Linux in a wall-wart

SheevaPlug uses 5 watts of power, runs Linux, and is open-source from prong to port, according to maker Marvell Semiconductor. In fact, prongs and ports are all you'll see on this tiny device, which has 512MB of RAM, a 1.2GHz ARM CPU and a $100 price tag. What is it good for? Anything! It comes with an SDK. Well, nearly anything: it doesn't have video-out.
The tiny embedded PC also includes gigabit Ethernet and USB 2.0 ports. Marvell did not release precise dimensions for the platform, but one early product based on the design is listed as measuring 4.0 x 2.5 x 2.0 inches. Plugging directly into a standard wall socket, the Plug Computer draws less than five watts under normal operation, compared to 25-100 watts for a PC being used as a home server, claims Marvell.
$100 Linux wall-wart launches [Linux Devices via Make]

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15 Responses to Linux in a wall-wart

  1. Anonymous says:

    I originally read this as ‘lives in … Walmart’. and thought nothing can live in a Walmart. It sucks the life force out of anything that touches it.

  2. zuzu says:

    Could this be used for a print server? Right now on my home network my printer’s connected to my desktop, and always has to be fired up if someone wants to print from the laptop.

    The Apple Airport Express will act as a print server for you right now, for the same price.

  3. pork musket says:

    I want smart outlets and switches with network adapters and remote APIs.

  4. Anonymous says:

    My keen powers of observation tell me that the device pictured is not a SheevaPlug, but a Pogoplug, a similar device intended as a media server, I think.


  5. xzzy says:

    Now they just need to cram a tiny hard drive in there somehow.

    Plugging in a USB hard drive is reasonable for media serving, but it would be nice to have some “real” on board storage for other tasks (running a web server, svn repository, a database.. whatever). I always get nervous running services that do a lot of disk writing on flash memory.

    That said, this is a lot harder to resist buying than the Fit-PC.. which costs $150 more and earns you wifi and a vga port (both of which I consider expendable and not worth the premium).

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oops! Pogoplug IS built on the SheevaPlug platform. Never mind…


  7. GregLondon says:


  8. technogeek says:

    Nice to see someone actually going after the dedicated utility processor market. I’m sitting here trying to think of a good excuse to get one to play with, though at that price it doesn’t take much of an excuse. Dedicate a processor to my home control system? Use it and a USB disk drive as my audio server?

    Sorta a pity it doesn’t have built-in WiFi, but I suppose one could slap in a USB transciever.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If they made them support networking over Household electrical ringmain then you could have a socketless device whcih resembles nothing but a bit of plastic stuck to the all. That would be wierd.

  10. jphilby says:

    Shucks. And here I’d thot we were convincing manuf’s NOT to make stuff that plugs DIRECTLY into the wall.

    Otherwise, good idea.

  11. Rob Beschizza says:

    I can think of some awesome things to do with this and an arduino.

  12. technogeek says:

    #8: With appropriate configuration, yep, this could easily be a printer server. One of the applications they suggest is disk server by plugging a USB-connected drive into it; USB-connected printer would be no harder.

    ‘Course you still need to network it. So it isn’t clear this is really easier than just getting a network-enabled printer in the first place. Depends on what kind of printer you want to use, I suppose.

  13. zuzu says:

    Oooh, now I can finally add ZeroConf / Bonjour instant messaging to my fancy Bosch washer and dryer so that it IMs me when the laundry is done, and that if I IM them, they’ll tell me their current status (e.g. “Ready!”, “Final Spin”, etc.).

  14. Guantanamo says:

    Could this be used for a print server? Right now on my home network my printer’s connected to my desktop, and always has to be fired up if someone wants to print from the laptop.

    It would be great if the printer could be hooked up to this always on device and easily used whenever needed.

  15. Ito Kagehisa says:

    Are they SFW, Rob?


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