Year of Production: 2000

CPU Type: 64bit-MIPS, superscalar, 150MHz

Random access memory installed: 64MB EDO-RAM

Max. ranom access memory: 256MB EDO

I/O busses: PCI, one slot

Peripherals: one Ultra-ATA Disk Drive

Supported Operating Systems: Linux, Unix (NetBSD)


The Cobalt Cube2 joined the collection when I studied abroad in France in 2005/2006. As the institute of the university, at which I did my studies, was supposed to move into new buildings during the summer, a lot of cleaning was done within the server rooms. They had amongst others HP K-class servers running. Being interested in architectures other than x86, I asked the administrator, if such stuff was going to be thrown out. This kind man then told me about a so-called Qube2-Machine, being a MIPS-system, which he could hand me over, as soon as it became possible.

I never heard of the machines built by Cobalt Networks Inc at that point in time. Cobalt in the meantime had been bought by SUN Microsystems. It took months until I got the little blue blox.

The primary market goal of the Qube2 was the use as an easy-to-setup-webserver.

The Qube2 works great! It has a fancy 2 lines-LCD-display on the back installed, so that the most important settings can be verified or modified without having the need of a terminal to be installed. It doesn't have a graphics port. Therefore, either a terminal or a connection via ethernet needs to be set up in order to be able to access the Qube2. Furthermore, two Fast-Ethernet-Ports are available, one being used for WAN- and the other one being used for the LAN-connection. The power supply is not integrated within the Qube2, it needs to be attached externally. All in all, the power consumption is quite low, being around 26,5 Watts only.

Inside the box, a Quantum Fireball drive with 20GB was installed when I got the Qube2, which unfortunately died later on after I installed NetBSD...

This machine was my internet router for 1,5 years. It currently runs NetBSD 4.01 (mips-port). The Qube2-display is controlled by the Operating System and is also supported by the mips-port of NetBSD.

More Pictures of the Cobalt Qube2:

Cobalt Cube
                      2 - front The front of the Qube2. When powered on, the horizontal bar below the "Qube" sign is illuminated green. The system iv very quiet thanks to a small and quiet fan and a "low-noise" IDE-disk, which is the case for the Quantum Fireball drive.
The back of the Qube2 has several ports and buttons. Seen from left to right:
- PCI-slot for short PCI-cards
- Power-On button
- DB9-connector to connect the serial console
- Two RJ45-connectors for 10/100MBit Ethernet
- Six buttons (above the Ethernet-ports) to control the LCD-Display above them buttons themselves
- on the most right and bottom: The power connector for the external power supply.

The Qube2 comes with a small 2-lines-LCD Display used to visualize most important information such as TCP/IP Adressing of the Ethernet ports and other options. The display is controlled by the Operating System. The Cobalt-port of NetBSD incorporates a module to control the display. Very cool feature!
                        Qube 2 - back