If you would like to work on your own Windows machine away from the labs, you can, but you need to use Linux in a virtual machine. If you are the really adventurous type, you might try to port the tools via cygwin, but you will get stuck when it comes to serving NFS on Windows for the project. So don't waste your time.
We suggest installing VMware Player http://www.vmware.com/products/player/overview.html, a free virtualisation solution for Windows.
We provide a Ubuntu VMware image that has all the tools needed pre-installed, and the networking configuration tweaked to work mostly straight out of the box.
Note: If you use your own vmware-hosted Linux install, you need to make sure you can enable a USB host controller for the virtual machine to connect the NSLU2 directly to Linux. VMware player does not support this when installing a VM from scratch (as far as we know). However, Player does support it, if the image it is using has it already configured - which our image is.
We use a standard Ubuntu 12.04 server install (to keep it small) and install the following. Note: you do not need to do this, it's just for reference.
apt-get install build-essential mercurial apt-get install libncurses5-dev apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r` apt-get install netcat.traditional update-alternatives --set nc /bin/nc.traditional apt-get install picocom minicom apt-get install tftpd-hpa tftp-hpa apt-get install nfs-kernel-server apt-get install xinetd
You will still have to install VMware tools yourself.
In addition, we have also:
To get up an running:
Now you are mostly set up. You will either need to install a desktop environment, or you can ssh into the virtual machine from Windows (run ifconfig to get the IP address to ssh in to). I personally run a Xserver on Windows and port forward from Linux to my display and use emacs, etc... You will need to apt-get install your favourite editor (if it is not vi) or any other software you generally use.
Once logged in, run sudo ifup eth1 to configure the network to the NSLU2. Use ifconfig to confirm eth1 is up with IP address 192.168.168.1. Some students have had the USB <-> ETH adapter attach as eth2, in which case you'll have to delve into the Linux setup instructions to figure out what to adjust.
Before you can start the project, you need to adjust the tftp directory defined in our source tree. The tftpboot directory is /var/lib/tftpboot. You must adjust TFTPROOT in the top-level Makefile (edit directly), and CONFIG_SOS_NFS_DIR in .config (either by editing directly, or make menconfig).
You should now be able to follow the normal project instructions.