[conspire] How to check if a mobo is compatible with Linux

K Sandoval indigo.kai at gmail.com
Fri Mar 21 21:04:53 PDT 2008

Hello Everyone,

I was wondering how do you research a motherboard or other hardware to
verify it is Linux compatible?
What websites to do you check?
How do you phrase your google searches?

How much information do you look for when reviewing recommendations on
blog post or vendor sites? Or are the posting on these types of sites
even worth reviewing?

I am looking to build a new system and I have some funds.  But I want
to make sure I make a wise and educated investments in the new
hardware I purchase.

The situation.
I need to get a replacement box for my dad that he can perform two
task only..  1) Run his Quicken XP, and 2) Play solitaire.  This
system will have NO internet access and probably no printer.

I was thinking I could hand down my eMachine to my dad once I build my
New System.  However that thinking has now changed.

The Variables.
I do have an "unused" Biostar P4M890-M7 and a Intel Celeron 360 3.4
6Ghz processor to go with it. I have decided NOT to used this
mobo/processor for my new Linux machine.  I don't want to use some
mobo that is the equivalent to a YUGO, that I have to tweek and fight
with to work under Linux.  So I guess this hardware will go to my
DAD's replacement machine.

I already have a spare CD ROM, IDE drive, floppy drive, and he has a
monitor.  All I need to do is purchase a case/power supply and some
RAM memory and it looks like my dad is all good to go.


That still leaves me with building a new system for me.  I would guess
I need to decide which mobo to go with, but where do I start?

I already have an idea about the case and some hardware that I want.

I am looking for an ATX or a Micro ATX mobo that would support 2
IDE/PATA HD, 2 CD/DVD, eventually upgrade to 4 GB RAM (or more), able
to upgrade processor, support a floppy drive, and have 4 or more USB

This is what I have found
1) GIGABYTE GA-G31M-S2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel

2) GIGABYTE GA-P35-S3G LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX

3) Intel BOXDG31PR LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX

I did look at the 4) GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All
Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard, but there is no onboard video and I
was not sure which is better onboard video or dealing with a video

Opinions on this hardware is welcome....
Reason why I looked at these particular motherboards...

1) The CPU is upgradeable.  Quad-core / Core 2 Duo / Pentium / Celeron
2) RAM Memory can support 1 GB, 2 GB, 4 GB therefore I can upgrade the
RAM later.
NOTE  2b) The CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
(PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail  is ON SALE.
$29.00 after mail in rebate.

3) I believe the chipsets are Linux compatible.  North Bridge Intel
G31 South Bridge Intel ICH7   No tweaking necessary...
4) Even though there is only one PATA/IDE socket, it can support 2
devices (a primary and a slave hard drive.)
** I really want one primary HD and one slave/secondary HD.

5) There are 4+ SATA sockets. I can get myself 1 SATA DVD/CD - DVD
writer with lightscribe and I can get myself a second SATA DVD/CD
later if I want.
** I would eventually like 2 CD/DVD's.  One CD/DVD Writer and one
plain DVD/CD - CD Writer combo drive.

6) Still supports a floppy drive, **just in-case I need one.
7) Plenty of USB ports.

I do have a widescreen/flatscreen and it would be nice if the video
and audio worked.
(By the way Thanks Christian for fixing the video on my Ubuntu!!)  I
was wondering why the fonts were so blurry before.

Video and audio are nice, but I am not a gamer or into graphics so
medium level video and sound are ok.

In conclusion: I am looking for an ATX or a Micro ATX mobo that would
support 2 IDE/PATA HD, 2 CD/DVD, eventually upgrade to 4 GB RAM, able
to upgrade processor, support a floppy drive, and have 4 or more USB

Am I going about making a good decision the proper way?  Am I missing
anything?  Feedback is welcome and appreciated.

- Kai

Ms.Kai Sandoval


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