[linux] A linux distro for my Athlon64

zanfur at zanfur.com zanfur at zanfur.com
Mon Oct 25 17:26:02 PDT 2004

It's not free, but SuSE 9 and SuSE 8 Enterprise both work remarkably well
on the Athlon64 platform, on the K8T chipset. It's what the PogoLinux
1264's use. (I've personally installed this distro on about a hundred of
the buggers.)

I know from experience that FC2 works on that chipset as well, but there
are some issues with DMA on the SATA controllers, and even on some PATA
controllers. "Issues" range from simply not using DMA to glorious crashes
with lots of pretty blinking lights on the screen. Fortunately, there are
kernel updates that fix this problem, if you can get it installed in the
first place. I got around this problem by turning off DMA in the bios,
installing FC2 that way (very, very slowly), updating every rpm (using
yum) to the most current -- most importantly, the kernel -- and then
turning DMA on. just remember to pass the nodma option to the kernel
while installing.


On Mon, Oct 25, 2004 at 03:02:31PM -0700, Doug McLean wrote:

> Hi guys,


> It's been a little while since I posted to this list.


> I recently bought/assembled an Athlon64 machine (with an MSI FSR 800 mobo,

> VIA K8T chipset). I have a serial ATA drive on there, with some space to

> throw Linux on there, but I also have a legacy IDE hard drive that at one

> point had Slackware on it.


> At this point, I want to put something Linux-y on this machine so I've

> tried:


> Fedora Core2 (at first i386, then later for 64-bit Athlons)

> FreeBSD 5.2.1 (the 64-bit Athlon port)

> Slackware 10 (this just flat out didn't work)


> All of them run into various problems installing themselves on either the

> SATA drive or on the legacy IDE drive. The problems all stem from

> problems writing to the drives, or reading from the CD-Rom drive (which

> like the IDE drive has worked on other computers with Linux). I kept the

> IDE drive installed thinking that maybe something could at least get

> installed there, but I run into problems nevertheless. I think the

> Motherboard is the issue.


> I think I have to wait a bit for Linux support for my motherboard to catch

> up, but being impatient, I was wondering if anyone had any experience

> getting Linux to work in a stable way on Athlon64 systems, especially with

> MSI boards.


> Does anyone recommend a distro (including FreeBSD) that potentially will

> have the best support in the future?


> Thanks all!


> Doug McLean

> CSS Systems Administrator

> University of Washington, Bothell

> http://staff.washington.edu/dougmc/pgp.html

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