Scribbles and Snaps

WD My Passport Wireless Linux Hacks

While WD My Passport Wireless is a rather useful device in its own right, the fact that it powered by a lightweight yet complete Linux distribution means that its capabilities can be extended even further. Deploy, for example, rclone on the device, and you can back up the photos and raw files stored on the disk to any supported cloud storage service.

Before you can do this, though, you need to connect the device to a Wi-Fi network and enable SSH (so that you can access the underlying Linux system via SSH). To connect the WD My Passport Wireless to you current Wi-Fi network, power the device and connect to the wireless hotspot it creates from your regular Linux machine. Open a browser, point it to http://mypassport.local, and log in to the device’s web interface. Switch to the Wi-Fi section, and connect to the existing your local Wi-Fi network. Switch then to the Admin section and enable SSH access.

On your Linux machine, open the terminal and connect to the device using the ssh root@mypassport.local command.

Deploying rclone then is a matter of running the following commands:

curl -O http://downloads.rclone.org/rclone-current-linux-arm.zip
unzip rclone-current-linux-arm.zip
cd rclone-*-linux-arm
cp rclone /usr/sbin/
chown root:root /usr/sbin/rclone
chmod 755 /usr/sbin/rclone
mkdir -p /usr/local/share/man/man1
sudo cp rclone.1 /usr/local/share/man/man1/
sudo mandb

Once you’ve done that, run the rclone config command. Since you are configuring rclone on a headless machine, follow the instructions on the Remote Setup page. You’ll find detailed information on configuring and using rclone in the Linux Photography book.

You can put the WD My Passport Wireless to other practical uses, too. Since the device comes with Python, you can run scripts and Python-based web applications on the device. For example, you can deploy the simple What’s in My Bag application to track your photographic gear.

curl -LOk https://github.com/dmpop/wimb/archive/master.zip
unzip master.zip
mv wimb-master/ wimb
cd wimb
curl -LOk https://github.com/bottlepy/bottle/raw/master/bottle.py

Run ./wimb.py to start the app and point the browser to http://mypassport:8080/wimb to access and use the application.