Supermicro X9SBAA-F



  • http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Atom/X9/X9SBAA-F.cfm

    I bought this motherboard with 4GB of ECC Kingston RAM. But the pfSense Live CD will not start. I get the following error:

    It also makes no difference whether I connect the ISO file via IPMI or use a USB drive.

    Does anyone have experience with this new motherboard?



  • Did you try booting from an UBS stick



  • Thank you for your quick response. I didn't tried that yet because I'm usually always proceed such that using the CD I installed the pfsense to the stick. But I have also seen that there are IMG files. However, I do not really know which one is right.



  • Try a recent NanoBSD VGA snapshot.

    I'm curious, where did you get this board and how much does it cost?



  • The Specs of the Board are awasome. You can buy it in Germany: http://geizhals.de/884750
    @tirsojrp: Have you got a link for me? Should I download NanoBSD ISO or IMG file?

    I think it has something to do with the bootloader. The UEFI is disabled in the BIOS already. When I enter the commands mentioned, I'm not coming back more to the Start menu.

    I tried with this image: pfSense-2.0.2-RELEASE-LiveCD-amd64-20121207-2239.ISO via IPMI and USB-ODD



  • @cmcologne:

    But the pfSense Live CD will not start.

    Which version of pfSense? Your motherboard might be "too new" for that version of pfSense.



  • As my edit has overlapped with your question, see above.



  • Try this one

    As wallabybob stated, your MB is too new. Even the SuperMicro US page says "coming soon"

    http://geizhals.de/884750
    Ouch, is not cheap. I wonder if the performance justify the price.



  • Unfortunately I have found no other motherboard that has 2x Gigabit and IPMI. And it is passively cooled. An Enterprise Router costs also good 400 euros. Since this is really comparatively cheap and open source.

    Thanks for the link. When I'm at home tonight, I'll write the IMG file on the USB stick. I'll report back if it worked.



  • Some of this boards have IPMI and Quad/Dual Gigabit. But they are even more expensive.



  • The IMG file to write to the USB flash drive worked, but it still does the same error as in the boot with the CD.
    It seems that necessary drivers are missing. Is it possible to add some?



  • What do you see when you type "?" at the

    mountroot>

    prompt?



  • Sounds like a corrupt image, have you check the hash?



  • I don't think FreeBSD supports the Renesas uPD720201 USB ports.

    It looks like the Marvell 88SE9230 SATA ports are in Freebsd 9 and could easily be back ported.

    The Intel i350AM2 would also be an easy change to the 8.3 igb driver if they don't "just work" now.



  • Avoid the USB3 port.

    edit:
    Oops, it seems this board only has USB3 port.



  • It unfortunately does not work, to boot from the SATA ODD Drive. How is it possible to integrate the SATA driver? Is it possible to provide storage on the PCI port? I do not know if the network card is correctly recognized by pfSense.

    @wallabybob:

    What do you see when you type "?" at the

    mountroot>

    prompt?

    I'm sorry, I missed your question. It is not possible to enter anything. It seems like, the system is frozen.

    A developer might want remote access to the system?



  • Is it not possible neither the Marvel driver, nor the Renesas drivers to install manually? Is there any storage possible via die pci-port?
    Would it be possible to use a usb pci card?



  • @cmcologne:

    Unfortunately I have found no other motherboard that has 2x Gigabit and IPMI.

    I don't know what IPMI features you are looking for.

    The Intel DQ77KB motherboard has Remote Access and dual GigE ports.

    The HP Microserver N40L has a GigE port with expansion slots for additional GigE ports and a Remote  Access card. The N40L seems to have been superseded by the N54L. The N40L is now available in Australia for the equivalent of around US$200.

    There are reports in the pfSense forums from users who have used pfSense on the DQ77KB and N40L.



  • Thanks for your research. The Intel Board has to high tdp and needs to be active cooled. The Microserver is too big. I tried to use an old PCI USB-Card, but the Port seems to be twisted. Can't insert the card. Google told me, that it could be a 5V Slot, but specs says 3,3V??? Confusing…



  • Here are some details of this server.

    a quote: "Supermicro decided to use a Marvell 88SE9230 3.0gbps SATA II controller capable of supporting the four SATA ports onboard. While some may be wondering why an ICH9R was not used like last generation, here is an interesting fact: The ICH9R has a 4.3w TDP while the Marvell 88SE9230 consumes ~1w. Another interesting point is that that controller supports Marvell HyperDuo which is an automated SSD + HD storage tiering solution […] The Supermicro 5017A-EF has one feature that is significantly ahead of its predecessor, it includes a new Intel i350-AM2 dual port network controller (2.8w TDP). This change has more ECC than the previous generation’s dual Intel 82574L controllers (0.727w TDP each) and new features like on-chip QoS. "



  • @cmcologne:

    Thanks for your research. The Intel Board has to high tdp and needs to be active cooled. The Microserver is too big. I tried to use an old PCI USB-Card, but the Port seems to be twisted. Can't insert the card. Google told me, that it could be a 5V Slot, but specs says 3,3V??? Confusing…

    It is definitely a 3.3V PCI slot… the key is different from the 5V



  • I too have just bought the same Supermicro X9SBAA-F.

    Is it possible that pfsense will work sometime in the near future?



  • On the supermicro site For X9SBAA-F looking at FreeBSD there is versions  4.7, 4.8 & 5.0.

    The Description of the driver is IPMI Firmware for Aplus Products.

    http://www.supermicro.com/support/resources/resource_links.cfm

    not to sure what this is



  • I tried it with a USB PCI card. It was not possible to boot from the USB ports. The support from Supermicro informed me that FreeBSD is only supported in version 9.



  • So will this just be a matter of time before the pfsense team get this working?



  • @cmcologne:

    Unfortunately I have found no other motherboard that has 2x Gigabit and IPMI. And it is passively cooled. An Enterprise Router costs also good 400 euros. Since this is really comparatively cheap and open source.

    Thanks for the link. When I'm at home tonight, I'll write the IMG file on the USB stick. I'll report back if it worked.

    Today I setup a system with SuperMicro  X7SPE-HF-D525 which has DDR-3, IPMI and dual Intel LAN.



  • That Board is flex-ATX.



  • DTX actually.

    The X7SPA-HF-D525 is the ITX with IPMI



  • I also have the Supermicro X9SBAA-F motherboard and want to use it as Dedicated PfSense machine.

    Using the current latest version 2.0.3 x64 .iso I am not able to install it on the machine.
    During the boot process the USB keyboard works, but when the liveCD loads, there is no support for USB3.0
    so I can not use the keyboard to fill in the blanks.

    So I tough using IPMI would solve the keyboard issue. But no luck.. I can control the bios via IPMI remote console, but can not use this to input keys when PfSense is loaded.
    So default install is not a success.

    Then I tried the "dirty" way of install. I grabbed a laptop to put the pfsense-harddisk in it, installed pfSense with success.
    At the end of the installation pfsense wants to reboot, at that point turn down the system and put the HDD on the Supermicro board. When powering on the system, It will boot until it asks if I want to setup VLANS.
    Of course I can not use the USB-Keyboard and IPMI, so I am not able to setup the basic settings like IP, WAN/LAN.
    I am like 4 key input away from web access. At that point, the rest of the config goes trough the webinterface.

    I have an XML config file, of my old PfSense machine. Is there a way to use the CLI to copy this config to a location?
    I know this is not the optimal way to install PfSense, but I want to run and test the software.

    I also experimented with visualization based on "Proxmox". But I think this will not benefit security.
    Maybe there is a way to compile your own custom pfsense image with the config file on it. I have to look in to it.

    Anyone got any tips or progress with this motherboard, please keep this threat alive!
    If I made any progress I will post it here.

    Thanks guys!



  • @SkyNET:

    During the boot process the USB keyboard works, but when the liveCD loads, there is no support for USB3.0
    so I can not use the keyboard to fill in the blanks.

    How about temporarily adding a PCI card with USB 2.0 ports?



  • Doesn't work.

    Have you tried with an old PCI SATA controller?



  • Indeed, I also was thinking about that solution. Badly enough I don't have any laying around anymore.

    Momentarily I'm going to use this machine with Proxmox. I still have to do some research on linking the physical interfaces to the PfSense VM.
    I want to use the 2 onboard nics for WAN & LAN. And I put an extra PCI NIC in the machine for all other VM's.

    If I made any progress I will post it here or make a new thread for Pfsense&Proxmox
    Thanks for the help!



  • Would be nice to have X9SBAA-F hardware supported.
    More and more ppl are starting to buy the X9SBAA-F because it offers so much for so little power.



  • I have tested PfSense 2.0.3 x64 in a Proxmox VE 2.3 Virtual Machine.

    Using VMBR0 and VMBR1 for WAN/LAN.

    Throughput is about 30MBit and CPU load is about 70%. (4 threads)
    I think it's not very efficient to run a FreeBSD based VM on a Linux host.
    Although it should work, it does not perform great.

    Perhaps there are some performance tweaks that I can apply to Debian based "Proxmox"
    For now I would rather host PfSense physically on this nice hardware!



  • Changing the PfSense-VM's CPU type to core2duo speed's up boot times in Proxmox.
    It does not preform better with WAN/LAN speeds though.

    I should probably resume this conversation in the "Virtualization installations and techniques" section.

    For now I will try a PCI-USB card for USB-Keyboard input.
    Strange thing is.. This board supports IPMI, witch can be used to remote install and control the system.
    The IPMI web interface provides you with a java-based screen for remote access.
    There is also an option for adding a virtual keyboard for use with mouse inputs.
    This works in the BIOS menu's and on a physical Debian install.

    When booting PfSense, this keyboard does not respond to any input anymore. Witch is strange.

    Anyone got lucky with this board yet? I would love to read it here  ;)



  • I have not had any luck as of yet with this board ( X9SBAA-F ).



  • I would normally get this error when I had a bad/failed hard drive.

    Can you use a FreeBSD LiveCD or gparted and format the HD and then try to install it? At least it will help with the mount pathing as well if you still get the same error.

    Also, http://www.supermicro.com/products/system/1u/5015/sys-5015a-ehf-d525.cfm has dual NIC's and IPMI, works with pfSense 2.0.x as well.



  • Before I install PfSense I usually use a GParted CD to format the disk to a UFS filesystem.

    Momentarily I'm running "Nas4Free" on a USB stick on this Supermicro board witch is based on : FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE
    Everything work great. To bad PfSense is not working properly yet on this board. Although it's a small problem.

    If I could fill in the basic's like,

    • Would you like to use VLANS
    • Setup WAN
    • Setup LAN
    • Setup LAN DHCP

    The rest can be done trough the web-interface. Can I compile a PfSense CD with my own config-file so no input is needed?
    Maybe to much trouble for such a small thing. But this board is perfect for running PfSense 24/7.



  • Has there been any update on this board working with pfSense? I'm itching to get it…



  • Im not sure if this board supports freebsd 8.

    I tried asking on freebsd.org but go no response.

    I hope there is support for it soon , This board is a great little thing.


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