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Hardware Requirements  SecureOffice  xoops  29-Nov-2020 17:20  0  2452 reads

Table_of_Contents

1      PC Hardware Selection

1.1                Storage Devices

1.2                Memory Requirements

1.3                Ethernet Ports

1.4                Video Interface

1.5                Audio Interface

1.6                USB Ports

1.7                WiFi Interface

1.8                CPU Requirements

1.9                CPUs that are Known to Work

1.10            CPUs that Should Work

2      PC Selection / Qualification

3      Various PCs Reviewed

3.1                Tested PC Hardware

3.2                Dual Network Hardware that Should Work

3.3                Single Network Hardware that Should Work

List of Tables

Table 1:       Storage Options

Table 2:       Processor Requirements

Table 3:       Processors that are Known to Work

Table 4:       Processors that Should Work

Table 5:       Verified PC Hardware

Table 6:       Dual Network PCs that Should Work

Table 7:       Single Network PCs that Should Work

1      PC Hardware Selection

SecureOffice runs on standard x86_64 (64 bit only) Intel processors with standard PC architecture or Amlogic ARM aarch64 TV boxes (pre-installed only). It is untested (but theoretically possible) for SecureOffice to run on AMD (64 bit only) processors. Any user attempting this, please report results on the user forum.

In practice, any PC or HTPC (Home Theatre PC) computer meeting Windows7 WHQL (Windows Hardware Quality Labs) requirements should be compatible with SecureOffice.

It is recommended that the PC chosen be able to automatically power up after a power failure. Lack of this feature means that SecureOffice must be manually powered up after every power failure, a hassle, requiring attended operation.

Since SecureOffice is intended to run 24/7. It is strongly recommended (but, not necessary) that low power, fanless PC hardware be chosen to host SecureOffice.

Be sure to read the requirements sections to determine your CPU, memory, storage, ethernet, USB and WiFi needs prior to purchasing any hardware.

1.1                Storage Devices

SecureOffice requires a minimum of 16GB of storage for the operating system and applications, plus whatever data storage is required for shared files, virtual machines, etc. A total of 32GB storage is adequate for SecureOffice and one minimal virtual machine, with room for minimal user shared files. It is recommended to have a minimum total of 64GB of storage, double that if using multiple virtual machines or docker containers, to allow some room for growth.

It is recommended that SecureOffice operating system be installed on a mSATA SSD and, if the mSATA size is inadequate for required data storage that the mSATA SSD be replaced with a larger one or an additional SATA hard disk or SSD be added. Choosing a SATA SSD as opposed to hard disk consumes less power.

If mSATA is not available, SecureOffice can be installed on a SATA disk or SSD.

Another feature worth considering is I/O and physical space for an additional SATA hard disk, to allow additional storage or RAID for high reliability requirements. This means the PC enclosure must have room for at least one SATA disk and the motherboard must have at least one SATA port. If mSATA is not available, at least two SATA disks will be required for RAID.

In dual disk configurations, it is recommended that the first three partitions (1 = boot, 2 = rootfs, 3 = swap) be identical on both disks to allow booting from the secondary disk for recovery reasons. Copying partitions 1 to 3 from primary to secondary disk can be done by the (custom packages) RAID script for RAID installations, otherwise, a HowTo is available under HowTo->Storage.

SecureOffice can be booted from any media supported by your hardware.

Disk Type

Minimum Size

Hardware Required for Initial SecureOffice Installation

Notes

 

 

 

 

USB Disk, SD or TF

16GB + Data Size

USB port, SD or TF peripheral reader on PC used for installation.

Slow, use only for verifying SecureOffice hardware compatibility. Also, SD and TF have reliability issues precluding mission critical applications.

mSATA Boot, mSATA Data

16GB + Data Size

mSATA port or peripheral on PC used for installation.

 

No SATA or SSD hard disk required

mSATA Boot, SATA or SSD hard disk Data

16GB mSATA, SATA or SSD hard disk. Non-RAID applications

mSATA and SATA ports or peripheral on PC used for installation

Recommended non-RAID configuration, keep SecureOffice operating system and user data on separate devices.

Single SATA hard disk boot, and Data

16GB + Data Size

SATA port or peripheral on PC used for installation

Lowest cost option, since only one hard disk required.

Dual SATA hard disk

16GB + Data Size

SATA port or peripheral on PC used for installation

For very large storage or RAID configuration

mSATA Boot + Data, SATA hard disk Data

Form RAID with mSATA Data and SATA Data. Identical mSATA, SATA sizes. 16GB + Data Size.

mSATA port or peripheral on PC used for installation.

Recommended-RAID configuration for data reliability. 64GB (each) adequate for one virtual machine, website. SecureOffice developers (and this site) use 256 GB mSATA and SATA disks.

Table 1: Storage Options

1.2                Memory Requirements

If virtual machine or docker support is NOT required, a minimum 2GB of memory is required. A minimum of 4G memory is recommended, to allow room for growth.

If virtual machine support is required, a minimum 4GB of memory is required. If intending to create a video security system using ZoneMinder (IP Camera monitoring), or running multiple virtual machines, 8GB or more memory is highly recommended.

There is no maximum requirement for memory, apart from PC motherboard limitations. Generally, the more memory available, the less memory caching, increasing performance.

1.3                Ethernet Ports

For performance reasons, it is recommended that Ethernet ports be Gigabit (1000M) capable.

For WAN Topology (SecureOffice also functions as router / gateway), two Ethernet ports are required. PC's / motherboards with two Ethernet ports are rarer and slightly more expensive than PC's with one Ethernet port. Cost can be slightly reduced at the expense of network performance if a USB Ethernet dongle is used as the WAN (internet port), as opposed to a PC with two Ethernet ports. Any USB Ethernet dongle supported by Linux should work (with a little internet research to determine which driver to install). For users lacking technical expertise, it is recommended to procure a PC with two Ethernet ports.

For LAN Topology (Using existing router, SecureOffice is a LAN peripheral), only one Ethernet port is required. A USB ethernet port can be added later at a slight performance cost.

1.4                Video Interface

SecureOffice has been proven (tested) for support of Intel HD Graphics Display (HDMI / 1080P, VGA / 1600 x 1200) subsystem. Choosing hardware with a different video subsystem may require installation of additional drivers (technical expertise). Users who do this are encouraged to share their results (drivers installed, configuration) in the forum, to be incorporated into future HowTo's.

A VGA or HDMI port with a graphics system (part of PC) supporting at least full HD, 1080p (1920x1080) is required. Any PC compatible with Windows 7 WHQL should have this.

Video is required for the following reasons:

  • Initial SecureOffice configuration requires video for shell command line (console) access. Further, if password recovery becomes necessary, connecting a keyboard and monitor to the display port will allow recovery (console does not require login).
  • VmWare Workstation and other premium applications uses the Xorg (Linux) graphics system for the user interface. Even though virtual machines can be run headless (no display), a display is still required for virtual machine configuration.
  • The SecureOffice feature roadmap (future applications) contains Home Theatre applications such as Kodi and Netflix which display network content (movies, etc.) to televisions.
  • Viewing IP cameras on native display (as opposed to browser) for security camera applications.

1.5                Audio Interface

An Audio interface is required for compatibility with future Home Theatre applications such as Kodi and Netflix. Depending on user requirements, PC's must have at least one of the following audio connections:

  • Legacy line in / line out analog interfaces
  • HDMI port supporting digital audio
  • Digital audio in / out port

SecureOffice has been proven (tested) for support of the following audio subsystems (PCI Vendor:Device):

  • (8086:27d8) Intel N10/ICH 7 Family High Definition Audio
  • (8086:1e20) Intel 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller
  • (10de:0ac0) Nvidia MPC79 High Definition Audio

Choosing hardware with a different audio subsystem may require installation of additional drivers (technical expertise). Users who do this are encouraged to share their results (drivers installed, configuration) in the forum, to be incorporated into future HowTo's.

Any PC compatible with Windows 7 WHQL should have an audio subsystem compatible with SecureOffice.

1.6                USB Ports

It is strongly recommended that at least one USB3 port be available, especially if you intend to use USB storage or a Gigabit USB Ethernet adapter. The number of USB ports depends on user requirements.

1.7                WiFi Interface

If wired only network is desired, or WiFi is provided by your existing router, WiFi is optional, a user choice. If intending to run WiFi VPN hotspots., WiFi is mandatory.

Currently, SecureOffice supports 2.4GHZ, 802.11/bgn and 5.8GHZ 802.11ac WiFi, dependent upon hardware capabilities of the WiFi card. Note that simultaneous 2.4 and 5GHZ operation requires WiFi cards with two transmitters, very rare and expensive. If looking for dual band WiFi, the cheapest option is to bridge an inexpensive dual band router with SecureOffice LAN and omit SecureOffice WiFi.

SecureOffice has been proven (tested) for support of the following WIFI devices (Vendor:Device):

  • (PCI 168c:002a) Atheros Communications Inc. AR928X Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express)
  • (PCI 168c: 001c) Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x / AR542x Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express)
  • (PCI: 168c:0030) Qualcomm Atheros AR93xx Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express)
  • (PCI 10ec:8176) Realtek RTL8188CE 802.11b/g/n WiFi Adapter (PCI-Express)
  • (USB 13d3:3273) IMC Networks 802.11 n/g/b Wireless LAN USB Mini-Card (USB)
  • (USB: 168c:002a) Qualcomm Atheros AR928X Wireless Network Adapter (USB)

When selecting a WiFi card, it is important to select one that is capable of multi SSID's (Station Set IDentifier), the network name you see when browsing WiFi networks. This is important for providing separate WiFi networks for various purposes such as separate WiFi VPN hotspot and IOT networks.

Choosing hardware with a different WiFi card may require installation of additional drivers (technical expertise). Users who do this are encouraged to share their results (drivers installed, configuration) on the forum, to be incorporated into future HowTo's.

1.8                CPU Requirements

Feature

Requirement

Notes

 

 

 

Instruction Set

64 Bit (x86_64)

 

Cores

Minimum 2

Performance

Threads

Minimum 2

Performance

Intel Virtualization Technology (VT-x)

Yes

Required to run VmWare Workstation virtual machines.

Intel VT-x with Extended Page Tables (EPT)

No, nice to have

Performance, reduces power

Intel Turbo Boost Technology

No, nice to have

Reduces power consumption by adapting clock speed to CPU load.

Intel Hyper-Threading Technology

No, nice to have

Performance

SSE4.1/4.2

Yes

Performance

AES-NI

No, nice to have

Performance, hardware encryption / decryption

Thermal Monitoring Technologies

No, nice to have

Reliability, protection from CPU over-temperature

Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology

No, nice to have

Reduces power consumption

Intel Fast Memory Access

No, nice to have

Performance

Cache Size

Minimum 1M

Performance

Table 2: Processor Requirements

1.9                CPUs that are Known to Work

It is expected that this list will dramatically increase in size, as users report success. Thus far, these are the CPU's that have been developer tested.

Intel CPU

Specifications

Notes

 

 

 

Atom 330

https://ark.intel.com/products/35641/Intel-Atom-Processor-330-1M-Cache-1_60-GHz-533-MHz-FSB

Poor virtual machine performance. Not recommended.

Celeron 1037U

https://ark.intel.com/products/71995/Intel-Celeron-Processor-1037U-2M-Cache-1_80-GHz

Currently using for development / production systems.

Celeron J1900

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/78867/intel-celeron-processor-j1900-2m-cache-up-to-2-42-ghz.html

Previously used for corporate router, telephony, host this site.

Core i3-5010U

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/processors/core/i3-processors/i3-5010u.html?wapkw=%20i3-5010U%20

Currently using for corporate router, telephony, host this site

Table 3: Processors that are Known to Work

1.10            CPUs that Should Work

In general, SecureOffice is compatible with any modern Intel CPU meeting the requirements in Section 1.8.

Intel CPU

Specifications

Notes

 

 

 

Celeron G1840

http://ark.intel.com/products/80800/Intel-Celeron-Processor-G1840-2M-Cache-2_80-GHz

Overkill, power pig

Celeron G3900

http://ark.intel.com/products/90741/Intel-Celeron-Processor-G3900-2M-Cache-2_80-GHz

Overkill, power pig

Celeron N3050

http://ark.intel.com/products/87257/Intel-Celeron-Processor-N3050-2M-Cache-up-to-2_16-GHz

 

Celeron N3150

http://ark.intel.com/products/87258/Intel-Celeron-Processor-N3150-2M-Cache-up-to-2_08-GHz

 

Celeron 2980U

https://ark.intel.com/products/76620/Intel-Celeron-Processor-2980U-2M-Cache-1_60-GHz

 

Celeron 3205U

https://ark.intel.com/products/84809/Intel-Celeron-Processor-3205U-2M-Cache-1_50-GHz

 

Pentium 3556U

http://ark.intel.com/products/76621/Intel-Pentium-Processor-3556U-2M-Cache-1_70-GHz

 

Intel Core i3 4005U

http://ark.intel.com/products/75105/Intel-Core-i3-4005U-Processor-3M-Cache-1_70-GHz

Overkill, power pig

Intel Core i3 4010U

https://ark.intel.com/products/75107/Intel-Core-i3-4010U-Processor-3M-Cache-1_70-GHz

Overkill, power pig

Intel Core i3 5005U

https://ark.intel.com/products/84695/Intel-Core-i3-5005U-Processor-3M-Cache-2_00-GHz

Overkill, power pig

Intel Core i3 7100U

https://ark.intel.com/products/95442/Intel-Core-i3-7100U-Processor-3M-Cache-2_40-GHz-

Overkill, low power

Intel Core i5 3317U

https://ark.intel.com/products/65707/Intel-Core-i5-3317U-Processor-3M-Cache-up-to-2_60-GHz

Overkill, power pig

Intel Core i5 4200U

http://ark.intel.com/products/75459/Intel-Core-i5-4200U-Processor-3M-Cache-up-to-2_60-GHz

Overkill, power pig

Intel Core i5 4258U

https://ark.intel.com/products/75990/Intel-Core-i5-4258U-Processor-3M-Cache-up-to-2_90-GHz

Overkill, power pig

Intel Core i5 5200U

https://ark.intel.com/products/85212/Intel-Core-i5-5200U-Processor-3M-Cache-up-to-2_70-GHz

Overkill, power pig

Intel Core i5 5250U

https://ark.intel.com/products/84984/Intel-Core-i5-5250U-Processor-3M-Cache-up-to-2_70-GHz

Overkill, power pig

Intel Core i5 5257U

https://ark.intel.com/products/84985/Intel-Core-i5-5257U-Processor-3M-Cache-up-to-3_10-GHz

Overkill, power pig

Intel Core i5 7200U

http://ark.intel.com/products/95443/Intel-Core-i5-7200U-Processor-3M-Cache-up-to-3_10-GHz

Overkill, low power

Intel Core i7 4500U

http://ark.intel.com/products/75460/Intel-Core-i7-4500U-Processor-4M-Cache-up-to-3_00-GHz

Overkill, power pig

Intel Core i7 4510U

https://ark.intel.com/products/81015/Intel-Core-i7-4510U-Processor-4M-Cache-up-to-3_10-GHz

Overkill, power pig

Intel Core i7 4558U

https://ark.intel.com/products/75992/Intel-Core-i7-4558U-Processor-4M-Cache-up-to-3_30-GHz

Overkill, power pig

Intel Core i7 5500U

https://ark.intel.com/products/85214/Intel-Core-i7-5500U-Processor-4M-Cache-up-to-3_00-GHz

Overkill, power pig

Intel Core i7 5550U

http://ark.intel.com/products/84992/Intel-Core-i7-5550U-Processor-4M-Cache-up-to-3_00-GHz

Overkill, low power

Intel Core i7 6500U

http://ark.intel.com/products/88194/Intel-Core-i7-6500U-Processor-4M-Cache-up-to-3_10-GHz

Overkill, low power

Intel Core i7 7500U

https://ark.intel.com/products/95451/Intel-Core-i7-7500U-Processor-4M-Cache-up-to-3_50-GHz-

Overkill, low power

Table 4: Processors that Should Work

2      PC Selection / Qualification

Determine basic requirements such as processor, memory, storage, number of ethernet ports and support for extra SATA disk.

If intending to re-purpose an old PC / laptop, or going to a physical computer store to test hardware, after determining basic requirements such as processor, memory, storage and support for extra SATA disk are met for SecureOffice, the easiest qualification method is to create a free SecureOffice USB boot disk and try it.

If SecureOffice boots and the following console commands return no fatal errors or missing drivers:

  • Console: "dmesg | grep -i err"
  • Console: "logread | grep -i err"
  • Console: "ping yahoo.com" (verify network works)
  • Connect to WiFi using another device (SSID: SecureOffice, PW: SecureOffice)

If shopping for a new PC for SecureOffice, try the following vendors and search terms:

3      Various PCs Reviewed

The PC market is fast moving, with products rapidly being introduced and obsoleted. It is a full time job to keep current. The best that can be done is to take a market snapshot and select from what is currently available.

3.1                Tested PC Hardware

Examining the specifications of these PC's should aid you in selecting one that is not on the hardware lists.

Model

Vendor

Notes

 

 

 

Intel Celeron 2955U Mini PC 6x Gigabit Ethernet HDMI

https://www.aliexpress.com/i/4000265525358.html

 

Shenzhen X34-6LAN. Currently using to host this website, corporate email and telephony.

Eglobal Mini-PC Router

Fanless Mini PC Linux J1900 Quad Core 4*Intel WGI211AT Gigabit RJ45 Lan

Previously used this to host this website, corporate email and telephony. Sold to beta tester.

Partaker B5

Partaker B5 Fanless Desktop Computer Mini Pc N3150 N3050 J3160 with Dual Lan Dual HDMI

 

This platform and previous revisions have been used for product development and testing. Works very well. Be sure to order required mSATA and memory sizes.

ASUS AT31ION-I Deluxe

No longer available.

 

This is a previous development and deployment system. Requires extra PCIe or USB Ethernet port. Obsolete

Shuttle DS437

http://global.shuttle.com/main/productsDetail?productId=1745

 

Obsolete. Currently using as SecureOffice home DLNA / file server. Processor incompatible with current VmWare Workstation.

Table 5: Verified PC Hardware

3.2                Dual Network Hardware that Should Work

Although untested (translation: no guarantee), these PC's and others with similar specifications should work with SecureOffice.

As users report success, corresponding PC's will be moved to the "verified" list.

Partaker has a very good selection of potentially compatible Mini PC / HTPC's, many of which exceed SecureOffice requirements (overkill), but some users will want the extra performance, at the expense of extra cost and power consumption.

Shuttle has a very good selection of potentially compatible Mini PC / HTPC's, many of which exceed SecureOffice requirements (overkill), but some users will want the extra performance, at the expense of extra cost and power consumption.

The following dual (or more) ethernet models appear to be a good price / performance / features match:

Model

Vendor

Notes

 

 

 

Topton

Fanless Mini PC AES-NI Intel N3160 3150 Quad Core 2*Lans 2*HDMI

Appears to be equivalent to Partaker B5

Shuttle DS10U, DS77U3, DS77U5, DS77U7

https://store.us.shuttle.com/Fanless-s/111.htm

 

Expensive. Shop around, select Linux OS to reduce price.

Shenzhen X39G, X40G, X41G,

http://minipcxcy.aliexpress.com/store/4362012

 

X41G: No room for SATA HDD

Partaker (Inctel Technology) I29, C4, I7, I4. I1, I2, B5, B13, B20, I27

https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?catId=0&initiative_id=SB_20201221040400&SearchText=Partaker

 

 

Partaker (Inctel Technology) Mini PC Intel Core i7 6500U

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001882161590.html

 

 

Partaker (Inctel Technology) Mini PC Intel i7-7820HK 7820HQ

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001882345773.html

 

Very high performance. All processor options should work. 4K HD video capable

Partaker Mini PC Intel i7-7820HQ

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001222521435.html

 

Very high performance. All processor options should work. 4K HD video capable

Partaker (Inctel Technology) B18 Intel i9 10880H i9 10980HK

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001779551357.html

Ultra high performance. All processor options should work. 4K HD video capable.

Minisys

Mini PC Celeron J3160 Quad Core 4 Intel i210AT Nic with AES-NI

4 Ethernet ports, No sound on HDMI (so, no home theatre apps). AES-NI is hardware encryption for SSL performance. WiFi optional.

Table 6: Dual Network PCs that Should Work

3.3                Single Network Hardware that Should Work

Although untested (translation: no guarantee), these PC's and others with similar specifications should work with SecureOffice.

As users report success, corresponding PC's will be moved to the "verified" list.

Partaker has a very good selection of potentially compatible Mini PC / HTPC's, many of which exceed SecureOffice requirements (overkill), but some users will want the extra performance, at the expense of extra cost and power consumption.

Shuttle has a very good selection of potentially compatible Mini PC / HTPC's, many of which exceed SecureOffice requirements (overkill), but some users will want the extra performance, at the expense of extra cost and power consumption.

The following Single Ethernet models appear to be a good price / performance / features match

Model

Vendor

Notes

 

 

 

Partaker (Inctel Technology) B1, B4, B6, B7, B9, B16, B19, I3, I29, K4, P1, P3, P6

https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?catId=0&initiative_id=SB_20201221040400&SearchText=Partaker

 

All processor options should work.

Partaker B7

Fanless Mini PC N3150 Intel Quad Core Max 2.08GHz 1*Lan 1*HDMI 4K HTPC

4K HD video Capable

Partaker P1

Mini PC with 1 NIC port C1037U C1017U C1007U with 1 serial port dual display

No 4K HD video

Shenzhen X34, X37

http://minipcxcy.aliexpress.com/store/4362012

 

No room for SATA HDD

Table 7: Single Network PCs that Should Work

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