Subject: Linux Hardware Nightmare! - Help

This is a discussion on Subject: Linux Hardware Nightmare! - Help ; I do not at all think that Linux should support all (crappy) hardware that is out there. It is perfectly okay with me, if Linux supports a decent selection of properly designed hardware, and does it _flawlessly_. "Flawless" is what ...

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Thread: Subject: Linux Hardware Nightmare!

  1. Subject: Linux Hardware Nightmare!

    I do not at all think that Linux should support all (crappy) hardware
    that is out there. It is perfectly okay with me, if Linux supports a
    decent selection of properly designed hardware, and does it
    _flawlessly_. "Flawless" is what Linux, for the most part, is known
    for anyway.

    However, I have had this TERRIBLE X-freeze problem with my machine.
    After _much_ research, I realized that it is probably a bug (hardware
    or driver related) that will never go away

    You see, I have some VIA chips, and they seem buggy (or Linux does.)
    I found posts such as this:
    http://groups.google.ca/groups?q=lin...sol.net&rnum=1

    plus _many_ more VIA "DMA bug" related posts. Could not read them
    all.

    I tried the suggestions that I could, like hdparm -d0 to turn off DMA on
    my disk. The bug _always_ persisted. This is despite the fact that
    my machine is _much_ better behaved under Win98!!

    NOW: That is behind me! I have decided to buy a new system. But
    understandably, I _really_ need a FULLY Linux compliant system. You
    know, something that doesn't crash. I know I'm not asking too much,
    and Linux can make me just as happy as it has made countless others.

    But I go to RedHat Hardware compatibility list, and voila: No
    motherboards listed:
    http://www.redhat.com/software/rhl9_hcl.html
    Please understand: ALL I am asking for, is an actual listing of
    product IDs that will not freeze/crash under Linux. But the RedHat
    site does not appear to list even _one_ RH9 compatible motherboard.
    So how can I _possibly_ be expected to make a decision?

    I would be very grateful, and you would make my new year a really
    happy one, if you help me just a bit.

    Kindly give _exact_ motherboard names/numbers, that you know work
    _flawlessly_ with Linux. Other hardware NOT listed on the RedHat
    site: RAM, Hard, Mouse, Keyboard, CDROM. What do we do about those?
    Part numbers? Please suggest.

    This particular machine will be on the cheap end: no super fancy games
    or anything, and no cutting edge features are necessary. Main use:
    software development. Reasonably fast PC (2.6 GHz),
    but very _very_ stable, and reliable. Fully Linux ready.

    Thank you for all help in advance.

    Regards, Reza.


  2. Re: Subject: Linux Hardware Nightmare!

    On Mon, 05 Jan 2004 10:59:54 +0000, Reza Roboubi wrote:

    > I do not at all think that Linux should support all (crappy) hardware
    > that is out there. It is perfectly okay with me, if Linux supports a
    > decent selection of properly designed hardware, and does it
    > _flawlessly_. "Flawless" is what Linux, for the most part, is known
    > for anyway.
    >
    > However, I have had this TERRIBLE X-freeze problem with my machine.
    > After _much_ research, I realized that it is probably a bug (hardware
    > or driver related) that will never go away
    >
    > You see, I have some VIA chips, and they seem buggy (or Linux does.)
    > I found posts such as this:
    > http://groups.google.ca/groups?q=lin...sol.net&rnum=1
    >
    > plus _many_ more VIA "DMA bug" related posts. Could not read them
    > all.
    >
    > I tried the suggestions that I could, like hdparm -d0 to turn off DMA on
    > my disk. The bug _always_ persisted. This is despite the fact that
    > my machine is _much_ better behaved under Win98!!
    >
    > NOW: That is behind me! I have decided to buy a new system. But
    > understandably, I _really_ need a FULLY Linux compliant system. You
    > know, something that doesn't crash. I know I'm not asking too much,
    > and Linux can make me just as happy as it has made countless others.
    >
    > But I go to RedHat Hardware compatibility list, and voila: No
    > motherboards listed:
    > http://www.redhat.com/software/rhl9_hcl.html
    > Please understand: ALL I am asking for, is an actual listing of
    > product IDs that will not freeze/crash under Linux. But the RedHat
    > site does not appear to list even _one_ RH9 compatible motherboard.
    > So how can I _possibly_ be expected to make a decision?
    >
    > I would be very grateful, and you would make my new year a really
    > happy one, if you help me just a bit.
    >
    > Kindly give _exact_ motherboard names/numbers, that you know work
    > _flawlessly_ with Linux. Other hardware NOT listed on the RedHat
    > site: RAM, Hard, Mouse, Keyboard, CDROM. What do we do about those?
    > Part numbers? Please suggest.
    >
    > This particular machine will be on the cheap end: no super fancy games
    > or anything, and no cutting edge features are necessary. Main use:
    > software development. Reasonably fast PC (2.6 GHz),
    > but very _very_ stable, and reliable. Fully Linux ready.
    >
    > Thank you for all help in advance.
    >
    > Regards, Reza.


    I'm pretty happy with Dell. I've never had one crash. I believe
    they use some Intel motherboard, but can't tell you precisely
    which model. You can probably find details on the Dell website.
    The only troubles I had was one failed fan about a month ago on a
    dual P3 800 MHz (so how old is that?) and a "software" Sound Blaster
    Live on a brand new P4 3.2GHz bought 2 months ago (the sound
    card analog of the dreaded software modem).



  3. Re: Subject: Linux Hardware Nightmare!

    VIA have had a bad name for this sort of bug - hard to reproduce, long
    lasting bugs that affect all windows and linux.

    For example, they had USB controllers that crash systems because they
    respond on incorrect addresses under some circumstances and might corrupt
    data to network cards, sound cards, IDE DMA interfaces.

    Ah, that might be the bug ! The USB controller.

    So you might be wrong to blame the IDE, especially is you tried to turn off
    DMA. It might be the USB.


    VIA did get a bad name for this sort of thing, but it was really one or two
    models of their chips with the problem.


    > Kindly give _exact_ motherboard names/numbers, that you know work
    > _flawlessly_ with Linux.


    Intel and Nvidia Nforce chipset.


    > RAM, Hard, Mouse, Keyboard, CDROM.


    All makes of all of these are OK.





  4. Re: Subject: Linux Hardware Nightmare!

    Reza Roboubi wrote in message news:<3FF942D7.2040403@mail.requestfinder.com>...
    > I do not at all think that Linux should support all (crappy) hardware
    > that is out there. It is perfectly okay with me, if Linux supports a
    > decent selection of properly designed hardware, and does it
    > _flawlessly_. "Flawless" is what Linux, for the most part, is known
    > for anyway.
    >
    > However, I have had this TERRIBLE X-freeze problem with my machine.
    > After _much_ research, I realized that it is probably a bug (hardware
    > or driver related) that will never go away
    >
    > You see, I have some VIA chips, and they seem buggy (or Linux does.)
    > I found posts such as this:
    > http://groups.google.ca/groups?q=lin...sol.net&rnum=1
    >
    > plus _many_ more VIA "DMA bug" related posts. Could not read them
    > all.
    >
    > I tried the suggestions that I could, like hdparm -d0 to turn off DMA on
    > my disk. The bug _always_ persisted. This is despite the fact that
    > my machine is _much_ better behaved under Win98!!
    >
    > NOW: That is behind me! I have decided to buy a new system. But
    > understandably, I _really_ need a FULLY Linux compliant system. You
    > know, something that doesn't crash. I know I'm not asking too much,
    > and Linux can make me just as happy as it has made countless others.
    >
    > But I go to RedHat Hardware compatibility list, and voila: No
    > motherboards listed:
    > http://www.redhat.com/software/rhl9_hcl.html
    > Please understand: ALL I am asking for, is an actual listing of
    > product IDs that will not freeze/crash under Linux. But the RedHat
    > site does not appear to list even _one_ RH9 compatible motherboard.
    > So how can I _possibly_ be expected to make a decision?
    >

    My take on this is that too many people are coming to Linux
    without grasping some key points. So they chase false paths, not
    realizing that a different solution is what's needed.

    I've seen people go through distributions, even downloading them
    at 56K, to find one that "works" with their computer, when in fact
    it's the kernel version and version of the X server (if running X)
    that really determine whether or not hardware is supported. Some
    distributions may be better than others in determining what software
    you have (this is heresay, since I don't have real experience except
    with Slackware), but that simply means the configuration is done
    automatically.

    I got a "new" computer two weeks ago, a hand me down, and the soundcard
    is not supported by the distribution and version that I have on hand.
    But I shouldn't expect that, given the card is more recent than
    that version. It wouldn't do me a bit of good top randomly
    try distributions, because only (and any) distribution with a recent
    enough version of the kernel will support that card.

    Ultimately, there is very little difference between distributions.
    What extras they include varies, as does the installation program,
    and even where they install and set up things. But the basic commands
    will all be there no matter what the distribution, as will the hardware
    that it runs on. If the version of the kernel does not support your
    hardware, then there's your problem.

    But since the issue of hardware compatibility has come up, it becomes
    a bogey for people who worry about such things. It's easier to
    assume a hardware incompatibility than some other matter.

    Realistically, much of that compatibility issue arose in the early
    days of Linux, when support, and useage, had not expanded sufficiently.
    Now, hardware imcompatibility, with some exceptions, is related to
    old hardware that nobody bothered to deal with back then, or hardware
    so new that nobody's gotten around to dealing with it.

    The same with the X server. If your video card is too new for
    the version you are running, then there won't be support. Yet,
    likely there is a way, since one can treat it as a generic video
    card that everyone wants to be; you simply won't have the latest
    features.

    The longer something has been around, the more likely it has support,
    and that it is fairly standard anyway. Take CDROM drives. In the early
    days, there were various schemes for interfacing them, and the kernel
    had to deal with them all (or not be compatible). But that's long
    in the past. Now, they all use the same interface, and they all
    use the same command set, so the only "incompatible" ones that will
    be listed will be old. This makes the compatibility list look
    out of date, when in reality it means there aren't any made nowadays
    that aren't incompatible.

    The real incompatibility issues are for hardware that is "win" based.
    If it counts on the CPU for doing part of its job, like a Winmodem
    or Winprinter or whatever, then it is far more likely to not be
    compatible, and Linux may never support it. This is because
    the manufacturer will not release information about the hardware,
    and that makes it difficult to write software for (and since it's
    brain dead anyway, why bother dealing with it?).

    Once you realize that things are more the same than different,
    then you can look for what separates them, and then that is
    the key for finding compatibility.

    Michael

  5. Re: Subject: Linux Hardware Nightmare!

    Everybody's help and advice is _much_ appreciated.

    Leon. wrote:
    > [snip]
    >
    >>Kindly give _exact_ motherboard names/numbers, that you know work
    >>_flawlessly_ with Linux.

    >
    >
    > Intel and Nvidia Nforce chipset.
    >



    Does this include the onboard ethernet, graphics, etc,
    that comes with Intel motherboards?

    Thanks again.

    Reza.


    >
    >
    >>RAM, Hard, Mouse, Keyboard, CDROM.

    >
    >
    > All makes of all of these are OK.
    >
    >
    >
    >



  6. Re: Subject: Linux Hardware Nightmare!

    > You see, I have some VIA chips, and they seem buggy (or Linux does.)

    Via's well-known for bugginess. And, in fact, it's only been relatively
    recently that they were even known for decent performance: For a long time,
    they were buggy *and* slow!

    Look around at the different chipsets. In general, you get what you pay
    for. When you find a particular motherboard you're interested in, try
    groups.google.com again to see how others have fared with it. If you make a
    reasonable effort that way, the number of problems you'll see will be
    drastically fewer, and you'll generally be prepared ahead of time to deal
    with them, from having seen what other people reported.

    steve



  7. Re: Subject: Linux Hardware Nightmare!

    "Steve Wolfe" writes:

    >> You see, I have some VIA chips, and they seem buggy (or Linux does.)

    >
    > Via's well-known for bugginess. And, in fact, it's only been relatively
    > recently that they were even known for decent performance: For a long time,
    > they were buggy *and* slow!
    >
    > Look around at the different chipsets. In general, you get what you pay
    > for. When you find a particular motherboard you're interested in, try
    > groups.google.com again to see how others have fared with it. If you make a
    > reasonable effort that way, the number of problems you'll see will be
    > drastically fewer, and you'll generally be prepared ahead of time to deal
    > with them, from having seen what other people reported.


    Remember that most people don't post to news groups about successes,
    so if you can't find any posts about some piece of hardware, and it's
    not very new, it's likely to work.

    --
    Måns Rullgård
    mru@kth.se

  8. Re: Subject: Linux Hardware Nightmare!

    mru@kth.se (Måns Rullgård) wrote in message news:...
    >
    > Remember that most people don't post to news groups about successes,
    > so if you can't find any posts about some piece of hardware, and it's
    > not very new, it's likely to work.


    Of course, that holds true to the compatibility lists. If they listed
    everything that did work, it likely would be a massive list. But
    since they mostly list things that don't work, it gives the appearance
    that Linux doesn't work on much.

    Michael

  9. Re: Subject: Linux Hardware Nightmare!


    "Reza Roboubi" wrote in message
    news:0tqKb.4775$hk.3850@pd7tw1no...
    > Everybody's help and advice is _much_ appreciated.
    >
    > Leon. wrote:
    > > [snip]
    > >
    > >>Kindly give _exact_ motherboard names/numbers, that you know work
    > >>_flawlessly_ with Linux.

    > >
    > >
    > > Intel and Nvidia Nforce chipset.
    > >

    >
    >
    > Does this include the onboard ethernet, graphics, etc,
    > that comes with Intel motherboards?



    well yes,



    but the issue does become hard from there on..

    vga .. most vga chips will be supported, but if you get a new chip you might
    have trouble with linux... if its too new it might be a problem for a while.

    And if its not the 'best' chip, it might get good support, there might be
    no one who can be bothered fixing support for a cheap chip.

    nvidia graphics chips are good performers
    intel will be reliable but dont perform as well
    ATI Radeon chips are good performers, but it might be that linux support is
    a problem when its really new.




    On board sound (all the AC97 sound devices) can be a bit cheap.. not worth
    worrying about.

    I see your point. It would be good if someone prepared an uptodate list of
    known working chips which perform well. Nobody wants to pay a lot for a
    lousy but reliable performer.

    motherboard chipsets that work well
    graphics chips
    ethernet interfaces...

    and a list of current 'too new to be supported' chips, to stay away from.





  10. Re: Subject: Linux Hardware Nightmare!

    On Tue, 06 Jan 2004 00:00:15 -0700, Steve Wolfe wrote:

    >> You see, I have some VIA chips, and they seem buggy (or Linux does.)

    >
    > Via's well-known for bugginess. And, in fact, it's only been relatively
    > recently that they were even known for decent performance: For a long time,
    > they were buggy *and* slow!


    I just returned my ASUS motherboard with the VIA chipset for another
    ASUS with nvidia drivers. I installed the latest (that I could find)
    chipset drivers for linux mandrake and all seems to be working well
    as of late. The only problem that I'm still having is getting openGL
    to work using my Voodoo4 card.

    If you're having sound problems (likely) with your Via chipset under
    Linux, I solved my mp3 playback problem by installing the cross-fader
    plug-in and setting the sampling rate to 48k. This only works for
    XMMS though. In the end, I decided replacing the motherboard was the
    way to go.

    -ptc1

  11. Re: Subject: Linux Hardware Nightmare!

    In article <3ff97ace@news.rivernet.com.au>,
    Leon. wrote:

    >> Kindly give _exact_ motherboard names/numbers, that you know work
    >> _flawlessly_ with Linux.

    >
    >Intel and Nvidia Nforce chipset.


    Does this include framebuffer console support at all resolutions and
    refresh rates?

  12. Purchase Intel D865GBF? (WAS: L.H. Nightmare!)

    After all the great advice people have given me, I believe I have decided
    to go for an Intel D865GBFL motherboard.

    I'm just double checking for anyone's specific experience with this board.
    If anyone has (negative) comments, kindly post them ASAP, as I'm now in
    a hurry to place an order

    (For example, tell me this sort of thing if you like:
    http://groups.google.ca/groups?hl=en...=Google+Search
    )


    Thanks again. Reza.


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