Booting pfsense-nanobsd-1.2.3-RC3 on Soekris Net4801



  • Hi,

    I've installed pfsense-nanobsd-1.2.3-RC3 on a Soekris Net4801 (2GB Sandisk CF)

    The pfsense installation itself works great and I'm looking forward to be able to do testing with NanoBSD upgrades/rollbacks  - thanks :-)

    When booting the Net4801 with a serial cable attached to its serial port (9600/8/N/1) I see the usual Soekris ComBIOS greeting, PCI registers are dumped, and the 5 second delay to press CTRL-P is displayed…

    Then nothing happends on the serial console for about 15-20-25-30 seconds and suddenly the rotatiog-"char" of the kernel initializing its sections... no BTX or other (boot)loader output is shown before this...

    Boot "drives" are set to "80 FF FF FF" in ComBIOS

    What is happening during the delay that I see ?

    Is this the consequence of an embedded system with no (VGA) console - and a BTX bootloader that only outputs to a (VGA) screen that is not there ?

    kind regards Uffe



  • I've done a little bit of testing on the 4801. Mine boots pretty fast.
    Could be something with the BIOS settings. Here's what mine looks like on bootup:

    _> show

    ConSpeed = 9600
    ConLock = Enabled
    ConMute = Disabled
    BIOSentry = Enabled
    PCIROMS = Enabled
    PXEBoot = Enabled
    FLASH = Primary
    BootDelay = 2
    FastBoot = Enabled
    BootPartition = Disabled
    BootDrive = 80 81 FF FF
    ShowPCI = Enabled
    Reset = Hard
    CpuSpeed = Default_

    POST: 012345689bcefghipsajklnopqr,,,tvwxy

    comBIOS ver. 1.33  20080103  Copyright (C) 2000-2007 Soekris Engineering.

    net4801

    0128 Mbyte Memory                        CPU Geode SC1100 267 Mhz

    Pri Sla  CF 2GB                          LBA Xlt 983-64-63  1982 Mbyte

    Seconds to automatic boot.  Press Ctrl-P for entering Monitor.

    1  FreeBSD
    2  FreeBSD

    Boot:  1
    /boot.config: -h
    Consoles: serial port
    BIOS drive C: is disk0
    BIOS 639kB/130048kB available memory

    FreeBSD/i386 bootstrap loader, Revision 1.1
    (sullrich@FreeBSD_7.2_pfSense_1.2.3_snaps.pfsense.org, Thu Oct 15 00:52:06 UTC 2009)
    Loading /boot/defaults/loader.conf

    /boot/kernel/kernel text=0x715160 data=0x13a5ac+0x512c0

    Hit [Enter] to boot immediately, or any other key for command prompt.
    Booting [/boot/kernel/kernel]…
    Copyright (c) 1992-2009 The FreeBSD Project.
    Copyright (c) 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
            The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
    FreeBSD is a registered trademark of The FreeBSD Foundation.
    FreeBSD 7.2-RELEASE-p4 #0: Thu Oct 15 01:12:15 UTC 2009
        sullrich@FreeBSD_7.2_pfSense_1.2.3_snaps.pfsense.org:/usr/obj.pfSense/usr/pfSensesrc/src/sys/pfSense_wrap.7.i386
    Timecounter "i8254" frequency 1193182 Hz quality 0
    CPU: Geode(TM) Integrated Processor by National Semi (266.66-MHz 586-class CPU)
      Origin = "Geode by NSC"  Id = 0x540  Stepping = 0
      Features=0x808131 <fpu,tsc,msr,cx8,cmov,mmx>real memory  = 134217728 (128 MB)
    avail memory = 117420032 (111 MB)</fpu,tsc,msr,cx8,cmov,mmx>



  • Hi,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Some questions:

    1. is your output "edited" - you have ShowPCI enabled - but no PCI regs are shown ?

    2. I can see that you are running a 1.2.3-snapshot of some kind - is it a nanobsd-image or a traditional embedded image ?

    Comparing with your output I'm missing the output section below - and my guess is that the delay that I see is due to some countdown in the bootmenu that you have below

    1. Did you do anything special to get access to the bootmenu via serial console ?

    –-

    1  FreeBSD
    2  FreeBSD

    Boot:  1
    /boot.config: -h
    Consoles: serial port
    BIOS drive C: is disk0
    BIOS 639kB/130048kB available memory

    FreeBSD/i386 bootstrap loader, Revision 1.1
    (sullrich@FreeBSD_7.2_pfSense_1.2.3_snaps.pfsense.org, Thu Oct 15 00:52:06 UTC 2009)
    Loading /boot/defaults/loader.conf

    /boot/kernel/kernel text=0x715160 data=0x13a5ac+0x512c0

    Hit [Enter] to boot immediately, or any other key for command prompt.
    Booting [/boot/kernel/kernel]…



    1. The only editing I did was to remove a bunch of space between POST and comBIOS.
    2. It's a slightly post RC3 2GB nano snap.
      The timeout on that menu is only ~5 seconds.
    3. Nope. It gets to the menu about two seconds after power-on.


  • Ok I'll need to go back and do some more testing on my Net4801 - It may take some days before I get back to where it is physically located.

    Thanks again.


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