by lunarg on April 29th 2009, at 19:48

Acquired a new appliance from Mini-ITX, which is to replace my current WRT54GL (flashed with OpenWRT White Russian).

Specs of the thing are:

  • Durable industry-standards housing, including a mount bracket for 2.5" disks
  • 2x 1000 Ethernet, 4x 10/100 Ethernet, 2x USB 2.0, VGA, PS/2
  • VIA chipset with a VIA Eden 1ghz CPU, 1x DDR2 slot, 1x CF slot
  • 1x IDE 2.5" port, 1x SATA port

I've equipped it with 512 MB RAM (standard was 256 MB), and a 4 GB CF card, and installed Debian Lenny i686 on it.

Because of the fact it's CF, I've tweaked the initramfs image of Debian so it uses overlaying for /var and /etc (using aufs) in RAMDISK, and mounting / as read-only. This allows me to save the flash, make changes as much as I want (if I screw up, I simply have to reboot). And if I do want to make changes, I only need to remount the partitions as read-write.
Additionally, the changes in the initrd are done with simple scripts in /usr/share/initramfs-tools, and thus, upgrading to newer kernels will automatically trigger a rebuild of the initramfs image and thus, includes the custom scripts.

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