[conspire] Installing on a ASUS A7N8X Deluxe MB

Mark S Bilk mark at cosmicpenguin.com
Wed Jul 23 08:20:46 PDT 2003

In-Reply-To: <20030712215919.GF26899 at linuxmafia.com>; from rick at linuxmafia.com on Sat, Jul 12, 2003 at 02:59:19PM -0700
Organization: http://www.cosmicpenguin.com

I did a little research in Usenet toward installing Linux on 
my A7N8X.  I bought the board on the strength of the dkopko
article mentioned below, which, however, involves more steps 
than I'd like to go through if I can avoid it.  Several people 
posted saying that SuSE 8.2 installs on it out of the box, as
long as you tell the installer (or set the option yourself) 
to turn off ACPI.  SuSE has a couple of notes about ACPI:


One poster said SuSE 8.2 installs version 256 of the nVidia 
nForce driver, which you can also just install yourself.


It does everything except enable the chipset's AGP GART 
(Graphics Address Remapping Table), for which you still have
to patch the kernel (I guess only if you use an AGP video card).
Here's a good website that explains AGP, GART, etc.:


This page has links to the various versions of nForce drivers:

Here are the last two versions.  Ver. 261 improves on ver. 256 
by, among other things, fixing a problem that prevented the good 
builtin audio system from working with certain games.

   Linux nForce Driver
   Version: 1.0-0261
   Release Date: June 11, 2003
   Linux nForce Driver
   Version: 1.0-0256
   Release Date: April 14, 2003

"The chipset includes hardware support for IDE disk control, 
ethernet networking, audio support, win modem support, and a USB
controller. These packages have support for ethernet networking 
and basic ACI audio. USB and IDE hardware will work with standard 
Linux drivers. There is no win modem support."

Here are the files available for nForce driver ver. 261 and 
various common Linux distros, and also a tar file or source 
rpm for other situations.  Apparently the source is provided
for all the drivers (audio, nics, etc.)  These files contain
the kernel patch for the AGP GART, so its installation should
be very easy if you're using the stock kernel of any of these
distros (and a bit more complex, using the tarball or srpm, 
if you're not).  Hopefully other nForce2 motherboards than the 
ASUS A7N8X are supported as well.

Mandrake 8.2 NVIDIA_nforce-1.0-0261.mdk82up_2.4.18_6.athlon.rpm
Mandrake 9.0 NVIDIA_nforce-1.0-0261.mdk90up_2.4.19_16.athlon.rpm 
Mandrake 9.1 NVIDIA_nforce-1.0-0261.mdk91up_2.4.21_0.13.athlon.rpm 
Red Hat 7.3 NVIDIA_nforce-1.0-0261.rh73up_2.4.18_3.athlon.rpm 
Red Hat 7.3 (Kernel Upgrade) NVIDIA_nforce-1.0-0261.rh73up_2.4.18_27.athlon.rpm
Red Hat 8.0 NVIDIA_nforce-1.0-0261.rh80up_2.4.18_14.athlon.rpm 
Red Hat 8.0 (Kernel Upgrade) NVIDIA_nforce-1.0-0261.rh80up_2.4.18_27.athlon.rpm
Red Hat 9.0 NVIDIA_nforce-1.0-0261.rh90up_2.4.20_6.athlon.rpm 
Red Hat 9.0 (Kernel Upgrade) NVIDIA_nforce-1.0-0261.rh90up_2.4.20_9.athlon.rpm
SuSE 8.1 NVIDIA_nforce-1.0-0261.suse81.i586.rpm 
SuSE 8.2 NVIDIA_nforce-1.0-0261.suse82.i586.rpm 

Tar File NVIDIA_nforce-1.0-0261.tar.gz 
Source RPM NVIDIA_nforce-1.0-0261.src.rpm 

These files are a lot more recent that the dkopko how-to, and 
from what people post in Usenet, they do the job quickly and
easily.  For the supported distros, you just install the rpm,
set ACPI=off (at least for SuSE), and patch the kernel if you're 
using an AGP card.  All the necessary pieces are contained in 
each file, and the procedure is much simpler.  So I think they 
supersede the dkopko article at this point.  (Bless him for 
his pioneering work!)

On Sat, Jul 12, 2003 at 02:59:19PM -0700, Rick Moen wrote:
>Quoting Greg Dougherty (rhl at molecularsoftware.com):
>> There's a guide at
>> http://attila.stevens-tech.edu/~dkopko/a7n8x.txt
>> On how to get things working on my MB.  Both nVidia and ASUS have
>> updated files to install once I have RHL finally installed and working
>> on my computer.  Should I bring a CD with those files to the party
>> tomorrow, or will it be just as easy to download what we need?
>Sorry to be late in getting back to you.  I hope this reaches you in a
>timely manner.
>Something Mike Higashi pointed out to me, this morning:  Weren't you
>saying, in effect, that you were having problems getting RH to load
>onto your system at all?  If that's the case, then a set of files
>intended for post-installation application may not help a lot.
>To answer your question as posed, the household does have good Internet
>connectivity, and I have a reliable, if somewhat pokey, CD burner.
>I'm just looking over the indicated document, now.  In general terms,
>it's a guide to solving driver problems post-RH8 installation onto an
>Asus A7N8X Deluxe motherboard, which evidently uses an NVidia nForce2
>base chipset, creating consequent challenges for video, sound, ethernet,
>and ATA ("IDE") support.  
>The author wants you to initially avoid tangling with Serial ATA
>("SATA"), and therefore ensure that you initially have both the hard
>drive and the CD drive on the primary ATA channel, i.e., as /dev/hda and
>/dev/hdb.  (Ordinarily, you would seek to have ATA drives on different
>channels to the extent possible, since ATA doesn't support disconnected
>operation, and therefore addresses the two devices on each chain only
>alternately, never simuntaneously.)
>Post-RH8-installation, he has you run "hdparm -T -t" on your hard drive to
>get its technical specs.
>He wants you to get kernel 2.4.20 sources, some kernel patches, some
>(proprietary?) Nvidia kernel drivers to support their video cards, the
>proprietary Nvidia X11 driver for XFree86, ALSA source.  Compile and
>install that lot.  Reboot to the new kernel.
>Tweak the (thus-revised) ATA driver based on hdparm output.  Adjust
>/etc/modules.conf.  Tweak XFree86.  Enable raw DVD access.  Upgrade a
>few apps and utilities.  
>It all sounds like a perfectly reasonable plan, assuming that RH8's
>initial installation works well enough to proceed with the rest of it.
>Cheers,                   The cynics among us might say:   "We laugh, 
>Rick Moen                 monkeyboys -- Linux IS the mainstream UNIX now!
>rick at linuxmafia.com       MuaHaHaHa!" but that would be rude. -- Jim Dennis
>conspire mailing list
>conspire at linuxmafia.com

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