Which image for pc with netboot+serial install via dd? (nevermind squid)



  • Hi,

    I have some kind of "embedded" ( Force CP-735 ) board, I want to install pfsense to,
    but I have slight issues figuring out which image to install.

    It has a serial port and the bios can has a vga->serial fake framebuffer
    CPU is a P3/800, Ram is 512MB or 1GB, i don't remember, and I put a 512MB
    solid state disk on the IDE port to hold pfsense.
    And I need to install it via dding an image to the SSD, as I don't have a free
    IDE port left.

    I want to be able to run squid and / or other extensions.

    If I absolutely have to I can buy adapters to use the SSD in my pc and do a normal
    install from there, but it seems unneccessary waste of money.

    Right now I have the system Netbooting 6.2-stable and can test out pretty much
    anything.

    Is a dd'able image on the live/install cd?
    Or would dding a VMware image, likewise using freebsd rescue cd, work out well?

    Regards,
    Florian



  • The differences between embedded and full install are:

    • embedded has output on a serial console whereas full uses VGA,
    • embedded is designed to use solid state / cf disks; full assumes a regular hard disc.
    • you cannot install packages on embedded.

    The latter permits installing squid.
    CFs are worn out pretty fast with approx. 200.000 write cycles only and are darn slow usually. Running a caching proxy isn't really fun or useful. But I have to admit that I don't know about modern solid state disc, though.
    The limited write cycles make it necessary to run embedded installs in read only mode. The file system gets mounted writable only when saving configs and such.

    In other words, when your solid state disc permits install a full version with package support and VGA output which can be disabled later on.



  • @jahonix:

    The differences between embedded and full install are:

    • embedded has output on a serial console whereas full uses VGA,
    • embedded is designed to use solid state / cf disks; full assumes a regular hard disc.
    • you cannot install packages on embedded.

    The latter permits installing squid.
    CFs are worn out pretty fast with approx. 200.000 write cycles only and are darn slow usually. Running a caching proxy isn't really fun or useful. But I have to admit that I don't know about modern solid state disc, though.
    The limited write cycles make it necessary to run embedded installs in read only mode. The file system gets mounted writable only when saving configs and such.

    In other words, when your solid state disc permits install a full version with package support and VGA output which can be disabled later on.

    Damn me: I had read about the readonly-mode last night and already forgotten it again :)

    The number of write cycles is said to be higher nowadays but the issue is still there, and YES mine is darn slow, too.
    (The #@$%#$%$% at Transcend gave the whole thing a DMA2 interface, no busmastering and peak interface transfer rate of 16MB/s - aka how to ruin a good product). Readonly Root is just great for this, as every write probably "blocks it all".

    I think I'll go with the embedded version for now and dedicate something else for the proxy - probably i'll stuff it onto the fileserver. Also this saves me all the hassle of installation.

    I downloaded two "embedded" images, pfSense-1.2-BETA-2-Embedded-128-MB.img.gz and pfSense-1.2-RC2-Embedded.img.gz. I take it that 128-MB is the lower-end version I don't wanna use, right?

    One last thing, slightly related:
    Does pfsense enable the link0 mediaopt for intel (fxp) network interfaces for offloading?



  • All embedded images require at least 128MB disc size and the same amount of RAM.
    But as always, you never have enough from either…

    Use the 1.2RC2 embedded image. This is the most feature rich and stable version at the moment. RC3 is NOT recommended ATM.
    A 1.2 final is somewhere in the pipeline, though. Just be patient.

    @darkfader:

    Does pfsense enable the link0 mediaopt for intel (fxp) network interfaces for offloading?

    … I have no clue...



  • hrhr okay :)

    i'll try to dig into it till i know, because that makes a lot of difference oin the way to getting 12.x MB/s throughput.
    Should I ever find out, i'll let you know.

    Thanks a lot!


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