LinuxMCE Forums

General => Users => Topic started by: l3mce on January 14, 2014, 07:36:22 pm

Title: Revo AR1600 PXE boot recommendation
Post by: l3mce on January 14, 2014, 07:36:22 pm
These little MDs are the black sheep of the LCME community. They were like 150 bucks new, nVidia ION1, and do a smashing job as an MD... but booting them is problematic at best.

This seems to stem from an extremely optimistic function of the kernel's forcedeth auto-negotiation which pops on a few times at gigabit speed, blasts some packets and then kills itself before it gets a response, and tries again several times before then trying at 100, and sometimes catching before the kernel panics. On the nic itself you can watch this behavior... orange is 1000, green is 100. This is my cheap and dirty fix for them.

If you have a smart/managed switch (in the case of cisco, first update the firmware), set that port to identify at gigabit. No need to negotiate... but it still runs through this terrible routine without a possibility to negotiate for some reason. Identifying at 100 it does not do this dance, and just boots... but who wants that? A simple hack to deal with this is to edit /tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/<mac address of MD> and add "panic=1". It will panic the first time and reboot, and for some reason rebooting, rather than cycling power, it will come up correctly and load.
Title: Re: Revo AR1600 PXE boot recommendation
Post by: l3mce on January 14, 2014, 08:31:19 pm
Oh... and you wicked cheapskates out there...

Slap some ram in there and breadboard it to something...

You got a sub $80 MD

Don't forget to add a heatsink/fan from an old laptop or something... or buy the replacement part I guess.
Title: Re: Revo AR1600 PXE boot recommendation
Post by: B34N on January 15, 2014, 03:23:38 am
You got a sub $80 MD

Timely and Tempting.....but after a few years trying to get LMCE to work to its full potential, I'm now opting for proven and PNP hardware even if it costs me more long as it saves me time.

Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Revo AR1600 PXE boot recommendation
Post by: l3mce on January 15, 2014, 03:37:11 am
In your case, I would opt for more firepower. I run these at 720p masked, and they are brilliant. This is NOT a recommendation for an MD, which is why I left your thread alone... but for those whom have limited resources with limited expectations... it is an option. I do not recommend these... but they roll... if your funds are as weak as your cheap TV.

I can tell you, however... if I was looking at a 400 dollar MD and a 500 dollar MD... I would ignore that argument and buy a real switch. I have been running LMCE for 4 years now on bullshit switch/routers... and 90% of my annoyances were removed by purchasing a REAL switch. Myth doesn't crash at the end of a program. All my "error jumping program" bs is gone. Weak channels (OTA) with good enough signal to lock do not digitize and artifact... those random hangs in movies are gone. TV is no longer a few seconds behind... but half a second... it is... a WORLD of difference. All totaled, in minutes of my life that I measure in heartbeats... dropping a couple hundred bucks on a real switch would have saved me countless hours and frustration over the last 4 years.

Drop money in real networking hardware. Spend the extra 20 dollars on the good nic. Spend the extra hundred on the good switch. I feel like a fool for not listening to this same advice, in this same point in your LMCE experience. Don't be a fool.