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Old 13th May 2008
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Default Soekris experiences

I'm considering buying a Soekris machine, my Pentium 1 OpenBSD firewall/router is crashing every 2-3 days because of a bad hard disk, something like a Soekris net4501 seems to be a good replacement, small, cheap, reliable, and only 10 watt.

Does anyone have any experiences with Soekris machines? OpenBSD support shouldn't be a problem, there is even a soekris reseller specialized in OpenBSD (http://www.kd85.com/), but is the hardware of good quality? It is a "critical" machine for me, so reliability is important, Basically I want to install this machine and not look at it for at least 10 years...
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Old 13th May 2008
corey_james corey_james is offline
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hey man that's COOL!!!
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Old 13th May 2008
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Never tried it but I'm interested in hearing from yours, if you buy one. Can you please let us know how it worked for you?

Thanks!
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Old 13th May 2008
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I believe Asemi over at BSDNexus has one. There was a long thread over there about that a year or so back. You might check there.
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Old 13th May 2008
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Yeah, I know, it is in fact asem's broken (?) soekris box which made me post this message, to see if it's an isolated incident or not...

I'll look up the thread at BSDNexus ... Thank you
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Old 13th May 2008
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I've just replaced my old P3 firewall with a new Soekris Net5501-70. I went this route because I wanted something smaller and needed to replace an old desktop PC with not only bad drives, but also a bad (and loud!) fan.

Soekris is discontinuing the older models, the new faster 5501 is very well supported by OpenBSD 4.3. It's actually overkill for a home firewall.

KD85 is definitely the way to go if you're in Europe, or want a rackmount chassis, burn-in, and support.
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Old 13th May 2008
J65nko J65nko is offline
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I am planning to buy an Alix board from PCengines in Switzerland. See http://pcengines.ch/alix2c0.htm
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Old 13th May 2008
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I was looking at one of these the other day to set up as either a m0n0wall or pfSense system. I have pfSense running right now on and old P2/450 desktop, however I'd like to cut down on the noise a bit (this particular system has a rather loud 10gb hard drive). Let me know how your experience goes (if you decide to purchase)
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Old 13th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J65nko View Post
I am planning to buy an Alix board from PCengines in Switzerland. See http://pcengines.ch/alix2c0.htm
This also looks interesting, all the specs are better and it's cheaper too ... Although the lack of professionalism on their website ("Please RTFM") gives me some doubts...
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Old 14th May 2008
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I'm using a 4801 with OpenBSD as a home firewall and its runs lovely. Use it like a shell server for myself and for two other friends and have no problems. Even torrent off it and never have much performance problems.
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Old 14th May 2008
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I have this here at our office
http://linitx.com/viewproduct.php?prodid=10909

Its running FreeBSD 7.0-STABLE pretty nicely.
The only trouble so far was a watchdog timeout on the re0 card

I had pfsense on it but it kept crashing on me, since I went to a full blown FreeBSD I no longer have any sudden crashes.

Here is what I'm doing with it
Its load balancing two pppoe adsl connections using mpd5 and pf
one wlan and lan that is bridged
secondary internal dns
dhcp server
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Old 14th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
I'm considering buying a Soekris machine, my Pentium 1 OpenBSD firewall/router is crashing every 2-3 days because of a bad hard disk, something like a Soekris net4501 seems to be a good replacement, small, cheap, reliable, and only 10 watt.
I bought a "PC2500E MAINBOARD VIA C7-D 1.5GHZ VIA CN700" which only
draws about 20 watts...

The board and 1 GIG of memory cost me less than 100 USD.


It works great but I am having problems finding another one in the US..

Using an LSI MegaRAID with 250GB RAID1

Duties:
3 -Virtual Domains (not much traffic)
1 -Firewall
1 - DHCP Server

dmesg
Code:
OpenBSD 4.2-stable (GENERIC) #3: Fri May  9 09:39:42 CDT 2008
    root@<domain-removed>:/usr/src/sys/arch/i386/compile/GENERIC
cpu0: VIA Esther processor 1500MHz ("CentaurHauls" 686-class) 1.50 GHz
cpu0: FPU,V86,DE,PSE,TSC,MSR,PAE,MCE,CX8,APIC,SEP,MTRR,PGE,CMOV,PAT,CFLUSH,ACPI,MMX,FXSR,SSE,SSE2,TM,SBF,SSE3
cpu0: RNG AES AES-CTR SHA1 SHA256 RSA
real mem  = 1055420416 (1006MB)
avail mem = 1012871168 (965MB)
mainbus0 at root
bios0 at mainbus0: AT/286+ BIOS, date 09/26/06, BIOS32 rev. 0 @ 0xf9ee0, SMBIOS rev. 2.3 @ 0xf0000 (33 entries)
bios0: vendor Phoenix Technologies, LTD version "6.00 PG" date 09/26/2006
bios0: IDOT ID-PCM7E PC2500
apm0 at bios0: Power Management spec V1.2
apm0: AC on, battery charge unknown
apm0: flags 70102 dobusy 1 doidle 1
pcibios0 at bios0: rev 2.1 @ 0xf0000/0xd1a4
pcibios0: PCI IRQ Routing Table rev 1.0 @ 0xfd110/144 (7 entries)
pcibios0: bad IRQ table checksum
pcibios0: PCI BIOS has 7 Interrupt Routing table entries
pcibios0: PCI Exclusive IRQs: 5 10 11
pcibios0: PCI Interrupt Router at 000:17:0 ("VIA VT8237 ISA" rev 0x00)
pcibios0: PCI bus #1 is the last bus
bios0: ROM list: 0xc0000/0xfe00 0xd0000/0x8000! 0xd8000/0x2600 0xdb000/0x1000
cpu0 at mainbus0
pci0 at mainbus0 bus 0: configuration mode 1 (no bios)
pchb0 at pci0 dev 0 function 0 "VIA CN700 Host" rev 0x00
pchb1 at pci0 dev 0 function 1 "VIA CN700 Host" rev 0x00
pchb2 at pci0 dev 0 function 2 "VIA CN700 Host" rev 0x00
pchb3 at pci0 dev 0 function 3 "VIA PT890 Host" rev 0x00
pchb4 at pci0 dev 0 function 4 "VIA CN700 Host" rev 0x00
pchb5 at pci0 dev 0 function 7 "VIA CN700 Host" rev 0x00
ppb0 at pci0 dev 1 function 0 "VIA VT8377 AGP" rev 0x00
pci1 at ppb0 bus 1
vga1 at pci1 dev 0 function 0 "VIA S3 Unichrome PRO IGP" rev 0x01: aperture at 0xf4000000, size 0x10000000
wsdisplay0 at vga1 mux 1: console (80x25, vt100 emulation)
wsdisplay0: screen 1-5 added (80x25, vt100 emulation)
ami0 at pci0 dev 8 function 0 "Symbios Logic MegaRAID" rev 0x01: irq 10
ami0: LSI 523, 32b, FW 713S, BIOS vG121, 64MB RAM
ami0: 1 channels, 0 FC loops, 1 logical drives
scsibus0 at ami0: 40 targets
sd0 at scsibus0 targ 0 lun 0: <AMI, Host drive #00, > SCSI2 0/direct fixed
sd0: 238470MB, 30400 cyl, 255 head, 63 sec, 512 bytes/sec, 488386560 sec total
scsibus1 at ami0: 16 targets
em0 at pci0 dev 9 function 0 "Intel PRO/1000GT (82541GI)" rev 0x05: irq 11, address 00:0e:0c:c6:58:50
pciide0 at pci0 dev 15 function 0 "VIA VT6420 SATA" rev 0x80: DMA
pciide0: using irq 11 for native-PCI interrupt
pciide1 at pci0 dev 15 function 1 "VIA VT82C571 IDE" rev 0x06: ATA133, channel 0 configured to compatibility, channel 1 configured to compatibility
pciide1: channel 0 disabled (no drives)
pciide1: channel 1 disabled (no drives)
uhci0 at pci0 dev 16 function 0 "VIA VT83C572 USB" rev 0x81: irq 10
uhci1 at pci0 dev 16 function 1 "VIA VT83C572 USB" rev 0x81: irq 10
uhci2 at pci0 dev 16 function 2 "VIA VT83C572 USB" rev 0x81: irq 11
uhci3 at pci0 dev 16 function 3 "VIA VT83C572 USB" rev 0x81: irq 11
ehci0 at pci0 dev 16 function 4 "VIA VT6202 USB" rev 0x86: irq 5
usb0 at ehci0: USB revision 2.0
uhub0 at usb0: VIA EHCI root hub, rev 2.00/1.00, addr 1
viapm0 at pci0 dev 17 function 0 "VIA VT8237 ISA" rev 0x00
iic0 at viapm0
vr0 at pci0 dev 18 function 0 "VIA RhineII-2" rev 0x78: irq 10, address 00:1b:b9:6c:d7:45
ukphy0 at vr0 phy 1: Generic IEEE 802.3u media interface, rev. 10: OUI 0x004063, model 0x0032
usb1 at uhci0: USB revision 1.0
uhub1 at usb1: VIA UHCI root hub, rev 1.00/1.00, addr 1
usb2 at uhci1: USB revision 1.0
uhub2 at usb2: VIA UHCI root hub, rev 1.00/1.00, addr 1
usb3 at uhci2: USB revision 1.0
uhub3 at usb3: VIA UHCI root hub, rev 1.00/1.00, addr 1
usb4 at uhci3: USB revision 1.0
uhub4 at usb4: VIA UHCI root hub, rev 1.00/1.00, addr 1
isa0 at mainbus0
isadma0 at isa0
pckbc0 at isa0 port 0x60/5
pckbd0 at pckbc0 (kbd slot)
pckbc0: using irq 1 for kbd slot
wskbd0 at pckbd0: console keyboard, using wsdisplay0
pcppi0 at isa0 port 0x61
midi0 at pcppi0: <PC speaker>
spkr0 at pcppi0
it0 at isa0 port 0x290/8: IT87
npx0 at isa0 port 0xf0/16: reported by CPUID; using exception 16
pccom0 at isa0 port 0x3f8/8 irq 4: ns16550a, 16 byte fifo
fdc0 at isa0 port 0x3f0/6 irq 6 drq 2
biomask ffed netmask ffed ttymask ffef
pctr: user-level cycle counter enabled
dkcsum: sd0 matches BIOS drive 0x80
root on sd0a swap on sd0b dump on sd0b
rk

Last edited by roundkat; 15th May 2008 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 14th May 2008
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For me soekris ws to expensive. Years ago I bought a PC-Engines Wrap.1E-2.
OpenBSD standard install and everything works well.

J65nko: I read about problems with the Alix BIOS and DMA. If you don't have a DMA supported CF oder Microdrive it doesn't matter

Has anyone tried to boot a system from HD on Alix?
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Old 15th May 2008
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- 1 Soekris 4801 with OpenBSD (2 years old) no Problems
- 4 Wrap1e202 with OpenBSD (1 year old) PXE Boot Problem is solved after BIOS Update
- 1 Alix2c3 with OpenBSD (5 month old) no Problems
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Old 16th May 2008
cajunman4life cajunman4life is offline
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I just bought this from netgate:

1 x Netgate m1n1wall firewall 2E 2C2 (black) with USB (Netgate m1n1wall 2C2 black) = $195.00
Pre-loaded Software pfSense

I bought it yesterday with 2 day shipping so hopefully it'll be here tomorrow (but I won't hold my breath). I'll be using it to replace an HP Vectra P2-450 with a loud 10GB HD. That's the only way I could justify to my wife spending $200 on a device so small.
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Old 18th May 2008
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I've got a Soekris 4501 that's been in active use for about 4 years without a single problem (very rarely needs so much as a reboot). I've also got a WRAP and Alix board from pcengines.ch that both work wonderfully. This is with FreeBSD mind you, but I don't believe OpenBSD is much different on the same hardware.

All in all, I highly recommend the Soekris and PCEngines boards, not a complaint yet!
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Old 24th May 2008
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Running a 4801 now for more then three years and i'm quite happy with the box.
The only failure was a smoking power supply that was replaced with a bigger one.
The box was extendet with a 40GB HD, and the vpn1411 mini pci card (no issues since OpenBSD 4.2)

In the near future i will add a 5501-70 since the 4801 is a little under powerd for the services running on it.
OS: OpenBSD 4.2
pf, spamd, postfix, dovcot, fetchmail, mailmain, squid, two apache services (one at the public interface chrooted and one at the internal interface), plus some additional monitoring
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Old 26th May 2008
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Exclamation Soekris net5501 for a avid Opensource User and A+ compugter technichian?

I have been looking for A good BSD based router/firewall for a couple of years now. would the soekris net 5501 fit m the needs of a A+ computer repair person / Open source Addict such as my self
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Old 23rd June 2008
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I'm really thinking getting a soekris after my amd k6 Openbsd firewall has died to due hardware. I've heard some of the soekris do not require a power supply since it uses power from the ethernet? Or am I just dreaming?
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Old 23rd June 2008
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Quote:
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Or am I just dreaming?
Yup, you're dreaming.
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