Install to embedded intel flash chips

  • At work we have some older embedded devices and I am wondering if it is possible to install pfsense on it. I am wondering how the general install would work as it has no compact flash, ps/2 ports, ide ports, floppy ports, ect.

    Ports available: 2xserial ports, 2x10/100 realtek nics, 1xJDAG diagnostic port.

    When booting the device it boots directly to the software where no command line is available vi the console but when using ssh I get a regular command prompt….system appears to currently be a linux 2.4 kernel with busybox and the proprietary software on it.

    The medium for storage is a couple of intel flash chips(64meg total) so it should be able to run the embedded firmware I would guess but not sure how to actually load it up.
    Oh, I haven't seen any tftp booting options.

    The circuit board is the 128meg ram w/64meg flash memory version of the se2580 by cyberguard.

    ...if i toast the device trying to load the os, it's ok;).....they are paperweights currently as the old company which originally sold the units went belly-up and have since been pulled out of service.

  • You might be able to use linux to dd an image direct to the embedded flash although good luck upgrading it afterward - heh.  Hopefully the unit(s) load the OS into a ramdisk after booting, if not, I can't see how you're going to dd over the on disk OS w/out panic'ing it, resulting in an immediate paperweight.

    If possible, I'd do the following.

    Boot into linux
    configure the flash to read-only (better yet, see if you can put the OS in a ram disk and change the / mountpoint to it - good luck)
    SSH into the machine
    use ssh to ssh to another unix box passing dd if=pfsense.img of=/dev/whatevertheflashdriveis command to the remote ssh daemon
    Pray that nothing writes to disk other than the dd, sync; sync; pull powercord - do NOT let the OS hit that disk
    power on and pray some more

    If it works, pay me $1000 for the consulting and report back.  If it doesn't work…do the same ;-P


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