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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the roll-your-own dept.

Operating Systems 294

storkus writes: The release of Haswell-E and a price drop on Devil's Canyon has made me itch for a PC upgrade. However, looking around I discovered a pair of horror stories on Phoronix about the difficulties of using Linux on a multitude of motherboards. My question: if MSI, Gigabyte, Asus (and by extension Asrock) are out, who's left and are they any good? I'd like to build a (probably dual-boot, but don't know for sure) gaming and 'other' high-end machine with one of the above chips, so we're talking Z97 or X99; however, these stories seem to point to the problems being Windows-isms in the BIOS/UEFI structures rather than actual hardware incompatibility, combined with a lousy attitude (despite the Steam Linux distro being under development).

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The Most Productive! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804275)

The very "friendliest" and most productive manufacturer of ANYTHING. MY ASS. Yeah. Turds baby! Sniff em and weep biatches!

Intel (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804287)

They're about as vanilla as it's possible to get, which is what you have to do to get anything working with minimal kernel module hacking.

Re:Intel (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 4 months ago | (#47804363)

If I still had mod points, you'd get a +1. Intel motherboards are great. They're nothing fancy pants, but everything that's on them is solid and well supported.

Re:Intel (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804409)

If I still had mod points, you'd get a +1. Intel motherboards are great. They're nothing fancy pants, but everything that's on them is solid and well supported.

Oh Yeah, like the D2700MUD with zip support for the GPU and no way to add another card.

Re:Intel (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 4 months ago | (#47804477)

Caveat that Atoms with PowerVR graphics are to be avoided. We knew that.

But since the summary is about Haswell, one can assume Intel HD/Iris graphics.

Re:Intel (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#47805123)

32-bit Atoms on UEFI boards are also to be avoided, though I think that they are all also PowerVR. They can be booted; but any normal distro with UEFI support assumes 64 bits and anything with 32bit support tends to assume BIOS. Not impossible; but best avoided.

Sadly, they are getting out of the business (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 months ago | (#47804489)

Intel is closing down their motherboard lines. It pisses me off since they were all I'd buy in the past, but they aren't going to be an option for much longer :(.

Re:Sadly, they are getting out of the business (2)

jonwil (467024) | about 4 months ago | (#47804579)

+1 for this, my current motherboard is an Intel and if I had the money I would upgrade to a Core series chip (instead of the Core 2 Duo I have now) with an Intel board.

Re:Intel (1)

Zappy (7013) | about 4 months ago | (#47805059)

Intel MB may be fine, but stay away from the wireless 7260 series, they are utter crap and only work mostly with the very latest firmware and driver/kernel version.

Re:Intel (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#47805117)

They're about as vanilla as it's possible to get, which is what you have to do to get anything working with minimal kernel module hacking.

This is generally true, any Intel CPU using board is going to be mostly Intel silicon at the center, with other vendors twiddling around a bit with audio chipsets(unfortunately, as with AC 97 before it, there are...multiple creative ways...to be 'compatible' with Intel's "HD Audio" standard), NICs, extra USB or SATA controllers, and whatnot. Intel usually keeps it simple, stupid(barring the push for UEFI; but now that that's industry-wide you just pick your poison) and tends not to use really dire onboard junk on their midrange and up boards.

That said, you may or may not(mostly may not) be ready to go in Linux if you buy something on launch day. Intel will get it in-tree, probably reasonably quickly; but do yourself a favor and check, then check again with your distro of choice unless you feel like building your own kernels. If you are buying anything that isn't bleeding edge, this is unlikely to be a problem, with the sole exception of a couple of breeds of Atoms(the ones with 'GMA 500' graphics are totally fucked, and the ones with 32-bit UEFI that shipped in a few cheap Win8 tablets are just as fucked in the GPU department and about a factor of ten less fun to actually make boot...)

Phoronix = fail (3, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 4 months ago | (#47804291)

It's the OSNews of the 21st Century.

Buy Gigabyte, their shit is rock solid.

Phoronix = fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804725)

or not... they sell boards with bent cpu pins and refuse to replace them. that's a dick move.

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804299)

You can disable UEFI and use CSM boot; it still works with Win 8.1. Asus Z87 boards worked fine with Ubuntu 14.xx for me.

Re:Meh (2)

reub2000 (705806) | about 4 months ago | (#47804507)

Why? EFI is convient. No more need for an OS write it's bootloader to over the old bootloader. Linux supports it, FreeBSD will support it in a few months.

Re:Meh (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47804689)

Why? EFI is convient.

The summary suggested that "BIOS/UEFI structures" cause problems on some boards under Linux, so I guess the parent just wanted to offer a workaround for that.

Convenient? For whom? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804769)

> Why? EFI is convient.

EFI is an overengineered piecee of shit nobody (save those dreaming of consumer control) really needs. BIOS should just load the OS. Boards and chipsets should come with docs (yes, nowadays machine readable, in ROM) about how to set things up.

Not with backdoors (sometimes sold as remote management goodies).

Sucks but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804301)

Desktop Linux has a pretty laughable market share. Geeks are already difficult to deal with as consumers, freetards are even worse as they eventually turn on most of their supporters, in some cases even carrying out nasty little campaigns for some perceived betrayal. Makes companies like Nvidia wonder why they even bother.

Sucks but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804355)

It's hard to find a friendly desktop motherboard for a desktop unfriendly OS.

Re:Sucks but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804375)

Pretty much this. Yes -1 Troll.

I've blacklisted Gigabyte, but only for motherboards after I've had one motherboard flash it's bios memory after every reboot a few times, it eventually screwed up and destroyed itself.

So far I've had a zero success rate on BIOS updates on ASRock as well. In order to get ASRock to properly BIOS update, it has to be done from the BIOS itself. If you do the update in any other way, it bricks the system.

Even Dell, ... I won't even go there.

Suffice it to say, no vendor should ever have a BIOS patch cycle as often as an OSS product, but every vendor should be making sure that all CPU and Chipset features are tuneables in the BIOS, and if they are broken, allow it to be turned off. It should not be up to the motherboard vendor to decide which features the user will not want to use.

Re:Sucks but... (1)

mathew7 (863867) | about 4 months ago | (#47804879)

I think Linux support differs from model to model (as opposed to manufacturers). I'm using a Gigabyte Z87X-UD3 and I've had no trouble. I boot Xen with debian-testing since spring and using a Windows 7 guest as gaming platform (VT-d for those who wonder).
Previously I used Asrock Z68 for the same purpose.
However, my MB pre-buy research was based mostly on VMWare E??? (the one which supports PCI passthrough) feedback since VT-d was an "elimination" criteria.

Re:Sucks but... (0, Flamebait)

gweihir (88907) | about 4 months ago | (#47804421)

And you think with the low margins the manufacturers have these days, they can do without that share? Wrong. Also people using desktop Linux are typically in the higher income levels and can not only pay for quality, they can recognize it, unlike the sheep. Of which you are clearly one. An aggressive sheep is still a sheep. Wolves are always a minority. What you are also completely forgetting is that a lot of these will actually run as servers. You know, because Linux does well as server, quite unlike Windows. But you would not know or understand that.

Re:Sucks but... (4, Funny)

rev0lt (1950662) | about 4 months ago | (#47804501)

And you think with the low margins the manufacturers have these days, they can do without that share?

Unfortunely, yes. No major motherboard manufacturer even cares about niche market. And the IC manufacturers, they don't really care, either.

Also people using desktop Linux are typically in the higher income levels and can not only pay for quality

Higher income buyers are buying trendy Apple, Andoid tablets and Microsoft laptops, not linux workstations.

they can recognize it, unlike the sheep

No, they just don't care about that. But you do get the smugness of the illusion that the manufacturer uses fairy dust instead of building it like everyone else.

Wolves are always a minority.

Now, you're just assuming stuff. I'd say wolves are quite the majority of animals in wolfpacks, and the major ingredient in wolf stoo.

What you are also completely forgetting is that a lot of these will actually run as servers. You know, because Linux does well as server

Who is using COTS desktop boards on servers? Traditionally, Intel desktop cpu lines do not support ECC memory. And you talk like there is no option for servers besides Linux.

You know, because Linux does well as server, quite unlike Windows

I assume you speak from experience. I'd blame it on the sysadmin, not the operating system.

But you would not know or understand that.

Get out of the basement sometimes. Try to vent out at least some of that frustration of yours.

Re:Sucks but... (2)

Bert64 (520050) | about 4 months ago | (#47805055)

Who is using COTS desktop boards on servers? Traditionally, Intel desktop cpu lines do not support ECC memory. And you talk like there is no option for servers besides Linux.

Far too many people are doing exactly this...
Smaller companies often have old desktops running as their "servers", no raid (or using the crappy bios fakeraid), no backups, no redundancy etc. Lots of cheaper servers are also based on desktop boards, and lots of budget hosting companies use such systems.

Re:Sucks but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804581)

Yeah Linux users like us are *totally* high income wolves! Thanks I have always thought that so Im glad somebody else does too! Awesome!

Re:Sucks but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804717)

Lovely diatribe.

I may be a sheep, but at least I'm a sheep with a fully-functional PC. What little free time I have I get to spend with my family, and generally, having a life. Please leave the basement once in a while.

Re: Sucks but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804763)

I've been using Linux for about twenty years, still live with my parents, and have an actual neckbeard...

But I would never say anything like what you just said. That's how far gone you are, my friend.

Re:Sucks but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47805135)

Also people using desktop Linux are typically in the higher income levels and can not only pay for quality, they can recognize it, unlike the sheep.

Look, we can see that you are a Linux fanboy and want to defend it, but skewing the truth helps nothing. The quality of Linux desktop leaves lot to desire in terms of stability and performance when compared to Windows and Mac.

Re:Sucks but... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#47805145)

If your needs differ substantially from the server or compute markets (as with buying a cheap printer, or having laptop power saving actually work properly) you may indeed be pretty doomed. To the degree that you can overlap with the needs of server/compute on one end and embedded on the other, though, the market share of desktop boards isn't wildly relevant.

Yes, the SKUs differ; but nobody is going to go out of their way to make their product line more expensive to design and support by adding pointless differences(assorted features enabled or disabled, definitely; but playing NIH between product lines is rather pointless), so it's not clear what desktop Linux has to fear from low market share. If anything, things are far worse in mobile, where the market share is higher; but a substantial percentage of the hardware will do little more than boot a kernel and talk to a TTY somewhere unless you are using an Android BSP and a giant heap of blobs.

zzzzz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804303)

Intel.

Re:zzzzz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804905)

....who are pulling their desktop motherboard line.

LOL SteamOS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804305)

Look, SteamOS isn't going anywhere or doing anything. Valve isn't going to make a fourth Console work, even by outsourcing the hardware work to a bunch of volunteers.

Re:LOL SteamOS (1, Troll)

Nyder (754090) | about 4 months ago | (#47804327)

Look, SteamOS isn't going anywhere or doing anything. Valve isn't going to make a fourth Console work, even by outsourcing the hardware work to a bunch of volunteers.

How much do you get paid to make these posts?

Re:LOL SteamOS (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 4 months ago | (#47804397)

Must be some kind of masochism. I really can see no other reason why people insist on getting wiped by MS time and again.

Re:LOL SteamOS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804471)

you are gay.

Re:LOL SteamOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804483)

It's a bit like that mistreated dog, comes back each day for the kick from his owner.

Re:LOL SteamOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804729)

There's no reason to stop beating your wife, she likes it.

Re:LOL SteamOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804485)

Nothing, I don't have to be paid to say something. You'll want whoever is shilling for Russia, the US, Saudi Arabia, China, Apple, Microsoft, or Valve.

Me? I just don't pretend there's going to be anything coming from Yet Another Linux Distro. If anybody even thinks of it in 5 years, I'll be surprised.

Windows 7 will likely still be on some people's Desktops though. Wait till you see how Microsoft makes Windows X-9000 really suck though.

Re:LOL SteamOS (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47804697)

How much do you get paid to make these posts?

Hehheh. The obligatory shill accusation comment.

MSI Claims SteamOS compatibility with X99 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804315)

MSI X99 boards at least claim SteamOS compatibility out of the box.

In my books that should mean Linux works.

Re:MSI Claims SteamOS compatibility with X99 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804345)

Also looked at their BIOS Files. Looks like normal ZIP which contains the file that needs to be put to the pen driver for the UEFI self-update to work from the BIOS itself. No Windows required.

Re:MSI Claims SteamOS compatibility with X99 (2)

flux (5274) | about 4 months ago | (#47804785)

Though the AsRock board I bought is able to download the BIOS upgrade itself from within the BIOS, so that works regardless the OS. (Also it has a switch for choosing from two BIOS flash regions, so it should be pretty safe.)

Re:MSI Claims SteamOS compatibility with X99 (1)

storkus (179708) | about 4 months ago | (#47804969)

I apparently missed that part. So far, this is the single most useful comment on this, THANK YOU!!!

Re:MSI Claims SteamOS compatibility with X99 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804991)

The do claim "Steam OS compatibility" on all gaming motherboard.

  For that very reason I got a MSI Z97 gaming 3 mobo 2 weeks ago.. I installed steamOS, and everything worked out of the box... Until I pluged-in my Microphone. Mega fail on the analog audio drivers.. :(.

  So i started trashing MSI in my head, until I checked the kernel version on SteamOS .. 3.10.1... So I installed ubuntu 14.04 and everything works amazingly well out of the box. And yes I could have upgraded the kernel myself on SteamOS, but the point of SteamOS is hassle-free linux gaming, and maintaining a patched kernel is not hassle free

  I think it will work great regardless of the distro, as long as you can have a recent kernel (3.15+).

Self-extracting EXEs (4, Interesting)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 4 months ago | (#47804317)

Some archive apps like WinRAR can extract files from self-extracting EXE files. Also look around for other softwares that can do this.

In some cases a command line option will allow the EXE to be extracted but not installed - but you have to do some digging.

Of course - the above is provided that you have at least one Windows machine around.

Also check around on the Motherboard manufacturer site - sometimes they offer both an EXE and a ZIP archive, and if nothing else contact their support. If nobody pesters them about the problem then they don't care.

And finally - also look at Tyan and Supermicro for motherboard, even though their target is server motherboards they may have some suitable motherboards for you.

Re:Self-extracting EXEs (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804503)

That's because a self-extracting zip file is actually still a valid zip file, albeit with a bit of junk at the start. Just rename to .zip and most archive utilities can cope fine.

Re:Self-extracting EXEs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47805125)

No, fail. zip files start with the characters "PK" whereas executables usually start with "MZ" Self-extracting archives usually have the compressed blob in a custom segment of the file, or a resource blob for Windows-based ones.

Re:Self-extracting EXEs (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 4 months ago | (#47804925)

Why would anyone have a windows machine around? My tribe does not support monsters nor evil doers. Freedom insists that I run Linux. Freedom is my buddy and you should get to know about Freedom.

Sensationalism? (4, Interesting)

passionplay (607862) | about 4 months ago | (#47804325)

Is setting a bunch of flags really a horror story? Really? How is this possible if you are BUILDING a computer?

Re:Sensationalism? (5, Interesting)

storkus (179708) | about 4 months ago | (#47805011)

Because a few things were yanked out of my submission, as usual for headlines. As shown in the Phoronix stories, and (here's one part that was deleted) by Googling around further, a bigger problem is that the mobo manufacturers simply don't give a flying f**k about anything other than winblows: Gigabyte and Asus both say, "We don't support Linux, use windows"--yes, really, read the story--and there was some MSI business before, but maybe that's getting better since they offer official Steam support (we'll see).

I didn't know AsRock and AsusTek were separate companies now: perhaps their new X99-WS, while not an overclocker, is better supported as many workstations run Linux or Solaris.

I'm surprised so many guys didn't know Intel isn't making boards anymore, but I didn't know they're (apparently?) still available. Whether with Z97 or X99 (or later) is a big question, though.

Also deleted from my submission is that I specifically stated that I don't expect all the hardware to work on something so new, but I expect the important parts will: rather, that the M$-isms in the BIOS deliberately interfere with Linux. I'm very familiar with this, as I have a 7 year old laptop that, to this day, I cannot install any of the BSD's to: first the bootloaders died, and now the kernels die in early boot, so it's a little better, but still. Oh, and it likes LILO better than GRUB.

So, is this sensationalistic? No, I don't think so. And I haven't been paid for any of this (in fact, I'm going to max out a credit card or two to pay for this). But I really don't want to repeat all the pain others have gone through. This isn't my first build, and definitely not my first Linux install, but this is the newest hardware that I've used in almost 2 decades. (Usually I just take hand-me-downs on the cheap--as usual, what works like shit in winblows works fine in Linux!) I want a machine for gaming, compiling, GIMPing, etc--for once, I'd like some top end screaming hardware (since I'll never be able to afford Haswell-EX with its 20 cores!). The last thing I need is the manufacturers themselves deliberately creating road blocks!

Not sure why Asus is out (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804335)

But I have built many of Linux systems on AMD/Asus platform. Not sure about the Intel stuff. But rarely have had any issues. YMMV.

Re:Not sure why Asus is out (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804965)

I just replaced my previous Asus board with a Z97-AR and with a i7-4790k and AMD R280 GPU. Everything is rock solid in Linux too. Asus even supports updating the BIOS from the BIOS itself, so one does not need a Windows application or a FreeDOS boot disk for that anymore.

Re:Not sure why Asus is out (3, Informative)

Beamboom (2692671) | about 4 months ago | (#47804975)

This. I've *always* used ASUS motherboards on my Linux desktop computers since what feels like the dawn of time, and never had problems with any of them except for one, but that was not due to OS but the CPU and was later fixed with bios update.

Just wait a little (4, Informative)

etherelithic (846901) | about 4 months ago | (#47804347)

I've built about 9 computers in the past 4 years and have run various flavors of Linux on all of them (mostly LTS builds of Ubuntu), and I've never had compatibility problems with the motherboard. Nowadays nobody can really afford not to support Linux, so I think the important thing is to wait a little while for the chipset drivers to get integrated into the newest builds of the Linux kernel, and then go from there. I've had issues with USB 3.0 support for an older CentOS version, but overall everything works for the most part. Linux even works better out of the box than a clean install of Windows 7 sometimes, because Win7 doesn't have drivers for a lot of common NICs, whereas Linux usually did. As you mentioned, in the latest computers I've built, the UEFI did give me more problems than traditional BIOS, but they weren't show-stoppers by any means, just a google search away from a resolution.

Re:Just wait a little (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804573)

I don't really care if Linux supports more drivers out of the box. It's a moot point because all that matters in the end is whether the driver exists in the first place, and if it supports all functionality as expected from the hardware it's... driving. At least with Windows I can guarantee a driver exists somewhere; with Linux's lackluster usage levels (I'll try to to say "market share" because some people jump on you for semantics over something that's mostly not sold in a market in the first place, and completely miss the point you're trying to make) there's often gaps in that level of support.

For example, with my current rig I can't run Linux reliably on it. The Renesas USB3 controller on my motherboard has an issue with the kernel drivers, in such that it will detect a HDD if plugged into it during bootup, but if you then unmount the drive and plug it in again, or you don't have the drive plugged during bootup and plug into the USB3 port, it won't be seen. Some people have complained about the exact same bug and the relevant Launchpad entries in Ubuntu's buglists are basically dead, because no-one gives a shit about fixing it or are unable to because it's too hard.

Well I care, because it makes Linux less useful on my machine. So fuck it, Windows 4 life!

Re:Just wait a little (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804781)

And nothing of importance was lost. If you are so happy to suck Ballmers dick, then fuck off already and stop posting your utter nonsense here.

Re:Just wait a little (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804819)

So fuck it, Windows 4 life!

What a brain dead little fart wart turd gobbler .

Re:Just wait a little (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804839)

> At least with Windows I can guarantee a driver exists somewhere;

No, you can't always for legacy equipment, not for Windows or Linux. The driver model changed for Windows and this means some abandonment for legacy kit that manufacturers have not bothered to update drivers for. In some cases Linux ones have been contributed by the community. However, such old, legacy kit is getting less of an issue as it becomes obsolete or falls apart.

For Linux the issue is sometimes a lack of drivers for new kit.

Re:Just wait a little (2)

Bert64 (520050) | about 4 months ago | (#47805091)

At least with Windows I can guarantee a driver exists somewhere;

No, you can't...
Support for legacy hardware is often very poor with windows... the driver model has changed a few times, and each time cuts off some older hardware.
Then there is the issue that most drivers come as binaries, so while a piece of hardware may have 32bit drivers it may not have 64bit ones, and is even less likely to have arm drivers.
Then there are niche devices that were never intended to be used with windows, sun ethernet cards for instance that were intended to be used on sparc servers actually run just fine in x86 systems on linux but windows has no drivers for them.

I have an old usb scanner here, current versions of ubuntu detect it out of the box but you need to install drivers on windows or macos, only the windows drivers are only for 32bit xp and the mac drivers are only for powerpc.

Re:Just wait a little (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804633)

Same here, built 3 computers and upgraded them a couple of times over the last ~5 years. No problems whatsoever with linux.

(now with Windows is another story. For some reason, Windows stopped working completely so I had to reinstall. The onboard LAN was not recognized out of the box so I had to download the drivers on another machine and transfer by USB stick.... that really felt back to the nineties (except for the USB stick, that is). Also for some reason the backplane USB's are intermittently not active on windows so I had to loop the keyboard/mouse to a usb hub connected to the front panel USB. And all that because my wife is too lazy to learn linux ;-))

Re:Just wait a little (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804789)

We run hundreds of Linux desktops with Asus mobos. Not a problem, we just buy hardware that is known/tested to work.

what? (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 4 months ago | (#47804453)

WTF is he talking about? I heard and saw nightmares with ASUS but MSI boards have always installed Linux instantly. They barely support UEFI as an afterthought and you can turn it off pretty easily.

Re:what? (2)

Harlequin80 (1671040) | about 4 months ago | (#47804927)

Agreed WTF? All my machines are Gigabyte / AMD or Gigabyte Intel. I have absolutely no problems running linux on any other them. I also have a SteamOS test box just because I could.

My experience with Linux in general is it will "just work". And worst case scenario is turning off UEFI which if you can't do you shouldn't be putting a machine together anyway.

Re:what? (3, Informative)

Harlequin80 (1671040) | about 4 months ago | (#47804957)

Reply to myself - Buy this - Gigabyte G1-SNIPER-M5 - it is the most stupidly over the top motherboard (it even has green bits) with all the latest fandangly bits and it works out of the box with linux.

MSI (3, Informative)

future assassin (639396) | about 4 months ago | (#47804487)

I've built three boxes with MSI A75a-e35 and AMD A-8 and A-10 with no issues running Linux Mint 15/16/17, well except two of the boards had issues after 6 months. The replecement boards are working fine though.

Support for GNU/Linux sucks cause you let it (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804513)

People need to stop buying hardware that isn't properly supported under free software operating systems. Right now there are only a few companies, organizations, and individuals actively pushing for better support and the majority of those aren't the people who you'd think would be pushing it.

Companies/people on my bad list include companies like: System76, Raspberry Pi, NVIDIA, AMD, Linus Torvalds, and others who have been uncooperative and even hostile toward free software.

Then there are others who you'd more typically expect to be hostile: Dell, HP, Lenovo/IBM, Toshiba, Apple, and Sony to name a few. These companies are actively utilizing digital restrictions to prevent users from replacing incompatible parts with compatible parts.

This isn't even getting into the buggy BIOS problems and the fact every company is testing against Microsoft Windows rather than designing to standards-or that most are forcing propritary software down users throats (MS Windows licenses, the BIOS, and other firmware components).

This said Intel has been pretty good in some areas and so has HP. However I'd be weary about both companies in one regarded or another.

Some companies/organization/people on my good list:

ThinkPenguin, Inc (computer hardware and accessories)
Aleph Objects, Inc (makers of a 3d printer)
Adrian Chadd (formerly employed by Qualcom Atheros)
Luis R. Rodriguez (formerly employed by Qualcom Atheros)
Tehnoetic

Re:Support for GNU/Linux sucks cause you let it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804627)

Richard, we've been over this before. The list of people who actually give a shit about your bad list is shorter than the actual list. Sooner or later you have to grow the fuck up and join the rest of us in 2014.

Re:Support for GNU/Linux sucks cause you let it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804737)

Then why run Linux at all? Free software should allow me to own my device and fully unleash its potential. Linux is limiting my freedom by not allowing me to freely choose any hardware I would like to use.

Re:Support for GNU/Linux sucks cause you let it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804779)

Not enough people are going to do this for the manufacturers to give the slightest shit.

Gigabyte minus UEFIware works (3, Informative)

twakar (128390) | about 4 months ago | (#47804531)

I just upgraded to an i5 with a GA-Z87X-D3H mobo. I've got it triple-booting (GRUB has LinuxMint 17 or Windows Loader). If I select Windows, then the windows loader gives me the option of XP-32bit or windows 7-64bit. I can attest to the fact that it is the UEFI crap in the BIOS that causes issues, but once you turn it off, all the problems disappear. All in all, money well spent and I'm quite content

As always, YMMV

Good luck

Re:Gigabyte minus UEFIware works (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804767)

I recently bought a Gigabyte Z97-HD3 motherboard at the same time I upgrade my CPU and memory. The motherboard default configuration is to support UEFI and "legacy" operating systems simultaneously, but since I had some problems, I switched to legacy only (I'm running Windows 7, so UEFI should be being used anyway).

Linux Mint 17 installed and worked fine when I tried it with my Gigabyte GeForce 560Ti unplugged (using the default on-cpu graphics accelerator), but with it plugged in, I get weird cursor ghosting, as the screen doesn't update properly. However, I thought I'd be able to fix the problem after installation, so I installed, but after that I couldn't even boot. Grub loaded fine, and I could drop to the emergency console and edit config files etc. but as soon as I tried to run X (I tried Cinnamon, Mate, Unity and KDE Linux distros, which all still run on X afaik) I ust got errors and couldn't get any further. After wasting half a day trying to fix the problem, I accepted that I don't know what I'm doing and gave up.

My old configuration was a pre-UEFI Gigabyte motherboard, the same graphics card and an old Core2 Quad cpu, and I had no problems with any version of Linux Mint. It's kind of frustrating, but I have so many other computers running Linux that I don't care, as I mostly use my desktop pc for gaming and work anyway.

ASRock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804545)

Those horror stories mention Gigabyte and MSI.

No guarantees, but in my experience I use ASRock. At first I was very sceptical (they started out as budget boards) but my early Haswells work great on Linux.

I had a Gigabyte (now the Windows gaming machine) but when I tried to VT-d, Gigabyte BIOS didn't implement it despite the processor's support. ;-( Never looked back.

Replace their bios (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804565)

Replacing the bios might be hard, but if the vendors don't want to provide a good working product, then replace the bios with an open bios. I was looking at upgrading my current system, but if the common hardware vendors are being dicks, then I will look at supporting an open hardware vendor. As a PC user (not a laptop user), power management isn't as big an issue, but if a badly implemented bios results in a poor running computer, then I will be pissed. I have a list of vendors I'm never going to support again. If a vendor told me 'go use a different operating system', I would tell them to get into another line of business.

Re:Replace their bios (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 4 months ago | (#47804597)

That's assuming you can actually find a desktop board that supports the Haswel-E/Devils Canyon CPUs the OP wants AND is supported by Coreboot. A read of the Coreboot compatibility list shows not a single supported desktop board that can run anything Intel past a Pentium 3 (there are laptops/embedded/dev boards that can run something newer but no full-on desktop boards)

Re:Replace their bios (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804669)

The product is good, have you ever thought the problem might be linux and the head developer who refuses to actually learn a word called compatibility?

Check the Ubuntu hardware compatibility list (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804567)

Its so extensive that it makes a good general reference when purchasing hardware.
http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/

ASUS? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804591)

Have been using ASUS boards for linux-only computers for years, without any compatibility problems. BIOS updates come as a ZIP file that extracts into a BIN file that you can install from the BIOS itself: just download and extract the file to a USB drive from your favorite OS, then boot into the BIOS and perform the update, rebooot and all done.

Re:ASUS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804897)

I'm using a P8Z77-V LE PLUS [asus.com] with an i7-3770.
I run Ubuntu 12.04, and I haven't had any problems.
I reboot once every couple of months for kernel updates.

I think OP is playing the "I have the money to buy X, but I'd rather fret about it until there's a better system Y" game. Dude, there will always be a better system in 6 months. Always. That's how the market works.

Asus != ASRock (2)

ezakimak (160186) | about 4 months ago | (#47804641)

They are not related. ASRock may have originated from Asus, but that was over a decade ago. They have long since been their own distinct, separate brand.

Gigabyte is in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804643)

I built my machine on Gigabyte's motherboard over a year ago, no problems with multitude of linux distros I've installed there. And I ditched Windows, too.

That's a horror story? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 4 months ago | (#47804677)

Difficult to flash the BIOS is a horror story? How did Soulskill let this through with editing, or was this some sort of deliberate troll headline to generate hits?

Hardly horror stories.... windows support worse! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804727)

More like minor issues with a BIOS updater, and one shoddy implementation of power management.
Bad ACPI implementations tend to get blacklisted in the kernel, just like on Windows. Either way, Linux will still run just fine on these boards.
Actually, I'd expect more trouble with Windows on boards from these manufacturers, since at least MSI ships some pretty horrible 'support software' with their boards, to enable various board functions, and everyone knows how third party drivers and windows interact for that truly wonderful 'windows experience' or random unreproducible + undebuggable problems - particularly with cheap and nasty high volume far eastern parts (eg. on corporate LANs, certain very popular brand of network controller used on similar boards has a lovely driver for windows 7, that causes regular blue screens, when the network is under high load - no such problem on Linux).

GIgabyte FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804743)

Have used Gigabyte in 2 builds and Biostar with AMD dual core on one. All running linux. Have been using linux on my desktops since 2009. Without any issue with motherboard (except one below).

Stable wheezy wouldnt recognize ethernet on Gigabyte H87 board. Had to use a PCI card to get latest kernel and its been rock solid for more than a year.

Asrock supports direct BIOS flashing (1)

dirkt (540861) | about 4 months ago | (#47804841)

I only skimmed the "horror stories", but as you said, they seem to be mostly about problems with updating the BIOS. The actual hardware support should work out of the box under Linux in nearly all cases, unless you want to get at really specific motherboard features. If you think you need those, you should know which ones exactly (they are probably the reason you'd chose this particular motherboard), and do some research if there are Linux drivers available.

Asrock offers BIOS updates for "Instant Flash" without an OS (e.g. Z97, random model [asrock.com] ). When I bought an Asrock motherboard some years ago, they didn't offer this for the particular model I bought, so I emailed their support. They mailed back that the BIOS update could be dangerous for early steppings of this board and this was the reason it was not publicly available; told me how to figure out my stepping, and gave me a link to an "Instant Flash" image I could use at my own risk. Can't complain about this.

So if you are worried about BIOS updates, it works just fine with Asrock motherboards according to my experience.

There's also a tool called "flashrom" that can flash the BIOS directly under Linux, but it doesn't work with all motherboards [flashrom.org] .

Virtualize Linux. . . (1)

Mr_Wisenheimer (3534031) | about 4 months ago | (#47804881)

I realize that people who treat open source as a religion with MS or Apple standing in for the devil will balk at the idea of running Linux under a more user friendly, more compatible, easier to maintain OS, but it actually works quite well for most applications.

It's not perfect. GPU performance takes a huge hit, so you'll probably want to shy away with it for hardcore GPU accelerated tasks, but the overhead in terms of CPU performance is negligible so long as you have the cores and the RAM.

And many distros support standard drivers such as VMWARE's. It's a lot better than running Cygwin or trying to hack OSX to get a good compile for open source Linux software in most cases.

Re:Virtualize Linux. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804937)

I don't trust Microsoft with access to bare hardware. If I really need windows for something, I run it in virtualbox.

One of these days I might consider booting Windows in a hypervisor that supports IOMMU so it can talk directly to the video card, but I'll never let Windows direct access to another hard drive. No, Microsoft, it's not okay if you scrobble over my Linux boot loader just because you feel like it.

epic (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 4 months ago | (#47804911)

Slashdot has been epically, if possibly inadvertently, trolled.

Google hardware for linux and you will find the Ubuntu hsl in moments. Bam, done.

Or, just pick any random board and install. You've got to be looking for incompatibility, outside a small minority of parts.

Re:epic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47804929)

You expect the retard who asks this dumb question to be able to do that?

Re:epic (1)

Harlequin80 (1671040) | about 4 months ago | (#47804939)

Pick up random relatively recent motherboard. Plug random pin compatible CPU in. Plug in random crap ram that fits. Wow it works with Linux. I haven't had a machine in YEARS that had incompatibility with a modern distro. I've had to screw around with a FreeNAS machine to get a crap highpoint controller card working but that is about it.

Re: epic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47805001)

I see incompatibility issues with very new, high end equipment rather consistently. But it generally comes down to the user. A pretty seasoned Linux user won't have many issues with any hardware.

BIOS update problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47805009)

I boot freedos from a usb stick when I need to update BIOS. I don't see it as a problem; freedos is as free as linux is, and rebooting is necessary for bios updates anyway. .EXE-files for bios updating tends to run fine under freedos.

Non-issue (1)

astro (20275) | about 4 months ago | (#47805017)

The first "horror story" is specifically regarding flashing BIOS from Linux via USB. I don't understand how this is related to modern motherboards - in fact, I see it as an issue that is disappearing. This is a situation I have had on OLDER, pre-UEFI motherboards - the requirement to run an EXE from an installed version of Windows, rather than from a boot floppy that didn't care what OS was installed. Many (including my Asrock) modern mobos can update right from the UEFI system without even spinning up the boot drive.

The second is specific to power management on laptops (I will admit to tl;dr speed-reading here), which is clearly not what the OP is talking about.

Tempest in a teacup. The ONLY thing that doesn't work so well with my dual boot system with my July 2014 Asrock motherboard is enabling the accelerated boot system which just makes plain sense, as it relies on caching a booted state to disk to skip a lot of init. I was at first nervous about UEFI, having read a ton of FUD a couple of years back, but it really is a non-issue. If anything, I like the low-level system management on my Asrock better than the old Award/Phoenix dominated BIOS systems.

Re:Non-issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47805081)

I don't think you read the first issue the same way as I did. Yes he downloaded a .zip file from MSI, no problem, but it contained a .exe file whose contents could not be extracted by his regular tools:

When extracting the ZIP file is an EXE file, which doesn't play nicely under Wine and can't be otherwise extracted easily. I've yet to find out a way to easily extract the BIOS file from the EXE file for MSI motherboards or for getting MSI to avoid this Windows-specific packaging.

If it had been a regular self-extracting .exe archive he could have opened with with 7zip or any number of other archive utilities. This is just MSI being dicks.

Re:Non-issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47805109)

If you're lumping the X79MA-GD45 into the old motherboard camp then I guess you're one of those upgrade-twice-a-year Apple fanbois with more dollars than sense. It's only 2012 vintage after all.

Vague article is vague (0)

DrXym (126579) | about 4 months ago | (#47805021)

It neglects to say which cities, which direction the ash is likely to spread, or provide a diagram to aid in that understanding.

Intel or "server/workstation" boards (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 4 months ago | (#47805029)

I would generally go for Intel boards as Intel stuff is generally well supported by Linux...
Otherwise i would go for higher end boards aimed at servers or highend workstations - while manufacturers of cheap desktops generally ignore Linux, manufacturers of servers definitely can't and will ensure their boards contain appropriate components.

Do you really need Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47805045)

Sounds like MSI are being douchebags by putting a custom .exe archive (which most archiver software can usually open directly, by the way) inside a .zip file, but do you really need a complete Windows installation on the computer with the motherboard-to-be-flashed? Ever tried Windows LiveCDs like Hiren's?

1980's calling (1)

gnalre (323830) | about 4 months ago | (#47805105)

They want their post back.

Seriously Linux motherboard compatibility nowadays is a good if not better(more legacy support) than the latest Microsoft OS.

On new MBs, make sure you use Fedora. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47805153)

Fedora is the only major distro which is cryptographically signed by Microsoft-- so if you use it you can skip the difficult task of trying to deactivate SecureBoot (and keeping it deactivated, many bioses seem to randomly re-enable it), plus your machine stays secure... which is a nice perk.

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