Best Value Debian'isable / Hack'able Hardware ?
October 15, 2014 06:39AM
I like the GoFlex Net because of the two SATA ports and that the older Seagate GoFlex and Backup plus drives slot right in - it's neat, compact and inexpensive.

Recently I also researched the "Seagate Business Storage 2" which has arm11 processor dual core, 3 SATA ports and more NAND/Ram than GoFlex Net. It costs less than £100/120 Euros/$160USD ... drawback is that there isn't a procedure (as yet) to Debian'ise it ... Hopefully someone here will be able to help the poster further than I could ... not much I can do anyway without physically having the hardware to play with.

So I'd be interested in other's opinions on what they reckon is a good Debian'isable board/unit ... SATA or not SATA doesn't matter, as application for the device can vary ... obviously things like integration into Debian mainline build, RAM, NAND, USB3, SATA versus cost and physical size ... and of course mainstream availability ...

All opinions welcome really, reason I ask is I've found embedded linux computer's quite useful and much more economical than full blown PCs or even NUC/atom boards ... upside with Intel platform is it's much more widely supported, and generally easier to setup, potentially more powerful ... downside is generally cost, a basic NUC setup box/RAM without disk in UK is around £150/170 euros/$200USD ...


I personally also like to use my Goflex Net. But some server applications are just asking for more RAM or faster CPUs. For example Owncloud. At the moment, I am disappointed of the picture gallery performance of Owncloud 7 on a Goflex Net. I'm currently testing it again on a Zyxel NSA 325 but so far it doesn't seem to be a breakthrough (there was no reason to expect one). There is always room to optimize the application for the platform. I believe, in Ownlcoud 7 there is room to optimize things for better response times - but: One needs a lot of time to look into the sourcecode and needs to find that time first.

The price gap to cheap Intel or AMD mainboards with moderate power consumption is getting smaller. If you look for Intel mainboards with embedded CPUs, you can find mainboards with Intel J1800, J1900 and J2900 ranging from 50 to 90 Euro (in Germany). From AMD you can get AM1 mainboards for 30 Euro + matching CPU for 40 Euro.

Of course, you also have to add in prices for PSU, RAM, enclosure. But in the end you will get a fanless (Intel) solution that has much more CPU power compared to the Kirkwood generation.

It might make sense to look beyond ARM or to wait for Intel Broadwell NUCs in 2015.

Re: Best Value Debian'isable / Hack'able Hardware ?
October 18, 2014 07:30AM
Cheaptest j1900 mobo 56 eur
2 gb ram 22 eur ,
48 eur

== 126 eur
anc you have monster compared to arm SoC.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/18/2014 07:33AM by jst818.
Re: Best Value Debian'isable / Hack'able Hardware ?
October 19, 2014 03:43AM
Thanks guys, I've looked at similar options in the UK, and yes there's some more and more powerful Intel "embedded" boards and devices coming out ... however my GoFlex Net cost me £35/40Euro ...

... by the time one's bought a case, memory, you're into the £100/125EURO end of things for mini-itx, plus you still need a power supply one way or another ... a pico-psu and a brick is gonna cost another £50 ... The gigabyte board I looked at, I didn't buy as I read that someone had confirmed it wouldn't run headless ... an embedded boad that doesn't run headless ! ... Plus anything mini-itx has a case bigger than a pogoplug or GoFlex Net ... for travelling it's unlikely I'll want to put it in my hand lagguage ...

Intel NUC goes someway towards this, the 2820 machine £120 + £20 ram £140/160Euro ... would fit in hand luggage, and case looks "neat" so not likely to get stopped at the scanners :D

Elsewhere on the forum there's a section dedicated to Allwinner A1000, I think those boxes are around £40/£60 euros ... Someone else posted about the Seagate business storage 2 on this forum, it's £98/120Euro in UK, with memory, PSU, neat box and 3 SATA ports, 2 hot swap bays for 2.5" and 1 hot swap for 2.5" ... I understand memory, CPU etc specs aren't as high ... but ... try putting together a similar box with Intel, I doubt the price would be that low ...

I'm currently trying to get the hardware cryptography running on GFN ... I don't know if it would help with Owncloud, potentially yes a lot if Owncloud uses the openssl library ... it's been "fiddly" and time consuming so far libcrptodev and openssl don't so far want to play ball ...


Re: Best Value Debian'isable / Hack'able Hardware ?
November 14, 2014 07:33PM
Have you looked at the cubieboard or the cubietruck?

I had the A20 version of the cubieboard.cracking bit of kit with onboard data.HDMI sound and more gpio....
Re: Best Value Debian'isable / Hack'able Hardware ?
December 05, 2014 07:28AM
Been looking around further "afield" ... I like the look of the ODRIOD stuff, seemingly very high spec at low cost ... really like the idea of the ODRIOD-W which is TINY, like watch size and more powerful thank a Rasperry PI ...

Cubietruck is also on my list ... Beaglebone ... and a few others ... Like the multiprocessor solution on some of the ARM boards with 8 cores, and the BIG processor migrating tasks to the little processor ... awesome idea.

and looks likes the Rasperry PI has had an upgrade and seems cheaper than it was ...

What I've come to realise is that the ARM CPUs some are "System On Chip" SOC, which means graphics/video and a bunch of other stuff on the CPU for devices aimed at display/video ... like cheap media players, Rikomagic for instance ... MIPS SOCs tend to be more network oriented and end up in routers etc ...

Why I say this is that for running Debian headless, we're often not concerned with HDMI/3D graphics/MP4 decoding !

Also UK now have the Intel J1800/J1900 motherboard and AMD's answer to that the AM1 socketed motherboards, with a total cost for instance for a J1900 motherboard, 8GB of RAM around £120 ... plus of course Power and case ...



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Re: Best Value Debian'isable / Hack'able Hardware ?
December 05, 2014 07:53AM
PS Also of note is the pcDuino - I like for instance the look of their Nano because has SATA and GbE adapter AND 4GB flash/2GB RAM - ...



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Re: Best Value Debian'isable / Hack'able Hardware ?
December 05, 2014 12:02PM
I like the Zytel NSA325.

512MB and 1.6Ghz CPU. It's not cheap, but I've seen it on sale for around $120.
Re: Best Value Debian'isable / Hack'able Hardware ?
February 17, 2015 07:20AM
I bought as I'm not very pleased with my KD20 the NETGEAR RN102

For now I'm really happy with it. From time to time you get it for about 90€ at Amazon (Short time Deal). And for this price its better then the NSA 325 in my oppinion as it is also in mainline kernel.

+ Armanda 370 1.2ghz (arm_v7)
+ 2xUSB 3.0
+ External UART :-)
+ 92mm FAN

- only one USB 2.0 (in front) for uBoot usbboot.

Overall nealry same Price but better connectivity and faster SoC
Re: Best Value Debian'isable / Hack'able Hardware ?
February 21, 2015 05:30AM
@Peacemaker, just has a look at that one, nice !

Seems it has 2x SATA 2 ports, and the USB3/ESATA on the back is on a mini-pcie card ?

A good deal you got on it, I'll keep my eyes open and thanks for making me aware ... presumably Debian on this box is pretty straightforward ?


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