EPOX 8RDA+ and Red Hat 9
Soon I will be purchasing an EPOX 8RDA+ with an AthlonXP 3000+. This is an nforce2 board and I would like to be sure that it will work with Linux (Red Hat 9, full default install to be specific.)
To get network, sound and ultra DMA functionality I am hoping that I can just use the source RPM from Nvidia and I will be all set. Unfortunately, I doubt it will be so easy.
Can anyone give offer any tips/advice/warnings before I buy this board?
I'm waiting to get hold of redhat 9.0, to see what that is like for installation.
So far I have tried the following releases on the 8rda+ board, with a Radeon 9500 Pro
Suse 8.1 - install text mode only, then installed NForce drivers and got network working, but couldn't get graphics to work.
Redhat 8.0 - Graphical Install - Installed NForce drivers, but couldn't get 9500 pro working
Mandrake 9.0 - Had to use text install, and set the flag mem=768M to install, installed NForce drivers, but still unable to get graphics working
Mandrake 9.1 - as above but haven't got NForce drivers working yet, or the graphics properly as uses XFree 4.3 and not 4.2
A quick scan of the boards will show you that you'll be working OT to get your networking, sound, and video working. I'm still stuck on getting the networking going, although sound worked with the initial install.
I have the same board and it is great - it's the NV network and sounds drivers that blow. I haven't gotten to the point where I can actually use the video drivers because of the networking problems (RH9, Mandrake 9, 9.1).
In short, buy the board if you're also going to use it for XP. If you're only going to use it for Linux, go find another site and get non-NVIDIA shopping advice there.
Thanks. I've looked around here as well, but was hoping that maybe someone had better luck with this exact configuration. I think I will probably take your advice and stay away on this one.
It's quite a shame too... nvidia has done a great job on their video card drivers (open source issues aside.)
8rda and Redhat
I too attempted to get the ol nforce 2 going with my epox 8rda+ running redhat 9 over the weekend. Heres how things went:
Redhat 9 - I managed to get the network up fairly easily. All I did was edited the make file (from the root tree of the nvidia nforce install tarball) and take out the nvaudio target so only the nvnet module was made (not really neededm, but there is no point building sound support as iirc, TLS on RH9 screws things up.)
This was not good enough tho. I wanted sound!
So i went and installed Redhat8.
Redhat8 installed fine, only thing i recommend doing is installing the kernel development stuff, this will save your ass.
Then the tar.gz of the nforce drivers installed fine- both sound and network.
(You could probably use the RPM but personally I recomend the tarball approach:)
Note one thing I had to do to get the sound module to load on boot was to add modprobe nvaudio to /etc/rc.local - hacky I know but the module looked like it was having a spew if it was being loaded with the rest of the modules in modules.conf.
Anyway, with that done a lsmod |grep nv should showup the followling modules:
And possibly 'nvidia' - if your using a nvidia graphics card with the nvidia bin driver.
BTW... For ide speeds
Timing buffered disk reads using using:
hdparm -tT /dev/hda (on my bara V 120gb)
I was getting about 38mb/s
which seems fairly onpar with my old via82c686b mobo.
anyway... have fun, hopefully this post helps someone out there.
Thanks for the post oddbudman.
video ? forget it...
I couldn't get the nvidia drivers to work with with this board... it locked up X every time. After a failed flash attempt I am now waiting for Epox to send me a new BIOS chip.
Based on what I've seen in other threads here, the AGPGART patch for nForce2 (required for running non-Nvidia video cards at full speed) doesn't work so well on this mobo either.
It's a seriously annoying situation.
Oh, BTW, what I've tried has been under RH9.
PS: I think you can get everything else (except the build in ethernet) working without Nvidia's driver set just by using a sufficiently new kernel.
just a tip on the bios front
read my post on one of the other threads with regards to www.warmcat.com
it may be an idea.
More Stuff on Redhat 8
Being the uber dude I am, I decided it was time to update from the stock (and imho bloated) Redhat 8 kernel.
I downloaded the 2.4.20 kernel and got to work.
Anyway, after the kernel was built I attempted to get sound back up by rebuilding the nforce tarball drivers.
The nvnet module worked fine - the sound module didn't!
It was giving me some unresolved symbols. something like ac97.o and ac97codec.o.
I decided to do some investigation and realised that in the out of the box redhat 8 kernel comes with the ac97.o and ac97codec.o modules already built.
So all i needed to do was to enable sound support in a kernel compile for a card that builds these two modules. After reading one of the makefiles located in the ac97 kernel source directory I noticed that many sound devices use these modules :) So it was just a matter of picking one. I chose the VIA686XX style support. Then recompiled my modules and wolla!
I now had working ac97.o and ac97codec.o modules :)
Now i resinstalled the nforce drivers and all is good now :)
Anyway, I hope this helps anyone out there still struggling with the nforce 2 chipset. Moreover I hope this helps users of other distros who are having problems with unresolved symbols.
Rock and Roll Fantasy
The 3522 beta BIOS for the 8RDA+ solves the problem with the nVidia 3D driver lockup. My Ti 4200 is working now :-)
To get Ati cards working read the AGPGART threads ....
Where can i get 3522 beta bios for 8RDA+?
i searched in epox site, but could not find ....
PS: I have a 8RDA+ v1.1 with A3 NB and SB stepping ( not the new ULTRA400 version)
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