2.4 branch on Apollo lake: post your experience



  • Hello all,
    as the subject says this is just to know if I have to seriously think on changing my J3455M motherboard; my experience:
    -upgrade to 2.4.1 caused an increase of cpu load
    -fresh install of 2.4.1 stopped at famous HPET error reported in many topics on the web
    -tried many solutions suggested on the web without success
    -went back to 2.3.5 to have a stable pfsense system

    what's not really clear is: people who tell they solved the HPET error with some work-around are really satisfied on their Apollo Lake Pfsense system performance?
    it also seems there are no news from the freebsd developers on some kernel patch to correct this regression error, or am I wrong?
    Thanks



  • Why not try 2.4.3?  It's 2 patch releases ahead and has more FreeBSD patches in it…



  • Hi to all,
    I have used pfsense on two apollo lake setups.

    My first apollo lake setup was an ASROCK mATX J3455 with two additional NICs and a Draytek VigorNic 132 occupying the expansion slots. I had no problems before the hpet bug. The setup was basic intended for home use. The hpet bug hit me after update and made the system unbootable. After reading the forums, I managed to successfully install (safe mode, loader.conf etc) a fresh 2.4.3 and setup a working firewall. I didn't notice any high CPU usage, but as I wrote it is a basic setup.

    I replaced the setup with another apollo lake, an ASROCK J3355 ITX (the VigorNic in the single expansion slot) due to a hardware problem of the previous MOBO. Interestingly, this MOBO was not affected with the hpet bug and installed 2.4.3 normally. Actually what happened was I forgot to enter safe mode but to my surprise the setup didn't freeze and continued. With respect to CPU usage, again I didn't notice any abnormality. However, I had to stop using pfsense, because for some unknown reason (I couldn't figure out anything from the logs) the box was crashing and rebooting every 15 mins or so. I have excluded hardware fault because this box now runs opnsense without any problems.

    The hpet bug that hit me with an update was a big let-down. Don't get me wrong or anything by no means do I blame pfsense or so; this was a core freebsd bug from what I have read.
    Having running stable for 6 months or so, it was shocking that an update would essentially destroy the system and also was a hassle trying to fix it. After this I keep my ISP's modem preconfigured and aside. I also beats me why j3355 was not affected by the bug.

    Best