I plan to run openPOWERLINK on a B&R APC 910 running Linux. I have not made the final hardware choice yet, but wanted to know if anyone had any experience of using this machine with Linux and the openPOWERLINK stack? Here follows several questions:
1) I noticed from the User Manual that the APC 910 uses a combination of Intel® 82579 on ETH1 and a Intel® 82574L on ETH2. I understand that the 82574L is a controller plus PHY and the 82579 is only a PHY. I have seen comments in the openPOWERLINK software (2.0) that says support is provided for the 82574L and I guess that the 82579 should also be supported, but wanted to confirm this.
2) The following comment from the User Manual worries me:
A special driver is required in order to operate the Ethernet controller. Drivers for approved operating systems are available in the Downloads section of the B&R website (www.br-automation.com).
There is no sign of Linux driver support. Is this really needed?
3) If I install Linux, can the BIOS be updated at a later date? I've had my fingers burnt with this one.
4) Several mentions are made about 'special drivers' for SATA RAID, audio controller, graphics, etc.
Is this really true? The COM module looks like it contains typical pieces of hardware and nothing that is bespoke to B&R.
Apologies if this is off-topic, but the machine has to run openPOWERLINK and this appears to be the most relevant forum.
Thanks for any help.
The B&R APC910 works perfectly with openPOWERLINK in Linux! You can use it either with the libpcap (user-space only) version of the stack or with the dedicated Ethernet driver for the Intel 10/100/1000 chipset.
For any further question regarding hardware or driver support, please contact your local B&R office.
Hi Wolfgang, Thank you for the response. I did contact my local B&R office and the only information I received is as follows:
"Linux is not officially supported with the APC910. This means that we do not provide any drivers, nor do we guarantee that everything works correctly. As it basically is a normal PC you can set it up, but if you do, you are doing it at your own risk.
openPowerlink is only supported with ETH2. With Windows you will not have reasonable cycle times though with Linux, it works"
Disappointing that B&R don't treat Linux as a serious platform, but I can understand as most customers still prefer Windows. The above response was the answer to exactly the same questions I posted on this forum. I think this is a little lazy on B&R's part as there is no mention of BIOS updates and in summary it just says 'you're on your own!' I intend to invest >£2000 in X20 IO and the APC910, but I really resent the support approach shown so far. I need to start investigating solutions that Beckhoff can provide and also their support.
Why is Powerlink only supported on ETH2?