Soekris 5501 + No /boot/kernel/kernel



  • Hi all,

    I'm trying to install the pfSense 1.2.3 on a 4GB SanDisk CF card that's going in a Soekris 5501 box.
    Writing the disk image to the CF card is pretty straight forward but when I try to boot my Soekris from it, I get the following messages:

    net5501

    0512 Mbyte Memory                        CPU Geode LX 500 Mhz

    Pri Mas  SanDisk SDCFX3-4096            LBA Xlt 971-128-63  3917 Mbyte

    Slot  Vend Dev  ClassRev Cmd  Stat CL LT HT  Base1    Base2  Int
    –-----------------------------------------------------------------
    0:01:2 1022 2082 10100000 0006 0220 08 00 00 A0000000 00000000 10
    0:06:0 1106 3053 02000096 0117 0210 08 40 00 0000E101 A0004000 11
    0:07:0 1106 3053 02000096 0117 0210 08 40 00 0000E201 A0004100 05
    0:08:0 1106 3053 02000096 0117 0210 08 40 00 0000E301 A0004200 09
    0:09:0 1106 3053 02000096 0117 0210 08 40 00 0000E401 A0004300 12
    0:20:0 1022 2090 06010003 0009 02A0 08 40 80 00006001 00006101
    0:20:2 1022 209A 01018001 0005 02A0 08 00 00 00000000 00000000
    0:21:0 1022 2094 0C031002 0006 0230 08 00 80 A0005000 00000000 15
    0:21:1 1022 2095 0C032002 0006 0230 08 00 00 A0006000 00000000 15

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

    1  FreeBSD
    2  FreeBSD

    Boot:  1
    /boot.config: -h
    No /boot/loader

    FreeBSD/i386 boot
    Default: 0:ad(0,a)/boot/kernel/kernel
    boot:
    No /boot/kernel/kernel

    FreeBSD/i386 boot
    Default: 0:ad(0,a)/boot/kernel/kernel
    boot:

    It seems that no matter what I do, I cannot get it to boot.
    Trying to press "2" when it gives me the menu to boot either 1 FreeBSD or 2 FreeBSD results in a '#' being displayed after which it more or less hangs.

    Any ideas as to what is going on?
    I've seen results of people running pfSense on a Soekris so it should be possible but I'm just wondering what I'm doing wrong.

    Regards,

    Jeroen



  • I didn't have any problems loading it on a 5501. I think I updated to the latest BIOS a while back, so you might want to check that.



  • I don't think it's the BIOS since I've just updated it to 1.33c (the most recent) and even then I still get the error message:

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

    1  FreeBSD
    2  FreeBSD

    Boot:  1
    /boot.config: -h
    No /boot/loader

    FreeBSD/i386 boot
    Default: 0:ad(0,a)/boot/kernel/kernel
    boot:
    No /boot/kernel/kernel

    FreeBSD/i386 boot
    Default: 0:ad(0,a)/boot/kernel/kernel
    boot:

    The thing that seems to go wrong first is that it can't find the file /boot/loader.
    Still not sure as to what's going wrong.

    Jeroen



  • Hmm….

    Not really sure what's going on here but version 1.2.3RC1 (Embedded) seems to work without any hassles.
    I'll try to work from there.

    Regards,

    Jeroen



  • It becomes even more interesting when I've installed and from the WebGUI try to upgrade to 1.2.3 RELEASE.
    It downloads the file without problems but then fails with the following message:

    The image file is correct.
    Update cannot continue.

    Any ideas as to what's going on here?

    Regards,

    Jeroen



  • Ok, just read my post again and the message should've been:

    The image file is corrupt.
    Update cannot continue

    The strange thing is I've checked the sha hash key manually and it is correct.
    I've tried upgrading to 2.0 alpha but won't work either (same error)

    If I try to give an alternate installation source (my own webpage) it should bypass the SHA checksum and just plain install the update but even then, it'll give the message about the image file being corrupt and update not being able to continue.

    Any one with a good idea?

    Regards,

    Jeroen



  • I'm confused.

    It appears you initially wrote the embedded image to a CF and then tried to boot from that CF and found it didn't work.

    You then talk about installing from the web GUI. What version was running when you tried to install from the web GUI? What file did you try to install? (Did you try to install an "embedded" file on a system running "full" pfSense?)



  • Sorry, should've been more clear.
    I've tried different versions of pfSense only to find one that would work, which was a 1.2.3 RC1 release but somehow the filesystem layout for this one was so messed up that I couldn't do an upgrade. All of the other versions either wouldn't find the boot loader (No /boot/loader found) or would boot but would end up missing the root filesystem.

    I've eventually tracked down the problem I think:

    If you're trying to write the image file to a CF disk from an OS X machine, OS X will try at random intervals to mount that image making the disk unavailable until you click "Ignore". Because of this, the whole writing to disk fails but you don't see that from the output. (I've tried using Disk Utility to burn the image to the CF card but that one borks as well saying the image is corrupt)

    I've eventually been able to write a 2GB image (1.2.3-RELEASE) to a 4GB flash card from a spare Linux laptop I have lying around and that worked fine so the end result is that OS X keeps trying to mount a device (or at least do something with it) that messes up the writing of the disk image.

    Not sure yet how to be able to write an image from OS X without it trying to mount it continually but I'll figure that one out sooner or later.
    At least, now I've got a working pfSense machine.

    Sorry about the confusion but this was really strange.

    Regards,

    Jeroen


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