GuruPlug, the next generation of SheevaPlug

Meet GuruPlug, an all-in-one server that is now available for pre-order. This is the next generation of the popular SheevaPlug that features some added goodies. The base model sells for the same $99 and appears to have the same specs as the original but for $30 more, the GuruPlug Server PLUS moves to 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports, one eSATA connector, and built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. All of this for $129 and it only pulls 5 watts? Wow.

Update: Thanks to [Foerdi] and to [Phil Burgess] for the pointing out that the hardware diagram on the features page shows WiFi and Bluetooth for both models.

[Thanks Chris]

50 thoughts on “GuruPlug, the next generation of SheevaPlug

  1. first!

    it’s still too big to be a plug. would be much cooler if it was a box with a cord. i would’t want this hanging off of my wall.

  2. YES! A tiny, low power, *cheap*, linux computer with two wired network interfaces. If there’s a more perfect router/firewall, I haven’t found it.

    And all those other goodies, bluetooth, wlan, esata, makes it a wonderful security auditing platform.

  3. Would be a little more interesting if you could still pass the power through to another device. So you didnt have to actually use up a plug socket to have it aswell, like those Wallplug adapters.
    You could chain em up then :P

  4. @walt

    Maybe with your dumb first post you didn’t notice, but it clearly is a box with a cord.

    So, what are some of the uses of this?

  5. @Chris,

    I am terrified by the thought of Arduino trolls. I’m seeing moderately priced little grey dudes with badly placed pins, all thirsty for my delicious blood..

  6. I bought a sheeva from global scale and i have to say that their service SUCKS. If you want one of these either find a different distributor or be prepared to wait a couple months.

  7. ZOMG! My briefs just got tighter :)

    The uses are just endless… Could use some audio out, but I suppose that’s easily covered by the USB-ports. Nice touch with the eSata for attaching some DAS magic. If wonder if it is port-multiplier aware?

  8. yeah, the differences between the normal and the more expensive one appears to be the eSATA and the second gigabit ethernet?

  9. Weird, their site doesn’t seem to say what architecture their CPU is. I’m guess it’s arm (for low power usage).

  10. Vonskippy, you must be a real riot at parties.

    I use DD-WRT on an old WRT-54GL. I’d really like to replace it with something like this, but I wonder about the software end of things. DD-WRT does a reasonably good job of making management a snap though I wish it was more open/extendable as there is a lot of stuff that could be easier that as a longtime dev I’d love to hack in. In for 2, ty HAD!

  11. DC Consumption: 5V/3.0A
    Max draw of 15W.
    Not bad… kind of makes me want to sell my Sheeva and get this pretty new thingy… :-)

  12. The Marvell CPU has an ARMv5TE core.

    http://www.marvell.com/products/processors/embedded/kirkwood/FS_88F6180_9x_6281_OpenSource.pdf

    and

    http://www.marvell.com/products/processors/embedded/kirkwood/HW_88F6281_OpenSource.pdf

    Seems it actually has hardware support on the CPU for audio via I2S and SPDIF, but there’s nothing connected to it on the GuruPlug I gather as there’s no audio ports.

    As others have stated, USB Audio should be trivial to make work. Possibly could do it via a BT dongle as well, since it has BT.

    U-SNAP IO appears to be some kind of WiFi based interface for things like power meters.

  13. This thing has so many possibilities, perfect for an average small home network because it can be a router, wireless access point, and with the remaining capacity, a small NAS or FTP server.

  14. Stupid marketing departments. It’s SATA 3Gb/s or SATA Rev. 2, not SATA II…

    Neat device. Not a hack. If only this was Arduino based; it would be so much easier to hack! (and the replies would be more interesting)

  15. Is noone wondering what they mean by
    “Open Source Platform
    * Available at low cost to any interested developer”
    on their features page?

    Does that mean we have to pay to hack the linux on it?

  16. seem to be working hard with the power consumption as the proposed (April) guruplug with HDMI drops the LAN ports to 1 and 100Mbit and loses the eSata (and possibly the Card slot)

  17. @ jacubillo:

    everything except audio and video.

    Certainly it depends on application I guess… but having a touchscreen interface is pretty handy.

    Not to mention option of CE for us non linux folks (gawd forbid ;-)

  18. Seems like a pretty awesome little toy. Too bad it appears to be designed/distributed by some guy renting office-space in Anaheim ;(

    A simple whois + Google Maps turns up all sorts of interesting info about the “company”.

  19. @Agent420

    LOL don’t mention “CE” in here… it’s one of those forbidden words. You’re right about the application dependency… It seems this linux device is geared more towards networking applications while the windows one is more a gadget itself.. kind of like a chumby.

  20. @jacubillo
    The friendlyARM thing linked seems to have a lot more IO. It also comes with a touchscreen. It also has a more modern CPU it would seem. The freindly seems to be an ARM9, where as this guruplug is an ARM5.

    I’m not sure that it would be a good NAS server, single drive only, probably doesn’t have the grunt to handle software raid5 or 6(if anyone has some performance metrics on that those would be great). It would seem like a dedicated NAS device would be a better option, I Hear QNAP ones can have the stock OS replaced easily.

  21. I do have an NSLU2 loaded with linux and it’s a great little device for a NAS. This thing would be fun as a NAS as well but only in the “geeky” sense of it. You can play with it… add a drive… notice that it’s not being detected… try to fix that… etc, etc. Regarding this ARM5 vs ARM9 comparison… in the real life… which one would perform better if given the same task? the one from the friendlyarm or the one in the guruplug?

  22. Nice little device. As other have said it does have USB so you could add sound. The USB ports ope up all sorts of options for things like a Webcam, Displays, IRBlasters, and goodness knows what else.
    Bluetooth streaming is also an option as is a bluetooth remote.
    This could make a great little NAS,Wireless router, Internet Radio, and security system.

  23. I emailed the maker of this unit and the esata port does support port multiplication…fantastic little unit!

    “It can support eSATA multi-plier. The speed will be around 3 Gb/sec connecting from host to multiplier.”

  24. Is it just me, or would adding a power line network interface make sense for these things?

    (Or have I just missed it in the spec someplace)

  25. I have been wanting a sheevaplug, glad I waited. You could use the BT for remote control capabilities out of the box which to me is a big plus, the TWO gigabit ports and onboard wifi is the thing that sells it to me. Added bonus of jtag for the pre-order….sold

    Anyone know how different Arm is from Mips32, I mean which is more productive per/mhz and such?

  26. Hmm… It looks like the company’s site is down. The link posted gives an error, as does the home page and various Google listings.
    On a different note, though, I find 5W hard to believe, given that Wikipedia states a full-load rating of 7W for the original SheevaPlug. Could that figure be referring to the idle rating? Either way, it’s probably pretty good, but I wanted to clarify.

  27. @autobot
    Mips and Arm are worlds apart in design and how they handle code. Arm currently has the advantage in both performance and cost.

    The only advantage this device has is the size. The power usage, capabilities, all that can be done much cheaper with existing hardware.

  28. Man… Buy a $35 router with five Ethernet ports and USB then load it with OpenWRT or similar.

    For $120 you can buy a real IA586 compatible microcontroller like one of the PCEngines Alix boards. Heck for a little more you can get a dual core Atom board with a gig of SDRAM. Toss it into an old case. The Atom will suck around 25W or 30W when not sleeping.

    At this price, this sheva thing is lame. I’d pay $49.99 for it, no more.

  29. I dont know if anyone has kept up with the whole Plug scene, but at CES they announced the 3.0 devices which will have 2.0ghz CPUs and integrated HDDs. I’m going to hold off buying one until those are available.

  30. nineX,

    The estimate that I have seen is that the Plug Computer 3.0 won’t actually be available until around Dec 2010. One of the vendors posted that on the plugcomputer.org forum.

  31. I am sure that I read somewhere that the JTAG board is needed to program the Guruplug (unlike the Sheevaplug). This bumps up the price substantially – nearly 150 GBP (around $220) in the UK.

  32. So i bought one of these things (the server plus model) and i really wish I hadn’t. This thing is useless unless you get the jtag to put debian or something on it. The default install is crap, documentation on it sucks..and it gets really really hot. I’m actually afraid to let this thing be responsible for my data. oh and the webinterface is something from the days of geocities..

  33. @sulfideIf had me LMAO. These devices are intended as a platform for mass produced applications, not for the cluelessly nerdy end-users who worry “the web interface is something from the days of geocities”. It’s a collection of demos to get you started, dumbass. If you leave that on, it’s a giant security hole. It was never intended as a dashboard. Reading these comments is half interesting, half hysterical.

    As I write this, the GuruPlug plus has been removed from the website. Too bad, the two Ethernet ports made it useful for a firewall, which the standard GuruPlug I’m playing with. I have an actual application for the “DreamPlug” and will be working with that next. The question isn’t if they’re worth $99 or $149 respectively, but what the quantity pricing is. Example: the $99 (onsey) Sheevaplug is being resold as a “Pen Test” appliance on Amazon for $500+. Not a bad markup. But also _not_ a good example of _creatively_ applying these in a product.

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