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Books and tutorials

Here’s some great resources to help you make more out of your tiny computer.

You might also want to check out our collection of useful software to help you choose the right software to install on your tiny computer.


Make Projects - Small PCs

Make projects: Small form factor computers – How to build a computer that fits inside anything

This book has all the information you need to do some really cool things with small form factor computers, including using a net4801 and FreeBSD to build a network monitor, making your own digital TV recorder and building a WiFi extender.

Have fun making stuff you might even be able to use afterwards!

pfsense The Definitive Guide

pfSense: The Definitive Guide to the Open Source Firewall and Router Distribution

This book is designed to be an easy step-by-step guide to common networking and security tasks, as well as a thorough reference for the capabilities of the pfSense® software.

(Available in paperback or Kindle editions.)

Linux Server Hacks

Linux Server Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Tools

Linux Server Hacks is a collection of 100 industrial-strength hacks, providing tips and tools that solve practical problems for Linux system administrators.

Every hack can be read in just a few minutes but will save hours of searching for the right answer.

(Available in paperback or Kindle editions.)

Networking All-in-One

Networking All-in-One For Dummies

If you’re in charge of a network, this book covers the essential things you need to know.

Get nine great networking books in one and learn enough to get you up and running, including network administration and security, wireless networking and managing Linux systems.

(Available in paperback or Kindle editions.)

Network Security Monitoring

The Practice of Network Security Monitoring

This is a surprisingly readable book about network security that teaches you the nuts and bolts of keeping your network safe, using open source software and vendor-independent tools.

Packed with useful information and designed for complete beginners, this book shows you to how to build a security net to detect, contain, and control attacks, and prevent the loss of sensitive data.

(Available in paperback or Kindle editions.)

Homegrown Tutorials by Yawarra


How to back-up a fit-PC2 using only a USB stick (and some creative partitioning)
Learn how to back up your fit-PC2 workstations using just a USB stick and some creative partitioning, allowing you to quickly and easily restore your computer to its original state in the event of hard drive failure or virus infection.

Here’s the Linux image file you’ll need (as per Step 1 in the instructions).

And here’s the tutorial in an alternative easy-to-print format (PDF):
>> How to Back-Up a fit-PC2 Using Only a USB Stick


Other People’s How Tos & Tutorials

Build an appliance

How to build a Firewall, VPN Server and Wireless Access Point on a single board computer (SBC)

This document takes you step by step through compiling the Linux 2.6 kernel with the uClibc library and Busybox binutils, adding services such as sshd, iptables, dhcpd, dns, ipsec and wpa, and provides configuration examples.

pfSense® software

pfSense® software tutorials

A great selection of tutorials on the pfSense® system, including how to install it on a ALIX (WRAP).

pfSense® Setup HQ

This site has a brilliant collection of tutorials, tips and tricks on installing and configuring the pfSense® software. It’s well worth a look.

ALIX & m0n0wall

m0n0wall – WRAP/ALIX Platform Quick Start Guide

A fabulously detailed guide on getting monowall up and running on an ALIX (WRAP) board, including configuring LAN and WAN interfaces.

ALIX & Debian Linux

Installing Debian on Alix3d2

Basic instructions for installing Debian Linux onto a Compact Flash card for use with an ALIX 3 box.

ALIX & Voyage Linux

Installing Voyage Linux SDK

How to install Voyage Linux, for use on an ALIX board or a net5501 / net6501 board, including configuration.

ALIX & Alpine Linux

Alpine Linux – Tutorials and How-tos

Alpine Linux is a security-oriented, lightweight Linux distribution based on uClibc and Busybox. Their wiki explains how to install it, configure it, and specifically covers their experience with OpenVPN on an ALIX 2-3.


IPFire – Installation on a Alix-Board

How to install IPFire onto a CF card for use in your ALIX box, including initial configuration.


IPCop – Installing on a Compact Flash card

These instructions walk you through installing IPCop onto a Compact Flash card, suitable for the ALIX and net5501 boards.

net5501 & m0n0wall

m0n0wall – Soekris Platform Quick Start Guide

A fabulously detailed guide on getting monowall up and running on the net5501, including configuring LAN and WAN interfaces.

net5501 & FreeBSD

Installing FreeBSD on a Soekris box

This “How-To” comes straight from the Soekris wiki, and details two different ways to install FreeBSD on any Soekris board, including the net5501 and net6501.

net5501 & OpenBSD

Installing OpenBSD on a net5501

Work through detailed, step-by-by-step instructions to get OpenBSD installed on your net5501, including PXE booting, installing packages and configuring network interfaces.

net5501 & Zeroshell

How to install Zeroshell on a Soekris net5501 network appliance

This a quick explanation of how to install ZeroShell on a Compact Flash card, and how to get your net5501 to boot from it.


pfSense® forum

pfSense® software support forum
Join in the conversation about installing, using and configuring the pfSense® software.


PC Engines wiki

PC Engines ALIX box wiki
Information and instructions on using the ALIX boards, tinyBIOS, POST codes and adapters.

Soekris wiki

Soekris wiki
Information and instructions on using the net5501, net6501 and other Soekris boards.

Mailing lists

Soekris mailing list

Soekris-tech mailing list
This list is for technical discussions relating to the use of Soekris Engineering’s products.

Note: Although we do our best to provide useful, high-quality resources for you, we haven’t explored everything listed here in depth, so please use your common sense when deciding which resources you want to make use of.