Neoware Capio: Linux 




Neoware Capio Linux

My (currently brief) experience here is based on connecting a CDROM drive to the IDE connector:

DSL (4.4.10) boots happily, but doesn't like my mouse - keyboard and mouse are connected via a Smart View intelligent KVM switch IC-741-1. I had to directly plug in another mouse and reboot.

Tinycore (1.4) Ran fine from CDROM. For those interested the dmesg output can be seen here.

I've also done a "Frugal Install" of DSL to a Compact Flash card and run that on the system using a 44-pin IDE to Compact Flash adaptor. I had problems using Grub as the boot loader, but Lilo worked perfectly.

A downside(?) of the Capio is that the two USB ports are on the front, so, if you decide to (or need to) run with a pen drive then it's not tucked out of the way around the back.

The main work I've done is with Puppy Linux. This looks to be an excellent choice for Compact Flash based limited resource systems. A description of its layered approach to the filing system can be found here. [Dead link removed Feb 2016]


What I ended up doing was installing a copy of Puppy WebServer. [Was from but the domain looks as though it has vanished]. There are two versions; one with Hiawatha (74Mb) and the other with Apache (96Mb). What I was after was a system to hold mirrors of my own website and my diving club's website. Both websites use SSI, but the version of Hiawatha (6.14) on the current PuppyWebServer distribution doesn't support SSI. (The comments on Hiawatha's home page say that basic SSI support started in version 6.15) so I went with the Apache version. Both distributions also come with SSL and MySQL - neither of which I require. I use the mirrors for development work, and, once happy that everything is as it should be, upload the changed files to the main websites. Editing etc is done from a Windows XP machine, with the Website files appearing on a mapped drive. In order to support this I also installed the samba server software on the Capio. (samba-3.0.26 SMB/CIFS fileserver and client)

Capio CF I installed the distribution onto a 2GB Compact Flash card - the extra space being needed to hold the images of the two web sites. This went with out a hitch. The fitted CF card is shown in the picture on the right. Essentially it is positioned above the RAM with the connecting cable coming straight from the 44-pin header and then being folded back on itself before being plugged into the CF adaptor.

Having installed samba I had some difficulty getting it to run. Eventually I tracked it down to the fact that the daemons wouldn't run if they couldn't create the log files - and without the log files there weren't any error messages - a catch 22 situation!

I created the following rc.local script to solve this problem and to start the samba server on boot-up:

# Start up the Samba server.
# They won't start if there is no log file

   if [ ! -d /var/opt ];then
    mkdir -p /var/opt >/dev/null 2>&1
  if [ ! -d /var/opt/samba ]; then
    mkdir -p /var/opt/samba >/dev/null 2>&1


With the xvesa client and a 1024 x 768 desktop the user interface is not the fastest! However, it is usable in setting up and configuring the server.

The Apache web server delivers the web pages almost instantly over my local LAN. The Capio 620 (or any of the various 300MHz Geode GX1 based thin clients) would appear to make an excellent development machine for this particular application - or even a web server that didn't have a particularly high demand[*]. It's certainly a lot quieter, less power hungry and cooler than the Fedora-based Shuttle that I used to use for this purpose.

[*] I haven't attempted to measure what sort of a load it could be support.


Any comments? email me. Added August 2009