Mini-PCs on Amazon

I’m not up to speed on hardware - so I’m curious.
I’ve been doing some hunting around on Amazon, and I see a plethora (yes Jeffe) a plethora of “Mini-PC” types, many with Windows installed, and support wiping and reinstalling Linux on them.
Some examples include:

The recurring note is that many seem to be “Intel Atom” processors. Not sure if this is compatible with IPFIRE?

These little machines are very inexpensive and can support a second USP Ethernet adapter with ease. Do you folks have any plans to build IPFIRE to these kinds of machines or does it already work? Or is there something not good about these machines as home firewalls?

Yes, I saw your hardware lightninglabs stuff, way too expensive for home use. These little machines would be perfect, as their prices range for these box typically $100~200, and then all one needs do is IPFire for a very economical platform if compatible.

Thanks in advance

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I’ve used this generic hardware sucessfully with IPFire at core 153.
AMD mini-PC
It is sold under many brand names by many vendors, including Amazon.

Some will sell it without Windows 10:
without OS

An advantage of AMD, v Intel Atom, is that it does not rely on multi-threading, which was/is being disabled in IPFire, as an additional security precaution.

An additional advantage is that it uses on a solid, finned Aluminium case for cooling and does not get very hot in summer. I mount mine vertically, via the VESA bracket, which aids cooling plus saves shelf space.

Various USB-Ethernet adapters have worked with it.

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I’ve used this one successfully:

It requires RAM and SSD but you can buy everything for about $250. The price has gone up a bit in the last few months but if you are not in a hurry you can get it for $200

It depends what are your expectations for home use, do you need something reliable, with high throughput, IPS, VPN, etc…

Atom Cherry Trail x5-Z8350 is a little slow for encryption, not sure if it supports AES-NI but could be.

2GB RAM is on the low end.
Ethernet LAN 1000M sounds good but needs more details because you want to make sure Linux kernel supports the drivers.
USB Ethernet is not a good idea for a router

The 8GB protectli Vault with Celeron sounds interesting.
Rodney I also prefer AMD.

The K700 uses RTL8169 driver. Have just updated the m/c to core 154. A reboot was not mandatory, but I did so to verify that the driver is still supported.

I don’t have an Internet plan that would test the 1Gb link. Another PC on my LAN also uses RTL 8169 driver and transfers at 117 kB/sec (nominal 1 Gb) to my micro-server.

Some USB3 - Ethernet that I use have RTL8152/3, which also transfer at 1 Gb.

I have so far have two of these working in service both my house and one at my farm two additional for spare, playing with.
had to go through bios settings to boot USB boot/install but not a big deal but installed no issues and speed is great, have 100mb service only so can only test to that speed but between two LANs not bad.

YCSD Mini PC Celeron J1900 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN Fanless Micro PC Industrial Computer

Price was great also

Mike

The only problem was time to get but not bad, shipping to US back then took 3-4 weeks to get here, through customs, etc, but worth it for me since price was good for me.
Mike

I highly recommend the PCEngines APU hardware. While technically lower clocked the SOC kicks butt for IPFire:
https://www.pcengines.ch/index.htm

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We bought this Unit for our sattelite offices and it works great: https://www.newegg.com/p/2NS-000A-09SG9?Description=sys-e200-9B&cm_re=sys-e200-9B-_-2NS-000A-09SG9-_-Product&quicklink=true](https://www.newegg.com/p/2NS-000A-09SG9?Description=sys-e200-9B&cm_re=sys-e200-9B-_-2NS-000A-09SG9-_-Product&quicklink=true

What do you think about this:

We use shuttle DH’s quite successfully (you can get them with 2 ethernet ports and wifi built-in). We get them in the UK from ambros.co.uk

Meant to add - they’ll configure them in various ways for you too, if they don’t have an exact match.

I use this one for years with ipfire. Fully supported by ipfire and enough power for virtd.
Screenshot_2021-03-12 E200-9B Mini-ITX SuperServers Products Super Micro Computer, Inc
https://www.supermicro.com/en/products/system/Mini-ITX/SYS-E200-9B.cfm
But not from amazon, from https://www.digitec.ch/de/s1/product/supermicro-e200-9b-server-barebone-5813169

Why do you need/want mini-pc’s to use as firewall?.. If cost is the main reason, you can get a refurbished prior generation compact (1/2 height) i5 for less than $200 USD, with a 1Gb ethernet port, and $25 more gets you a 1Gb NIC. That can give you plenty of processing horsepower to do most anything that an ipfire box can offer. Get one with two PCI slots empty to add a 3d NIC for a Guest network. I have a Lenovo M82 doing that for me with no problem.

I have found great reliability and compatibility using refurbished Zotac Zboxes.

The one I use at home is a very old barebone in service for about ten years now.

It depends on what you want to do with it. Mine has 2GB and hardly uses it, but I’m not running a proxy or anything special.

The x8350 does support AES-NI, but I haven’t tried using it for a VPN. I’m using an Atomic Pi which goes for about $35 on Amazon. No case, but it can be rested upside-down on its heat sink. Power can be tricky - you’ll need a solid p/s and either a breakout board or a special plug. 2GB RAM and 16GB storage on board plus an sdcard slot, just add USB ethernet.

Power draw is one reason. Some of these mini-PCs use less than 10 watts. A desktop i5 would use far more.

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Yes, that makes sense, and of course, real estate required is much less. Finding micros with two NIC’s is still difficult, but I’ve seen a few of them, but tend to be expensive. Those would make good firewalls. I’ve seen also HP and Lenovo micros (8” x 8” x 1”, approximately) just hitting the refurbished market, with laptop grade i5’s, USB 3, gigabit NIC and built in AC wireless at around $180. A second NIC would require a USB dongle, though. Regardless, it will be interesting to see what solution you find.

I’ve been using a Fit-PC3i MultiLAN built by the Israeli manufacturer CompuLab for many years with IPFire without any problem. You can find the product here: https://www.fit-pc.com/web/solutions/multilan/. There are nice and quiet and have a lot of interfaces, but they are not necessarily cheap.