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Which small form factor/nano hardware - recommendations?

Posted: 2014/12/13 13:30:57
by obqp12
Hello all - full disclosure I am a linux newbie and have installed CentOS7 a couple of times and knocked it around. I have been reading and using online resources to get up to speed, but have a long way to go - so thanks in advance to any all help to a newbie.

Background - we design/build and deploy SMB network infrastructure systems. We run a small - low resource Wi-Fi controller on windows OS on prem for things like captive portal, walled garden, etc... My of my peers use CentOS with much better results - up time, reliability etc... I have good documentation on how to get the software installed and running. I have been practicing on a couple of old desktops and got it up and running.

Question - I would like to use new low power hardware for our systems moving forward. Do you have a recommendation for a small form factor PC, bare-bones or otherwise, to run CentOS 7 - 24/7? I am interested in the following -

- intel NUC
- Gigbyte BRIX
- Zotac NANO

I think something like this with an 64GB SSD and 4gb of ram would be near perfect - ... 6883218038

I am looking for something that is the most compatible (least fuss) to get CentOS up and running on. I have read a lot of detail about UEFI boot issues, quiet panic(not sure what this is) issues, etc.... with getting this hardware to work. Some are editing the kernel... yikes. As a newbie that sounds like something I am not ready for.

So - is there a solution for me? Are there still issues give the new builds of CentOS7? Have BIOS updates by any of these manufacturers made the instillation process smoother? Is there a better hardware solution than listed above?

Thanks in advance to any/all help in helping me find my way.

Re: Which small form factor/nano hardware - recommendations?

Posted: 2014/12/17 19:31:25
by philhu0724
I have been using a zotac ad12-nano-pkus-u

It is fine but graphics slow

I just got myself a intel NUC I3. There is a firmware upgrade (v33) that helps centos installs

Re: Which small form factor/nano hardware - recommendations?

Posted: 2014/12/17 19:34:23
by obqp12
Thanks for the feedback!

Re: Which small form factor/nano hardware - recommendations?

Posted: 2014/12/20 13:45:26
by obqp12
I recently purchased an Intel D34010WYK1 with 32gb msata and 4gb of ram. After I undated the Bios and disabled UEFI boot it booted from and installed CentOS7 from a rufus USB drive.

To be clear - my first couple of attempts failed - I simply updated the bios thinking that would to do it. The Bios in my unit was from 5/14 and several generations old. The one I loaded (most recent) was from 12/1 - fwiw there were several driver updates to these as well. It appears that intel is supporting these well. Anyway - it would not boot with the new firmware, until I disabled UEFI completely. UEFI and Legacy are both supported by default which I expected was good enough - but was not.

I have only had the unit running for a couple of days - but it seems to be running stable and solid. Are there any monitors or test packages I can use to verify the installation is as expected?

For my applications the i3 with 4gb of ram is complete overkill. I would like to tackle some of the atom and celeron NUCs and the like, But am fearful that I will not be able to overcome the issues others have had, i.e. kernel panic. I am rookie and am afraid I could not overcome the issues. Again - if anyone would would share solutions to running this on a minimal pc like the NUC and are willing to share the solution I would welcome the help.


Re: Which small form factor/nano hardware - recommendations?

Posted: 2015/02/02 03:47:38
by Atomic234
I'm using an ASRock Q1900B-ITX which works well running CentOS 6, but crashes constantly under CentOS 7. Others have had the same problem with similar products:

I like the quad core J1900 cpu. This system idles at 13 watts with a 2.5" hard drive using a Corsair 430 watt 80+ bronze power supply.

Re: Which small form factor/nano hardware - recommendations?

Posted: 2015/02/02 12:08:09
by stevemowbray
I have been running a Gigabyte Brix GB-BXI3-4010 with CentOS 7 for several months with no problems.

Re: Which small form factor/nano hardware - recommendations?

Posted: 2015/02/16 21:23:57
by Greg_E
Foxconn nT-i2847 with 4GB of RAM and an SSD or spinning drive work perfectly from USB DVD drive. Not the speediest, but not terribly slow either if all you need is a cheap machine to learn with. Dual Core Celeron at 1.1 ghz. I think even the wifi worked without a fuss, but I don't quite remember as these were mostly wired machines in my test rack.