Pfsense on HP ThinClient t5725



  • I've bought hp t5725 thin client on flee market with intention to make pfsense device out of it. So, it took me two weeks to get it to some stable level of working.

    So hardware is:
    CPU - AMD Geode NX 1500 processor 1GHz
    ChipSet- SiS741 CX Integrated/UMA graphics with 16 MB shared graphics memory
    STORAGE - Standard 512 MB Flash - This is defective part so I used 512MB USB I-Stick memory for storage
    RAM 256 MB DDR SDRAM memory.
    LAN - VIA VT6107 10M/100M
    Extensibility - total of 6 USB 2.0 ports, 1xRS232 DB9 serial, IEEE 1284 DB25 printer port and Optional PCI Expansion Module (but for use of this one I need to find PCI extension bracket)
    Fan-less design, like wrap board. Works on 12V and consumes less energy than mid-size home light bulb, around 25W!

    pfSense is
    Version 2.1-RELEASE  (i386) built on Wed Sep 11 18:16:22 EDT 2013

    FreeBSD 8.3-RELEASE-p11

    Platform nanobsd (512mb)

    So, I have selected nano version for 512M with VGA support for this deployment, but I have also enabled serial console.

    Reason why I am sharing this info is the fact that this chipset is like a nightmare regarding APIC and ACPI. Therefore, forget about using APIC and ACPI if You are going to use pfSense 2.1 on this chipset.
    APIC is not programmable on this HW and it will make you kernel panic because of programmable APIC set by default in pfSense 2.1.
    ACPI is totally another issue, it has a problem with thermal part and continuously reports errors that it tries to read non-existing register from ACPI. So, I had to disable APCI and ACPI at boot time.
    But watch-out, by disabling ACPI power button losses it function and it will turn off device instantly, if pressed. No graceful shutdown! If anyone has idea how to solve this, please post?

    So my /boot/loader.conf.local looks like this:

    hint.apic.0.disabled=1
    hint.acpi.0.disabled=1
    kern.cam.boot_delay=10000
    legal.intel_ipw.license_ack=1
    comconsole_speed="115200"
    hw.usb.no_pf="1"
    
    

    In brief, line by line means:
    disable APIC
    disable ACPI
    make some delay for USB root device mount
    acknowledge legal firmware stuff for WiFi USB device (since I have external ASUS WL-167g 802.11g USB WiFi connected to it)
    set console speed (for boot loader)
    at last I heed to disabling the USB buss from showing as a network interface

    Also configuration in  /boot/defaults/loader.conf is adjusted for use of serial port:
    in following lines I have changed parameters (easy to find)

    comconsole_speed="115200"       # Set the current serial console speed
    console="comconsole,vidconsole"  # A comma separated list of console(s)
    

    So, my t5725 box is working fine for now. It uses WiFi as wan connection (this is the only way I can get to ADSL router from another building) and integrated NIC is my LAN connection.
    If anyone is trying to make HP ThinClient t5725, t5720 or t5735 I hope that this experience of mine will be helpful.



  • I have t5720 with 512Mb RAM/ 512Mb IDE DOM with latest BIOS 1.12.

    After installing of pfSense 2.2.6 (2.3 is too big for this DOM) I have the same flooding as here: https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=46835.0

    Disabling of ACPI is a solution, but worst. Because only small part of ACPI is failed. I have added just disabling of thermal support in ACPI: I have added to /boot/loader.conf.local just this line:

    debug.acpi.disabled="thermal"
    

    It solved a flooding issue. And I have other ACPI functions, like power button support, correct shutdown.