Mobos and CPUs for Linux use?

Discussion in 'Other Operating Systems' started by vladtepes, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    In my experience Linux has historically been very fussy about what chipsets a mobo uses. I had a mobo which had onboard wifi but Linux just wouldn't play ball.

    I ended up having to get a pci wifi card with an Intel chipset that worked.

    (In case it matters I use Linux Mint)

    Anyway I am considering building a 'smaller' form factor Linux system (possibly micro-ATX as I want a few pci slots, but I may go to Mini-ITX.

    I presume Intel is still the go rather than AMD.

    Are there any (smaller than ATX) mobos that WILL definitely work with Linux, and specifically the onboard wifi?
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
  2. Myne_h

    Myne_h Member

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    Well, if that's your experience, why not run with it and get an entirely generic intel based system - including using the onboard video and intel based wifi?
     
  3. demiurge3141

    demiurge3141 Member

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    Onboard WiFi is usually just a mini pcie slot, you can then put in any laptop WiFi card. Just replace with an Intel card if you are having problems. Linux driver is very mature now and almost every motherboard/chipset should work out of the box.
     
  4. miicah

    miicah Member

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    My 8 year old lenovo laptop installed 18.04 perfectly, everything works even the hotkeys. There isn't a big amount of driver issues on Linux any more.
     
  5. OP
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    vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    Cheers.

    My mini ITX system, (windows) has wifi built into the mobo no separate pcie card was needed.

    That'd be OK if the mobo had a slot to allow it. With a mATX that'd be no issue but if I ended up looking at miniITX then it could be.

    As above, and when I got a wifi card for my current ATX mobo Linux system, it wasn't just ANY intel chipset, it actually had to have a SPECIFIC chipset. Took ages to find one, as it had been discontinued, a royal PITA.

    edit: see below.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
  6. flu!d

    flu!d Ubuntu Mate 16.04 LTS

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    Avoid Realtek based network adapters, almost anything else should work fine.
     
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  7. OP
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    vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    edit: ok I was somewhat confused in what I said there.
    Of the various wifi cards there are two chipsets - Atheros and Realtek.
    Many brands went from the Atheros ones (worked fine) to a Realtek chipset (often didn't).

    In the end I got a TP-Link TL-WN851ND Wireless N PCI Adapter, version 1, with the Atheros AR9227 chipset.

    (the v2 and above has realtek chipset which didn't work)
     
  8. flu!d

    flu!d Ubuntu Mate 16.04 LTS

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    I wouldn't use Realtek devices on Windows machines...
     
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  9. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    What chipset?
    Without specific information it is impossible to comment.
     
  10. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    Is your experience 20 years out of date?
    (slight exaggeration)

    I haven't given linux hardware support a second thought for over a decade. If anything, over the past 5 years linux has supported devices* 'out of the box' where Windows required finding/downloading/installing bloatware drivers.

    *and some weird un-common ones too. e.g. my colorimeter, and a canon multifunction.

    The ONLY thing that's given me any grief is nvidia cards. Have to make sure there's a new driver release before I update the kernel. wouldn't be a problem if I was using the nouveau drivers, but I use the nvidia ones (better performance, but closed source and less compatable). I don't game anymore (on PC at least), so my next card will be a ATI because they produce proper open source drivers.
     
  11. gdjacobs

    gdjacobs Member

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    For wireless, maybe. I haven't tried a Realtek wireless chipset on Windows. For wired, Realtek is nothing special (certainly not as good as Intel), but it's usually a small performance sacrifice, not the end of the world.

    Broadcom LOMs, on the other hand? Those I can't stand.
     
  12. shredder

    shredder Member

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    Today in 2019, general hardware compatibility between latest Windows and latest Linux is about on par (at least!).

    Go ahead and list what you are considering purchasing, and we can check those specifically for you.
     
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  13. OP
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    vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    OK thanks. I've been looking into it and so far the benefit vs costs just isn't working for me.
    In a perfect world I could get a mini-ITX with three card slots - GPU, TV tuner, wireless card (in case needed).
    But that'd be too easy eh ! :)


    I'm super peeved I can't just get a smaller socket 1150 mobo to use my existing cpu ( intel i7-4770) Well, I could but 2nd hand they cost stupid $ so, no.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  14. Quadbox

    Quadbox Member

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    tv... tuner? what's that actually do these days? do we actually still have broadcast tv?
     
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    vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    Yep and I have one. So why not.
     
  16. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    USB or network attached tuner (HDHomeRun).
     
  17. zeggie

    zeggie Member

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    Just literally google "Chipset **** Distro ***" and see what comes back. That's what I just did for my last machine. "Realtek RTL8821CE Manjaro"

    Avoid Realtek like the plague if you can. You can get them working if you're experienced - but it is a real hassle. Took me about 2 hours but managed to get my new laptop wifi working thanks to some awesome bloke who coded a driver on Github.

    AMD have great open source drivers at the moment. Installing the proprietary drivers offers little to no gaming performance. Otherwise Intel is a safe bet. Avoid nvidia if you don't plan on gaming.
     
  18. Myne_h

    Myne_h Member

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    Most boards have the wifi cards in a mini-pcie slot - in the form of a NGFF slot.

    So you probably only need 2 normal pcie slots then.
     
  19. flu!d

    flu!d Ubuntu Mate 16.04 LTS

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    There's nothing wrong with NVIDIA drivers, unless you punish yourself with a neckbeard Linux install that still relies on the ancient NVIDIA .run method of installation.

    Personally I get a little tired at the hate surrounding NVIDIA due to the FOSS philosophy. Yes, NVIDIA uses binary blobs. Yes, it's not ideal - But NVIDIA do support their Linux drivers very well and their gaming performance still holds an edge over AMD and AMDGPU. Furthermore, if you use an Ubuntu based distro the drivers are easier to install using the PPA method than the same process under Windows, and they stay updated if you want them to.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
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  20. General_Cartman

    General_Cartman Member

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    That said, in many ways AMD is a better choice in Linux now unless you need bleeding edge 3D performance. Having fully featured drivers with OpenGL/Vulkan in the mainline kernel is great for beginner users provided they're running a recent distro with an up-to-date version of Mesa.
     
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