This is very cool (and I’m very impressed by the offering of the kits).
But isn’t this basically just an external BMC? Can someone point out what the differences are (in general or in this instance)?
In addition to KVM functionality, a “real” BMC typically offers things like power control, thermal monitoring/fan control, virtual boot media (BMC pretends to be a CD-ROM drive and lets you boot the system from an image it loads over the network via CIFS/NFS or the like), etc.
I don’t know offhand what the upstream support status currently is or exactly what functionality it offers (probably not the full smorgasbord), but I know people have gotten OpenBMC running on Raspberry Pis; this could potentially be a nice supplement to something like that?
Being a virtual disk drive is easy: https://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/usb-device-mode-storage.html
Connecting a gpio for reset is also easy (though you don’t really need this if you already have a smart power plug or managed UPS)
Thermal/fan would be the most difficult part.
I am delighted and disappointed that this was something for hypervisors! OVH has a wonderful KVM on their control panel. It’s been touch and go for me with it, mostly because they use something like getty over SSH, I think. (Change your SSH port, it removes a lot of the noise in logs! Less headache to sort through!) Right now I’m looking into something similar but am plugging straight into QEMU’s system console (not the monitor, yet. QMP is really cool! Also, libvirt is too big, it’s a little less domain-specific).
Very interesting use of a capture card.