Zeroshell on Soekris net4801

Forums Network Management Embedded Devices Zeroshell on Soekris net4801

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  • #41507

    My site-specific details:

    Soekris net4801
    128MB RAM
    Hifn 7955 Crypto Card (vpn1411)
    2GB SanDisk SDCFH-2048 HDX 2.27
    8 onboard network cards (NatSemi)

    I downloaded the 1GB flash image from your website (mirror, actually) and was able to successfully write the image out to my CF card using physdiskwrite. I checked the partitions on the CF card after the write and there are multiple partitions which I can only assume are part of the actual Zeroshell image. There is also 981MB unallocated after the writing of the image.

    After reinstalling the CF card back into my Soekris box and connected with my console cable; I see the Soekris going through POST and then the GRUB bootloader run but I am unable to boot Zeroshell due to a GRUB error (Error 18, which I looked up and it has to do with BIOS translation for the disk); is there some workaround for Zeroshell to allow it to boot on a Soekris net4801? The reason I ask is because I can write out a m0n0wall image (and I realize, FreeBSD bootloader .vs. GRUB is different) and it never fails to boot.

    I’d really like to give your project a try here and if I can get it to work, I’m sure I’ll adopt it over m0n0wall (you have features I’m looking for that m0n0wall doesn’t and probably never will) but I can’t even get out of the gate (so to speak) to even try it out.

    I searched high and low and couldn’t find anything that applied to me. I haven’t used Linux (any distro) in a very long time so I’m way out of the loop (mostly work with FreeBSD in my line of work) and don’t even know where to begin on getting this booting on my Soekris.


    Realized that the Soekris 4801 had a firmware update which fixes a LBA translation issue; was running firmware 1.29 and just upgraded to 1.33 and going to give it another shot 🙂


    That did the trick. Firmware upgrade to 1.33 fixes the issue with GRUB. Was able to boot into Zeroshell and begin playing. While I do realize it’s still in beta-form, a couple of things I noticed:

    a) having to create DNS zones for each interface is tedious
    b) no real traffic graphs/measurements
    c) firewall makes no assumptions; there are no “aliases” that allow a user to say “this interface is my lan, this is my wan” etc and is also tedious to configure as everything has to be done by hand
    d) dhcp does not seem to support dynamic updates; hosts have to be manually added to each DNS zone

    All in all, I’m still quite impressed with the project but what takes me minutes to configure in m0n0wall would take several hours to port over to Zeroshell.

    I’ll be keeping an eye on the project as it progresses as I’d like to give it another chance when it matures some more.

    Excellent work all involved.

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