Alix 2d3 alternative

  • Hi Everyone,

    After installing 2 Alix 2d3's at 2 customer sites, both of them have caused problems. One of them crashes (probably due to overheating) and the other has problems with OpenVPN slowing the system down - even when idle (See here:

    Can anyone suggest any alternatives to the 2D3? I need somthing that is small and compact like the pre-build 2d3 pfsense systems. I do need pre-built solutions though. My prices range is £150 - £200 pound for a fully built system (Mobo, case and pfsense)


  • Check Soekris Net5501-60 or maybe the more expensive Net5501-70 (512mb ram)

  • I'm using both Alix 2D3 and net5501 and have had no problems at all with the 2D3s and the problems I have had with the net5501 was related to some early motherboard issues and was repaired under warrant.

    BTW, I always install the Soekris VPN1411 accelerator board in all my 2D3 and net5501.


  • I've got 25-30 2D3's in the field and haven't seen a bad board yet. Problems have been due to bad CFs, power adapters, corrupt OS, etc. If you do have an overheating unit, you should be able to contact your distributor for replacement. If I had a unit crash, I would restore the config to a new CF card and swap the power with a known good one. My .02, YMMV.

  • Yes, bad power supplies and CF memory cards are all to common.


  • Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for the excellent tips

    Replacing the CF is a very good idea indeed! Can't believe I didn't think of that.

    It's good to know that a lot of folk here have many 2d3 in the field. They fit my requirement 100% and it would be a real shame to go with something else.

    For the folk here that are using many 2D3s, may I ask you a few questions please:

    • Do you ever set anything on top of them? My overheating unit does get very hot when I place an 8 port switch on top of it. It was working fine for about 8 months, until I put a switch on top of it, then it worked ok for a week, and now crashes every 24-48 hours or so. What case are you guys using? I'm using this one:

    • Is anyone using the 2D3 as an OpenVPN client? How are you finding performance? Please see my other post for the other trouble I've been having.

    • Where can I get a reliable CF card and PSU for these units? I'm willing to try and replace these components



  • Sounds like part of your problems might be heat related.  I'm using the same enclosure but all of mine are in an air-conditioned environment with nothing setting on top.  You might want to try adding a stick-on heat sink to the CPU and drilling some ventilation holes in your case.  As far as the power supply goes, I use the one that ships with it.


  • There are literally tens of thousands of ALIX systems out there, it's one of the most popular hardware platforms, problems as described aren't typical. You're having issues for some other reason than the hardware platform in general.

  • Hi Everyone,

    Just an update:

    In the unit that was overheating, I replaced the CF card and removed the item sitting on top of it. This system has been rock solid ever since :)
    Honestly, I don't think it was the ALIX overheating at all, but the HP switch underneath it which was transferring heat to the ALIX..

    As for the OpenVPN issue, I'm still not convinced that the ALIX is at fault. It could be the upstream router. More testing is required.

    But it's good to know that ALIX boards are well favoured in the pfsense community, as it's fits my requirements very well indeed! :)


  • here i'm working with 3 alix 2d3 1 server and 2 clients all running openvpn and no performance problems

    1 of the clients connection was a wimax 54km long and runs prety good :D

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