My experiences with ALIX from pcengines

alix1c board

Looking for a quick and flexible way to get a linux running on the alix platform I decided to do a network boot. A short and exemplary description on how this works and can be set up can be found in the article Booting Voyage from Network using PXE.

The SuSE Support Database has an article on network installation of a SuSE distribution.

My own notes and step-by-step instructions on setting up a network boot environment.

Notes on running a full fleged Linux distro from Compact Flash

Alix boards have miniPCI expansion ports to allow for installation of appropriate cards. This article describes my experience with a multi serial and a video capture card.

The Alix1 has a parallel ATA (IDE) interface and a second RS232 port on board. The standard Alix enclosure from pcengines has enough space to install a 2.5" harddisk and a connector for the 2nd serial interface. I made a drawing of the holes and openings to be drilled to mount that extra hardware.

The ALIX1C miniITX board I got on december 20th 2007 didn't do network boot with PXE. It didn't send DHCP discover packages or anything. It had a BIOS dated from 8/21/07. I had to update the BIOS to the one dated 9/14/07 to get PXE working.

There are instructions on how to do the BIOS update by creating a compact flash disk with FreeDOS installed at pcengines website.

The Alix1c/d with beta bios dated 2009-01-16 seems not to respect the boot order configured in the bios setup. USB connected media don't boot automatically but when pressing ESC-key to show up a boot menu, USB memory stick (TDK Trans-It 4GB) was selectable as boot source.
An "LG External Super Multi DVD-Rewriter (Model GE20NU10)" did not get detected and was not usable as installation source at all.

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