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World’s smallest Linux networking server?

Oct 13, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

Lantronix announced its latest XPort embedded networking module, which it touts as the “world's smallest Linux networking server.” The XPort Pro measures 1.33 x 0.64 x 0.53 inches, and offers 8MB of SDRAM, 16MB of flash, RJ45 Ethernet and serial ports, a web server, SSH and SSL security, and IPv6 support.

Footprint-compatible with the original XPort Embedded Device Server, which shipped in 2003 running Lantronix' Evolution OS, XPort Pro still is available with that proprietary operating system (OS), but is now also offered with Linux. Aimed at deploying machine-to-machine applications at the network edge, the customizable, 0.34-ounce (9.6g) device is reminiscent in size and functionality to Digi International's DigiConnect ME.

XPort Pro

Running on an unnamed 32-bit processor, the XPort Pro offers over five times the processing power of its proprietary predecessor, says Lantronix. In addition, the device's 8MB SDRAM and 16MB flash represents 32 times the memory of the previous XPort model, says the company.

The device offers both a 10/100Mbps RJ45 connector and a serial link that supports software selectable data rates from 300Kbps to 921Kbps. The serial connection is offered via pins mounted on the bottom of the unit (pictured in drawing at left), which include three software-selectable GPIO pins, says Lantronix.

The Xport Pro is said to run on 3.3 VDC, and supports temperatures ranging from 32 to 158 deg. F (0 to 70 deg. C). An extended temperature version runs from -40 to 185 deg. F (-40 to 85 deg. C).

Firmware includes a web server and web management servers, as well as SSL/SSH support and encryption features (see list below). Built-in IPv6 support, meanwhile, enables a far greater selection of IP addresses, among other benefits.

Also included is Lantronix' VIP (Virtual IP) Access technology, which is said to enable integration with the company's ManageLinx remote services platform. VIP enables the development of "solutions that work behind firewalls without the need for a VPN," says the company.

Firmware and software features for the XPort Pro are said to include:

  • IPv6 support
  • Internal web server, customizable with CGI
  • Internal Web Manager (SSL option for secure login)
  • CLI over serial ports, Telnet or SSH
  • XML configuration records via CLI or FTP
  • Remotely upgradeable firmware
  • SSLv3 and SSHv2 client and server, selectable
  • 128/256/512/1024-bit certificates
  • AES, 3DES, and RC4 encryption
  • SHA-1, MD5, and Base-64 user access list authentication
  • Lantronix' VIP (Virtual IP) Access
  • Windows DeviceInstaller software
  • ComPort Redirector and Secure ComPort Redirector
  • Supports TCP/IP, UDP/IP, ARP, ICMP, SNMPv2, TFTP, FTP, Telnet, DHCP, BOOTP, HTTP, SMTP, SSHv2, SSLv3, PPP, AutoIP, RSS, and SYSLOG protocols

Stated Daryl Miller, VP of Engineering at Lantronix, "A lot of time, effort and expense go into the iterative process of designing and testing of an embedded compute and networking platform. XPort Pro considerably simplifies this task, in many cases eliminating the need for other processors. With Linux on board as well, developers can focus on their core competencies to bring a product to market quickly, without having to learn a new operating system and development environment."


XPort Pro will be available later this month, along with an XPort Pro evaluation kit, which will be offered free to qualified customers, for a limited time, says the company. Pricing was not stated.

More information on the XPort Pro may be found here, and a promotional video may be found here.

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