SolidRun HoneyComb/Clearfog ARM Workstation Up-and-running

Carlos Eduardo
7 min readJul 13, 2021

This post is a guide on getting up-and-running with the SolidRun LX2K based boards installing the Firmware and Linux.

The HoneyComb/ClearFog system are the carrier boards (the difference is that the ClearFog has a QSFP28 module) and both use a beefy ARM SOM (System On a Module) based on the NXP LX2160A SOC, a 16-core based on the Cortex-A72 running at stock 2.0 GHz clock. They support up to 64GB RAM and are one of the most powerful ARM boards you can buy not counting the multi-thousand dollar servers using Ampere/Qualcomm/Cavium CPUs.

It makes a great developer workstation, ARM Server/buildbox or even Desktop daily-driver PC.

Here I collect information I got while assembling and setting-up mine and with information from the #solidrun channel from Discord, the main discussion channel from SolidRun.

I’ll only show here the use of UEFI firmware since it’s easier to use and install operating systems on. U-Boot is not covered.

TL;DR; Get all hardware parts together, build (or download) firmware, flash it to SD Card. Grab an ARM64 ISO from your chosen Linux distro, flash to USB Drive and install to the SATA or NVME disk using serial console.

Hardware

Here is the required and optional hardware parts to assemble your workstation or server:

  • The HoneyComb or ClearFog Carrier board with LX2160a Module;
  • 1 or 2 DDR4 SO-DIMM modules at least 2400Mhz;
  • CR2032 battery for the real-time clock (optional);
  • NVMe (or SATA) SSD to install the operating system;
  • External USB3.0 Network Interface with RTL8153 chipset like this to use with mainline kernel or ESXi;
  • Mini-ITX computer case (optional);
  • ATX Power Supply with at least 250W (if you will use a GPU, might need more);
  • Replacement cooler since the stock one is kinda noisy. The board supports Northbridge coolers (not a CPU cooler). I recommend this one with a 80mm fan

--

--

Carlos Eduardo

Writing everything cloud and all the tech behind it. If you like my projects and would like to support me, check my Patreon on https://www.patreon.com/carlosedp