Subject: Re: Soekris
To: Andrew Gillham <>
From: Jukka Marin <>
List: current-users
Date: 05/08/2003 23:30:59
On Thu, May 08, 2003 at 10:28:02AM -0700, Andrew Gillham wrote:
> > 1. The boot delay (5-sec countdown before kernel load) does not work.
> >    Soekris proceeds to load the kernel immediately, so we can't change
> >    the name of the kernel that is loaded.
> As a workaround you can hit space several times starting when you see the
> 5 second countdown to enter the monitor.

Ah.  We'll try that.  But I still hope there will be a real solution to
this (the Soekris boxen are spread over a large area and we only have
remote access to them>.

> > 2. Serial ports "duplicate" outgoing characters every now and then.  When
> >    a character is duplicated, the previous character is lost.  Example:
> > 
> >    kbc selftsst: ffffffff
> I have never noticed this problem.  I have the latest BIOS and I am running
> -current.  So it might be a 1.6.1 issue.  Oh, I am running at 9600bps also.

We're using 38400 bps and 1.6.1.  But 1.6.1 works Just Fine on other pc
hardware (well, that doesn't prove anything..).

> > 3. Ethernet problems.  Both at 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps, it seems that received
> >    packets are lost, which causes TCP retransmissions and short delays in
> >    interactive shell use (and file transfer).  I'm seeing these ?n syslog:
> My ethernet works great.  This may be a result of the "short cable" patch
> that wasn't committed until recently.  I don't believe it made it to 1.6.1.
> You can use cvsweb to diff 1.77 and 1.78 of if_sip.c.

Sami patched the 1.6.1 driver (imported the changes from -current), but
we are still seeing problems.  Part of the problems _may_ be caused by
Realtek cards (although they have been working fine on my machines before,
AFAICT).  We haven't been able to find a pattern yet.

> Get rid of the card. :)  My 'SunDisk SDCFB-16' works fine.  I can't remember
> if I tested my 64MB and 128MB cards.  My 16MB card is a bit tight on space
> so I might be using one of the larger ones before too long.

Well, Kingston was cheap :)  (Yeah, now we know why.)  We use 128 MB cards
because they weren't all that expensive.  We dropped base.tgz, etc.tgz,
man.tgz and a few packages from pkgsrc + our own config stuff on the card.
Sure, we could fit it all in 16 MB or so, but we saw no point in doing that.
With a 128 MB card, it will be easier to upgrade NetBSD (just extract the
new versions of the tarballs) without the need to manually tune the system
for minimum FLASH consumption.

> > BTW, we have a simple driver for NetBSD 1.6 which can control the GPIO
> > signals of the Soekris boards.  We use it to strobe the external watchdog
> > and reset external systems.
> Sounds cool.  Are you willing to send-pr it?

I think Sami's going to do something like that soon :)