Julian Xhokaxhiu
Julian Xhokaxhiu
Solution Architect - Platform Engineer - Open Source Enthusiast
Jun 29, 2013 2 min read

How to setup an SSH server on ZyXEL NSA320

Hi there,

some days ago I bought a very kind NAS for myself after the (terrible) adventure with WD My Book World Edition II. Not that it was so bad but…after three years it was very old (Kernel 2.6.24) and not so much apps were supported nowadays. So, I thought to get a new one which is community supported (at last) but some kind hardware with a very low budget, and then I found this one: ZyXEL NSA320.

This is a VERY GOOD NAS, best choice out there (imho) and has a lot of things built-in and already configured for the low-end users. But, as you may know already, I’m not satisfied until I’m the root of anything I own so, I asked myself: how to get SSH on this box? (unfortunatelly it isn’t already built-in).

After some search on Google I found that there’s something called FFP, a custom USB with a very-small OS made up already to boot a Telnet interface, and after that an SSH one. So I used this guide to accomplish this but…I didn’t work. I have to admit I’m on the latest firmware (until today, 4.60) so probably It wasn’t tested already there but I didn’t lose the hope to have the SSHd.

So, searching again in the deep, I found this topic which talked about FFP that could be installed as a Package with the built-it package manager inside of NSA320. So, to keep it simple, to get your SSH running within a minute you have to do this:

  1. With any PC (Windows/Mac/Linux) point to this directory (I’ll write it down in Windows notation): \\YOUR_NAS_IP\\admin\zy-pkgs
  2. Create a file called web_prefix
  3. Write inside of that file ftp://ftp.zyxel-tech.de/2.new_mirror/ and save it
  4. Login into the Web Admin interface (through a Web Browser), go into the Package Manager and choose ffp, click over it and after the big green plus called Install/Update
  5. Wait for it to install and enjoy!

Now you can login with root and your admin account password you’re actually using. That’s it.

I hope you’ll find this useful. See you next time!