2.3-beta on ALIX?

  • I'm trying to setup a testbed on an older ALIX2D2 hardware that I have lying around.
    I tested several nano installs on 4GB CF cards, none of them was half way responsive in a way I would call it usable.
    Slow with 100% CPU load nearly constantly, at least after any kind of "save" operation for several minutes.

    Is this expected behavior and obsoletes ALIX hardware for 2.3 or am I facing a hardware problem (board, CF, …)

  • i use the same in home production and the GUI is slow but saving changes slowness is due to the CF being mounted from read only to read/write and that takes time on certain CF cards so i just leave it permanently RW mounted always.
    the GUI being slow is same with me compared to 2.2.6 but i guess with so many GUI changes its how it will work and i too see the CPU jumping to 100% when i play around in the web GUI

  • Maybe it's worth trying one of those cards:

  • A hint from a dev would have helped sorting things out faster.
    Going to test with a new CF card once it arrives (already check two different types) but I don't hold my breath.

  • You probably want to keep it permanently rw mounted and see what that does.

  • I will check that and report back but I consider it a testing work around only.

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    I still have an ALIX I use for testing and it runs 2.3 OK but only with permanent RW enabled. Without that enabled it is quite slow especially attempting to check for updates or run an update

    The platform is EOL and known to be slow, especially with iffy CF cards, so be willing to make some compromises to keep it in service.

    Honestly the way the NanoBSD pfSense platform was designed, the RO/RW switch is just a formality. It won't magically allow or make a lot of extra writes to the CF just because that switch is turned on. All of the volatile stuff still happens in RAM disks.

  • Thanks for the heads-up, guys! New CF card coming in tomorrow. Looking forward to testing with that one.

  • New CF card arrived and is now installed with 2.3-beta in constant r/w access.
    Performance is way better than before with the CPU still spiking to 100% ever minute or so. Idling around 30% to 55% most of the time, occasionally dropping to 1% but very rare.

    Reminds me of the times when we were installing m0n0wall on old Nokia IP110s.
    cmb once had a nice article about this setup in his blog. [/feeling_old]

  • It's mostly responsive now in r/w mode for me. Without I would get many nginx server timeout when trying to do many things, there are a few things that are stil slow though.

    Updating takes about 45 minutes due to the very slow writes, but I also have an APU with sdhc card, this is even slower without r/w, around 6 minutes to switch. Update from console takes about an hour and 20 minutes on that :(

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate


    I also have an APU with sdhc card, this is even slower without r/w, around 6 minutes to switch. Update from console takes about an hour and 20 minutes on that :(

    Drop an mSATA in there, you don't be unhappy. Even a small (~16GB) one. CF/SDHC can make even newish hardware feel old. :-)

  • Have you considered or tried installing on a USB flash drive?

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