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Offline stefb

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Raspberry pi
« on: October 25, 2012, 06:47:15 pm »
Hi All

I got my hands on a raspberry pi and it works great with linux

SD support, usb, one 100mb/s ethernet, 700 mhz overclockable arm chip; 256 mb ram or 512 in the newest, so i think it could be good at hosting pfsense, but it seem's armv6 just made it's way in the freebsd kernel, so we are a long way ;-)

http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-hackers/2012-August/040263.html
 

Offline cmb

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Re: Raspberry pi
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2012, 07:06:04 pm »
It's a neat platform for many things, but it's a really poor piece of hardware for networking. We may see some alternate architectures in the future, but the Pi is highly unlikely as it's just not a good piece of hardware for that kind of usage.

Offline jimp

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Re: Raspberry pi
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 09:41:08 am »
the USB-based networking alone would make me shy away from it as a firewall platform, even if the other specs sound good on paper.
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Offline matguy

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Re: Raspberry pi
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2012, 10:56:40 am »
Remember, this was designed to be a cheap development board for learning environments, like schools and such.  While it is capable of some neat things, it certainly wasn't designed to be a long term appliance.

Offline jimp

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Re: Raspberry pi
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2012, 11:01:33 am »
Agreed. Don't get me wrong, I'd love one to hack on, but I'm not sure I'd put it into "production" in a serious role.
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Offline stefb

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Re: Raspberry pi
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2012, 04:41:17 pm »
In my opinion it would have made a great portable 3g wifi router/ap with fun features but no more of course :-)

Offline matguy

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Re: Raspberry pi
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2012, 05:52:17 pm »
In my opinion it would have made a great portable 3g wifi router/ap with fun features but no more of course :-)

If Ethernet wasn't USB and there was supported onboard WiFi, or any onboard Wifi, maybe.  3g support wouldn't be a whole lot better as the only way to connect it would be via USB and many cell based data USB adapters pull a lot of power from USB (some have batteries to overcome their peak power draw.)

The main issue with USB for NICs is that they can be very flaky when used in such a manner.  Routers are generally expected to be always on with no drop-outs.  A USB adapter often doesn't really offer that, especially once you start putting multiple of them on a USB bus.  The USB offerings on a Pi only has 2 ports and should be expected to offer no more than 100ma per port.  People using the Pi are encouraged to use powered USB hubs with the Pi.  So, to support USB WiFi and a 3g adapter, you're going to also need to add a powered USB hub, which is also another layer of possible failure.  Also, all data is going over USB at that point.  With USB, 400Mb doesn't simply divide out to 1/8 for MB, you'll generally get a max of 33MB/s, shared, across everything.  So, if you have a 3g adapter, WiFi and Ethernet, I think you'll get a max of 15MB total throughput combined, not each way, or 7MB symetrical, actually less due to contention losses.  While that sounds like plenty, that's also counting anyone using wireless accessing something on wired, locally.

So, you'd have a very slow router with WiFi that still needs some other kind of power for a powered USB hub.

I would think that you'd be better off with something in the Atom range for that, something with PCI-E (mini or full sized) for your WiFi connection.  Maybe a very small netbook would work, it's not quite as small, but has built in battery backup!  Or an Alix board, some draw as little as 5w.

I'm sure the Pi is cheaper, but (aside from the lack of Arm support that's reported to be in the works) I wouldn't expect it to be a great router.

(edit: fixing Mb Vs. MB on a couple labels.)
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 05:54:45 pm by matguy »

Offline stefb

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Re: Raspberry pi
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2012, 07:31:48 pm »
Yeah, well... I was not trying to get into pro level stuff, more of a hack you take your pi on holidays, xbmc on one sd, pfsense on another, swiss army knife on the road
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 07:37:28 pm by stefb »

Offline cmb

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Re: Raspberry pi
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2012, 09:46:03 pm »
Yeah, well... I was not trying to get into pro level stuff, more of a hack you take your pi on holidays, xbmc on one sd, pfsense on another, swiss army knife on the road

Sure, I don't disagree it could be a fun platform for such things, but history suggests it's highly unlikely anyone is going to come along and create a port for fun. That leaves likely future supported non-x86 platforms as those that are viable for resellers to fund development, and the Pi isn't one of those.

Offline stephenw10

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Re: Raspberry pi
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2012, 04:10:36 am »
Like this for example?
Not really a pi alternative though.  ::)

Steve

Offline yaxattax

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Re: Raspberry pi
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2012, 10:03:26 am »
Well the rackmount looks a bit excessive, but this might be good:

http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com/t-dreamplugdetails.aspx

But is also an ARM processor. I did actually think about getting this as a dedicated routing platform instead of my VM setup, but I'd read that freeBSD + ARM doesn't really happen at the moment ..

Offline matguy

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Re: Raspberry pi
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2012, 12:08:54 pm »
Well the rackmount looks a bit excessive, but this might be good:

http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com/t-dreamplugdetails.aspx

But is also an ARM processor. I did actually think about getting this as a dedicated routing platform instead of my VM setup, but I'd read that freeBSD + ARM doesn't really happen at the moment ..

Yep, that's the direction I was thinking, just couldn't come up with any examples off the top of my head.  Something fairly small, x86 compatable, at least 1 physical Ethernet port (2 or more preferred) and provisions for WiFi (supported, preferred.)  Some of the Alix boards seemed to fit that bill too, but this one has a case and power supply already.  Nice (of course, $$, though.)

Offline yaxattax

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Re: Raspberry pi
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2012, 04:09:41 pm »
I don't personally think it is too expensive for what you get - wifi, dual gigE, audio for $149 (I can't find GBP). It could do with a RAM and processor upgrade though, seeing as todays phones surpass what is provided.

Offline matguy

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Re: Raspberry pi
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2012, 06:28:15 pm »
I don't personally think it is too expensive for what you get - wifi, dual gigE, audio for $149 (I can't find GBP). It could do with a RAM and processor upgrade though, seeing as todays phones surpass what is provided.

I'm not sure exactly which hardware you're talking about (I assume it's safe to say not the Pi), but either way it's hard to compare them to such dissimilar hardware, like a phone; unless your phone has dual gigE and can run an x86 OS natively, at which point I would concede your point.

In niche market segments like this, the price points may seem inflated, but that's an effect of volume, or the lack there of.  They're not selling a million of these, so the price per unit goes up.  Even if you compare [whatever hardware was $149], price wise, to new phones it's still likely cheaper than most phones without the subsidies (ala cart, no contract.)  Hell, it's cheaper than just about any new desktop, cheaper than many decent used desktops once you figure in the costs of a second good Gb NIC and WiFi.