Lanner 7560A



  • I've just bought one of these off eBay, it's the better specced 2GHz Pentium-M CPU (not the 600MHz Celeron) but no RAM/disk/CF. I don't have any CF cards laying around so I was planning on just putting a SATA hard drive in and using that. Does anyone happen to know if Lanner stuff does a hardware serial console (so that I can use the regular pfSense because I'll have a regular drive) or do I need to use the embedded version?

    Also if anyone else is using one of these with pfSense, I'd be interested to hear how it went, this was a bit of an impulse purchase which wasn't quite what I was after (I work for a company which resells some products based on the VIA C7 Lanner 6436, but couldn't find one of those on eBay). I don't stand to lose too much if it doesn't work out, but I'm after something with a bit more capability than my current WRT54G and OpenWRT…


  • Netgate Administrator

    I would say (and this is an informed guess!) that it almost certainly does have console redirect. That would mostly be used just for accessing the BIOS though, it may not have 'redirect after boot' set. Try entering the bios setup via serial. You will probably have to press TAB to enter. Check the redirect settings. One thing to be aware of here is that the console redirect probably requires a null modem cable capable of hardware flow control.

    You can use the full install of pfSense with a serial console (without bios redirect) by simply setting the console to serial in the webgui. Install to the HD in another machine setup to the point you can access the webgui and set the console to serial. Transfer the HD back.

    I take it this is the network-box m285 that sold recently?

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    I would say (and this is an informed guess!) that it almost certainly does have console redirect. That would mostly be used just for accessing the BIOS though, it may not have 'redirect after boot' set. Try entering the bios setup via serial. You will probably have to press TAB to enter. Check the redirect settings. One thing to be aware of here is that the console redirect probably requires a null modem cable capable of hardware flow control.

    You can use the full install of pfSense with a serial console (without bios redirect) by simply setting the console to serial in the webgui. Install to the HD in another machine setup to the point you can access the webgui and set the console to serial. Transfer the HD back.

    I take it this is the network-box m285 that sold recently?

    Steve

    Cool, that sounds good. I have spare HDs laying around so will just pop one of those in, but wondered how the console would work with the full version, and no point "limiting" myself to the nano version if I have a full standard HD (or even a spare SATA SSD) in it.

    And yeah, it's the M285. I can't see any reason why it wouldn't work, it seemed to be sold as spares or repairs simply because the storage and RAM was removed, but I can replace both of those pretty easily. Figured since I hadn't seen any sign of a VIA-based Lanner board, that one was worth a go for £20. Better quality NICs as well, the 6436 is Realtek GbE, whereas the 7560 is all Intel.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Yep, you're never going to beat that for £20.
    You might have some fun and games with the LCD in store.  ;)

    Steve



  • Oh? I hadn't even thought about trying to get the LCD to work, chances are it's going to have the fans disconnected and put into the cool corner of the living room where my phone line comes in, so I'll likely not be able to see the LCD anyway. Are they known to be a problem with hardware like this? Of course, now you've implied that it might not work, suddenly it's the most important part of the whole thing….


  • Netgate Administrator

    It will depend entirely on what type of LCD it is. Lanner manufacture/d a lot of boxes for Watchguard and in those the driver is available and works great. However it could be that they used a custom LCD in those boxes specifically to remain backwards compatible with Watchguard's earlier boxes. The package available to drive LCDs in pfSense (easily) is lcdproc. If there's a driver for your LCD in lcdproc it's an easy job. You can see the similarities between your box and the Watchguard XTM5 if you look here: http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,43574.0.html

    Steve



  • Gotcha, I'll certainly be giving it a go when it arrives next week but probably won't lose too much sleep over it…might be nice to get some load/temp type figures up on there if it's easy to do, especially since I'm going to try running it without the system fans (which I'm sure will be horrible, whiny ones). I'm hoping that the CPU fan isn't so bad and might even be speed controllable, the living room isn't currently silent anyway so a little noise isn't an issue but avoiding tiny case fans that scream would be good.



  • Well, it arrived. I dunno where on earth this thing has been used, but other than a scratch on the top casing, it's immaculate. There isn't a single speck of dust inside it on any component! Now to find the spares I need to get it running….hopefully the reason it doesn't look like it's been used isn't because it's broken!



  • Seems to work well hardware-wise, although I'm having very little luck getting pfSense to run so far. So far I've changed the BIOS serial rate down to 9600/8/n/1 to match the FreeBSD defaults, so I can go seamlessly from BIOS redirection to BSD serial console. I've set the redirection to only happen in the bootloader. I can successfully boot the memstick-serial image from a USB drive, and configure it using the serial console, so the hardware seems fine. However, when I do an installation, upon rebooting the bootloader either hangs after confirming I want to boot F1/pfSense, or by tinkering with stuff (without making notes, silly of me) I managed to get the "second stage" boot menu up a couple of times, at which point it would hang as soon as I chose any of those options.

    So the hardware SHOULD boot as it works fine off the memory stick. The hard drive I'm using is a standard Maxtor SATA-I drive, I've left the storage settings in the BIOS as default (Compatible, SATA primary, PATA secondary). There's no AHCI options, it's IDE/ATA only. Could be a drive geometry thing, but most of the forum posts I've seen suggest enabling LBA as the fix. It's already enabled on this system.

    Not plain sailing at all, I think I have some reading to do on FreeBSD vs nanoBSD vs FreeBSD w/embedded kernel…



  • Seems that this unit has the same BIOS quirks as the 7541 aka the Netgate Hamakua. Following the instructions and having a 4G / partition with the rest mounted as /usr has allowed me to boot off the SATA drive I installed….now for some configuration fun!

    edit - https://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Full_install_on_Netgate_Hamakua is the guide I found the partitioning tip on, for future reference (probably for me when I forget how I did this...)



  • Seems to be a Vitek LCD, based on the sticker on the back. Works fine with LCDProc-dev and the "Watchguard Firebox with SDEC" driver on "USB COM port 1 /dev/cuaU0". Everything else was set to default.


  • Netgate Administrator

    USB connected LCD eh. Interesting. In the firebox it's connected via the parallel port. I had thought the driver was hard coded to use that but maybe not.

    Steve



  • Doesn't seem to be, both LCDProc and LCDProc-dev allowed me to choose the port; the difference was that only -dev included the right driver for the display. Seems to work well, just need to figure out which screens are useful etc, I'm not using features like CARP.

    More pressing challenge is try to get EST working as I don't seem to have any kind of CPU throttling. I think it's built into the embedded kernel on pfSense 2.1 so I can't load the module, but it isn't listed anywhere in dmesg so I don't think my CPU (Pentium M 760) is recognised…


  • Netgate Administrator

    You enable the est driver by simply enabling powerd in System: Advanced: Miscellaneous:
    The 760 will not be supported directly by the est driver though. It has some values hard coded into the driver but only for the 400MHz models. Support for other cpus relies on values for voltage/frequency being passed by the bios via acpi which may or may not happen in your box.

    The sdeclcd driver allows you to choose a port but I'm not sure it actually uses that value. Error checking on the config page requires something to be selected. Try selecting a different port and see what happens. The presence of /dev/cuaU0 would indicate that a USB serial device is connected. Is it actually there in /dev?

    Steve



  • Yeah, I found the powerd option but it didn't seem to actually run the powerd daemon (checked with ps on the shell). There's very little in the way of BIOS options, I don't recall seeing any for ACPI, although there must be some support cos pfSense boots OK in "normal" mode, I don't need to turn ACPI off.



  • The cpufreq kernel module wasn't being loaded….kldload cpufreq and launching powerd works, and I can see the frequencies changing in sysctl. Have just disabled p4tcc and ACPI throttling (after reading that they're less efficient than cpufreq) so will see what that does. I don't have a single plug power meter unfortunately, but according to the overall usage in the house from the monitor attached to my electricity meter it was using about 80W a minute ago! I hope that's just the meter not being very accurate though :)

    edit - seems that I need p4tcc enabled in order for powerd to launch at all.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Hmm, different behaviour than the firebox x-e box then, that's not a lanner though.
    One thing worth noting, in that box you have to change the kernel timecounter.
    https://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/PfSense_on_Watchguard_Firebox#Further_Enhancements_3
    If you start powerd from the console with the '-v' option you can see what's happening.

    Steve



  • Yeah, I saw the timer stuff and have changed that. This is all coming up rather nicely…transparent Squid proxy, DHCP configured, etc. Just need to figure out the VPN connection to work (didn't realise when I started all this that pfSense doesn't do L2TP/IPSec, which is a litle disappointing) and sort out some interface bridging and we should be all set...impressed with pfSense now, seems much nicer to use than OpenWRT, helped along by better hardware (the WRT54G while iconic, isn't particularly well-specced).


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