OpenBSD on MeLE Quieter2

       413 words, 2 minutes

I used a refurbished ThinkPad X230i to run my Nextcloud instance and provide rsnapshot/Samba/TimeMachine services. It was mostly nice but tend to freeze from time to time ; maybe more and more… So I decided it should be replaced.

I seeked for something silent (I can’t stand fan noise), small (has to fit in a 33cm KALLAX-like cabinet) and capable of providing enough storage. Hopefully, or not, @FanlessTech tweeted about the MeLe Quieter2 machine around 2021/08. Since then, I kept lurking at it. And I finally got one on last Black Friday.

Spoiler Alert: it runs OpenBSD pretty nicely.

So I got the MeLE Quieter2Q. It ships an Intel Celeron J4125 @2.00GHz and 8GB of RAM. My model also comes with 256GB of eMMC storage and 256GB of removable M.2 NVMe/SATA 2280. And it is fanless.

Installation when straightforward. Simply plug the machine to an HDMI monitor (I used my Samsung TV), connect a keyboard (I used an wireless Logitech keyboard) and a USB stick were install70.img was transferred.

One can enter the BIOS hitting the “F7” key. By default, the machine had “Secure Boot” disabled so I could boot the OpenBSD installer straight away. Installation happens as described in the Installation Guide . Quite boring, not.

CPU frequency scaling works out of the box. eMMC and NVMe storage are useable: I’m booting on the eMMC and using a 2TB Sabrent SSD for Nextcloud storage. I also added an 4TB 2.5" USB disk for backup storage.

The ethernet chipset is a Realtek 8168 which works perfectly out of the box. The wireless adapter is an Intel AC 3165 which attaches to iwm0. I don’t use it but I could UP it and run a wireless scan ; which worked.

Regarding storage speed, I downloaded ports.tar.gz and untarred it on both storage. On the eMMC storage, iostat reported an average of 24 MB/s using 30% of CPU usage. On the NVMe storage, iostat reported an average of 93 MB/s using 34% of CPU usage ; the maximum was 328 MB/s and the minimum was 47 MB/s. Using dd(1), the sustained access rate was quite higher.

# dd if=/dev/zero of=TEST bs=1m
^C11255+0 records in
11254+0 records out
11800674304 bytes transferred in 37.189 secs (317312576 bytes/sec)

And when it comes to fanless hardware, heat is crucial. During the last 7 days of “normal” NextCloud and backup usage, the machine stayed under 50°C.

The complete dmesg is available here .

Final thoughts: that’s a great little machine!