Compact Freebsd 'appliance'

Manolis Kiagias sonicy at
Thu Jun 18 22:25:11 UTC 2009

Tim Judd wrote:
> On 6/18/09, John Almberg <jalmberg at> wrote:
>> On Jun 18, 2009, at 4:14 PM, Tim Judd wrote:
>>> What kind of application?  This is so we can gear a hardware that is
>>> powerful enough to power your application.
>>> Naming the application and/or website would be a good addition.
>> It's main purpose is to fetch videos off a local server (i.e., on the
>> same lan it's plugged into), convert them into flash videos, and
>> upload them to a remote server.
>> There will also be a small web application that will be used to
>> manage the application.
>> Why do we need this little box, at all? I.e., why can't the whole
>> thing be done by a remote server? It probably could, but my client
>> feels that this little box makes his service 'concrete' and easier to
>> sell. It's something his customers can hold and marvel at.
>> Marketing... go figure.
>> I'm thinking something like the Intel BOXD945GCLF2D Intel Atom
>> processor 330 Intel 945GC Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo, might do
>> the trick.
>> -- John
> John, so I'd use a system board like you described in preference to
> all other boards that are referenced or called a "embedded" board.
> Video processing can be very CPU intensive, plus RAM intensive.  I
> didn't actually look at that product you posted, but that would be the
> gear I would start looking at.
> I've read reports (and forgotten it's source since then) that some
> Intel Atom processors work well, some don't with FreeBSD.  This was
> something I read within a couple months, so I would see if anyone here
> can provide input on pros and cons on weather that particular Atom
> model number is well received and well tested.
> Nothing like developing a product based on inadequate or crappy
> hardware OR support.  Do lots of prototypes, that's the only sure way
> to test.
> --Tim

There was a discussion on this a few days ago. I happen to have one of
these Atom based systems, a Shuttle X27D:

CPU: Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU  330   @ 1.60GHz (1596.01-MHz 686-class CPU)
  Origin = "GenuineIntel"  Id = 0x106c2  Stepping = 2
  AMD Features=0x20100000<NX,LM>
  AMD Features2=0x1<LAHF>
  Cores per package: 2
  Logical CPUs per core: 2
real memory  = 2137915392 (2038 MB)
avail memory = 2086662144 (1989 MB)
ACPI APIC Table: <Shuttl Shuttle >
FreeBSD/SMP: Multiprocessor System Detected: 4 CPUs
 cpu0 (BSP): APIC ID:  0
 cpu1 (AP/HT): APIC ID:  1
 cpu2 (AP): APIC ID:  2
 cpu3 (AP/HT): APIC ID:  3
ioapic0: Changing APIC ID to 4
ioapic0 <Version 2.0> irqs 0-23

This works nicely with FreeBSD (needs only a sysctl setting to hush some
messages on absurd temperature measurements - all onboard devices
work).  One disappointing thing about it: the one and only fan in the
system failed about after a week of continuous operation.

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