First look at the UP-board


I’ve finally got two UP Boards. After they arrived I also had ordererd another “Mean Well” dedicated 12V rail mount PSU, and some 2.1mm power cables.

The boards are nice little things with a lot of CPU power. Quad Atom with some cache, eMMC and enough RAM!

Photos, dmesg, hwinfo etc can be found here:

http://up.home.xenhosts.de/

The basics:

My models have 2GB of ram which is shared with the onboard graphics.

The have a big front and back cooling plate, for hardcore usage there’s also an active fan in their shop.

Connectors: USB 2.0, 3.0, 3.0 OTG. The latter is a Macbook Air „style“ Typ-C flat connector. There’s also power (via a 2.1mm plug), HDMI and some other stuff I didn’t understand.

There’s one connector that has a industrial style plug. This port exposes 2x USB and a serial with BIOS forwarding. You should give in and just buy it, there’s no way you’ll easily find the plug on your own.

You’ll need this cable unless you only plan on a desktop use. It doesn’t come with a FTDI serial, so also make sure to get one of those.

The MMC reads at up to 141MB/s (pretty nice) and writes (fdatasync) up to 61MB/s (also pretty OK). TRIM does work.

The LAN interface is just a Realtek, connected via PCIe (2.5GT/s, x1).

BIOS stuff

On boot you’re greeted by a normal EFI shell, reminded me of my late HP-UX days, except here there is no SAN boot scan.

Pressing F7 gives you a boot menu which always also allows going to BIOS Setup, which is a normal phoenix-style menu. Very small and simple – that’s nice.

Serial forwarding is supported, I didn’t try netbooting yet.

OS (ubilinux)

I installed their “default” distro which is done by flashing the ISO to a stick (or putting it on a CD) and you have to take care to use a USB2.0 connector if it’s a USB3 stick or it won’t be detected(!)

The grub menu was really slow, while the BIOS had been quick.

Limiting the video ram to 64MB + UHD screen brought me a system that stopped working once X was up. I didn’t investigate that, instead I booted to single user mode and told systemd to make that a default (systemctl set-default=multi-user.target).

Ubilinux is a Debian Jessie (sigh) but with some parts scrapped from Ubuntu (sigh).

It works and has all the stuff to i.e. access the GPIO connectors.

lm_sensors detected the coretemp CPU sensors, nothing else.

AES-NI was autoloaded.

The only thing I couldn’t make work yet was the hardware watchdog, which is an issue split between SystemD, packaging and probably something else.

This one gets a 9/10 which is rare 🙂

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