We recently set out to find hardware that is compatible, out of the box, with Ubuntu’s latest Long Term Support (LTS) release 8.04 also known as Hardy Heron. This proves to be a bit more challenging than you might think since many of the motherboards sold today hit the market after Hardy, as geeks like to call it, was released. Most motherboard and their respective component manufacturers are on a fairly rapid release schedule these days. So the challenge is to find a motherboard built from components that are at least a couple of months older than the release of the the Linux operating system you wish to run.
One of the standouts that we found was the Asus M2N68-VM socket AM2+ based motherboard. It has integrated an nVidia 7050 video chip with analog VGA and digital DVI based connectors. The video chip is supported out of the box on Hardy both with the open source nv driver and nVidia’s proprietary but functional nvidia driver. Nvidia supports X-Video Motion Compensation (XvMC) on hardware up through the 7000 series so this chip should be supported with possible MPEG 2 assisted decoding. This has not been tested yet though. Coupled with the built in HDMI connector it seems like it would be part of an ideal solution for a low cost MythTV / Mythbuntu machine especially when coupled with one of AMD’s low wattage processors.
The board uses an nVidia 630a chipset which seems to be well supported so other boards based on this chipset may be supported as well.
Every component that has been tested including Cool N Quiet and CPU frequency scaling work out of the box. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section.