[nycbug-talk] Soekris/PCEngines-ALIX USB Bug

Isaac Levy ike at lesmuug.org
Mon Aug 11 21:18:41 EDT 2008

Wow, Thanks Chris,

On Aug 10, 2008, at 4:39 PM, Chris Buechler wrote:

> Miles Nordin wrote:
>> AIUI, disabling ehci just makes it usb 1.x speed.
> That's the end result, but the reason for doing it with ALIX boards is
> so they don't panic at boot. They used to not boot FreeBSD without
> disabling ehci because of the panic. It's been about a year so my  
> memory
> of the issue is a bit foggy.
> This has been fixed though, myself and a couple other pfSense  
> developers
> worked with Pascal at PC Engines to get these issues resolved and make
> sure the boards run FreeBSD/pfSense reliably, back before they were
> available for purchase. Though I can't say I've actually used the USB
> ports for anything to date. All the cases I have don't even have an
> opening for the USB ports, though my test boards aren't in a case  
> anyway.
> Ike - the fix is to make sure you have the latest BIOS on them, I'm  
> not
> aware of any issues with boards that have the v0.99 BIOS and FreeBSD  
> 6.x
> and 7.x. You can grab it here. http://pcengines.ch/alix2.htm  There is
> one remaining quirk I'm aware of, they won't boot from a disk > 4 GB  
> due
> to another BIOS issue.
> The vr(4) driver in FreeBSD 6.x and 7.x can be less than stellar at
> times, if you check the commit log on RELENG_7 you'll see a *long*  
> list
> of vr(4) fixes, so that should get better in the future. There's only
> one line diff in if_vr.c between RELENG_6_3 and RELENG_7_0 so the  
> issues
> aren't any better in 7.0 than in 6.3. The issues don't seem to affect
> the vast majority of people, and I have not had any problems with the
> ones I have in production, but CARP on them seems to be problematic.  
> If
> I were building a stock FreeBSD for one, I'd go with RELENG_7 if it
> proved reliable for the intended usage.
> Aside from the BIOS issues, which have largely been resolved, they're
> great little boards. Thankfully to date they haven't had the same  
> issues
> seen in the Soekris 5501, there have been a few hardware problems with
> those that require shipping the boards back for repair. BIOS issues  
> are
> easier to cope with.
> Can't say I've tried OpenBSD on them though, so I can't offer any
> suggestions there.
> best,
> Chris

Yes- I'll be sticking with 7x FreeBSD, perhaps RELENG will be sane-  
but the vr(4) issues are a definite show stopper for my uses (carp!),  
and move me towards the Soekris units...  Will be testing here...

Thanks again-


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