Netier XL1000 thin client

This page will document the steps necessary to get Linux running on the Netier XL1000 platform, or at least how I did it.

I thought these might make a good CNC/robotics platform because:
  • no moving parts, rugged, spookily silent
  • standard PC hardware including USB, parport, ethernet, IDE, VGA, PS/2, and serial ports (wow!) AMD K6 processor, and accepts standard low-profile SDRAM modules - i've got 256 mb of RAM in one right now.
  • very cheap - about $15 on ebay
  • small size: 9.5"x8.75x1.4" - a little under half a rack slot
  • evidence that linux works on them, the question is whether RTAI will be happy running on it, or if we'll see glitches due to APM and onboard video like in most laptops
  • weird power supply connector - make sure that it comes with the power supply! however, one should be able to bypass this connector and go straight to the AT-style connector on the board. i'm not sure if the pinout is the same as an AT power supply.
  • processor heatsink looks like it requires good ventilation. making it water/dust proof could be annoying.
  • somewhat slow processor speed of 233mhz, If this is enough to do hexapod kinematics calculations at a reasonable rate remains to be seen. might be able to overclock it with a good heatsink.


The built-in disk-on-chip is rather small at about 16mb, and some of the systems didnt have the chip in them at all. Out options for a boot disk are:

  • boot off the network using PXE or similar
  • use a 40X compact flash memory card ($30) hooked to the ide bus with a cheap ($6) adapter available on ebay. This requires a funky 44 pin 2mm pitch IDC header ($2) and ribbon cable ($1)
  • use a usb stick ($14+) with DSL - may be slow
  • boot off a usb CF card reader ($6) (see if this really works)

soon to come - how to flash a boot image to a cf card

Attach file: filexl1000_tn.jpg 16 download [Information]

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Last-modified: Thu, 14 Dec 2006 19:07:52 GMT (1489d)
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