Sunday, November 09, 2014

PC Engines APU plan

I recently decided to upgrade my home firewall (pfSense on a PC Engines WRAP) by something more recent.  The new APU system from PC Engines looked quite good so I ordered one unit of the 4-gig model.  When I received it, I tried a few things with it but lacked time.  The next time I worked on it, it was dead.  I create an RMA, returned the unit, and got a working one about 3 weeks later.  My original plan was just to upgrade pfSense and run it on more recent hardware.  My WRAP was kind of slow in the WebGUI (not that bad, I don't edit the configuration every day) and I don't think it could do a good job for an OpenVPN setup.  I looked around and also found other options for small factor computers but I decided to go with the APU when I saw that its processor had virtualization extensions.  I thought that I could try running another system, side-by-side with the firewall, allowing me to have a server that would always be on (I currently run cacti, nagios and other daemons directly on my desktop, which is not the best thing).  The goal would be to have an owncloud server at home.

The big challenge with the APU is that there is no VGA output, so the install must be done using serial console.  I had to install a tftp server on my desktop, and configure httpd to server the install files for Centos 7 and I performed the install via VNC.  Wasn't too hard.

Thes guide helped me with the install:

http://wiki.polaire.nl/doku.php?id=install_centos_6.5_on_pc_engine_s_apu_over_pxe

This website helped me to begin with Centos 7, which is quite different from 5 and 6:

http://www.server-world.info/en/note?os=CentOS_7