Bering-uClibc 4.x - User Guide - Hardware Requirements

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Hardware Requirements
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Basic Hardware Compatibility

CPU Type

Bering-uClibc 4.x only supports variants of the "x86" microprocessor. This is the standard type of processor which is installed in a "PC" or a "PC compatible" computer. Very early x86 CPUs such as the 8086, i286 and i386 are not supported but all i486 and later variants are supported.

Alternative CPU types which are not supported include:

  • ARM, as used in some embedded devices and mobile phones.
  • MIPS, as used in some embedded devices.
  • PowerPC, as used in e.g. older Apple Macintosh computers.

In near future will be added kernel for x86_64 systems, which may improve performance of AMD64-compatible systems.


Unlike most other Linux distributions, LEAF uses an in-memory file system rather than some sort of disk device to hold its working files and directories. It is therefore necessary to have enough memory to support:

  • The in-memory / ("root") directory structure
  • The in-memory /var/log directory structure
  • The in-memory /tmp directory structure
  • The normal (non-disk) memory requirements of the installed applications

Disk Device

Although not used during normal operations, Bering-uClibc 4.x needs somewhere to store the files it boots from, and any changes made to the default configuration files. This is typically a local disk device of some sort. (It is possible to configure Bering-uClibc 4.x for full "diskless" operation but this is quite an advanced configuration option. See Bering-uClibc 4.x - User Guide - Advanced Topics - Diskless Operation.)

TODO Cover:

  • CD-ROM (only)
  • CD-ROM + Floppy Disk, for config changes
  • Hard drive
  • Flash drive

Minimum Hardware Specifications

Minimum hardware requirements:

  • CPU: i80486 or compatible
  • RAM: 16MB
  • HDD/Flash: 4MB

In that configuration LEAF can do basic routing, but some features (like hardware detection) will be unavailable.

Recommended hardware:

  • CPU: i80486 or compatible, or higher
  • RAM: 64MB or more
  • HDD/Flash: 64MB

This configuration can support all LEAF features

Optimal hardware for PC routers:

  • CPU: Intel Pentium III/Celeron (Coppermine/Tualatin) or AMD Athlon/Sempron (K8) or Intel Atom
  • RAM: 128MB or more
  • HDD/Flash: 64MB

This is recommended configuration for building router from scratch using cheap (old or new) PC hardware; it will have low cost, low power consumption and high performance. This hardware can handle up to 100 (or even more) MBits of traffic with NAT and many connections in conntrack table, and also can act as NAS. It can be used, for ex., as campus router, or router for big office.

Example Hardware Configurations

Known to be Compatible


Known to be Incompatible

Systems that are i686-compatible but haven't support of PAE (ones that use VIA C3, old Intel Pentium M or some exotic CPUs like Transmeta Crusoe) are incompatible with i686 kernel, because it needs PAE support (this is done mainly for NX bit). Please use for them generic i486 kernel.

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