Running on Bare Metal

Intel Atom C3000

I opted to get one of the new Intel Atom C3000 CPUs to spawn VyOS on it. Running VyOS on an UEFI only device is supported as of VyOS release 1.2.

Shopping Cart

  • 1x Supermicro CSE-505-203B (19” 1U chassis, inkl. 200W PSU)
  • 1x Supermicro MCP-260-00085-0B (I/O Shield for A2SDi-2C-HLN4F)
  • 1x Supermicro A2SDi-2C-HLN4F (Intel Atom C3338, 2C/2T, 4MB cache, Quad LAN with Intel C3000 SoC 1GbE)
  • 1x Crucial CT4G4DFS824A (4GB DDR4 RAM 2400 MT/s, PC4-19200)
  • 1x SanDisk Ultra Fit 32GB (USB-A 3.0 SDCZ43-032G-G46 mass storage for OS)
  • 1x Supermicro MCP-320-81302-0B (optional FAN tray)

Optional (10GE)

If you wan’t to get additional ethernet ports or even 10GE connectivity the following optional parts will be required:

  • 1x Supermicro RSC-RR1U-E8 (Riser Card)
  • 1x Supermicro MCP-120-00063-0N (Riser Card Bracket)

Latest VyOS rolling releases boot without any problem on this board. You also receive a nice IPMI interface realized with an ASPEED AST2400 BMC (no information about OpenBMC so far on this motherboard).

Pictures

CSE-505-203B Back
CSE-505-203B Front
CSE-505-203B Open 1
CSE-505-203B Open 2
CSE-505-203B Open 3
CSE-505-203B w/ 10GE Open 1
CSE-505-203B w/ 10GE Open 2
CSE-505-203B w/ 10GE Open 3
CSE-505-203B w/ 10GE Open

PC Engines APU4

As this platform seems to be quiet common in terms of noise, cost, power and performance it makes sense to write a small installation manual.

This guide was developed using an APU4C4 board with the following specs:

  • AMD Embedded G series GX-412TC, 1 GHz quad Jaguar core with 64 bit and AES-NI support, 32K data + 32K instruction cache per core, shared 2MB L2 cache.
  • 4 GB DDR3-1333 DRAM, with optional ECC support
  • About 6 to 10W of 12V DC power depending on CPU load
  • 2 miniPCI express (one with SIM socket for 3G modem).
  • 4 Gigabit Ethernet channels using Intel i211AT NICs

The board can be powered via 12V from the front or via a 5V onboard connector.

Shopping Cart

  • 1x apu4c4 = 4 i211AT LAN / AMD GX-412TC CPU / 4 GB DRAM / dual SIM
  • 1x Kingston SUV500MS/120G
  • 1x VARIA Group Item 326745 19” dual rack for APU4
  • 1x Compex WLE900VX (Optional mini PCIe WiFi module)

The 19” enclosure can accomodate up to two APU4 boards - there is a single and dual front cover.

Note

Compex WLE900VX is only supported in mPCIe slot 1.

VyOS 1.2 (crux)

Depending on the VyOS versions you intend to install there is a difference in the serial port settings (T1327).

Create a bootable USB pendrive using e.g. Rufus on a Windows machine.

Connect serial port to a PC through null modem cable (RXD / TXD crossed over). Set terminal emulator to 115200 8N1.

PC Engines apu4
coreboot build 20171130
BIOS version v4.6.4
4080 MB ECC DRAM
SeaBIOS (version rel-1.11.0.1-0-g90da88d)

Press F10 key now for boot menu:

Select boot device:

1. ata0-0: KINGSTON SUV500MS120G ATA-11 Hard-Disk (111 GiBytes)
2. USB MSC Drive Generic Flash Disk 8.07
3. Payload [memtest]
4. Payload [setup]

Now boot from the USB MSC Drive Generic Flash Disk 8.07 media by pressing 2, the VyOS boot menu will appear, just wait 10 seconds or press Enter to continue.

lqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqk
x                      VyOS - Boot Menu                      x
tqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqu
x Live (amd64-vyos)                                          x
x Live (amd64-vyos failsafe)                                 x
x                                                            x
mqqqqqqPress ENAutomatic boot in 10 seconds...nu entryqqqqqqqj

The image will be loaded and the last lines you will get will be:

Loading /live/vmlinuz... ok
Loading /live/initrd.img...

The Kernel will now spin up using a different console setting. Set terminal emulator to 9600 8N1 and after a while your console will show:

Loading /live/vmlinuz... ok
Loading /live/initrd.img...
Welcome to VyOS - vyos ttyS0

vyos login:

You can now proceed with a regular image installation as described in Installation.

As the APU board itself still used a serial setting of 115200 8N1 it is strongly recommended that you change the VyOS serial interface settings after your first successful boot.

Use the following command to adjust the Serial console settings:

set system console device ttyS0 speed 115200

Note

Once you commit the above changes access to the serial interface is lost until you set your terminal emulator to 115200 8N1 again.

vyos@vyos# show system console
 device ttyS0 {
   speed 115200
 }

VyOS 1.2 (rolling)

Installing the rolling release on an APU2 board does not require any change on the serial console from your host side as T1327 was successfully implemented.

Simply proceed with a regular image installation as described in Installation.

Pictures

Note

Both device types operate without any moving parts and emit zero noise.

Rack Mount

APU4C4 rack closed
APU4C4 rack front
APU4C4 rack module #1
APU4C4 rack module #2
APU4C4 rack module #3 with PSU

Desktop

APU4C4 desktop closed
APU4C4 desktop closed
APU4C4 desktop back
APU4C4 desktop back

Qotom Q355G4

The install on this Q355G4 box is pretty much plug and play. The port numbering the OS does might differ from the labels on the outside, but the UEFI firmware has a port blink test built in with MAC adresses so you can very quickly identify which is which. MAC labels are on the inside as well, and this test can be done from VyOS or plain Linux too. Default settings in the UEFI will make it boot, but depending on your installation wishes (i.e. storage type, boot type, console type) you might want to adjust them. This Qotom company seems to be the real OEM/ODM for many other relabelling companies like Protectli.

Hardware

There are a number of other options, but they all seem to be close to Intel reference designs, with added features like more serial ports, more network interfaces and the likes. Because they don’t deviate too much from standard designs all the hardware is well-supported by mainline. It accepts one LPDDR3 SO-DIMM, but chances are that if you need more than that, you’ll also want something even beefier than an i5. There are options for antenna holes, and SIM slots, so you could in theory add an LTE/Cell modem (not tested so far).

The chassis is a U-shaped alu extrusion with removable I/O plates and removable bottom plate. Cooling is completely passive with a heatsink on the SoC with internal and external fins, a flat interface surface, thermal pad on top of that, which then directly attaches to the chassis, which has fins as well. It comes with mounting hardware and rubber feet, so you could place it like a desktop model or mount it on a VESA mount, or even wall mount it with the provided mounting plate. The closing plate doubles as internal 2.5” mounting place for an HDD or SSD, and comes supplied with a small SATA cable and SATA power cable.

Power supply is a 12VDC barrel jack, and included switching power supply, which is why SATA power regulation is on-board. Internally it has a NUC-board-style on-board 12V input header as well, the molex locking style.

There are WDT options and auto-boot on power enable, which is great for remote setups. Firmware is reasonably secure (no backdoors found, BootGuard is enabled in enforcement mode, which is good but also means no coreboot option), yet has most options available to configure (so it’s not locked out like most firmwares are).

An external RS232 serial port is available, internally a GPIO header as well. It does have Realtek based audio on board for some reason, but you can disable that. Booting works on both USB2 and USB3 ports. Switching between serial BIOS mode and HDMI BIOS mode depends on what is connected at startup; it goes into serial mode if you disconnect HDMI and plug in serial, in all other cases it’s HDMI mode.

Partaker i5

../_images/600px-Partaker-i5.jpg

I believe this is actually the same hardware as the Protectli. I purchased it from Amazon in June 2018. It came pre-loaded with pfSense.

Manufacturer product page.

Installation

  • Write VyOS ISO to USB drive of some sort
  • Plug in VGA, power, USB keyboard, and USB drive
  • Press “SW” button on the front (this is the power button; I don’t know what “SW” is supposed to mean).
  • Begin rapidly pressing delete on the keyboard. The boot prompt is very quick, but with a few tries you should be able to get into the BIOS.
  • Chipset > South Bridge > USB Configuration: set XHCI to Disabled and USB 2.0 (EHCI) to Enabled. Without doing this, the USB drive won’t boot.
  • Boot to the VyOS installer and install as usual.

Warning the interface labels on my device are backwards; the left-most “LAN4” port is eth0 and the right-most “LAN1” port is eth3.

Acrosser AND-J190N1

../_images/480px-Acrosser_ANDJ190N1_Front.jpg
../_images/480px-Acrosser_ANDJ190N1_Back.jpg

This microbox network appliance was build to create OpenVPN bridges. It can saturate a 100Mbps link. It is a small (serial console only) PC with 6 Gb LAN http://www.acrosser.com/upload/AND-J190_J180N1-2.pdf

You may have to add your own RAM and HDD/SSD. There is no VGA connector. But Acrosser provides a DB25 adapter for the VGA header on the motherboard (not used).

BIOS Settings:

First thing you want to do is getting a more user friendly console to configure BIOS. Default VT100 brings a lot of issues. Configure VT100+ instead.

For practical issues change speed from 115200 to 9600. 9600 is the default speed at which both linux kernel and VyOS will reconfigure the serial port when loading.

Connect to serial (115200bps). Power on the appliance and press Del in the console when requested to enter BIOS settings.

Advanced > Serial Port Console Redirection > Console Redirection Settings:

  • Terminal Type : VT100+
  • Bits per second : 9600

Save, reboot and change serial speed to 9600 on your client.

Some options have to be changed for VyOS to boot correctly. With XHCI enabled the installer can’t access the USB key. Enable EHCI instead.

Reboot into BIOS, Chipset > South Bridge > USB Configuration:

  • Disable XHCI
  • Enable USB 2.0 (EHCI) Support

Install VyOS:

Create a VyOS bootable USB key. I used the 64-bit ISO (VyOS 1.1.7) and LinuxLive USB Creator.

I’m not sure if it helps the process but I changed default option to live-serial (line “default xxxx”) on the USB key under syslinux/syslinux.cfg.

I connected the key to one black USB port on the back and powered on. The first VyOS screen has some readability issues. Press Enter to continue.

Then VyOS should boot and you can perform the install image