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This is a general page listing some information I have compiled on the Soekris line of embedded computers.


Installing an OS

For my net4501 the installation is quite simple - it uses a plug-in CF card which can be written to via a USB adapter on another machine. Just 'dd' an image onto the CF card. My eBay-bought net4826-50, on the other hand, was a bit more difficult. It has a permanently-attached 128 Mb CF memory chip soldered to the board. Therefore, the only way to install new software is via a PXE boot, requiring a TFTP server and DHCP. I have written a simple HOWTO: Soekris PXE HowTo.

With existing OS

I bought a used net4826 online, and it came with a version of Linux already installed. This model has soldered-on CF memory. Unlike my net4501 router/firewall, I can't just pull out the CF card, put it in a USB->CF reader/writer on my laptop, and dd over the image.

So, looking at the Metrix Pyramid Linux page, I found a simple upgrade HowTo. Basically, you just download your image file and copy it to your CF disc - usually /dev/discs/disc0/disc.
wget -O - url:// | gunzip > /dev/discs/disc0/disc
They also provide a PXE Boot HowTo.

wget -O - > /dev/discs/disc0/disc

Note: This should work, but I couldn't get wget to work. It's there, but does nothing.

PXEboot Installation

This assumes you already have a TFTP server setup, and know how to configure your DHCP server for PXE.

I just followed the howto here with perfect results. I have also written a smaller version of it: Soekris PXE HowTo.

Serial Terminal

Here are the serial terminal settings that seem to work for the Soekris. Be sure to update /tftpboot/etc/boot.conf (for OpenBSD) to keep the hardware and OS terminal speeds the same.


9600 N 8 1


19200 N 8 1


I highly recommend using Minicom for terminal emulation. Be sure to clear out any modem dial strings. Set your terminal type to ANSI.

See Also

Embedded Systems
Soekris PXE HowTo
Soekris WAP HowTo

External Links

Soekris Homepage

Notice - this is a static HTML mirror of a previous MediaWiki installation. Pages are for historical reference only, and are greatly outdated (circa 2009).