Archive for June, 2009

Installing Linux on ALIX.2D2

June 17th, 2009 bk 1 comment

Recently I got myself ALIX.2D2 board from PC Engines as a replacement to old, bulky and loud midi tower serving as ADSL router/firewall/general purpose server. ALIX boards are small (15×15 cm), fan-less and relatively cheap – whole package including case, wireless card, shipping and taxes came to about $200.

CPU: 500 MHz AMD Geode LX800
Storage: CompactFlash socket
Expansion: 2 miniPCI slots
Connectivity: 2 Ethernet channels (10/100)
I/O: DB9 serial port, dual USB port
Board size: 6 x 6″ (152.4 x 152.4 mm)

AMD Geoge CPU shows about 1000 BogoMIPS, comparing to Pentium III 677 MHz which has 1300 BogoMIPS. And of course 256MB RAM is more that enough for small Linux box.

Since boards are meant for embedded devices they come without VGA port, so OS installation isn’t straight forward, but not too complex either. One of Linux distribution designed especially for such devices is Voyage Linux. It’s Debian based and fits into 128MB Compact Flash card.

I used 256MB CF from old camera. Plugged it into USB reader connected to my old Linux server, ran setup script and in few minutes ALIX was ready to boot.

Voyage Linux is definitely nice distribution for small systems, comes with wireless card drivers an preconfigured for ALIX’s LEDs and temperature sensors. But since I never was Debian fan I decided to install something more Red Hat based, like CentOS or Fedora. About it in the next post.

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