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  1. #1
    Master Untangler
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    101

    Default Untangle on PC Engines APU2C4 via serial console

    I have been running Untangle in bridge mode on a Zotac ZBOX CI323 nano. Unfortunately the HW compatibility hasn't been outstanding and I could only get a throughput of ~450-500 Mbps on a 1Gbps line.

    In my setup I had a pfSense firewall installed on a PC Engines APU2C4. On this one I was able to get a ~800-950 Mbps throughput with just the plain install.

    Now I always wanted to see if Untangle on the APU2 would perform better than on the Zotac, as it has Intel NICs, but as you know Untangle needs a VGA port and this box has only serial console so I couldn't try it.

    There was a previous threat not his subject here: https://forums.untangle.com/installa...l-console.html which basically said you had to install to a disk on a different system via a VM and then move the disk to the APU2 system.

    It turns out you can install Untangle directly on the APU2C4 following this steps:

    1) Prepare Untangle installation media as usual on USB stick

    2) Insert the USB in a PC/Mac and edit syslinux.cfg by erasing everything and enter this:

    Code:
    serial 0 115200 
    timeout 20
    prompt 1
    default install
    label install
    	kernel linux
    	append  preseed/file=/cdrom/simple-cdd/default.preseed simple-cdd/profiles=default,untangle,untangle console=ttyS0,115200 initrd=initrd.gz --- quiet
    3) Insert the USB into APU2 and boot you will get a serial output on the default console port

    4) Just follow along the installation steps as usual "text only" install in the console until reboot

    5) The system takes a while to reboot but just insert a LAN cable into eth1 and wait to get an IP and finish the installation via web browser as usual

    That's it! As a bonus the serial console will actually present you with a Debian login once everything is complete so if any major issues you still got access to the system via command line on the serial port.

    And I am happy to report that I was able to get ~850 Mbps with Untangle (no apps) throughput on the APU2!

    Hope this helps someone! Guess this would work on most "console only" systems but you need to change the baud rate of the APU2 (115200) to whatever your system has, usual is 9600.

    I guess there is also a way to actually add serial install as a third option in the menu but my syslinux.cfg knowledge is not good enough. I might try it if I have to reinstall but for now I am good.

    Untangle team might want to consider looking into this as it's just having this as a third option in the initial boot menu and everything after that will work!
    Last edited by anschmid; 05-02-2017 at 04:42 AM.

  2. #2
    Untangle Ninja jcoehoorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    York, NE
    Posts
    1,935

    Default

    This is cool!

    But I don't think we gain anything by putting it on the menu. If you can see the menu to select that option, you don't need it. Instead, the goal should be to duplicate the text-only option on both the serial port and the screen.
    Five time Microsoft ASP.Net MVP managing a Lenovo RD330 / E5-2420 / 16GB with Untangle 16.5 to protect a 1Gbps fiber link for ~450 residential college students and associated staff and faculty

  3. #3
    Master Untangler
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Singapore
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    101

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jcoehoorn View Post
    This is cool!

    But I don't think we gain anything by putting it on the menu. If you can see the menu to select that option, you don't need it. Instead, the goal should be to duplicate the text-only option on both the serial port and the screen.
    Yes you're right that would be the way to go. I didn't see any options menu it went straight into the "text-only" installation but that's because I have erased any options and defaulted it to "text-only via serial" installation.

    How you get it to do both is beyond my knowledge of how this works but should be possible.

  4. #4
    Untangler jcoffin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Lake Tahoe
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    9,655

    Default

    Nicely done.
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  5. #5
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Nice! Just used this to install on my Netgate appliance, except on serial 1. Worked perfectly.
    Only annoying part is trying to find which port is eth1.

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