Can't do full install on soekris

  • Yeah, I know, there's better hardware vendors to support, but I didn't know it when I bought it  :P

    Anyway, I'm a happy 1.2.3-full user on a soekris net5501. I decided I needed 2.0, and at the same time use a new hdd instead of reusing the hdd that 1.2.3 is currently running on. I plugged the SATA hdd into my desktop, booted from the Live CD (2.0-BETA1-20100307-1553.iso.gz), and installed to hdd. Said hdd boots pfsense 2.0 fine on desktop.

    Then I placed the hdd in the net5501, replacing the old SATA hdd and connected to the console. It didn't get past the boot: prompt, "/boot/loader not found". I've tried a bunch of things at the boot prompt, like changing the default boot partition (0:ad(0,a)) to every possible value I could think of, but no dice. Entering simply "?" at the boot prompt lists the contents of my root directory, but I still haven't succeeded in making it boot.

    So in an effort to make my feedback more meaningful, I would like to pose a couple questions:

    1. Somebody must have done a full install of 2.0 from live CD and had it boot on a soekris box. Did you have to do anything out of default to get it to boot?

    2. Could I just have a bad build? I sort of doubt it, since it boots fine in my desktop hardware, but I'm kind of surprised not to have found a solution by now, even with some help from smart people on the mailing list. At some point I may try another build.

  • I think it's been done by others. There was some ATA issue but I thought that was possibly resolved in FreeBSD RELENG_8. Not sure, I have racks full of hardware, but no 55xx Soekris, so I have no way of trying.

    Might want to check the soekris-tech list for info on running a stock FreeBSD 8.0 or RELENG_8 (what will be 8.1). 2.0 is based on RELENG_8 at the moment. Or even info on running FreeBSD 7.x might be helpful.


    My board is definitely subject to issue 0007, and I'm now suspecting 0008, so the board is going back to Cali for repairs. I suspect and hope that will resolve the problems I've been experiencing here.

  • Ah, that might be related. Post back and let us know what you find after it's fixed.

  • I have installed FreeBSD 8.0 on a Soekris net5501 with a SATA disk, and it runs like a charm.

    I have also installed pfSense 2.0-BETA1 (2010.03.08 01:34).
    This does not work too well, but the problems are related to the pfSense BETA1, not the Soekris net5501 or FreeBSD as such, as far as I can tell.

    What I did was:

    1. Set the console speed to 57600 in comBIOS.

    2. Updated /etc/fstab. On the Soekris net5501 the SATA disk is /dev/ad1

    3. Put this in /boot/loader.conf:

    This did the trick for me.

    You may also have to play around with /etc/ttys.
    I have tried many different settings, but much of the output is garbled, though kind-of usable.

  • Thank you for the pointers. I'm going to have another crack at this after getting my board updated.

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