Configuring the ALIX.2c3

Project:
Replace older servers with low-power, no-moving-parts SBC.

Background:
I have a log-host that is dedicated to receiving and analyzing firewall log events. This is a standard desktop system that is approaching 10 years old.
I have another desktop machine that is responsible for:
*DNS/DHCP
*Optical Scanner
*Laser Printer
*SSH host
*Media Server
This machine is also close to 10 years old.

Neither of these machines work particularly hard. I want to combine the tasks of both machines onto a single machine, and the lowest power machine I can reasonably use.

After almost no analysis I selected the Alix2c3.

  • x86 based
  • Runs Linux
  • Low power (5w claimed)
  • It was in stock

Starting State
I had a CF card laying around so I counted it as 'free'.

Parts List
Description Price
CAD$ 203.13
ALIX.2C3 - 3 LAN / 1 miniPCI / LX800 / 256 MB / USB (ALIX.2C3) CAD$ 171.25
ALIX.2C3 Black Indoor Case (CASE1C2BLKU) CAD$ 18.75
18VDC Regulated Power Supply for SBC boards (SYS1308-1818) CAD$ 13.13
256MB Compact Flash card CAD$ 0.00

Current State:
Here is how I installed Voyage Linux on the CF card.
Place CF card in USB multi-card reader/writer, plug into desktop.
The CF card was detected as /dev/sda on my desktop machine.
/sbin/mkfs -t ext2 /dev/sda1
tune2fs -c 0 /dev/sda1

The installation was trivial:
cd /tmp
wget http://www.voyage.hk/download/voyage/voyage-lenny.tar.bz2
tar -jxvf voyage-lenny.tar.bz2

Now we need to get the image onto the flash drive:
usr/local/sbin/voyage.update

When you've done this you'll have Voyage Linux installed on the flash drive. Unmount the flash drive and install it into the SBC. At this point the SBC will boot Voyage Linux.

Resources:
Canadian ordering through: http://www.xagyl.com/
Manual: http://www.pcengines.ch/pdf/alix2.pdf
Voyage Linux: http://wiki.voyage.hk/dokuwiki/doku.php