Replacing Home Router With PC

Nerius Landys nlandys at
Fri Mar 12 18:26:11 UTC 2010

> Yep! Geode-based boxes are great. The ALIX boards are looking like
> Soekris gear, which I'm very happy with (of course running FreeBSD):

Is there a nice guide that explains how to install FreeBSD onto a
headless system (such as one of these small devices) via serial port?
I've done this once before but it was long ago, and it was actually an
install via floppy disk and CD-ROM combination (IIRC), so that
procedure would not apply here (regarding these tiny devices mentioned
above).  The Handbook contains some explanation regarding serial
communication, but I don't believe they really explain _installing_
onto a headless system.  Also, in the past, I've had problems
installing FreeBSD via CD-ROM drive that was connected as a USB.  I
know that in the past FreeBSD didn't support booting via USB device,
maybe they have fixed that?  My last encounter with the USB-boot
problem was with my 1U server that didn't have a CD-ROM drive; I was
not able to install i386 7.0 onto that.  I had to open the 1U case and
temporarily hook up an IDE CD-ROM drive.  If I remember correctly,
trying to boot from a USB CD-ROM would result in getting a TON of
garbled text scrolling across the screen.  I actually posted about
that about 2 years back, and the responses indicated that booting via
USB device was not supported.

My imagination would tell me that to install FreeBSD onto one of these
tiny devices, I would first create an ISO image that would basically
use serial communication for everything, then burn that to a CD, then
boot via USB CD-ROM drive, while having another computer connected to
the serial port of the tiny device (via null modem cable) and using a
command-line tool such as ``cu'' from the other computer.

I would be very interested into looking into purchasing one of these
small devices, but I'm really scared about the FreeBSD install

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