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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Motherboard Manufacturers? 352

Posted by Soulskill
from the soldering-iron-and-a-chunk-of-silicon dept.
dotancohen writes "I am tasked with building a few Linux machines for a small office. However, many the currently available motherboards seem to be Linux-hostile. For instance, in addition to the whole UEFI issue, my last install was a three-day affair due to the motherboard reporting a Linux-supported ethernet device (the common RTL8168) while it was actually using a GbE Ethernet device that does not work with the legacy drivers and didn't even work with a test Windows 7 install until the driver disk was installed. There are no current hardware compatibility lists for Debian or Ubuntu and I've received from Asus and Gigabyte the expected reply: No official Linux support, install Windows for best experience. I even turned to the two large local computer vendors, asking if they could provide Linux-compatible machines ready to go, but neither of them would be of any help. What globally-available motherboards or motherboard manufacturers can you recommend today?"
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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Motherboard Manufacturers?

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  • Re:Raspberry Pi (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tonywestonuk (261622) on Friday December 28, 2012 @12:20PM (#42411819)

    Commenting to remove crap moderation! Pfff....Slashdot, why cant I change my mind!

  • by dills (102733) on Friday December 28, 2012 @12:23PM (#42411855) Homepage

    It's all about chipsets. Figure out what chipset a given motherboard has, do a few googles, and you'll likely have your answers.

    I have no problem with either of the manufacturers that you mentioned. Were you perhaps trying to do an AMD solution? I'd just stick with Intel chips and chipsets at this point in the game.

  • Re:Raspberry Pi (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NFN_NLN (633283) on Friday December 28, 2012 @12:28PM (#42411909)

    "...my last install was a three-day affair due to the motherboard reporting a Linux-supported ethernet device (the common RTL8168) while it was actually using a GbE Ethernet device that does not work with the legacy drivers"

    So how much money did this journey save the company? Just slap in an intel card and be done with it for f's sake! Then it will support proper VLANs, jumbo frames and probably just work smoother than some cheap onboard NIC anyways.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday December 28, 2012 @12:31PM (#42411935)

    When vendors don't publish drivers or specs how is that supposed to happen?

    Hardware is dime a dozen these days. If I can't run the OS I want on it, I will not buy it.

  • by dclozier (1002772) on Friday December 28, 2012 @12:34PM (#42411965)
    I have found that building such systems myself will end up costing a bit more because I cherry pick better components all around when less powerful options would have sufficed. If this is for an office setup and you're the one that's going to end up doing support for them then you'll want to know what's inside. If you can afford it though it would be better to pass this support issue over to someone else that's already doing desktop linux like System76 - Desktops [system76.com].
  • Re:Raspberry Pi (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jedidiah (1196) on Friday December 28, 2012 @12:39PM (#42412009) Homepage

    ...or just buy from a Linux vendor.

  • by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Friday December 28, 2012 @12:53PM (#42412135)

    If Microsoft demands it, motherboard makers will fall in line in order to stay in business.

    This probably also signals the beginning of the end of Microsoft.

    Mighty empires always fall.

    There's wholesale motherboards and retail motherboards. Wholesale motherboards are mostly destined for name-brand computers where MS-Windows will be pre-bundled.

    However, when you buy retail, I'd venture that a lot of those motherboards have to be Linux-friendly, because Windows doesn't come "free" with them the way it does with mass-market computers and therefore I'd expect a much higher percentage of such motherboards to be destined for non-Windows machines, and since I have grave doubts about them becoming Apple machines, that leaves Linux as pretty much the largest market left.

    In any event, so far Asus, Shuttle, MSI and BioStar have all worked fairly well for me. Occasionally an integrated peripheral will be problematic, but as far as it goes, I really wouldn't expect top-of-the-line integrated peripheral support from a retail mobo even on Windows. Especially considering what the Windows device driver development process has become.

  • Re:Raspberry Pi (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tobiasly (524456) on Friday December 28, 2012 @01:29PM (#42412309) Homepage

    I'm not sure how much your labor is worth but you can buy a built server on the cheap ($599).

    Plus you'll be supporting a vendor who "officially" supports Linux. It looks like Dell has their motherboards custom-made by Intel, which is another open-source-friendly company.

    If Asus and Gigabyte don't want your money, then don't give it to them.

  • Re:Raspberry Pi (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aergern (127031) on Friday December 28, 2012 @01:44PM (#42412373)

    Stop being a troll. You know full and well that Linux is the server of choice for most large sites. Moron.

  • what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Osgeld (1900440) on Friday December 28, 2012 @01:53PM (#42412447)

    how the hell do you make such a huge mountain out of a molehill?

    AMD, Intel, Nvidia, Realtech, VIA

    all have been supported in linux as system chipsets for a long fucking time, where the hell are you getting these crackhead mobos you speak of?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 28, 2012 @02:00PM (#42412517)

    How come?

    From my research AMD appears to support virtualization on most of their hardware, while Intel hold these features back on some of their hardware.

  • Re:Raspberry Pi (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dotancohen (1015143) on Friday December 28, 2012 @02:00PM (#42412519) Homepage

    Stop being a troll. You know full and well that Linux is the server of choice for most large sites. Moron.

    Actually, these are desktop machines for a small office. Windows is a viable choice, if one can consider the Windows ecosystem viable. At least all the software that we will be using is in fact available for Windows.

  • Re:Raspberry Pi (Score:5, Insightful)

    by styrotech (136124) on Friday December 28, 2012 @03:52PM (#42413653)

    That's an odd post. You seem to have all kinds of in depth knowledge about UEFI boot processes, how Linux screws it up, and how to patch it etc.

    But then you don't seem to know some really mundane easy stuff like: Flash actually works just fine* on a 64bit Linux system.

    * By that I mean as well as it does on a 32bit Linux system at least.

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