First Steps With MBWE

The Western Digital My Book World Edition runs on a cut down version of Linux and as such can be accessed via SSH.

When you continue here, your warranty will be worthless!
(Not sure if this applies to the white light version nor the MyBook Live (MyBook Live specific page) where they have actually facilitated ssh login?)

Be carefull, this page is only for the Blue ring Mybook Version,
if you have a My Book White Light, you can follow the following tutorial to get ssh Access and install the Featurepacks Manager ( single-click feature installations ) for the Mybook Whitelight :

if you have a MyBook Live, you can follow the following tutorial to get ssh Access and install the Featurepacks Manager for the Mybook Live :

STEP 1. - Enable SSH

To make any changes to your MBWE you will need to remotely log in to the box using the Secure Shell protocol (SSH - SSH is used to log into a remote machine and execute commands.
before you try any hack, you could test if you are ready to update using the following tutorial: mbwe get in test

After you have validated that you are ready, there are three methods currently available to enable SSH:

I recently purchased a My Book World Edition model #WDH1NC10000N 1TB. After upgraded to the current WD firmware (version 01.00.14) you can easily enable SSH without any hacks!
Simply log into the web administrative interface.
Click on the Advanced link in the upper right to enable more selections1.
Select the System TAB
Select Advanced ICON
Now click on Enable SSH
After SSH is enabled you can login as either 'admin' with the admin password (default is 'admin').
You can also login as root using 'welc0me' as the initial password.
Once you have logged in as root, you can change the password from the default using the 'passwd' command.
In order to modify the password, you have to override the default password by modifying the file /etc/passwd
Replace the line:
This will force to use the new password which is stored on /etc/shadow file.

White Light users - the unit I purchased came with fw 01.01.18. This had SSH enabled for ordinary users already. But to enable SSH access for root, you still need to follow Method 1 above. Also - upgrading firmware (to 01.02.06) reset the root password to the default value.

PLEASE NOTE: if you are using a newer firmware edition you will need to use ALLCAPS for your username when using ssh to login.
For example if you created a user called joeblogs login with JOEBLOGS

Alternatively, for the truly paranoid, you could create your own web server and serve the pseudo-firmware.
Now that SSH daemon is started you can login to your MBWE and start installing programs.

STEP 2. - Install Optware Package Management

Optware provides access to hundreds of pre-compiled binaries. Configure Optware and get access to hundreds of precompiled software packages easily! This is recommended way to install software, as it will save you lots of time and will keep your My Book in order. The benefits of using Optware are:

  1. Fast installation
  2. Easy updates
  3. Automatically resolves dependencies

This page describes how to configure Optware

STEP 3. - Get a decent text editor

Next up, I would get a decent text editor since VI is terribly unintuitive and certainly not newbie-friendly. You will need to frequently edit text files on your MBWE if you wish to change many of the basic settings and change the default behavior of the programs you install. Nano is an easy to use alternative to the editor vi, but it is not included on the system by default. You will need to install it manually.

Using Optware

If you followed the right way and configured Optware, you can just do:

/opt/bin/ipkg install nano

And thats it, your new text editor is now installed. All you need to do now is type nano filename to open and edit your files using this editor.

STEP 4. - Understanding the File structure

If you want to create new share folders and control network permissions then I suggest using the web-interface provided. But if you want to access these folders from the shell, you can find them at

  • /shares/internal/

Also remember that Linux is case sensitive so to access the default share folder of PUBLIC, type:

# cd /shares/internal/PUBLIC/

You may find if you are not logged in as root that you can't access them so su in and change the folder permissions using (for the default share folder again)

# chmod 755 PUBLIC

STEP 5. - Disabling Mionet (optional)

See mionet

You can find the original page still hosted on The Way Back Machine:

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