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B3 replacement

Posted: 18 Feb 2018, 16:41
by lognok
My B3 is EOL because it has become unstable. Setup and configuration is hit and miss. Therefore it is going to retire soon.

What would you recommend as a replacement?

Potential candidates so far are: ... s-gateway/ (with Intel Celeron J3455) ... /clearfog/ (the base model + mPCIE wifi module)
Update 20180226: (this could have been the B4) :-)

I have not considered system performance ie. ARM vs Intel or Marvell vs NXP or NIC controllers, but if you know of any weaknesses in these product, please let me know :-)


Re: B3 replacement

Posted: 02 Mar 2018, 15:06
by Stryker
Hey, if you're still searching: I recently replaced my B3 in favor of a Terramaster F2-220 NAS [1] but with the goal of running a regular Ubuntu Server on it.
The NAS boots its proprietary OS from a USB stick plugged into an internal USB port that you can switch out for another one. The mainboard also has a socket for a VGA Adapter [2] that allows you to access the System BIOS if you plug in a monitor.
I had some trouble with it not recognizing several USB sticks and then opted for a USB-mSATA adapter and SSD instead which runs smoothly.

I can recommend this device if you have no problems with setting everything up yourself. It's a nice Linux mini server.

[2] ... 46166.html

Re: B3 replacement

Posted: 15 Mar 2018, 09:07
by stasheck
All interesting ideas, neither hits:
- fanless operation
- 3.5" HDD mount
- native SATA interface
- dual Ethernet

I just went through Aliexpress listings, and there are interesting devices - even x86 - but max they take is 2.5" HDD.

B3 becomes dated, but it's still one of a kind :-)

Re: B3 replacement

Posted: 02 Apr 2018, 06:16
by fredrikj
If you're looking for a NAS for 3.5" drives, the Gnubee 2 is probably a decent alternative to the B3, although it's not pretty to look at and lacks wifi. Gnubee also offer a variant for 2.5" drives.

Otherwise the Turris Omnia ticks a lot of boxes. It is open hardware and has msata, so for reasonable storage volumes without legacy 2.5" or 3.5" drive requirements it is probably a nice B3 successor.

If you can wait a while the Traverse Five64 may turn out to be an interesting alternative to the Turris Omnia. ... es/five64/

My B3 is still stable so I hope to keep using it until the EOL for Debian Stretch LTS in 2020/2022. Perhaps by then we'll see some open hardware RISC-V based systems that can compete with ARM for the low power NAS and wifi router market.

Re: B3 replacement

Posted: 13 Apr 2018, 08:16
by stasheck
Finally found (almost) perfect replacement:

- cheap
- 3 GE interfaces
- dual-core A53
- runs Arch
- fanless

Only thing it's lacking is decent case :( But for 50$, I can live with that :-)

Re: B3 replacement

Posted: 13 Apr 2018, 11:23
by fredrikj
One thing we haven't mentioned in this thread, about exit strategies from the B3, is what sort of community there is around thealternative devices. A quick search showed that there is a small community around the Turris omnia at

I mention this because the community here, around the B3, while small and perhaps at times a bit languishing, is something I will miss the day I am forced to give up the use of my B3:s.

And while I'm at it, thank you all on this forum for making owning a B3 something special. Really Thanks!

Hope to keep you interested and active here untill we all have good options to move on to. :)

Re: B3 replacement

Posted: 13 Apr 2018, 16:29
by Gordon
I really intend to keep the B3 running for as long as its hardware doesn't fry. And I actually do use Bubbagen myself, although my production system uses somewhat different USE flags and I don't use all of the functions that it provides (but who does? or did with the original software?). As such I feel a bit offended by this topic as it appears to have been initiated by some function that didn't work as expected in a previous version of Bubbagen but the starter of this thread failed to contact me to try and resolve whatever issue he was experiencing.

And it is really easy. My email is at the bottom of the project page. Even more straightforward is to enter an issue on the GitHub page itself. And if you think you have a solution for a specific issue you can also submit a pull request with your changes for me to verify and possibly accept. Please use these options, they are the whole point of open source projects.

Re: B3 replacement

Posted: 15 Apr 2018, 06:18
by fredrikj
@Gordon, while I can only speak on my own behalf, I really do not think anyone in this thread intended any offence to you and the other active core contributors to the BT community. I'm greatful for your continued maintenance of the various distributions and applications for the B3. Iif anything I am a bit ashamed that I do not contriubte more myself.

And, of course, if there are straight bugs, they should be reported in the proper place. I can understand that the original post could be interpreted as critique of your work, and that it is no fun getting generalized negative feedback that is hard to find a constructive way to respond to.

Perhaps a wiki page could briefly describes which github repositorys are used for the B3 related applications and distributions? That could make it easier to determine where bugs should be reported. Sometimes you don't report issues because you simply don't know where or how to do it.

My impression when I read the original post, was that the poster believed the issues to be caused by hardware (while they don't say so explicitly). While the B3 still is a fine device, it was announced 2010 and isn't perhaps the most performant compared what's out there today. Eight years is long time for hardware. Still, as I mentioned before, apart from the hardware spec the community around the B3 is really one of its strong points!

Re: B3 replacement

Posted: 16 Apr 2018, 04:02
by stasheck
I most definitely didn't want to offend anyone - I have a fleet of B3s under my control and they are still fine :-)

However, as said above - the hardware is old and quite slow by now. It cannot use full power of my broadband, for example :-) That's why I'm looking for something to replace my gateway router/NAS.

Re: B3 replacement

Posted: 16 Apr 2018, 10:48
by Stryker
I was mostly unhappy with the power consumption, old Single-Core CPU and OS-on-HDD arrangement (permanent noise). The B3 was a great device, but its time with me has ended.

Re: B3 replacement

Posted: 17 Apr 2018, 03:19
by Gordon
Guys, it's not like that. The point is that there is nothing wrong with OP's unit. There was just a little config problem that didn't turn up during tests and was solved the same day the issue got raised. The annoying part is that by then this topic already existed.

Re: B3 replacement

Posted: 06 May 2018, 04:52
by lognok
I bought the Linksys WRT1900ACS as a replacement for the B3.

The last OS I installed on the B3 was Arch (by sakaki). Few weeks after this, the WAP dropped connections to some clients, and would not allow re-connects. Another two weeks and all clients were unable to connect via WAP. So I bought the WRT1900ACS (runs stock OS, haven't tried OpenWRT yet...).

My B3 have been unstable hardware wise for a long time. The e-sata port has never worked (bad batch of motherboards, but I only found out after Excito went bankrupt) and installing OS was hit and miss with the same usb-stick working and some hours later it would not work (the usb-stick would get accepted again after shutting down the B3 and waiting for it to cool down...).

I got my B3 end of 2011 and for it to have worked for 6 years is very good.