1 1
Igor

Quick review of Solidrun's Clearfog

Recommended Posts

Guess i will try it today with igor's compile.sh - looks nice. But a question regarding the patches to enable/disable mpcie/msata - can someone tell me if i have to rename any of the patches from .disabled to .enabled so they get used?

Sources are usually compiler depended and if you are trying to do on your own you need: luck (to chose the right build environment / compiler), patience, knowledge, ... If you use our tools, most of those problems are solved by defining proper compiler, extra patches, ...

 

Default settings are one msata one mpci AFAIK and if you want to alter this peek to that patch and remove .disabled to enable it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest oli

Thanks for the Info. I have luck and some knowledge, but no patience :P

I *guess* the first mpcie port is used for my mSATA, the second for my wifi card, so default settings should match (i orientate on the 6 lan-ports text. So i guess port 1 is the one closer to the sfp cage)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So i guess port 1 is the one closer to the sfp cage

By default one is mSATA, the other is mPCI. I really don't recall to be 100% sure which is which but you won't burn anything if you just try. This won't requite much of a patience :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest oli

I booted by SD and moved the newly compiled image (thanks, worked like a charm!) to the SD but when i log on via ssh, i dont have any /dev/sd* - are they labeled different? i would assume /dev/sda, /dev/sdb etc.? i will switch the card later to the other port and see what happens. any idea regarding this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest oli

Wrong port used, i moved the SSD to the other pci port and now its detected

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello

 

I got a Clearfog Pro SOM with eMMC. It has U-boot inside but no os. I have a question. How can I flash the Armbian via Uboot ? Can someone give me some tips ?

 

Xue Liu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just read about the ClearFog Base. Is it possible to run 2 x HDD on the mPCIe port on this too? What would i need of adapters for that?

The Base looks quite interesting to me as tkaiser mentions it has good I/O and that "that both M.2 and mSATA slots can be ‘converted’ to normal SATA ports by using cheap mechanical adapters (might require some SERDES config voodoo in u-boot, Rabeeh from Solid-Run explained details in Armbian forum — Free section, ‘Quick review of Solidrun’s Clearfog’ thread)"

Hence i arrived here :)

 

 

Thanks.

 

Hi,

 

I had previously done some I/O benchmark; running dd with direct I/O (i.e. data doesn't go through processor caches) i was able to reach ~1.5GB/sec on 3 SSDs (2 on mini pcie and one m.2) which is maxing out the 3 SATA links (each SATA link is ~540MB/sec).

 

Igor - i can provide patch for modifying the processor I/O from pcie to msata (without changing anything on the hardware side).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just read about the ClearFog Base. Is it possible to run 2 x HDD on the mPCIe port on this too?

 

The Clearfog Base features one mPCIe/mSATA slot and one M.2. Both standards are multi-purpose interfaces carrying either PCIe or SATA and optionally/additional USB (2.0 or even 3.0 with M.2 standard). The MARVELL SoCs support various so called SERDES lines to the outside that can be configured to be used as SATA or PCIe.

 

So to use 2 normal SATA disks with the Base you would need two different adapters (mSATA --> SATA and M.2 --> SATA -- simply search eBay, Ali, Banggood). On the other hand it might be possible to use attached SATA port multipliers but based on my bad experiences with cheap JMB321 based PMs this is nothing I would connect to such a nice devices like the Clearfogs.

 

I have all of this stuff on my test list since months but unfortunately all the time strange things happen (ordered mSATA to SATA converters on Ali and got some fancy circuitry instead, then I had to borrow the Seagate Barracudas lying around to a customer to replace RAID drives... still in use there... and so on). I hope that I'm able to finish tests with Clearfog Pro within the next 6-8 weeks but regarding performance everything is already known -- see the Rabeeh's tests you quoted :)

 

BTW: Support from Solid-Run simply rocks. They offered even IRC access to an internal dev channel but the few questions I had were all answered by google pointing to forum posts or answers here :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@tkaiser, thanks for the info. So by using those 2 adapter i can connect 2 SATA disks.

But how did Rabeeh connect 3 disks?

"I had previously done some I/O benchmark; running dd with direct I/O (i.e. data doesn't go through processor caches) i was able to reach ~1.5GB/sec on 3 SSDs (2 on mini pcie and one m.2) which is maxing out the 3 SATA links (each SATA link is ~540MB/sec)."

He writes he had 2 disks on mPCIe and 1 on M.2. This looks very interesting and by external USB 3.0 (or is it 2.0?), i might be able build a 4 disk NAS box :)

Perhaps SATA PM being used to connect 2 SSDs on an mPCIe-SATA adapter?

 

Either way, i'm gonna orde this board when i can afford it (not only $90, but shipping+tax etc will make it ~ $150 unfortunately)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But how did Rabeeh connect 3 disks?

 

By testing with Clearfog Pro back then (2 x mSATA and 1 x M.2) ;) Also the performance figures he posted are a clear sign that he maxed out 3 SATA 3.0 lines in parallel (which is great since this means that while the CPU is only dual-core the whole SoC design is capable of highest I/O -- and network -- throughput unlike most of the cheaper SoCs we support)

 

MARVELL Armada 38x supports USB 3.0 (maybe also UAS) and by using a weird combination of different protocols/connectors and even port multipliers or USB-RAID boxes you can clearly attach tens of disks to this board. But then energy efficiency isn't that important any more and if I were you I would look for cheap Intel/AMD Mini-ITX designs that cost less but waste a few W more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, my bad, ofc does the Pro version have 2 x mSATA,, while the Base only got 1 mSATA port.  Yep, the throughput seems very good.

I'll see if i get ok results with my planned OPi Plus 2E. This board clearly is a different league though :)

At some point i was thinking to get APU2C4 from pcengines.ch, still looks interesting for ~ €100.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Ted

How about the temperature of ClearFog Pro, compare with the PC engine APU boards?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello

 

I got a Clearfog Pro SOM with eMMC. It has U-boot inside but no os. I have a question. How can I flash the Armbian via Uboot ? Can someone give me some tips ?

 

Xue Liu

 

So yeah there's some tricks required to get the eMMC version up and running, as you might have noticed the SD card doesn't load.

That's because the eMMC on-board chip is using the same circuit as the SD card and thus overrides it.

 

So your only option to get the U-Boot booting is through UART, Solid-Run has provided some information regarding this on their wiki (read page 2 of this thread).

I found that I had to compile the latest U-Boot myself, the compilation procedure is detailed in their wiki as well. Make sure you're using a GCC 4 toolchain as their U-Boot fork does

not contain the GCC 5 patches yet.

 

Once you get it booted you will need to flash the U-Boot firmware to the first sector of your eMMC (also detail in the wiki, although slightly incorrect).

Now once you've got U-boot on your eMMC you can boot it as usual without UART. From here you need to get an image written into your eMMC, now here's where it gets really tricky.

 

I tried many approaches to write an image from U-Boot but I was unable to do anything from here due to an error "sdhci_transfer_data: Error detected in status(0x408000)!".

This guy has documented the same approach I had to take in order to get it loaded, basically I booted OpenWRT from an initram image through TFTP, partitioned the disks from there and wrote the image to the partition.

 

So all in all, the setup process for this is extremely dull and boring and I'm really glad I only had to do this once!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
1 1