RouterOS performance?

Robert E. Seastrom rs at
Tue Aug 19 09:28:23 CDT 2008

Nathan Ward <nanog at> writes:

> On 19/08/2008, at 11:32 PM, Robert E. Seastrom wrote:
>> Also, from time to time I have to reflash these to repurpose them
>> (NanoBSD vs. pfSense vs. AskoziaPBX).  It's a complete pain to
>> disassemble their enclosures so I can get at the CF cards.  I've often
>> thought that if someone had whipped up a memory-resident image of
>> something (anything, linux/bsd/whatever) that I could pxeboot, then I
>> could just dd the new image in over the net.  Haven't gotten around to
>> doing that yet.  Has anyone else?
> My thing is memory resident, the kernel and root fs are all in one
> file. That's not exactly hard to do.
> Not quite what you're looking for though, as config (including passwd
> etc.) isn't.
> Wouldn't be difficult to change though.
> Having said that, I strongly recommend getting your stuff to the point
> where it's a FAT formatted CF card, with a couple of files - 1 kernel,
> 1 filesystem image. Filesystem images are good.
> That way, you can mount your CF card somewhere, and 'reflash' from a
> live system. Just like, for example, a Cisco router. Upgrades are
> easy, just copy a new root FS+kernel on there.

I already have filesystem images (both from other people and of my own
manufacture).  I'm not sure I'm down with the fat32 cf card concept
though I can see where it could be useful.

What I want to do is have a minimal functionality netbootable image
that is sufficient to set up network interfaces and then do:

  ftp> get pfsense.img "| dd of=/dev/ad0"

and completely blow away what's on the flash and replace it with
something new (even via serial console over a networked console server
from my desk, without getting up and going to my lab where I have a
small herd of these puppies as packet pushers), but particularly
without having to break out a screwdriver and a nut driver and pull
four sheet metal screws, four machine screws, and two rs232 retaining
screw standoffs.

There is pxe in the bios on the ALIX... perhaps you know of something
that's already pxebootable that will do this?


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