Experiences with Intel NUCs?

arcadian

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My own experience in FreeBSD is limited to servers for the most part. However, I have a few Intel NUCs and similar systems (Gigabyte Brix, Zotac Zbox) around and was wondering what people's experience with FreeBSD was on those systems, as either servers or desktops. I guess ethernet and audio would be the biggest question marks for me. For ethernet, I aways seem to run into issues with Realtek ethernet chipsets - they look like they're working for a while and then throttle or even crash under load - and with a mini-PC that's not something you can easily replace.
 

SirDice

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I have two Zotac boxes and they run FreeBSD just fine. My Zotac ID41 runs a simple desktop, haven't tried to use the wireless but everything else works without problems (currently running 12.1-STABLE).

No experience with the Intel NUC myself but I do believe we have a few users that do.
 

lasuit

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My own experience in FreeBSD is limited to servers for the most part. However, I have a few Intel NUCs and similar systems (Gigabyte Brix, Zotac Zbox) around and was wondering what people's experience with FreeBSD was on those systems, as either servers or desktops. I guess ethernet and audio would be the biggest question marks for me. For ethernet, I aways seem to run into issues with Realtek ethernet chipsets - they look like they're working for a while and then throttle or even crash under load - and with a mini-PC that's not something you can easily replace.
I have two Cappuccino PCs. See https://www.cappuccinopc.com/
And those run great with FreeBSD. They are older Core2 fanless boxes. (I sending this on one). But, I've never had a single hardware problem. They're great.
 

tingo

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I have a couple of ASRock BeeBox "NUC style" boxes that run as servers, one is my bhyve vm host, the other runs Mediawiki. Both work well. They are probably not loaded enough to give problems on the Realtek ethernet (FWIW, Realtek Ethernet works fine for me, always have).
 

Phishfry

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I have two NUC's that both work fine. Dunno about audio though because these are not desktops.
My first NUC was used for NFS storage/backup device.
This second NUC came in a Digital Signage machine called Tightrope Carousel 270. It uses Intel i218V and Intel 5010U CPU

I really don't think all Realtek network interfaces are bad. It's just that the newest interfaces are poorly supported compared to Intel network interfaces.
The RT8111 up to model letter G have worked fine for me. (IE. RT8111A-RT8111G)
 
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tankist02

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I tried to use a NUC as a home theater client a couple of years back. Could not get sound through HDMI.
 

kpedersen

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We use the NUC as the brains for an arcade game cabinet. Unfortunately I cannot quite recall the specific version; I will have a look when I can.

Everything works very well with FreeBSD (I never tested the WiFi). One thing to note is that the bios / uefi system is pretty horrible and consumer-centric. For example you need a mouse to actually use. If this could be flashed with coreboot or something else then that would be perfect.

The GPU is Intel which makes like much easier than faffing with obsolete NVIDIA blobs.
 

neel

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I had a Zotac BI323 a few years ago as a Mini PC, but sold it off. Never really used it as I moved out of my parent's home.

I also had a quad-Gigabit Chinese Mini PC running OPNsense, but it didn't work too well as a router. Despite its Intel NICs, the PCIe buses were constrained. I replaced it with a SFF HP ProDesk desktop (also OPNsense), the ProDesk is big and power hungry, but works well.
Well, I run a Tor relay on a beefy server (not the ProDesk or the Mini PC) and have 300 Mbps FTTH and that uses my server. I average at 100 Mbps of usage at the current moment.
 
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arcadian

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Thanks to everyone for your responses - I really appreciate it. I'll post more when I get them up and running.
 

Hermann

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Hi Arcadian. Did you get fine with Intel Nuc at end?.
I’d like to have one for desktop PC.
Thanks,!
 

Argentum

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I had an experience with an Intel Nuc some 5 years ago - a positive one. Nice piece of hardware. FreeBSD was involved, but not directly - I ran Wmware ESXi on NUC and several FreeBSD machines on ESXi. Everything was fine :) Today, in that situation, I would use FreeBSD as a bare metal and BHYVE...
 

aponomarenko

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ralphbsz

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My former manager (when I worked at IBM) tooj a 4-core Raspberry Pi 3, installed the Hercules emulator on it, and had as much CPU power as an IBM 3084, in a small side pocket of his backpack. The 3084 was one of the largest ever mainframes (physically).
 
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