off a flash drive. Lesser disk spins = power savings!

24 thoughts on “Trusty D-Link DNS-323

  • October 17, 2008 at 11:54 am

    I am using the 323 for 24/7 torrenting machine, I wonder what is the lifespan lol

  • October 17, 2008 at 12:44 pm


    Should last you for quite sometime. Mine is more than one year old already and has been in operation 24/7 as well. I think you should be more concern about the HDD’s lifespan.

  • October 17, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    so its running as a samba filesharing, http, bittorrent/P2P, vpn server all at the same time?

  • October 17, 2008 at 8:04 pm


    Yeap, and DenyHosts to deter illegal access on remote services. 🙂

  • October 18, 2008 at 3:02 am

    I see, thanks man. Hopefully it will last a few years, lol

  • October 18, 2008 at 9:05 am


    Yeap! Do show me your macbook pro when you got it!

  • October 18, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    So what are you doing to DNS-343?


  • October 19, 2008 at 12:48 am

    Are running lighttpd, php and mysql? Any issue with the PHP? I have a web project which is running fine in my external web hosting but tried to run it in DNS-323 with the above config, some command become invalid/variable not recognised.. Do you have the same experience?

  • October 19, 2008 at 10:19 am


    DNS-343? For such a reliable device, of cos using it as a dedicated backup! Still saving up for similar hdd to build up a RAID 5. Probably set it up for some web services though (photo album as thumbnail generation takes up quite a fair bit of CPU horsepower and hope the higher spec CPU would be able to handle it)

  • October 19, 2008 at 10:20 am


    I’m only running it with lighttpd, php and sqlite. You should check what functions your web project requires. Better check what modules you need for php. 🙂

  • October 23, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    On the bright side, one less device running, less electricity consumed, and recently electricity costs just went up by 20%…

  • October 23, 2008 at 9:23 pm


    Down goes the devil. Up comes the DNS-343!

  • October 30, 2008 at 7:55 am

    could you give me a step by step on how to tunnel your internet connection using DNS 323? Thanks much

  • October 30, 2008 at 2:34 pm


    A simple way is to use create a tunnel through ssh. Guess I will write a guide one of these days.

  • November 4, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    May I know what’s the tunneled connection thing for?

    and you would recommend the DNS 323 for anyone looking for a NAS? I might be aiming for one soon from a data loss scare (read more here ). is the raid1 working properly? i heard alot that it screws up quite badly sometimes.

    how would the setup handle
    1) DNS 323 death?
    2) one hard disk death?

    would the data be retrievable esp for the 1st case? I am hoping the second case would be solved by just replacing the spoilt drive with a RMA one.

    i dont want to spend alot only to find that my setup is unreliable as always. i’m quite scared and sick of computers cranking out on me at crucial moments.

    also, my only router is the old WRT54G… would that hit the performance of the NAS by alot? would the set up be able to handle streaming movies?

    also you mentioned that the services are run off a flash drive. if i want to use the NAS as a print server could i use them both? ( i am assuming you used the usb port advertised as the printer usb capable thing)

    sorry for the numerous questions! 😐

  • November 5, 2008 at 4:14 pm


    Well, it seems like RAID 1 is not working as it should on the DNS-323 currently (firmware 1.05). However, people have use rsync to sync the data nightly for redundancy sake.

    If the DNS-323 is dead, you would just need to plug the hard disk to your computer and read the file system (ext2) which is rather easy.

    If one hard disk is dead, RAID 1 would ideally rebuilt the new hard disk using the data found in the surviving hard disk. In the case of rsync, it should work too after some configuration.

    WRT54G comes with only 10/100 ethernet ports and it would limit DNS-323 performance.

    It has been reported that adding a usb hub to the port works. So by all means give it a try.

  • November 5, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Hmm… rsync.. but would there be a warning mechanism of some sort? if a raid array degraded it would indicate so right (via a pink light if my research was right)?

    the usb hub thing sounds cool. will give it a try if i eventually get one.. the three things holding me back are

    1) that the power outlet near my printer is leaky, which i think might be bad for drives

    2) cost, i think i am over spending already

    3) my antique router that dies once in a while, usually when i least want it to. takes a while for it to recover by itself

    so the chances of using raid 1 properly is going to be quite slim? if raid 1 was used, could a normal computer that can read ext2 (like a linux live cd boot) read the data off only 1 of the drive, or both must be plugged together on a raid capable computer?

    would rsync be also the program to use to back up files from other computers in the network?

  • November 5, 2008 at 9:12 pm


    If it is a hard disk failure, it would be flagged by the system. So be it you use RAID 1 or rsync it would still be flagged.

    For leaky power outlets, you could use a uninterruptible power supply or some decent surge protector.

    The price of the DNS-323 has dropped a lot since the days I shipped it in from overseas.

    As for the router, if you don’t mind slow transfers, you can continue to use it. 🙂

    RAID 1 is dependent on the implementation by D-Link’s firmware. So it should get rectified in the near future (perhaps by next firmware release).

    As for the recovery part, check out mdadm, that is the tool for software raid management used on the DNS-323.

    For rsync to backup stuffs on other computers on the network, those computers need to be set up with rsync daemon.

  • November 6, 2008 at 11:24 am

    hmm.. UPS.. that will drive up the cost even more :< sigh.. reliable computing is still expensive for students.. i would eventually want to upgrade my router, but again its the cost thats inhibiting me.. even with show offers a DIR655 is still 150ish, and the antique still works.. crawls.. but works.. so i dont really have a valid reason to upgrade..

    my research seems to hint that the raid recovery should work if the newly inserted drive does not have any partitions on it, and that 1.06 is going to have an updated interface to help prevent formatting the wrong drive..

    and then i found someone with problems using the print server with my model of printer (brother HL2040).. dang.. it always seems that researching more makes me “gian” the device more, but i will always hit the wall somewhere.. what’s your philosophy when buy new gadgets? hoot 1st iron out issues later? or thoroughly research and buy only when everything conforms to your expectations?

  • November 6, 2008 at 1:23 pm


    Most, if not all, of the stuffs have a trade off. You’re facing a trade off between cost and performance. You need to access your needs and need not buy what others are buying. Getting a second hand DGL-4300 works fine too and it does have gigabits port too. 🙂

    My Netgear ReadyNAS Duo’s RAID is working like it should. Plugging in and plugging out will rebuild the data. That is how it should work. The system should know which bay has failed and should rebuild data when a drive is plugged in. It should not only work on a drive without partitions.

    I’m using the HL2040 as well but I am using it through a wireless print server (DPR1260).

    As for buying new gadgets, it is always better to measure your needs rather than wants. I chose the DNS-323 because I know I would be able to work around the issues without the need to wait for updated firmwares from the vendor. Another thing is not to have too high an expectation. As requirements increase, price also increase linearly or even exponentially. So try to give up some less needed requirements.

  • November 6, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    ahh.. but a DGL-4300 is rather expensive too.. I am thinking since 802.11n is an eventuality, coupled with D-Link’s life time warranty, i would be better off getting a DIR-655 when 802.11n is finalised so as to minimise the number of upgrades i have to do.. again this is just in principle.. how well i can execute it.. well lets just say I often phail when it comes to such stuff..

    yeap i do agree that the raid on the DNS doesnt seem robust enough, but I guess if i can work it using the CLI it should not be too bad.. need to start learning some linux stuff.. it baffles me how a great product can made, but its always the firmware that somehow fails it when a key feature or two somehow doesnt work. it shouldnt be a plug and pray kind of thing.. still trying to find more reports on whether the 2040 works with the DNS print server..

    anyway many thanks for your many replies! 🙂

  • November 7, 2008 at 10:04 am


    I guess the printing should work. Else you can call up the help desk.

    You are welcome. 🙂

  • February 5, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Shadowandy, or anybody else,

    i’ve set up lighttpd/php using fonz’ funplug (1.4.19, i think) but I’d also like to pseudostream h264 from my 323

    i need to compile the module as per:

    but this is ALL WAY BEYOND me, at least on first glance. has anybody got this running? if so, can i simply grab the module from somewhere? or could somebody please lay it out in simple steps to compile on the 323?

    any help appreciated,

  • December 13, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Hi Shadowandy

    Read with interest your blog and its a great one. i’ve got a now old DNS 323 which I just want to use as a time machine backup as well as torrent. do you know if netatalk can work with DNS firmware 1.10 as well as Mavericks?

    If you could point me to some clues would appreciate it. tried the steps outlined on your site, i couldn’t get it to work as probably firmware and OSX version has changed.

    Thanks in advance!

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