Installation of Astlinux on soekris net5501

I am Jamshaid Anwar and I am using Asterisk as PBX software to demonstrate VOIP on embedded platform for my student project . The embedded platform available with me is Soekris Net5501-70. In order to run asterisk i want to use Astlinux as operating system but i m unable to run it on net5501.Initially for my practice i have made asterisk PBX server using redhat on my PC and achieved all the basic features . but now i am unable to boot net 5501 from usb or from CF card on net5501 . as i am new to asterisk and tech world so can i have any tutorial or guide in detail to run Astlinux as operating system on soekris net5501 ?

Jamshaid Anwar

Did you try asking on the Astlinux mailing list?

You can sign up for the list and view the archives at this link: … inux-users

i have asked them too . but no reply still :frowning:


I had astlinux installed on the net5501 about a week ago. From memory all I did was to download the vmware player to my desktop, insert a CF card into the laptop, map the CF to a new virtual machine, download the astlinux iso, attach it to the virtual CD on vmware player, then boot up the vm. Install astlinux onto the CF card on the vm and when done, put the CF card into the net5501 and boot it.

I dont recall if I had to do anything else to cover the serial console or not. I ended up abandoning it as I needed to get a lot more software on (namely freepbx, squid, apache and a few others) and after about a week of hunting, found that the slackware distro was about the only way to go. The install for that was more involved (done using PXE), but I got there in the end.

Stick with it and google for answers. There’s a lot of information out there, but mostly it’s out of date. I found that any of the recent redhad flavours were all for 686 even though they said they were i386. This was the same for most other major linux distros.


hi . i have burned the image in CF card now . but net 5501 is unable to recognise it . when ever i boot it i get this kind of dispaly on my tera term screen .

POST: 012345689bcefghips1234ajklnopqr,tvwxy

comBIOS ver. 1.33 20070103 Copyright © 2000-2007 Soekris Engineering.


0512 Mbyte Memory CPU Geode LX 500 Mhz

Pri Sla CHS – Mbyte

Slot Vend Dev ClassRev Cmd Stat CL LT HT Base1 Base2 Int

0:01:2 1022 2082 10100000 0006 0220 08 00 00 A0000000 00000000 10
0:06:0 1106 3053 02000096 0117 0210 08 40 00 0000E101 A0004000 11
0:07:0 1106 3053 02000096 0117 0210 08 40 00 0000E201 A0004100 05
0:08:0 1106 3053 02000096 0117 0210 08 40 00 0000E301 A0004200 09
0:09:0 1106 3053 02000096 0117 0210 08 40 00 0000E401 A0004300 12
0:20:0 1022 2090 06010003 0009 02A0 08 40 80 00006001 00006101
0:20:2 1022 209A 01018001 0005 02A0 08 00 00 00000000 00000000
0:21:0 1022 2094 0C031002 0006 0230 08 00 80 A0005000 00000000 15
0:21:1 1022 2095 0C032002 0006 0230 08 00 00 A0006000 00000000 15

1 Seconds to automatic boot. Press Ctrl-P for entering Monitor.

Intel UNDI, PXE-2.0 (build 082)
Copyright © 1997,1998,1999 Intel Corporation
VIA Rhine III Management Adapter v2.43 (2005/12/15)
PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable

PXE-M0F: Exiting Intel PXE ROM.

No Boot device available, enter monitor.

comBIOS Monitor. Press ? for help.

can u please tell me what is wrong in it ?? and how can i make it boot from cf card ??

there are the BIOS setting currently


ConSpeed = 19200
ConLock = Enabled
ConMute = Disabled
BIOSentry = Enabled
PCIROMS = Enabled
PXEBoot = Enabled
FLASH = Primary
BootDelay = 5
FastBoot = Disabled
BootPartition = Disabled
BootDrive = 80 81 F0 FF
ShowPCI = Enabled
Reset = Hard
CpuSpeed = Default


Hi Jimi,

What distro are you using ?

what tool did you use to burn the image to the CF ?


i am using windows 7 currently
and i used physdiskwrite software to burn it into the CF card.
i manually removed partitions the cf card using cmd and using cmd i accessed physdiskwrite too and burned it into the cf card …

I would have thought that would work. I do recall I used fdisk on linux 1st to remove all partitions but I don’t think that should make a difference. What distro of linux are you putting onto the CF ?

What image are you putting on it to ? ISO, img

I ended up setting up a PXE boot and manually built slackware. It took quite a while to sort it out, but it works now. Unfortunatly I didnt keep any records of the steps I took and the resulting image is too large to put on the net (it’s on a 16Gb CF)

i am putting astlinux-1.0.3 into it and its in .img format.
the problem which i understood of that was the bios was not updated .
yesterday it took me 8 hours in parallel to update the BIOS but some how i was able to update it too . this wass the output which i got when it got updated.


Start sending file using XMODEM/CRC protocol.
File downloaded succesfully, size 784 Blocks.

Updating BIOS Flash ,…,… Done.

when i did the hard boot after that it recognized the card and it started instaling all the things automatically and it ended when it asked me my login id and password .

i assumed that this installation is done and switched it off . but when today i switched it on again , it is although detecting cf card and starting all the processes but after some time , the processing halts and i get these kind of errors displayed…
(i am showing only last few lines here which i assumed would have error . i can show you all if you want! )

NET: Registered protocol family 17
Using IPI Shortcut mode
Clocksource tsc unstable (delta = 194010436 ns)
Switching to clocksource pit
ata1: link is slow to respond, please be patient (ready=0)
ata1: SRST failed (errno=-16)
ata1: link is slow to respond, please be patient (ready=0)
ata1: SRST failed (errno=-16)
ata1: link is slow to respond, please be patient (ready=0)
ata1: SRST failed (errno=-16)
ata1: SRST failed (errno=-16)
ata1: reset failed, giving up
RAMDISK: gzip image found at block 0
VFS: Mounted root (ext2 filesystem) on device 1:0.
devtmpfs: mounted
Freeing unused kernel memory: 296k freed
AstLinux medium not found.
/bin/sh: can’t access tty; job control turned off

is there some problem with its timing or some thing ??
can i have any advice on it ??

i guess i have found the answer here. :smile:
the problem is was that cf card don’t function well as a primary hard drive. i stumbled across this answer accidentally when i burned the O.S image on a usb and CF card both and plugged both usb and cf card and hard booted net 5501 . at the point where it used to halt, usb blinked for a couple of times and it loaded the image … and it started working :smile:

now in order to write things on system, i was trying to make this usb port work. i plug a usb in the port and then give the command ‘genkd’ . but i get this type of error …

pbx ~ # usb 1-1: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 3
scsi3 : usb-storage 1-1:1.0
scsi 3:0:0:0: Direct-Access Kingston DT 101 II PMAP PQ: 0 ANSI: 0 CCS
sd 3:0:0:0: [sdc] 7936000 512-byte logical blocks: (4.06 GB/3.78 GiB)
sd 3:0:0:0: [sdc] Write Protect is off
sd 3:0:0:0: [sdc] Assuming drive cache: write through
sd 3:0:0:0: [sdc] Assuming drive cache: write through
sdc: sdc1
sd 3:0:0:0: [sdc] Assuming drive cache: write through
sd 3:0:0:0: [sdc] Attached SCSI removable disk

pbx ~ # genkd
A filesystem on /dev/sda1 is mounted. Aborting.
pbx ~ #

can i have any help with this ??

Jamshaid Anwar

I think you need to pursue this from the Soekris, or Linux side.

i have found the answer, i thought i should mention it here too.
i was not giving the command a proper path to follow to burn all the data on usb …
in my case the correct command was ‘genkd /dev/sdc1’ (without quotes) … so when i gave this command . it started working. Any ways thanx for your help again …

Jamshaid Anwar