[9fans] Soekris 5501s (was kenfs) - Plan9

This is a discussion on [9fans] Soekris 5501s (was kenfs) - Plan9 ; We have about a dozen Soekris 5501-70s here. We bought the first ones a few months ago, and have fixed or finished a few things as a result. Some of our machines have laptop IDE disks in them and most ...

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Thread: [9fans] Soekris 5501s (was kenfs)

  1. [9fans] Soekris 5501s (was kenfs)

    We have about a dozen Soekris 5501-70s here. We bought the first ones
    a few months ago, and have fixed or finished a few things as a result.
    Some of our machines have laptop IDE disks in them and most have
    compact flash cards to hold at least nvram, for booting as cpu
    servers.

    Sape was inspired to finish USB OHCI support, since the 5501s have no
    UHCI controllers.

    There's something a little odd about the serial console. It tries to
    interpret characters written to the (normally non-existent) CGA
    display and emit them on the serial console. We ended up running the
    serial consoles at 9600 baud and tweaking 9load to set this speed
    early on, since otherwise we lost console output for a time.

    We have used at least 3 of the 4 Ethernet ports concurrently. The
    four Ethernet interfaces are 10/100Mb/s `VIA Technology VT6105M Rhine
    III Management Adapters' (PCI vendor id 1106 and device id 3053).
    They work fine with the current ethervt6102.c except that it doesn't
    seem to initialise them perfectly correctly, and once in a while at
    boot time they stop talking; power cycling the machine usually
    corrects the problem.

    Independently of that problem, the machines don't always come up
    reliably after cycling their power.

    The built-in controllers are all AMD CS5536 parts (vendor id 1022).
    The IDE controller (which has a SATA connector on the motherboard) is
    device id 209a, the OHCI is 2094, and the EHCI is 2095.

    The optional (S)ATA disk can probably be jumpered to be either master
    or slave, but the only way I know to set the compact flash card's
    master/slave setting is via the BIOS (`set flash=primary' or `set
    flash=secondary', as I recall). The BIOS is not a typical PC BIOS
    because there is no built-in VGA controller on the motherboard, though
    there is a PCI slot into which one could insert a VGA card (we haven't
    yet). The BIOS does implement PXE booting and we use that.

  2. Re: [9fans] Soekris 5501s (was kenfs)

    thanks for the information, geoff.

    do you happen to know if the sata and pata ports are
    independent?

    another point of data, the 4801 also works with plan 9,
    given a bios != 1.20.

    - erik

  3. Re: [9fans] Soekris 5501s (was kenfs)

    Since there's only an IDE controller, I assume that the SATA port is
    connected to it and runs any SATA device in non-AHCI (IDE-compatible)
    mode.


  4. Re: [9fans] Soekris 5501s (was kenfs)

    hi,

    thanks, geoff. this is really a good news!!

    i will try to order a 5501 box to play with it.

    i have a quick question: any guess on whether lan1641 will work? i think it
    should wok since it has National Semiconductor DP83816 chip but just wanted
    to confirm.

    regards
    dharani


  5. Re: [9fans] Soekris 5501s (was kenfs)

    >
    > i have a quick question: any guess on whether lan1641 will work? i think it
    > should wok since it has National Semiconductor DP83816 chip but just wanted
    > to confirm.


    i have a 4801 with a 3 dp83816 chips and it works fine.

    - erik

  6. Re: [9fans] Soekris 5501s (was kenfs)

    Somebody asked why I don't use these boards. The main reason was that,
    whlie they are really great systems, they were not quite hackable
    enough for BIOS work. Plus, the VGA->serial hardware is not something
    I need or want, since I run my own BIOS.

    I'm using two different systems with identical chipsets,
    http://www.pcengines.ch/alix1c.htm
    and
    http://www.artecgroup.com/thincan/

    Artec is particulary interesting since their "LPC dongle" is now
    documented at open hardware -- schematics, VHDL, the whole deal.

    They're both really nice systems. Both run coreboot (aka LinuxBIOS)
    and I'm going to try to embed Plan 9 in the thincan BIOS.

    But the soekris systems are quite nice, no doubt about it!

    ron

  7. Re: [9fans] Soekris 5501s (was kenfs)

    hi erik and ron,

    thanks for the response.

    regards
    dharani


  8. Re: [9fans] Soekris 5501s (was kenfs)

    > http://www.pcengines.ch/alix1c.htm

    Have you got a plan9 compatible SATA card to
    work inb the pci slot?

    This could replace my noisy and power
    hungry home server.

    -Steve

  9. Re: [9fans] Soekris 5501s (was kenfs)

    On Tue Feb 26 17:30:47 EST 2008, steve@quintile.net wrote:
    > > http://www.pcengines.ch/alix1c.htm

    >
    > Have you got a plan9 compatible SATA card to
    > work inb the pci slot?
    >
    > This could replace my noisy and power
    > hungry home server.


    this card is pci-x, but does work in pci slots:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815121009

    - erik

  10. Re: [9fans] Soekris 5501s (was kenfs)

    On Tue Feb 26 14:25:49 EST 2008, rminnich@gmail.com wrote:
    > Somebody asked why I don't use these boards. The main reason was that,
    > whlie they are really great systems, they were not quite hackable
    > enough for BIOS work. Plus, the VGA->serial hardware is not something
    > I need or want, since I run my own BIOS.
    >
    > I'm using two different systems with identical chipsets,
    > http://www.pcengines.ch/alix1c.htm
    > and
    > http://www.artecgroup.com/thincan/


    does anyone know what gbe chip they're using in the '62?
    i couldn't find any documentation on their website.

    - erik

  11. Re: [9fans] Soekris 5501s (was kenfs)

    On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 3:07 PM, erik quanstrom wrote:

    > does anyone know what gbe chip they're using in the '62?
    > i couldn't find any documentation on their website.
    >


    I will try to check tonight or tomorrow. I have one at home all cracked open.

    ron

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