HDD installation on Soekris



  • Hi,

    I want to upgrade to a 2.5" hard disk on my soekris net4801, after  using m0n0 on CF and Soekris for a while now, as well as pfsense since 0.91 on CF, however, I now thought it time to use the extra packages, etc.

    I have written the latest embedded ISO to the HDD via physdisk -u and an external usb2 2.5" laptop hdd caddy on laptop, the soekris boots and the bios sees the toshiba hdd as primary master, however past there I just get garbage; am I;

    a) using right connect speed for bios but wrong one for console on pfsense?
    b) using wrong image for writing to the HDD, if so which one, I am using the latest embeded image under "new installs"
    c) other

    Also, on the download page there is a reference to hdd install that says "To install to a hard drive in the machine to take full advantage of all features, type 'installer' at the console menu." at which menu? is this the console menu when we select LAN, WAN etc addresses, or is it in the ctrl-p menu?

    Thanks

    C



  • That is a really old version. There is no "type installer…" anymore. It's now an option in the menu. I also would suggest installing the livecd to the hdd and then placing it in the soekris as you this way can use all the features the hdd install offers.



  • Thanks for this,

    unfortunately the live-cd version will not physdiskwrite properly, so I would have to install it on a seperate device and then load onto soekris, however, the live CD version appears to have console disabled, and the soekris is console only.

    I also tried changing the etc/ file from embedded to gerneric, but was then not rebootable.

    Surely there must be a way to use HDD in embedded type devices without video.

    As far as I can see, the limitation of the soekris with CF, is the lack of swap space and only 128mb memory, however, the 266mhz geode and 128mb of memory is more than capable of running quite a lot of things with the help of swapping on the HDD?

    So is there anything I can do with an embedded image on a 10gb HDD, to add swap, change from embedded to non-embedded and/or add packages?

    Thanks again for your help



  • There might be a solution to this. Doesn't the soekris have an usb-port? Is that one supported for booting? Satu has made a small script to convert the livecd to an image that can be written to an usb-stick, even with custom config.xml to install from. I'm right about of testing it out with a nexcom's usb boot to hdd install via serial port (pretty much the same like your setup). I'm sure we'll make that downloadable once it works like expected.
    Untill that you might want to install the hdd in another system and place it in the soekris after the installation is done and you enabled the serial console at system>advanced.



  • Yes, this soekis does have USB. I had thought of usb cd/thumb drive and have seen that there is a version of asterisk which uses a CF for read-only OS and a thumb drive for asterisk settings+ storage, but I have also heard it is a bit of a pig to set-up! It is also way beyond my abilities.

    If I install the live CD verion from CD to the 2.5" HDD on another PC, with for example Linksys ethernet cards, then when I then take that 2.5"HDD and put it into the soekris; will the boot process of pfsense then automatically re-assign an automatic LAN to one of the 3 soekris boards? This way I could go straight into the GUI and not need console? ortherwise I have no means of going in and enabling console via gui or even shell into it to enable console.

    If it re-assigns an automatic LAN, then I am laughing and do not need console at all, all I would need then is a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter and I am away. Otherwise it would be a case of installing on my laptop, but I believe that pfsense liveCD will not install is it sees only one network interface? unless the wi-fi is seen as another network interface.

    I think the soekirs + hdd and swap space will make potentially quite an interesting low power and silent machine (under 10w) with many features that otherwise mean an old 200w noisy monster. I will be very interested in seeing how it compares performance-wise to CF install, and with the extra features.

    Thanks again for you help



  • We are making progress on the usb-installer. Have your stick ready soon and do some preperations (you need a freebsd system, a pfsense iso to convert the image from and one or two custom config.xml; one to be booted from the stick, the other to be the factory reset config). I already booted it up fine with my custom config. :-)



  • I managed to get the install on a 2.5" disk.

    First I put the disk into my old laptop, and swapped out the intel2200bg card for an atheros one, so there would be two interfaces. PF sense intsalled, went through everything and hit 99 option for hdd install and even allocated 1gb of swap.

    Then put the 2.5" disk into the soekris, and interestingly console worked enough to tell me that it could not find the original LAN interface, but let me assign a new one, from there it was GUI all the way.

    It definately runs quicker from a GUI point of view, even though no swap space used as yet, I shall do some testing at some point to see if on HDD it works better under load. I have seen soekris have launched a version with 256mb of embedded memory BTW.

    Has there been any thought to having a dual HDD and CF install? with read-only on CF, swap and storage on HDD. Basically it could be a CF install, then a script similar to the one to allocate free space on a CF card, but to HDD, and add packages in the process?

    Thanks again for all your help, and look forward to seeing the usb boot version



  • @christianb:

    I managed to get the install on a 2.5" disk.

    First I put the disk into my old laptop, and swapped out the intel2200bg card for an atheros one, so there would be two interfaces. PF sense intsalled, went through everything and hit 99 option for hdd install and even allocated 1gb of swap.

    Then put the 2.5" disk into the soekris, and interestingly console worked enough to tell me that it could not find the original LAN interface, but let me assign a new one, from there it was GUI all the way.

    It definately runs quicker from a GUI point of view, even though no swap space used as yet, I shall do some testing at some point to see if on HDD it works better under load. I have seen soekris have launched a version with 256mb of embedded memory BTW.

    Has there been any thought to having a dual HDD and CF install? with read-only on CF, swap and storage on HDD. Basically it could be a CF install, then a script similar to the one to allocate free space on a CF card, but to HDD, and add packages in the process?

    Thanks again for all your help, and look forward to seeing the usb boot version

    That's on my list of things I'd like to work on at some point (I've got a couple Nexcom that are spinning platters that are entirely unused right now).

    –Bill


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