1.2.3 works well on alix2c3



  • my wifi card is Wistron DCMA81 Atheros 802.11a/b/g miniPCI wireless card and finally it works fine, nomore auth/deauth cycles, rest all seems fine at the moment except that under firmware when i click firmware settings, it gives a php error as follows:
    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected '[', expecting T_VARIABLE or '$' in /usr/local/www/system_firmware_settings.php on line 125

    and any chance auto update can work on embedded devices as it a pain to remove exverything in order to remove the flash card and reflash it with new firmware and thats whats causing me to update firmware not so often.



  • I think most people will recommend that you do a full install on embedded.

    Two ways to do it, both involve a CF adapter and the normal .iso image burned to CD.

    Option #1. Boot iso from it in a PC with the CF inserted.
    Option #2. Boot iso using VMware on a guest that has the CF adapter passed through via USB.

    In both cases, install to the CF disk, select the embedded kernel when it asks you what kernel to use, shutdown and stick the flash drive back into the ALIX box.

    You'll want to make sure that you edit /etc/fstab and turn on the noatime option to reduce the number of writes (reboot afterwards).

    If your flash disk is bigger than 2GB, you will likely have to limit the install to something slightly less than 2GB to get the ALIX machine to boot.

    In theory, a larger flash disk should last longer as it will have more room to wear level.  You'll want to be sure to use a high quality flash disk with good wear leveling, and it's probably a good idea to keep a spare on hand, just in case (especially since they're so cheap).

    It's been reported that a number of developers are running their setups like this with no ill effects.

    I haven't yet tried it myself, but I will after the next release.  I'm tired of pulling flash cards out of our ALIX box to perform updates!

    Edit: See this post for more information - looks like you may have to edit /etc/fstab to get it to boot properly: http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,12973.msg70384.html#msg70384



  • @drees:

    I think most people will recommend that you do a full install on embedded.

    The other way around ;)
    While an fullinstall on embedded might work, there are good reasons NOT to run full on embedded hardware.

    Mosty the limited number of write-cycles to a CF cards
    and the weak hardware of embedded systems in comparison to "full" computers.



  • I dont know why people just dont use cf microdrives, Ive had success on seagate 4gb and 6gb bought off ebay for under £10 each, with full install of pfs,  I have them running on fanless jetway J7F4K's without any problems (except when Im swapping over microdrives testing pfs 2, because I havent sat the drive in properly).

    Slam



  • @drees:

    I think most people will recommend that you do a full install on embedded.

    Two ways to do it, both involve a CF adapter and the normal .iso image burned to CD.

    Option #1. Boot iso from it in a PC with the CF inserted.
    Option #2. Boot iso using VMware on a guest that has the CF adapter passed through via USB.

    In both cases, install to the CF disk, select the embedded kernel when it asks you what kernel to use, shutdown and stick the flash drive back into the ALIX box.

    You'll want to make sure that you edit /etc/fstab and turn on the noatime option to reduce the number of writes (reboot afterwards).

    If your flash disk is bigger than 2GB, you will likely have to limit the install to something slightly less than 2GB to get the ALIX machine to boot.

    In theory, a larger flash disk should last longer as it will have more room to wear level.  You'll want to be sure to use a high quality flash disk with good wear leveling, and it's probably a good idea to keep a spare on hand, just in case (especially since they're so cheap).

    It's been reported that a number of developers are running their setups like this with no ill effects.

    I haven't yet tried it myself, but I will after the next release.  I'm tired of pulling flash cards out of our ALIX box to perform updates!

    thanks for the gude but i was wondering r those extra steps required mentioned here http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,12973.0.html about mounting partition or so, im not much of a linux guy.



  • @GruensFroeschli:

    @drees:

    I think most people will recommend that you do a full install on embedded.

    The other way around ;)
    While an fullinstall on embedded might work, there are good reasons NOT to run full on embedded hardware.

    Mosty the limited number of write-cycles to a CF cards
    and the weak hardware of embedded systems in comparison to "full" computers.

    i just had this final question about full install on a CF card, suppose we do it but i keep my firewall config static with not many changes often and no packages like squid so then will it still use the CF for storing those RND graphs etc which is stored in RAM under the embedded image or will it simply keep stuff in the RAM and wont kill the CF card that much and also the swap disk to be the RAM rather than the CF partition.



  • @GruensFroeschli:

    While an fullinstall on embedded might work, there are good reasons NOT to run full on embedded hardware.

    Mosty the limited number of write-cycles to a CF cards
    and the weak hardware of embedded systems in comparison to "full" computers.

    As I noted, there are at least a few developers running "full" installs on ALIX boxes using CF and have yet to have a CF card die on them.  Modern CF cards are much better than they used to be with wear leveling.

    The performance of the hardware has nothing to do with it - pfSense performs the same whether or not you're running an embedded or a full install.



  • @xbipin:

    thanks for the gude but i was wondering r those extra steps required mentioned here http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,12973.0.html about mounting partition or so, im not much of a linux guy.

    They probably are required - as I noted, I haven't actually got it up and running myself, yet.  Waiting until 1.2.3 is released. :-)



  • @drees:

    @GruensFroeschli:

    While an fullinstall on embedded might work, there are good reasons NOT to run full on embedded hardware.

    Mosty the limited number of write-cycles to a CF cards
    and the weak hardware of embedded systems in comparison to "full" computers.

    As I noted, there are at least a few developers running "full" installs on ALIX boxes using CF and have yet to have a CF card die on them.  Modern CF cards are much better than they used to be with wear leveling.

    The performance of the hardware has nothing to do with it - pfSense performs the same whether or not you're running an embedded or a full install.

    I run the full version on a CF myself ;)
    But if someone asks if he/she should run the full version off a CF this means he/she is not aware of the problems that "might" occur.
    Generally: dont run the fullversion off the CF if you dont exactly know what you're dealing with.

    If you install the fullversion on a CF you then have to option to install packages.
    Packages require more ressources than an embedded system can provide.
    Again: dont run a fullversion on embedded hardware if you dont know exactly what you're dealing with.

    Drees: you probably know what you're doing when you start fiddeling around on the console and edit files. A lot of people dont have your knowledge. If they have the ability to install ressourcehogging packages just with a click they later start complaining why everything is so slow and their services constantly crash (ever run out of ram?).

    Yes it's possible to run a fullversion on embedded hardware.
    I still dont recommend it.
    I recommend that if you want packages install the full version on a "real" system.
    If you know your stuff you dont listen to me because you know what you are capable of and you know what your hardware is capable of :)



  • i totally agree to it but its just that i need to run a certain package so as enable the firewall to do some task which mayb i only require and thats y its not implemented globally and i have never seen the processor go over 5% usage coz i just have 3 ppl on LAN and its the only laod i give to it.
    i asked the alix guy also and he says we can connect a laptop HDD directly to the CF interface using a cable, mayb that will solve the read/write cycle issue for me and also allow me to install tested packages.
    I have already done the full install on a new CF, just waiting to plug it in and test a full install.

    one of the reasons i want to do a full install is so that i can upgrade easily rather than opening up the box every now and then and reflashing the CF



  • i have successfully installed pfsense full on CF card and alix embedded system and works perfect, wireless issue solved, upnp solved, traffic shaper etc etc all good to go, just need to get the alix led to work



  • Can you recap the steps you followed?  Also, did you do anything that would prevent a clean upgrade in the future?



  • @mloiterman:

    Can you recap the steps you followed?  Also, did you do anything that would prevent a clean upgrade in the future?

    this is how i did it and worked perfectly fine and did a upgrade also twice without any issues:

    1. downloaded virtualbox which is the free VM from sun and installed it.
    2. downloaded the iso CD image of pfsense
    3. connected the CF card to a USB card reader
    4. now in virtual box it was tough to use a removeable disk directly to store install onto so on reading the manual i found the info required under the topic "Access to entire physical hard disk"
    5. then in settings of virtualbox i configured the CD-ROM and it has a direct option to mount the CD image so i just browsed to that file and then fired it all up. (note: in virtualbox enable 2 network devices or else u cant do anything below this point)
    6. virtualbox shows that everything runs from the CD image and u get a menu in the start dont do anything to it, just hit enter and move on, then it will ask u the WAN and LAN interface so select that till it comes to a point where u get a menu in which the last option is 99) install pfsense to HDD etc, run that
    7. then the setup will start, leave everything to default, i selected the whole CF card as main partition etc and under boot loader tick GRUB and nothing else and let it install, once done it will reboot
    8. on reboot it will still boot from the CD image, let it happen till u again go to the menu that says 99) install pfsense on HDD etc and over there type the number to escape to shell
    9. then in the shell run the following commands:
    • mkdir /tmp/mntmd
    • mount /dev/ad0s1a /tmp/mntmd   (in this the 3 letters ad0 are ur device name)
    1. exit from the shell
    2. halt the pc and place into the alix board and boot

    NOTE: IF U NOTICE I DIDNT HAVE TO RENAME THE DEVICE NAME IN FSTAB TO ad0 BCOZ MY DEVICE JUST SHOWED AS ad0 INSTEAD OF da0 BY DEFAULT SO THOSE STEPS WERE SKIPPED SHOWN HERE http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,12973.0.html



  • full install on embeddded and CF card, i have noticed that the RND graphs r saved and not lost on reboot, is there any way to not make it save to disk or not use it at all as i dont need graphs



  • 1.2.3 embedded on Alix 2C3 and DCMA-82 wireless is working great. The wireless improvements made it well worth my time to upgrade from 1.2.2 . I was experiencing unreliable connections with iPhones (2g & 3g) via 802.11g with 1.2.2 and after upgrading I have had no wireless hiccups whatsoever. Cheers!



  • Hello

    I followed instructions above to install pfsense 1.2.2 full on 1gb cf card via virtualbox with embeded kernel.
    When i select grub as bootloader the installation stops.So i selected just install bootloader without grub and the installation was completed.
    I put the cf card to alix board but i can not manage to get reply to 192.168.1.1
    Did i do something wrong? is it important to install grub?

    thank you

    *** Sorry i had to use null modem cable and setup the network interfaces via console ****


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