List of X86 boxes to run OpenWrt

Hi people I have just had a upgrade from My ISP. My R7800 can not cope with the new speed of 300 down and 30 up. So I was thinking about geting me a x86 PC to run OpenWrt on off ebay. I am in the UK and would like a list of things to search for. So If any of you are running a x86 firewall or PC pleas let me know:
what it is,
How hard it is to install OpenWrt on,
If it has fans,
How big it is because some of them can be quite large
and how loud they are.

All so pleas could you list your CPU and ram. Some of them don't list what HW they have inside thanks.

List of X86 boxes.

Sophos:
xg 85
CPU:
Intel Atom E3825
8 GB storage and 2 gig ram

xg 106:

  • Intel Atom E3930 (Apollo Lake), 2*1.3 GHz (1.8 GHz burst)
  • 64 GB SSD
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 4 rj45 ports, 1 sfp port
  • 9 (idle) to 11 (full load) watts

Cyberoam:

CR15(w)iNG,
CR25(w)iNG Fan plain 40x40x10mm PC fan.,
CR15iNG, No wifi
CR25iNG, No wifi. Fan plain 40x40x10mm PC fan.
CR 35iNG No wifi AMD Jaguar and 2 GB RAM,

cr100ing No wifi 100 watts PSU loud fans.
• AMD eTrinity R-series FS1r2 (4*2.3 GHz)
• 2.5" HDD (~320 GB)
• 2 GB RAM

10ZIG Technology:

6772
Form Factor:
Thin Client
Processor:
VIA Nano U3100
VIA Nano U3100 1.3ghz (1.6GHz Capable)
Broadcom Dual port Gigabit NIC
4GB DDR3 memory
16GB SATA drive
I think the CPU on this one may be a bit slow it's from 2009.

List of links about installing OpenWrt on X86.

Tips for getting cheap used x86-based firewall with full Gbit NAT (a PC Engines APU) if you are in the US:

There isn't one, most/all will run openwrt.

Get https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_nkw=cr15ing or https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/203894705853, if you've got a spare power adapter. Note, they got fans.
Then read [HOWTO] Installing OpenWrt on Cyberoam CR15(w)iNG and CR25(w)iNG

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/234771125992 if you don't mind the noise.

But I'm pretty sure your D7800 should manage 300/30.

Thanks mate. Do they have fans? How loud are they. I want to put in my living room.

They do ...

The CR25 I had wasn't too bad, and you can replace the fan with something quiet(er), it's a plain 40x40x10mm PC fan.
At 300/30 I could image you could disable it completely, unless you start adding things like SQM, etc.

Could get something like this, it appears to be fan less.

Hey tapper,

You're inscribing yourself into a fairly narrow circle; you require a combination of performance, small size, and passive cooling. Here's what I would look at (in no particular order):

  1. A tiny PC with dual Ethernet sockets (Intel NUC and clones, Zotac Zbox, etc.) This will be router only and will require a passive switch and/or access point to make the network functional.
  2. An industrial PC. Personally, I am partial to Lanner FW-74xx and FW-75xx models. They are a bit bigger than a typical home router, about 10.5 x 5.5 x 1.5 in (27 x 14 x 4 cm), have distinctive ribbed tops for cooling, and can come with as many as six Ethernet ports, so you may be able to combine routing and switching in a single box. Wireless will still require a separate access point. When new, these things cost about seven metric tons of money (they are rugged and dependable), but occasionally, you can snag a used one for a reasonable price.
  3. A quasi-industrial PC. These are usually not ruggedized per se, but borrow the industrial PC's aesthetics (ribbed cases) for the sake of passive cooling. There are some Chinese companies in this space that crank out decent product; look at Qotom and Vnopn (funny names, but in the age of search engine they are distinctive and thus easily findable). Depending on the model, you get anywhere between two and six Ethernet ports. As for built-in Wi-Fi, I would suggest not getting it; the Wi-Fi cards those manufacturers use often do not support the access point mode. On the luxury end of this space, there's Protectli; they have a range of passively cooled products with two, four, or six ports and processors that go up to Core i7.
  4. A branch router. One obvious name in this space is Sophos; they have a range of boxes which periodically go out of support, so their corporate customers constantly upgrade to the new ones, and the fully functional old ones end up in the secondary market. Note, however, that Sophos has four product lines (maybe more, but I can think only of four right now): RED, SG, UTM, and XG. RED boxes are not x86-compatible, so stay away from them. UTM boxes are actively cooled (although very quiet even when the fan is on). SG and XG, on the other hand, check all the boxes (pun intended). Sophos distinguishes them because they ship with different software; hardware-wise, an SG105 is hard to tell apart from an XG105. Depending on the model, you get between four and eight Ethernet ports and may or may not get built-in Wi-Fi. If you do get Wi-Fi, it may be an N card or an AC card. Specific models I personally worked with include XG85(w), SG105(w), SG115(w), and SG125(w); the "w", if present. indicates wireless capability. Because of their deployment model, you can sometimes get amazing deals on these. I once got an SG105w in a factory box with all accessories for well under USD 100 (I suspect it was a spare kept on a shelf in a large IT department and rarely, if ever, used until it had to be retired because Sophos said so). This is where my Sophos SG105w HOWTO came from... :slight_smile: Passively cooled models come with Intel Atom of some kind (typically, E3xxx). RAM-wise, the older ones have a single 2 GB stick; newer ones may have a 4 GB one. Note the "stick"; it is standard PC memory, which may be upgraded if needed...

As to installing OpenWrt on an x86 box, it's generally on the easy side compared to other platforms. There are, generally speaking, three steps:

Step One: Installation Proper

There are at least two ways to go about it. You can either (1) boot the box off a USB stick with OpenWrt on it and copy OpenWrt onto the internal drive using dd (this is described in the above-mentioned HOWTO) or (2) take out the internal drive and write OpenWrt onto it from your computer, then put it back in and boot.

Step Two: Configuration

Out of the box, OpenWrt may or may not recognize all hardware components, so some discovery may be needed. To date, I have not seen an x86 box on which OpenWrt could not be configured to work properly. With older boxes, there may be tricks involved, but anything 2017 and newer usually fits within the script I outlined in the SG105w HOWTO (also, check out the Check Point U-5 HOWTO; I spent a little more time on hardware discovery there).

Step Three: Expanding the Root Partition

When OpenWrt first runs, it uses only 120 MB or so of disk space, regardless of the actual drive size. It is possible to expand the root partition and/or create additional partitions to take advantage of the entire drive. There is a page on the OpenWrt wiki that deals with this (among other topics):

https://openwrt.org/docs/guide-user/installation/openwrt_x86

There's also my humble effort to make it more easily readable for the new user:

[HOWTO] Resizing root partition on x86

Note, however, that the tail end of the procedure for dealing with SquashFS systems is out of date; the wiki has a more up-to date guidance. I need to put out a new edition, I suppose... :slight_smile:

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The unicorn would probably be the Roqos RC10, but they're hard to find.

Atom E38xx, fanless, with N and AC wifi.

Wow this is all grate info thanks.
I do have some routers I can use as switches and dumb APs. It's just the CPU power I need. All so I like to flash new builds and role my own builds. with all the packages I need. When running on x86 does sysupgrade work just the same as on other routers?

If you use the squashfs image.

You could also do something like this Sysupgrade help for x86_64 - #14 by frollic.
It's doable with squashfs too, but it's harder to resize after doing the dd.

…and as I know that tapper will build from source anyways, these settings can easily be customized at build-time as well, e.g.:

CONFIG_TARGET_KERNEL_PARTSIZE=32
CONFIG_TARGET_ROOTFS_PARTSIZE=920

(it does not make sense to make that rootfs/ overlay toooo large, as it gets re-written during each sysupgrade (may take long, with a large rootfs and slow storage) - just use the rest for another (unrelated) partition).

I believe even with the image builder it's possible to increase the size of the root partition for the image it generates.

Anyways, you may want to expand you search for any Sophos SG/XG 1X5/2X5 products and if it's something like 125w it would also have a wireless card on board.

My SG-135wr2 came with the Qualcomm Atheros QCA9880 wireless card.

OK I got me a Sophos XG 85 for £40 Not the best one I could of got, but It will do me for now. I will get it in about 4 or 5 days. At that price if it is not to my liking I can just put it up on ebay again. Thanks for all the grate advice people.

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You could also try HW flow offloading experimental build for r7800 or rpi 4b or something . Both should be capable. Pick your poison :slight_smile:

One of the things with the r7800 is that in the jump to Kernel 5.15 there is a bug that makes the router reboot when the CPU clocks up or down to save power. This is even a problem with the NNS builds from the forums. I hope it gets fixt soon. It is being worked on, but it is being a bit of a pane to track down. Thanks for the pointer tho mate.

I had that bug on 19.x.x.

Try this:

echo ondemand > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy0/scaling_governor
echo ondemand > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy1/scaling_governor
echo 800000 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy0/scaling_min_freq
echo 800000 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy1/scaling_min_freq
echo 25 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/ondemand/up_threshold
echo 10 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/ondemand/sampling_down_factor

echo 800000 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_min_freq
echo 800000 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu1/cpufreq/scaling_min_freq

exit 0

That fixed it for me. I havent had random reboots since. Your milage may vary though (my guess its related to too low clock which causes memory corruption, so could be related to the actual CPU or memory banks on your unit). Note you are not alone, these settings helped other poeple (see https://forum.openwrt.org/t/openwrt-22-03-0-first-stable-release/136252/192?u=ramon
and https://forum.openwrt.org/t/openwrt-22-03-0-first-stable-release/136252/205?u=ramon)

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I used those settings too, on my Archer C2600s, but they are running as APs.
Reached some 400+ days of uptime.

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Hi tryed this settings thanks. Will see how we go.

Fingers crossed!

if it helps put it in the startup script

I also needed to adjust similar settings to make a ThinClient keep running without sporadic resets: Using Thin Client Wortmann Terra Rangee Thinclient 5210, Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU N3160 @ 1.60GHz

I lost a fair bit of performance/powersaving options in my setup, but now it is really solid and reliable.