How to Install Optware on a Pogoplug from OddballHero’s Post

The following guide is copied nearly word for word from a download at I copied his material here so I wouldn’t lose it or forget where I got it. 

Please be aware that you are responsible for any damage to your hardware, software, or files, so use extreme caution. It’s quite possible to brick your pogoplug if you mess up badly enough while following guides/instructons on this site. NO warranty is explicitly or implicitly provided.

It is assumed that you know what you are doing and if not, get assistance from somebody that does, or do not perform the installation.  You need to have Linux and vi editor and a bit of proficiency to accomplish the initial steps in the guide.

    1. You need shell access to the plug. You get that by registering at the pogoplug website and changing the security settings.
    2. You can partition and format the usb drive that you will install Optware on either with your desktop/laptop Linux system. I used Gparted on my Ubuntu desktop machine. If you don’t have a linux system, you can use your plug computer (use the built in fdisk, and download the file mke2fs with wget; make sure to “killall hbwd” before you work on partitioning or formatting to disable pogoplug services).
    3. Partition the usb drive with fdisk to create a Linux partition (Type 83). If you are so inclined, you can also create a swap partition (Type 82).
    4. Format it with “mke2fs /dev/sdxx” for ext2 or “mke2fs -j /dev/sdxx” for ext3 (journaled).
    5. Mount the usb drive.
    6. Place the Optware package plug.tar.gz onto the usb drive and extract it with “tar xzvf plug.tar.gz”. At this point you have an Optware ready usb drive and are ready to mount this on the system under a “/opt” mount point.
    7. On the plug itself where you have shell access, log in as root. The rootfs is protected by read only and we have to make it writeable to create the mount point and install and modify some setup files. Type “mount -o rw,remount /” makes it writeable. BE very careful at this point so that you don’t damage the system.
    8. Type “mkdir /opt” to create the mount point for the usb drive.
    9. Change to the /etc directory with “cd /etc” and install the “profile” file. You can use wget to download the file onto the location. To do this, get the location of the file (on most systems) right click on the file location and copy the shortcut, then paste this after typing wget on your terminal. So ” wget <address of profile file>”. Then make sure the file is executable “chmod 755 profile”.
    10. Change to the /etc/init.d/ directory with “cd /etc/init.d” and make a backup of rcS file “cp rcS rcS.original”. Use vi to edit rcS to add “/etc/init.d/mount_optext2” for ext2 usb drives, or “/etc/init.d/mount_optext3” for ext3 usb drives, to the end of rcS. Use wget to download the appropriate mount_optextX file and make sure to make it executable with “chmod 755 mount_optextX”.
    11. For the Pogoplug Pro, to get ipkg to work, you need to upgrade wget for it to work. Mount the usb drive on /opt. Change to where the original wget is “cd /usr/bin”. Rename it to wget.old “mv wget wget.old”. Copy the new wget from its location in /opt/bin to /usr/bin. Check permissions and make sure it is executable.
    12. If there is no /opt/etc/ipkg/armel-feed.conf, then edit /opt/etc/ipkg.conf to enter the repository information “src cross; (you can add this at the end).
    13. Type “sync” and then unmount any drives by using “umount /opt” and/or any other drives mounted.
    14. Reboot the system with “reboot”.
    15. Log back in and verify that the usb drive is mounted on /opt with “mount”. If not, trouble-shoot by reviewing the above steps, make sure that the usb drive is not corrupt. Try mounting it manually.
    16. If the usb drive is mounted correctly and the path is correct, you can type “ipkg update” to update the repository information. To see what packages are available “ipkg list|more”. To search for an individual package “ipkg list|grep <packagename>”. To install a package “ipkg install <packagename>”. Type “ipkg” to see all the options. Type “ipkg upgrade” to upgrade the packages installed, be carefull when you do this and read all the prompts carefully.
  1. I accidentally unpacked plug.tar.gz in /
    I then unpacked it in /opt
    Other than having extra copies of things, is there any issue with this?

    • Other than using some rather limitied space I don’t think so….that is unless it overwrote existing files or directories in / . I checked that possibility by comparing the contents of plug.tar.gz with the contents of / on my dockstar. Based on that comparison you shouldn’t have overwritten anything. Of course I doubt if you have a dockstar so there’s a small chance I could be wrong about that. Checking your system probably won’t tell you anything because if anything was going to be overwritten it’s already done.

      My recommendation at this point would be to continue on with the instructions as if nothing is wrong. I’m going to send a copy of this comment to OddballHero to see what he thinks. He understands Optware far better than I do. I’m sure he’ll respond either thhrough me or to you if I’m way off base.

      • In the event that I did overwrite something, is there anywhere I can download the original files? I did not back them up unfortunately 😦


      • Most of the stuff on restoring Pogoplugs is at Unfortunately when I tried going there this morning it appeared to be down.

        But if your pogoplug boots and especially if you can see it on the site there’s probably no need. I still don’t think you overwrote anything. Since my last note I’ve also checked a pogoplug gray and a freeagent there’s nothing in plug.tar.gz that’s also in / on those either. I think the risk of trying to restore stuff is fairly high and I wouldn’t try unless you were sure it was necessary.

  2. I don’t have mke2f’s installed on my pogoplug. I do no have a linux computer. How do I install mke2f’s on my pogoplug so I can partition my flash drive? The unzip command doesnt work. I’m using a pogoplug Series 4 V4 Busybox V1.16

    • You can download a copy of Ubuntu Linux from here:

      Then burn the resulting .iso file to create a dvd. Then boot your desktop using the dvd and select try Ubuntu Linux rather than install ubuntu linux. When it finishes booting, you can use a program called gparted to format your usb drive to ext2 format. There’s an icon on the upper left of the ubuntu screen that will open a search dialog called dash. Start typing gparted in the text box and an icon should show up, then click the icon to start the program.

      I’ve intentionally left my instructions a bit sketchy. My belief is that if you don’t understand them, the odds are extremely high that you will brick your pogoplug unless you spend some time learning linux.

  3. Sam from Sweden


    I installed optware and later on proftpd. But in my haste (and incompetence) I screwed up the system passw file. And now I cant SSH into it.

    I have searched for the original lines in the file in order to replace it via serial connection but havent found it. I would be very greatful if any of you help me out?

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