Install on net6501



  • Hi everyone, I have a really interesting question on installation.

    I have been trying for days.

    My setup:

    Linux live usb on usb JP5 as sdc
    Image of 2.0.1 nanobsd on JP3 as sdb
    and
    16gb msata on J6 as sda.

    I am trying to get the image from sdb to sda but have not been successful.

    could someone help me with the proper installation code.

    I have tried all the helps and docs.

    Thank you for any help that you can provide.



  • It would be helpful to know what you have been trying and what has been the outcome.

    I'm not familiar with the details of what is in a net6501.

    Exactly what nano BSD image is on the USB stick? Have you already written the download file there as a disk image or is it there as a file in a FAT partition? Are you expecting to use a video port and keyboard on the net6501 as the console or are you expecting to use a serial port as the console.

    What are you wanting to do with the Linux live USB? Does it successfully boot?

    Since you have a "hard drive" in the box why are you wanting to use a nanoBSD version of pfSense? (I have successfully run the full version of pfSense on a system with a 1GB solid state disk module for over three years.)

    If I recall correctly, there have been a number of reports from net6501 users in the pfSense forums. Maybe some of those reports will provide some helpful clues.



  • @wallabybob:

    It would be helpful to know what you have been trying and what has been the outcome.

    I'm not familiar with the details of what is in a net6501.

    Exactly what nano BSD image is on the USB stick? Have you already written the download file there as a disk image or is it there as a file in a FAT partition? Are you expecting to use a video port and keyboard on the net6501 as the console or are you expecting to use a serial port as the console.

    What are you wanting to do with the Linux live USB? Does it successfully boot?

    Since you have a "hard drive" in the box why are you wanting to use a nanoBSD version of pfSense? (I have successfully run the full version of pfSense on a system with a 1GB solid state disk module for over three years.)

    If I recall correctly, there have been a number of reports from net6501 users in the pfSense forums. Maybe some of those reports will provide some helpful clues.

    I have tried to dd the image pfSense-2.0.1-RELEASE-4g-i386-20111212-1900-nanobsd.img to the mSATA card from the USB memorystick.  This gives a no directory exists error.

    I have also tried the to dd the written image to the mSATA with better results but get an ada: Timeout error.
    the image is pfSense-2.0.1-RELEASE-4g-i386-20111212-1900-nanobsd.img

    I am doing it through the serial port as console as there is no VGA.
    The mSATA is MLC - not ideal for multiple writes.

    I have successfully booted pldrescurecd from a usb stick.  I was never able to get linux as a pxe server to boot.



  • Can't you just use another machine to write the nano image to the drive?
    I've used physdiskwrite to image USB and SSD drives for a net6501.
    I've done it on FreeBSD, not on Linux, but you usually need to pipe gunzip or something to dd unless you already expanded the gz. m0n0 has some notes on common usage http://m0n0.ch/wall/installation_generic.php


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Try booting from this:

    http://files.chi.pfsense.org/jimp/pfSense-memstick-serial-2.0.1-RELEASE-i386.img.gz

    You can just do a full install to the mSATA from there.



  • Thank you every one for your help.

    dotdash I am going to try the write on another machine when I get a sata to msata adapter in and try that.

    Jimp I have been able to do an embedded install from the memstick file but everyone has scared me about this due to the msata being a Transcend 16GB MLC mSATA SSD.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Once you boot that you can run something like:

    fetch -o - http://files.chi.pfsense.org/mirror/downloads/pfSense-2.0.1-RELEASE-4g-amd64-nanobsd.img.gz | gzip -dc | dd of=/dev/ad4 obs=64k

    Where ad4 is the mSATA disk, not sure if it will be ad2, ad4, or ad6.



  • @jimp:

    Once you boot that you can run something like:

    fetch -o - http://files.chi.pfsense.org/mirror/downloads/pfSense-2.0.1-RELEASE-4g-amd64-nanobsd.img.gz | gzip -dc | dd of=/dev/ad4 obs=64k

    Where ad4 is the mSATA disk, not sure if it will be ad2, ad4, or ad6.

    Just to make sure Jimp:

    but do you mean, when I get to the pfsense boot menu and i use menu #7 the enter the fetch line?

    Once again thanks for helping a newbie, and sorry for the silly questions I ask, its been 30 years since I have really worked with anything but windows and dos.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    boot the memstick I linked, then press 8 to go to a shell prompt, then type that



  • Thank you Jimp, I will try tonight and let you know tomorrow.

    and once again thank you for the help it is much appreciated.



  • Hi Jimp,

    Just to give you and update, I could not get the install going as you suggested with the memstick version.  When it completed booting in the serial console, it would stop at Booting Complete, and not allow me to go to the shell command.

    This is not an issue at this time as I have an adapter in shipment and will write the nanobsd to the msata and then change the drive location.

    Thank you for your help, it was greatly appreciated, and I look forward to getting pfsense up and going next week.



  • Somebody has some notes on the 6501 which I'm too lazy to search for, but if it fails trying to mount root you need to hit a key at the countdown to interrupt the boot. Then you have to
    set kern.cam.boot_delay=10000
    boot
    Once it boots, you have to create a loader.conf.local in /boot with
    kern.cam.boot_delay=10000
    to make it permanent.



  • @dotdash:

    Somebody has some notes on the 6501 which I'm too lazy to search for, but if it fails trying to mount root you need to hit a key at the countdown to interrupt the boot. Then you have to
    set kern.cam.boot_delay=10000
    boot
    Once it boots, you have to create a loader.conf.local in /boot with
    kern.cam.boot_delay=10000
    to make it permanent.

    No matter which image I use, I get the soekris memory test, the 5-4-3-2-1 countdown, and then nothing after that.  I've ordered an mSATA converter, but it's frustrating that there isn't a good solution to this other than more hardware.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    The fact that it works for everyone else but not you might indicate something wrong with your board or the process you're doing. Before anything else, make sure you're on the latest BIOS.



  • @jimp:

    The fact that it works for everyone else but not you might indicate something wrong with your board or the process you're doing. Before anything else, make sure you're on the latest BIOS.

    Either Soekris is in the habit of shipping bad boards, or something has changed.  I read this thread and said, "Hmm.  Sounds a lot like the thread I started 2-3 days ago saying the same things."

    I used dd on a Mac to copy numerous images to the 4 GB USB drive.  It never would boot on the Soekris 6501.  I got the same thing:  memory check, countdown 5-4-3-2-1.  Then nothing.

    How many people buy into the odds that Soekris shipped two bad units to two pfsense users scattered remotely apart from each other?  I don't.

    My firmware is 1.41a (USB-bootable, according to Soekris).


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    If you read back on the Soekris boards you'll also find that it's very picky about the USB sticks it will boot from, I was posting in a thread when the USB code came out with Soren and out of the dozen or so USB sticks I have, I only managed to get it to boot from one. He was trying to acquire a bunch of different sticks to try to narrow down the issue but I'm not sure what happened there, hasn't had an update in a while.



  • @jimp:

    If you read back on the Soekris boards you'll also find that it's very picky about the USB sticks it will boot from, I was posting in a thread when the USB code came out with Soren and out of the dozen or so USB sticks I have, I only managed to get it to boot from one. He was trying to acquire a bunch of different sticks to try to narrow down the issue but I'm not sure what happened there, hasn't had an update in a while.

    Well, this unit is using the 4GB Sandisk Cruiser (tiny thing) that Soekris sells WITH the unit.  You'd think it would work…


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    You'd think so… I haven't had my hands on one of those, though. The one stick I was able to boot from was a Sandisk though. You might try some of the other ports on the box.

    I have had lots of positive feedback from people using my serial memstick and it works for most of us.



  • @caldwell:

    Well, this unit is using the 4GB Sandisk Cruiser (tiny thing) that Soekris sells WITH the unit.  You'd think it would work…

    I used the 4GB Sandisk from Soekris in the last two 6501's I setup. They had the 1.41a bios. It works for me (TM)
    Either you did something wrong, or there is an issue with your 6501 or USB stick.
    I would try to boot a laptop or something with the USB image. If you can boot another machine with the USB stick, you will know the image is good.
    P.S. It's generally considered poor form to hijack a 'related' thread when you have one of your own open.



  • I installed my first Soekris 6501 today with cheapo usb stick, using the jimp serial image on files.pfsense.org.
    I installed it to a 32GB Kingston SSD.
    Worked like a charm.



  • @dotdash:

    P.S. It's generally considered poor form to hijack a 'related' thread when you have one of your own open.

    Yeah ….  hijack  .......   right.  Someone started a new thread almost identical to the one I had started a day before with the same issue.  You think I might be interested in comments on both threads since they relate ? ? ? ? ?  Or did you think that someone might respond to mine and not his with different answers?  In case you don't think so, read the two discussions.  They have.

    If he had commented on my already-open-thread and said, "I have the same issue," I wouldn't have minded a bit.

    For those who miss the other thread, here's the update I posted there:

    BUT NOW IT WILL BOOT OFF USB if I do not put the SSD card in the unit.

    Here's what I did.  Plugged an ethernet cable into the unit.  That's it.  No changes of any other kind.

    It will boot off USB with the SATA drive in the Soekris but without the internal SSD.

    It will NOT boot off the USB if the SSD drive is installed in EITHER SSD slot.

    I don't know if this indicates a bad SSD drive, bad Soekris motherboard or what.  It was all purchased from Soekris, so presumably they will make it good for the end customer who purchased it.

    Strange…



  • It's also poor form to cop an attitude with people trying to help you. Good luck, I'm out of this one.



  • I have the exact same problem on soekris 6501, boots happily off the Sandisk USB but if I plug in my mSATA drive supplied by Soekris it won't boot anything :(

    I wanted to boot off the USB then install onto my SATA drive in the installation menu.

    Any update on this?

    Cheers



  • Just to wrap this up for any future searchers on this problem I have found a solution that works for me.

    With the USB SanDisk and mSata in the Soekris 6501 change the BootDrive to

    81, FF ,FF, FF

    with the command

    set bootdrive=81

    This forces the USB drive to boot first which then lets you install the pfsense onto the mSATA drives.

    To boot from the mSata drive change the boot order back to 80 which is the mSata drive with

    set bootdrive=80

    This all works perfectly. This pissed me off all day but it works. I hate working with console cables and terminal screens!

    Good luck


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