[linux-elitists] Looking for good Linux (embedded) hardware

Bulent Murtezaoglu bm@acm.org
Fri Sep 21 00:43:20 PDT 2001

There are single board solutions either in PC-104 or as PCI or ISA
cards that plug into a backplane.  These usually come with DiskOnChip
brand flash that later kernels can use.  If this is a one-off thing,
the hardware will be expensive.   The cards usually come with a single
NIC also, so that might be an addtional hassle.  There's a good site 
called linuxdevices.org or something (google should know) that would
point you to the latest and the greatest.

Unless you'll be selling lots of these, I'd cook something up using 
commodity PC components.  You can fit two NIC's and an ATX or a Micro
ATX motherboard into a 1U case.  Sandisk makes solid state IDE drives
in 2.5" form factor that you could use.  For a small system you
might even get away with a single floopy though floppies tend to be
less reliable than hard drives.

If you go with a flash solution, you will need to modify your system
so it does not go to the disk so much.  That probably means /tmp and
/var/tmp on ramdisk and syslog talking to a loghost on the network for
starters.  There are other little things you need to worry about also,
but you can pare down debian reasonably easily.

It is feasible to do this without much hassle if power consuption,
fans/ventilation, and enclosure size are not too constrained.  Tell us
more about the project and maybe we can help further.  I did something
similar for a consulting gig a few years ago so the issues are
relatively fresh in my mind (and you'll have fewer now since vendors
are interested in Linux).



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