USB capabilities (FTDI and ACM) - custom kernel, or replace OS completely?

I want to use usbserial devices on my PR4100, and enable cdc-acm device.

I was able to get the kernel drivers for ACM by temporarily installing Z-Way and taking their drivers, but it seems that FTDI is supposed to be part of the kernel. When I download the kernel sources, the .config for kernel indicates that FTDI isn’t enabled.

I could try to learn to compile a new kernel from source that includes both ACM and FTDI, or I could buy a Raspberry Pi and say “f*** it,” or I could install Ubuntu, whose instructions seem available from this very forum! (I’d love to have zsh or bash instead of busybox!)

So, KEEPING MY CURRENT DRIVES, what options do I have here? Should I install Ubuntu and run from a USB stick? Do I simply need to setup shares again from existing drives, data intact? I should I figure out how to bite the bullet, copy my stuff, and do FreeNAS via USB drive?

Edit: throughout the day, I managed to build a new kernel with both FTDI and ACM working, and get it booting off the thumb drive, thanks to your tutorials!

Now that I’m confident, it’s time to start looking at Debian!


Oh, I’ve spent a lot of time reading your posts!

I’m not sure where to enable kernel features the “correct” way. The .config file seems obvious, other than the warning that it’s auto-generated and the fact that it looks like a /boot/config file. And, any idea where the PR4100’s /boot/config file might be, so that I can ensure that the same options are enabled? I’ve read on the forum that the posted configuration doesn’t necessarily match the shipping configuration.

In any case, I imagine that I can test kernel builds from the USB stick by following other forum threads.

Still, there’s some appeal to having a proper bash or zsh instead of busybox, as well as nice package management tools. Any downsides to running Debian, per one of your other forum threads? I assume the RAID array is hardware, and I’ll be able to keep it intact, and just establish my shares again in Debian?