OpenBSD and the Intel NUC

Update - A reader pointed out that the intel i5-4250U Processor only has 2 cores and not 4. I’ve changed the article to reflect that. It has 4 threads and so the OS sees 4 processors, but in fact it only has 2 cores. Thanks to Jeff for pointing that out.

While shopping around for a small form factor PC, I came across the Intel NUC. It was the machine our IT department had decided to use to drive all the 50" TV’s that they had put up all over the office. I was initially drawn to its tiny size, and neat look. It’s a very clean looking box.

Although the NUC is a tiny computer, it’s packed with power. The model I purchased has a 1.3GHz i5 with two cores. I added 16GB’s of RAM (the maximum) and a 250GB mSATA SSD. The NUC comes standard with gigabit Ethernet and four USB 3.0 ports. There is also a mini PCI Express slot for adding wifi, if wanted. Since the NUC was going to be living on my desk, I decided against the wifi for now. The NUC has integrated Intel graphics (Intel® HD Graphics 5000) which as an OpenBSD user is exactly what I wanted. It’s also capable of driving a high resolution display, and since I had recently acquired one of the beautiful Monoprice 27" IPS 2560 x 1440 displays from Massdrop* it was a perfect fit.

There was one small hiccup, when it came time to connect the display to the NUC, I realized that the display accepted dual link DVI, and the NUC presented mini HDMI or mini Display Port only. Off to the interwebs, I found a mini Display Port to Dual-Link DVI adapter, which is USB powered.

Once the adapter arrived, everything was in place and I was able to boot over the network via pxeboot(8) and install OpenBSD.

As usual, the installation was fast and straightforward. One of the things I like most about OpenBSD is their no frills installer. It’s a simple text based program that has sane defaults (for installing OpenBSD at least). Once you have used it a few times, installation is as easy as hitting return over and over again until you are done. The other nice thing about the install is that it is fast. Downloading the full OS and installing it takes me about 10 minutes on average. The great thing also is that this has been steady since I started using OpenBSD way back when.

After several months of break-in, I can now comfortably say that OpenBSD runs great on the NUC. I have no problem streaming 1080p video from youtube (html5 only – no flash for me), or playing them directly over my LAN. VLC and mplayer work great, as does gnome3. I don’t play any games so I can’t say how they work, but as a standard desktop system, the machine works great.

Like a good OpenBSD user, I include my dmesg(8) below.

*That’s a referral link, if you don’t like that, just go to directly.

OpenBSD 5.6-beta (GENERIC.MP) #304: Fri Jul 25 12:02:01 MDT 2014
real mem = 17088114688 (16296MB)
avail mem = 16624447488 (15854MB)
mpath0 at root
scsibus0 at mpath0: 256 targets
mainbus0 at root
bios0 at mainbus0: SMBIOS rev. 2.8 @ 0xec130 (84 entries)
bios0: vendor Intel Corp. version "WYLPT10H.86A.0021.2013.1017.1606" date 10/17/2013
bios0: Intel Corporation D54250WYK
acpi0 at bios0: rev 2
acpi0: wakeup devices PS2K(S3) PS2M(S3) PXSX(S4) RP01(S4)     PXSX(S4) RP02(S4) PXSX(S4) RP03(S4) PXSX(S4) RP04(S4) PXSX(S4) RP05(S4) PXSX(S4) RP06(S4) PXSX(S4) RP07(S4) [...]
acpitimer0 at acpi0: 3579545 Hz, 24 bits
acpimadt0 at acpi0 addr 0xfee00000: PC-AT compat
cpu0 at mainbus0:        apid 0 (boot processor)
cpu0: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4250U CPU @ 1.30GHz, 2295.07 MHz
cpu0: 256KB 64b/line 8-way L2 cache
cpu0: smt 0, core 0, package 0
mtrr: Pentium Pro MTRR support, 10 var ranges, 88 fixed ranges
cpu0: apic clock running at 99MHz
cpu0: mwait min=64, max=64, C-substates=, IBE
cpu1 at mainbus0: apid 2 (application processor)
cpu1: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4250U CPU @ 1.30GHz, 2294.69 MHz
cpu1: 256KB 64b/line 8-way L2 cache
cpu1: smt 0, core 1, package 0
cpu2 at mainbus0: apid 1 (application processor)
cpu2: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4250U CPU @ 1.30GHz, 2294.69 MHz
cpu2: 256KB 64b/line 8-way L2 cache
cpu2: smt 1, core 0, package 0
cpu3 at mainbus0: apid 3 (application processor)
cpu3: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4250U CPU @ 1.30GHz, 2294.69 MHz
cpu3: 256KB 64b/line 8-way L2 cache
cpu3: smt 1, core 1, package 0
ioapic0 at mainbus0: apid 2 pa 0xfec00000, version 20, 40 pins
acpimcfg0 at acpi0 addr 0xf8000000, bus 0-63
acpihpet0 at acpi0: 14318179 Hz
acpiprt0 at acpi0: bus 0 (PCI0)
acpiprt1 at acpi0: bus -1 (PEG0)
acpiec0 at acpi0: not present
acpicpu0 at acpi0: C2, C1, PSS
acpicpu1 at acpi0: C2, C1, PSS
acpicpu2 at acpi0: C2, C1, PSS
acpicpu3 at acpi0: C2, C1, PSS
acpipwrres0 at acpi0: FN00, resource for FAN0
acpipwrres1 at acpi0: FN01, resource for FAN1
acpipwrres2 at acpi0: FN02, resource for FAN2
acpipwrres3 at acpi0: FN03, resource for FAN3
acpipwrres4 at acpi0: FN04, resource for FAN4
acpitz0 at acpi0: critical temperature is 105 degC
acpitz1 at acpi0: critical temperature is 105 degC
acpibat0 at acpi0: BAT0 not present
acpibat1 at acpi0: BAT1 not present
acpibat2 at acpi0: BAT2 not present
acpibtn0 at acpi0: PWRB
acpibtn1 at acpi0: LID0
acpivideo0 at acpi0: GFX0
acpivout0 at acpivideo0: DD1F
cpu0: Enhanced SpeedStep 2295 MHz: speeds: 1901, 1900, 1800, 1700,    1600, 1500, 1400, 1300, 1200, 1100, 1000, 900, 800, 779 MHz
pci0 at mainbus0 bus 0
pchb0 at pci0 dev 0 function 0 "Intel Core 4G Host" rev 0x09
vga1 at pci0 dev 2 function 0 "Intel HD Graphics 5000" rev 0x09
intagp at vga1 not configured
inteldrm0 at vga1
drm0 at inteldrm0
drm: Memory usable by graphics device = 2048M
error: [drm:pid0:i915_write32] *ERROR* Unknown unclaimed register before writing to 100000
inteldrm0: 2560x1440
wsdisplay0 at vga1 mux 1: console (std, vt100 emulation)
wsdisplay0: screen 1-5 added (std, vt100 emulation)
azalia0 at pci0 dev 3 function 0 "Intel Core 4G HD Audio" rev 0x09: msi
azalia0: No codecs found
"Intel 8 Series xHCI" rev 0x04 at pci0 dev 20 function 0 not configured
"Intel 8 Series MEI" rev 0x04 at pci0 dev 22 function 0 not configured
em0 at pci0 dev 25 function 0 "Intel I218-V" rev 0x04: msi, address  c0:3f:d5:62:28:cd
azalia1 at pci0 dev 27 function 0 "Intel 8 Series HD Audio" rev 0x04: msi
azalia1: codecs: Realtek/0x0283
audio0 at azalia1
ehci0 at pci0 dev 29 function 0 "Intel 8 Series USB" rev 0x04: apic 2 int 23
usb0 at ehci0: USB revision 2.0
uhub0 at usb0 "Intel EHCI root hub" rev 2.00/1.00 addr 1
pcib0 at pci0 dev 31 function 0 "Intel 8 Series LPC" rev 0x04 
ahci0 at pci0 dev 31 function 2 "Intel 8 Series AHCI" rev 0x04: msi, AHCI 1.3
scsibus1 at ahci0: 32 targets
sd0 at scsibus1 targ 3 lun 0: <ATA, Crucial_CT240M50, MU03> SCSI3 0/direct fixed naa.500a0751094f2f7d
sd0: 228936MB, 512 bytes/sector, 468862128 sectors, thin
ichiic0 at pci0 dev 31 function 3 "Intel 8 Series SMBus" rev 0x04: apic 2 int 18
iic0 at ichiic0
spdmem0 at iic0 addr 0x50: 8GB DDR3 SDRAM PC3-12800 SO-DIMM
spdmem1 at iic0 addr 0x52: 8GB DDR3 SDRAM PC3-12800 SO-DIMM
isa0 at pcib0
isadma0 at isa0
com0 at isa0 port 0x3f8/8 irq 4: ns16550a, 16 byte fifo
pckbc0 at isa0 port 0x60/5
pcppi0 at isa0 port 0x61
spkr0 at pcppi0
lpt0 at isa0 port 0x378/4 irq 7
wbsio0 at isa0 port 0x4e/2: NCT6776F rev 0x33
lm1 at wbsio0 port 0xa00/8: NCT6776F
fdc0 at isa0 port 0x3f0/6 irq 6 drq 2
fd0 at fdc0 drive 0: density unknown
fd1 at fdc0 drive 1: density unknown
uhub1 at uhub0 port 1 "Intel Rate Matching Hub" rev 2.00/0.04 addr 2
uhub2 at uhub1 port 1 "NEC hub" rev 2.00/1.00 addr 3
uhidev0 at uhub2 port 2 configuration 1 interface 0 "Logitech USB Optical Mouse" rev 2.00/63.00 addr 4
uhidev0: iclass 3/1
ums0 at uhidev0: 3 buttons, Z dir
wsmouse0 at ums0 mux 0
uhidev1 at uhub1 port 2 configuration 1 interface 0 "Metadot - Das Keyboard Das Keyboard Model S" rev 1.10/1.00 addr 5
uhidev1: iclass 3/1
ukbd0 at uhidev1: 8 variable keys, 6 key codes
wskbd0 at ukbd0: console keyboard, using wsdisplay0
uhidev2 at uhub1 port 2 configuration 1 interface 1 "Metadot - Das Keyboard Das Keyboard Model S" rev 1.10/1.00 addr 5
uhidev2: iclass 3/0, 3 report ids
uhid0 at uhidev2 reportid 2: input=1, output=0, feature=0
uhid1 at uhidev2 reportid 3: input=3, output=0, feature=0
vscsi0 at root
scsibus2 at vscsi0: 256 targets  
softraid0 at root
scsibus3 at softraid0: 256 targets
root on sd0a (6938ad82731e8a13.a) swap on sd0b dump on sd0b

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