Alix 3d1 board based web and mail server

In my attempt to set up a low power consuming web and mail server for private use I ended up with a Alix 3d1 board.

The specs can be found on the manufactures website: PC Engines.

This page contains information and experiences related to this project.

Alix 3d1


Serial Console

To communicate with the Alix board through the serial console configure your port as follows:

  38400 baud rate
  No parity
  8 bits
  1 Stop bit
  No flow control

CF-card device

On the alix board the device node of the CF-card will be /dev/dha.

Gentoo installation

Mount your a target (CF-card, iso-file etc.) on your favorite system and follow the instructions instructions from The Gentoo Handbook using the mountpoint of the CF card as your target.

  • Select the i486 stage-3 (don't use x86 but 486 as it run slower according to [4])
  • Edit make.conf according to [4]
  • Set MAKEOPTS to something that fits the current system and change it when moving the gentoo installation to the Alix board
  • Copy the kernel-config from [2] and disable/enable features so it fits your needs
  • Uncomment and modify serial console s0 in /etc/inittab to: s0:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 ttyS0 vt100
  • Update /boot/grub/grub.conf accordingly to your system and make grub (and the linux kernel) use console output by adding serial –unit=0 –speed=38400 –word=8 –parity=none –stop=1 and terminal serial as lines and add console=ttyS0,38400 as boot parameter to the kernel (see below for an example of a grub.conf file)

Example of a suitable make.conf:

# cat /etc/make.conf
# These settings were set by the catalyst build script that automatically
# built this stage.
# Please consult /etc/make.conf.example for a more detailed example.
CFLAGS="-march=k6-2 -Os -fno-align-jumps -fno-align-functions -fno-align-labels -fno-align-loops -pipe -fomit-frame-pointer"
# WARNING: Changing your CHOST is not something that should be done lightly.
# Please consult before changing.


Example of a grub.conf file:

# cat /boot/grub/grub.conf
default 0
timeout 5 

serial --unit=0 --speed=38400 --word=8 --parity=none --stop=1
terminal serial

title Gentoo Linux 2.6.36-r5
root (hd0,1)
kernel /boot/kernel-2.6.36-gentoo-r5 root=/dev/sda2 console=ttyS0,38400


alix3d1.txt · Last modified: 2011/02/08 18:49 by jsc
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