Router Lab Installation (Olive / Juniper)

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Router Lab : Hardware : Cabling : Olive Install : Xyplex Configuration

Router Lab

   Motherboard   CPU MHz   RAM MB   HDD GB
   Router   1   ECS P4VXASD2+   P4 1700   256   4
   Router   2   MSI K7 Pro (6195)   Athlon 850   256   5
   Router   3   MSI K7 Pro (6195)   Athlon 700   256   1
   Router   4   generic   Celeron 800   384   10
   Router   5   Intel SE440BX   Pentium 2 350   160   1
   Router   6   Biostar M7MKA   Athlon 700   384   10
   Router   7   Gigabyte GA-7ZX   Duron 700   384   1
   Router   8   Asus A7N266-C   Athlon 1200   256   1
   Router   9   IBM 300 PL   P3 450   256   4
   Router   10   Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra   Athlon 1800XP   256   3


The routers are PCs that I collected over the years as a tech/admin. I put the hardware into the rackmount cases you see here. I bought these cases from The other guts of these machines are from ebay.

I bought a bunch of network cards on ebay. They use the Intel 82559 chip, which works just fine for the Juniper Olive. Other chipsets, such as the 82558, also work well.



It’s patch cables all the way until I got to the Xyplex terminal server. Once there, I had to make rollover cables to go from the Xyplex to the RJ45/DB9 adapters on the routers. The adapters, which I bought locally at Cyber Exchange, plug into the serial ports on the routers. Here’s what it looks like:

DB9 adapter
See a closeup of the pinout

I could have wired my network cards directly to each other, but I’m using a patch panel. Since I’m going from card to card, I had to make a couple dozen crossover cables.

Later, I changed this wiring design. In order to have a topology that I can configure remotely, I plugged all fxp0 interfaces into untagged ports on the NetGear. I recommend fxp0 for any management of the Olives since fxp0 on the Olive suffers some routing problems due to its significance in an actual M/T router.

So, here is the rear view of the routers:
Top, with patch


Olive Install

Originally, I used an old version of Ghost to get the router images duplicated. The process is pretty speedy since the image is only about 1GB. Speedier still is making it from scratch.

Step 1) Install the base OS
Install FreeBSD 4.4 mini from this ISO (176 MB)
Make a single partition, type 165, set it active (bootable) and then slice it like this:

/dev/ad0s1a, 500M, /
/dev/ad0s1b, 500M, swap
/dev/ad0s1e, 100M, /config
/dev/ad0s1f, the rest, /var

Step 2) Make some file system changes
After it reboots, issue these commands:

# rm /dev/wd0c
# ln -s /dev/ad0c /dev/wd0c
# mkdir /var/etc
# touch /var/etc/master.passwd
# touch /var/etc/inetd.conf
# touch /var/etc/group

Step 3) Copy and add the jinstall
(A note about the JUNOS software: I will not send anyone Juniper software. Don’t ask. If you don’t know how to get it, then you’re probably not supposed to have it anyway. You can download it from the Juniper site if you have an account. Don’t bug Juniper JTAC about olives either. They are not supported.)

I started with jinstall 7.2R2.4, which I had on CD. A reader from The Netherlands reported problems starting this install with anything later than 7.4R3.3, however had no problems upgrading to later versions from the CLI once the install was complete.

# mount /cdrom
# cp /cdrom/jinstall-7.2R2.4-domestic-signed.tgz /var/tmp
# pkg_add /var/tmp/jinstall-7.2R2.4-domestic-signed.tgz

The pkg_add process does its thing, which takes about 30 seconds. Time to reboot…

# umount /cdrom
(Take out the CD if you want to get it from the drive before you reboot.)

# reboot

Step 4) Don’t touch it
The router will start up, install the jinstall package automatically, then reboot itself.

Step 5) Enjoy
The total time elapsed from start to finish should be about 15 minutes.


Xyplex Configuration

The routers are designed to be accessible via the serial port. For this I purchased a Xyplex MaxServer 1640, also on ebay. The number of ports (40) was over-kill, but other terminal servers (Cyclades, Cisco) cost too much or were too old. The lesser models of the Xyplex came with a BNC media link – yuck! The 1640 is only 10Mbit but it has an RJ45 media link. Simple topology.

I used the manual to revert to the default configuration and loaded this configuration. Next, I used telnet to connect from my computer. Here is the command:

telnet [IP address] [port] (where [port] = 2000 + port number X 100)

Since I used port # 31 for Router1, my command looks like this:

telnet 5100

These are the Xyplex manuals.
MAX Intro
MAX Basic Config
MAX Command Ref
MAX Hardware Install

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