Monthly Archives: March 2011

Netgear Stora as an ARM development platform

About a week ago I posted a request for recommendations for ARM based systems that could be used for Go development. There were some great responses, including the BeagleBoard and the Guru Plug. Being impatient, and in Australia, I ended up getting a Netgear Stora which has turned out to be a great home NAS, and a capable ARM5 development system. This is the same hardware, albeit with less RAM, that ships in the ShivaPlug.

axentraserver(~/go/src) % export MAKEFLAGS=-j1
axentraserver(~/go/src) % hg identify 
546b1fc95dcc+ tip
axentraserver(~/go/src) % time ./make.bash > /dev/null
hg not installed
conflicts: 3 shift/reduce

real    10m48.889s
user    9m15.380s
sys     0m52.480s

Not too shabby, my 8g host (2.8Ghz Celeron) turns around the same build in just under 12 minutes.

Pros

  • Very good value. For less thatn $200 AUD you get a 1.2Ghz Marvel ARM5 CPU, 128mb of ram and a 1Tb Seagate 3.5″ drive (and a slot for a second drive). Online Computer┬áhave the 1Tb units for $185.
  • Very hackable. SSH is enabled out of the box, if you know the magic suffix that Netgear, and all users created via the web interface are in /etc/sudoers. The fantastic ipkg system will close the gap between the slimmed down RedHat distribution that Netgear Axentra ship and a GNU buildchain that can bootstrap Go.

Cons

  • 128mb of ram, non expandable. This actually turns out to not be a big deal. The stock install has ~75mb of RAM free while running. Turing off a few options and trimming the daemons Netgear installs can get another 10-15mb back.