Hi, I'm planning to build an x86 OpenWrt Server, bare-metal (non virtual) with one or two quadport quadport gigabit ethernet cards, it tends to come with 4 lanes (4x) pci-express connectors and I've just stopped in mind to get more information about compatibilty on OpenWRT on these cards... I've tried to search with no success about it so I ask for more info here...
I find that there is some HP brand, Intel, Broadcom, etc... someone said somewhere that intel are older but have better compatibility on linux because it presents as four very common gigabit ethernet cards.
But I want to know what should I choose.
Please, if any of you had info about this.
Most "Intel" cards that you see new at too-good-to-be-true prices are counterfeits. For one reference of many
Make sure you've really got an x4 lane free, as many times, while the motherboard supports it, the CPU may not, or it may be consumed by video or other system components.
I personally think you'd be much better off with a distro that handles SMP under load better and has more mature monitoring and logging capabilities, be it Linux-based or FreeBSD-based.
I fully agree with jeff, I'd also look at something with more extensive funtionality.
You're probably more "safe" going with branded Sun/HP/IBM cards rather than Intel if you're shopping on eBay. Broadcom is probably the safest choice as to my knowledge there has been no reports of counterfeits at all, Intel otherwise.
I Appreciate a lot your thoughts guys, I didn't knew about the counterfeith thing that you both mention, thanks, but I'm now struggle thinking on some specific model or what to follow when I choose...
Do you have specific recommendations on that?
May I should give a try pfsense or similar distro for this too instead of dealing with OpenWRT on a x86 ?
Of course if I Will try to buy on a seller with multiple sells on the item or even If it is more secure to go to Amazon I can do it.
Since it is for experimenting and if it works well put it on production if it works is enough, so on the other side no problem with the cost saving.
Also, someone tell me that if I Dremel a x1 por and put an x4 board there t I can use the card it just not be fast as it should like on a real x4... I can also use a x16 port since I do not need video card, right ?
I actually converted from PfSense to OpenWRT X86_64 on bare metal. So hopefully my experiences can help you here. First off, I would highly recommend it! It's a great setup, very high performance.
OpenWRT is based on Linux 4.14 so any gig ethernet drivers for common cards are already included. I have a mix of dual port and quad port Intel and Broadcom ethernet cards and they ALL work with OpenWRT.
I buy all of my cards used on ebay as server pulls. Due to counterfeit issues on the Intel cards (already mentioned above in this thread), your best bet is to buy a used card from a server reseller vendor on eBay, and make sure its a USA based seller.
The Fujitsu D2745-a11 is a quad port Intel I340 adapter, easily found on ebay for around $20 shipped. Their D3045 is a quad port I350 adapter, slightly more expensive. If you're going bare metal, just get the I340, it's cheaper and will do just as well. The HP NC365T is also a quad port I340 adapter easily found on ebay as well. All of these are genuine Intel cards.
You can also find dual port and quad port Broadcom 5709 chipset cards from Dell servers. The Dell G218C is a dual port Broadcom card that you can find for around $7 shipped.
I can't help you with the PCIe x1 question. I only run PCIe x4 cards in a wired X4 or X16 slot. I have not tried to run them in an X1 slot. In theory it should work but I haven't tried it. All the cards listed above work on OpenWRT 18.06.1 X86_64.
I agree with @owpkts in that a used "pull" is much more likely to be genuine than a new card at an "attractive" price. Buying from an Amazon seller, in my opinion, doesn't ensure that it is a genuine card. I've got a couple "Intel" cards from Amazon sellers that I consider "good, $25 cards" but won't be surprised when they don't perform like genuine Intel cards, either when they're running or when they die.
OpenWrt excels with constrained-resource devices and with 802.11 devices and their management (as well as integrated switch chips). It provides a great interface for generating reasonable firewall rules for home-router applications.
Debian is my choice of preference for Linux-based OSes at this time, as it is less conservative than the Fedora/CentOS/RHEL family, but more easily configured than Ubuntu and its increasingly "overly helpful" Windows-like, click-less configuration. On Linux-based systems, I do use nftables rather than the old, but still common iptables firewall toolset.
My OS of preference for networking and services is FreeBSD (on which pfSense is built). I don't use pfSense as I prefer to hand-craft my firewall rules.
Both of these OS families support professional-level Ethernet cards natively, both GigE and 10GigE speeds (and, at least in the case of FreeBSD, higher rates as well).
An x4 card in an x16 slot will work at full performance. The controller negotiates to the maximum number of lanes that both the card and the slot support. Note that some motherboards have x4 x8 or x16 size slots that are not wired up with the full number of lanes.
Thank you all for all your suggestions!
I also use a lot Debian on my servers. but OpenWRT for AP's and Routing is really by far excelent.
Will find then a pulled out from a server card then, Will go for some of the I340 that @owpkts mention
If you only have PCIe X1 slots, you can also shop for the HP NC110T. This is a slightly older Intel based NIC that is a single port and uses a PCIe X1 connector.
Broadcom also makes a newer BCM5720 based NIC that fits in an X1 slot but has dual ports. However, I think it requires PCI Express v2 or newer. Depending on your mainboard this may not be supported.
The bottom line though is you have lots of options and all of the enterprise grade NICs (broadcom or Intel) will perform very well. Let us know what you end up with.
As long as you know what you want accomplish, ntop(ng) and IDS for instance isn't going to be fun if even possible on an embedded oriented distribution.
Thanks @diizzy I think I will try the setup on a dual board s3000pt it has an pcie x8 so no problems there, one of the boards will have the OpenWRT (no problems with that since I use on several dozen of production Routers OpenWRT since, If I remember correctly Whiterussian 0.9), the other board will be used for testings things with other distributions Debian, pfsense, etc... IDS like you said, proxy cache, etc...
Probably I should get two or three quad port cards, one for each of the boards, I have lying around another old board that will be usefull to put there OpenWRT too since it is too old and shitty for other usages, I think it has dual core with 2gb DDR1, since OpenWRT performs extremely well on a SoC with 700mhz and 128mb ram it should work really well.
Thanks! I will!