I need a computer that can run Linux, must be small
January 7, 2004 2:32 PM   Subscribe

I am examining building a linux appliance. I need small hardware. I have looked at mini-ITX. What other small computer options are available?

This would be a telephony appliance with a modem, ethernet port and some kind of solid state storage at a minimum. The exact cfg would depend a lot on what hardware is available out there.
posted by stbalbach to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
mini-ITX is probably your most reasonable option. There are also single board 486 or pentium units but they'll cost a lot more. If you don't have some reason why you want to go that small I'd stick with mini-ITX.
posted by substrate at 2:50 PM on January 7, 2004

I've run Linux on reference platforms that used the EmbeddedATX
motherboard, and I was surprised at how decently they are considering that the entire machine is smaller than a shoebox.

I'm not sure where you'd buy one, though.
posted by cmonkey at 2:58 PM on January 7, 2004

That should read "surprised at how decent they are considering..."
posted by cmonkey at 3:00 PM on January 7, 2004

I have nothing to add, aside from that 933mhz C64 is sweet.
posted by crunchland at 3:48 PM on January 7, 2004

they all come with CF sockets onboard, and up to 3 ethernet ports,...

no modem though, although, they have a serial port, if you really need a modem...
posted by yeoz at 4:06 PM on January 7, 2004

Shuttle XPC. Mine's great. Not quite as small as the mini-itx's, but a bit more upgradable/customizable, and much faster. Quiet, too.
posted by daver at 4:20 PM on January 7, 2004

yeoz, thanks, soekris is exactly the kind of mini-ITX alternative I'm looking for.

daver, I have a Shuttle as my personal PC -- They are great, overkill for this application.

cmokey ill check out the embeddedATX it may also be overkill since it uses a P4.
posted by stbalbach at 5:59 PM on January 7, 2004

For small stuff, it's hard to beat PC/104 on size. PC/104 stacks ain't cheap, though.
posted by majick at 7:49 PM on January 7, 2004

(Yes, I suppose this is my ashamed advertising... I do sell these)

SUMICOM offers some really small form factors, including a CD-ROM sized computer. They're somewhat pricey, though, sorry.
posted by shepd at 10:36 PM on January 7, 2004

There are couple of hackable embeded linux devices hidden on the shelves of your local compusa. For instance check out the $50 ActionTec dual modem router. Originally ment to share a modem like between computers over ethernet. But it's easy to update to do you bidding. Seach slashdot for the article on it.
posted by dirtylittlemonkey at 1:41 PM on January 8, 2004

great idea dirtylittlemonkey. The ActionTec doesnt say it is a voice modem, which I would need in this application, but it might be or be hackable as one. Somthing to check out or look around for other similair dead products from the past.
posted by stbalbach at 11:55 PM on January 8, 2004

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