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Re: Looking for suggestions for small, low power machine


The Bifferboard (www.bifferos.com) is well suited to what you are
doing, however NetBSD won't run on it.  I'm prepared to help anyone
who wants to port it, however it needs NetBSD to support a 386 cpu.
It also needs an R6040 ethernet driver to be written, but that's a
fairly easy exercise as I already have example code (my own work, not
copied from Linux).

The Bifferboard BIOS is able to boot Multiboot binaries from flash, so
the later versions of NetBSD should sort-of work, however at the same
time you need to go back to earlier versions of NetBSD to allow a boot
on such 'old' hardware (no APIC, no cpuid etc...).  I was trying to
unravel this last year, but eventually gave up.  I presume this would
be a lot easier for someone who's worked on the x86 port, perhaps
whoever took out the 386 support in the first place (I've no idea if
that decision was made explicitly, and can be reversed).

I can provide discounted hardware to anyone wanting to work on this.

best regards,

On Wed, May 25, 2011 at 6:11 AM, Jukka Marin <jmarin%embedtronics.fi@localhost> 
> On Tue, May 24, 2011 at 05:36:05PM -0700, Chuck Swiger wrote:
>> I've been reasonably happy with Soekris 4511 and 5501 boxes for light 
>> network router/firewall/proxy/dhcpd roles:
>>   http://soekris.com/products/net5501.html
>> ...and they worked well with NetBSD 3.x & 4.x.  They're completely silent 
>> (if using CF cards), and run
> Is it easy to install NetBSD on these?  I think there were some quirks when
> we were using older Soekris boards (many) years ago.
> Wish I had the time to try porting NetBSD to AT91SAM9G20 (we have some hw
> for that, but I don't like running linux on it).
>  -jm

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