Open PS2 Loader (OPL) is an application you can run on PS2s which enables loading games via hard disk, USB, and a local network using SMB.
Each method has it's own advantages and disadvantages.
A handy thing OPL provies is the ability to quit out of a game back to the menu with the key combo
OPL expects are particular directory structure. The vital bits are having games in 'DVD' and 'CD' directories, depending on their format.
All games need to be in ISO format. This is usually what DVD games come as, but CD ones tent to be Bin or BIN+CUE.
To convert these to ISO I use bchunk. Usage is no-fuss:
bchunk [file.bin] [file.cue] [outputnmewithoutextension]
If there's no CUE file you'll have to create it manually. They're just a plaintext file with track information. PS2 ones usually look like:
FILE "game name.bin" BINARY TRACK 01 MODE2/2352 INDEX 01 00:00:00
Another option for conversion is bin2iso. It can create missing .cue files too.
The setup was mostly straight-forward for me, but there were a few peculiarities.
Adding your PS2 and SMB server's IP address should be pretty easy.
The problems I had were with the password, because there's a 31 character limit, so I had to create a unique user on my NAS so I could use such a small password.
The 'Share' field also threw me, because it can't contain subdirectories. So say my Samba share is
Media/Games/PS2 I had to just put
Media in this field, and in the regular 'Settings' menu add the rest of the path in 'ETH prefix path'. In addition the path in the setting smenu has a length limit, and can't contain spaces.
I've got this error when loading games over USB, Bit of a funny error to run into in flash memory land, and I'd forgotten about disk fragmentation since moving to Linux, but anyway…