The LASAT Masquerade 2 and later Masquerade PRO were created in 1998-2001 by LASAT Networks, as part of a product line of self-contained SOHO all-in-one servers (firewall/NAT/router, mail server etc.) and VPN gateways (the SafePipe series, which has less RAM and no IDE controller, and is thus less interesting for general-purpose use).
Unfortunately the company went bust, so very few of these devices were ever shipped, but they still fulfill their original purpose very well.
The Debian project still uses two Masquerade PRO, donated by LASAT, as MIPS autobuilders.
|Feature|| Masquerade 2
| Masquerade PRO|
|Processor||NEC VR4310||NEC R5000|
|System Controller||Galileo GT-64115||NEC VRC5074|
|Clock freq.||133/166 MHz||250 MHz|
|Cache||32KB instruction + 16KB data||L1: 32KB instruction + 32KB data L2: 1024KB|
|Network||2xAMD Am79C972 PCnet32 10/100Mbps||2xAMD Am79C972 PCnet32 10/100Mbps|
|IDE||CMD643 IDE controller||CMD643 IDE controller|
|Harddisk||Room for 1x3.5" HD||Room for 1x3.5" HD|
|RAM||16-128MB SDRAM SIMM||128MB on-board SDRAM (100MHz)|
Compressed kernel image limited to 1MB (2MB by overwriting FileSystem partition)
|Expansion||1xPCI slot||1xPCI slot (32-bit 66MHz)|
|Console||Optional RS-232 header on PCB||Optional RS-232 header on PCB|
|Documentation||Design Specification||Design Specification|
|Linux-mips|| 18.104.22.168 tested OK|
2.6.18.x-22.214.171.124 NOT working/supported
Note: Features in red are not supported by the current linux-mips kernel releases. Features in amber are only known to work in certain older kernels.
If you want to do any debugging on your Masquerade, you'll need a serial cable. The cable conncets to the 6-pin (only 3 used) header on the PCB (J2). This header is not mounted on all boards, if it is missing you'll need to mount the header plus an RS-232 buffer (IC34), see the board design specification for details on which part to use. The cable design can be found here.
The LASAT devices have a "service mode" where you can use a special tool to upload a new kernel to the device. The protocol used is called EUCP, and documentation can be found at this link: . Tools to create the images and upload the files are available on the Debian instructions page, see Links.
No Linux distributions provide dedicated support for the Masquerade Pro, but the Debian port for Cobalt Qube works very well on these devices.
Currently, Thomas Horsten maintains the kernel port for these devices. E-mail address is firstname @ lastname dot com.