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An OpenBSD Tor Relay on PCEngines' APU2

Embedded devices are often underpowered with CPU and RAM, relegating them to low-bandwidth relays.

That's why PCEngines APU2 are worth a good look. With up to 4Gb of RAM, a 1GHz CPU and three Intel Pro gigabit network interfaces, APU2s are versatile and stable.

OpenBSD runs well on APU2s, and configured as a Tor relay or bridge, APU2s are ideal as residential hardware as they are fanless and run cool.

Some installation and configuration notes:

Console Access

As there is no video output such as VGA or HDMI on the APU2, locate communications are over serial console. The default and permanent speed on the APU2 is 115200.

Full-Disk Encryption

It is trivial to employ full-disk encryption on OpenBSD, and while not required, it's a good physical security measure particularly for remote hardware in less-trusted environments.

Primary Storage with mSATA

Purchase mSATA as the install target media for the APU2. Even a 16Gb mSATA device provides adequate space for a fully operating OpenBSD Tor relay or bridge.

Install Media

Boot off the install*.fs image on a USB stick, and install onto the mSATA device.

Running OpenBSD -stable

For ease of maintainability, use OpenBSD -stable as full system upgrades are only required once every six months. With new releases every May 1 and November 1, full-system upgrades can be scheduled. Tools like syspatch(8) make critical base system updates painless, and don't require the full source tree for upgrades.

Updating Ports

Binary package updates are not available on OpenBSD -stable, so maintaining a populated /usr/ports tree is vital. OpenBSD -stable ports only receive critical updates, but this frequently includes the net/tor port.

A Working Disk Layout

Here is an example of a working partition layout:

mount partition size notes / a 750M none b 200M swap /var d 1.5G /var/tor e 1G separate partition for Tor data /var/www f 50M separate partition for serving www traffic if necessary /usr g 4G /usr/local h 750M /usr/ports i 1.5G /home j 4.3G remainder of disk space, which can be taken from for above partitions

After install, /etc/fstab is directly edited to add a 100Mb /tmp memory-based partition:

swap /tmp mfs rw,-s100M 0 0

en/openbsd_on_pcengines_apu_boards.txt · Last modified: 2018/01/31 22:08 by gman999