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Date:      Fri, 1 Jul 2011 01:15:15 +0200
From:      Maciej Milewski <milu@dat.pl>
To:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Cc:        Chris Brennan <xaero@xaerolimit.net>
Subject:   Re: Looking to build a router box, seeking some general advice
Message-ID:  <201107010115.16098.milu@dat.pl>
In-Reply-To: <20110630223451.GA23355@gmail.com>
References:  <20110630223451.GA23355@gmail.com>

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Hi Chris,

On Friday 01 of July 2011 00:34:52 Chris Brennan wrote:
> Greetings!
> 
> While trying to learn IPv6 as best as I can and messing with my Linksys
> WRT54Gv3 router running DD-WRT, I realized that it cannot properly do
> IPv6 yet. This leaves me rather limited. More then once some people on
> IRC who were helping me with this suggested I build my own router, this
> has been something I've been looking to do for quite some time and this
> might be the fire I need lit to get motivated. The overall suggested
> board was an ALIX board[1] from PC Engines[1].
> 
> This is all rather new to me so I am unsure where to go from here, what
> all is needed (a breakdown of necessary/optional hardware/items). The
> memory and cpu I know I could google for w/o much issue. What I foresaw
> as problematic was a case for the device and a power supply. Are these
> just as easily googled for? Inversely, instead of me building my own
> (which would be great experience!) is there a place that sells devices
> such as these pre-assembled?
>
> The reason I direct this question here is because I do intend to use
> FreeBSD as the devices OS and figured who better to ask!
>
> [1] http://pcengines.ch/alix.htm

Case for Alix shouldn't be a problem. Many universal ones may be used 
(although they may be larger than your needs f.ex. external ones with 
integrated antennas)
I took the PS, aluminium case for home/office use and board from one seller and 
it all fits and works fine. You may even make your own case if you want :)
Usually Alix boards have wide range of PS support. F.ex. Alix.2/6 input 
voltage is 7 to 20V DC. I tried many Linksys/Netgear 12V/1A PS and they worked 
fine. The only thing which may be different is power jack, sometimes they make 
different diameters for different routers. AFAIR Alix use 2,5mm. The CF cards 
are not a problem on the market. You'll need to select if you want to use 
pfsense or normal FreeBSD(NanoBSD builds). In /usr/src/tools/tools/nanobsd you 
should find example build for PCEngines board. NanoBSD with Alix is very nice 
connection. You may create two root slices/parts, config and data. This eases 
upgrade procedure - you'll always have old working system and the new one. 
Root is mounted in read-only mode so eventual power loss will not be a 
problem.
Taking Alix(or any x86 compatible board) and having i386 buildhost environment 
you may install packages from ports to your prepared image.

For router you may use ARM or MIPS boards too but they need to be crossbuilt 
and may need more work to setup them and of course their prices may be higher 
than Alix. You should find some info about them on the wiki.freebsd.org

Kind regards,
Maciej



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