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Motherboard for Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

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.

-Kirt

7 Comments

  1. admin

    Hi John,

    From memory, I believe that the M3N78-VM with the integrated GeForce 8200 had trouble with the video under Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy which made it a show stopper for the Long Term Support version. I believe that even under Ubuntu Linux 8.10 Intrepid that the sound did not work. Others reported problems with the SATA controller and Ethernet controllers. I suspect that we won’t have good support for that board until Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty is released in April of 2009.

    -Kirt

  2. Kirt Runolfson

    Hi Neil,

    One of the easiest ways might be to add the “CPU Frequency Scaling Monitor” to your panel. It will track the CPU frequency to see if your kernel can adjust the speed appropriately on it. The fan speed should be controlled automatically by the motherboard and should ramp up and down depending on how much cooling is needed. If you want to verify that your fan will start spinning, the cpuburn package will get your processor working or even a ‘dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/null’ should get that fan spinning nicely. 🙂

    -Kirt

  3. admin

    We asked Nick for more details and here was his reply. Nice job resolving it Nick! 🙂

    thanks for your replay.. i’ve just resolve the problem 🙂
    was a problem of DC, i’ve attach power for my IR from floppy power on
    DC alimetnator and all work fine.. i hope my english can explain
    correclty 🙂

    thanks bye
    Nick

  4. Kirt Runolfson

    You might try grep -i serial /var/log/kern.log to see if you can see some lines like these. If you do not, your serial port is probably not turned on in your BIOS. You can browse/search your log files graphically with the “System|Administration|Log File Viewer” tool available on newer Ubuntu installations as well.

    May 10 12:46:25 mymachine kernel: Serial: 8250/16550 driver $Revision: 1.90 $ 4 ports, IRQ sharing enabled
    May 10 12:46:25 mymachine kernel: serial8250: ttyS0 at I/O 0x3f8 (irq = 4) is a 16550A
    May 10 12:46:25 mymachine kernel: 00:0a: ttyS0 at I/O 0x3f8 (irq = 4) is a 16550A

    -Kirt

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