ASUS M2A-VM

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Version Status Date Updated Updated By
710 Unknown N/A N/A
810 Unknown N/A N/A
1004 Unknown N/A N/A
1204 Unknown N/A N/A
Usage Information

This page is to document efforts to get LinuxMCE working on the Asus M2A-VM (& HDMI) mainboard. The following information only refers to this specific piece of hardware. Please expand it with your own experience if you have any.


Status

This motherboard has NOT YET been confirmed to fully work with LinuxMCE properly (or vice versa) by anyone. Do NOT buy it just because you saw it here, you have been warned.

20070704: LinuxMCE-1.1 Beta2 installs under Kubuntu Gutsy (7.10) and UI1 works, further testing is needed. --Zaerc
20070706: LinuxMCE-1.1 Beta2 + Kubuntu Gutsy (7.10), UI2 with masking works, further testing is needed. --Zaerc
20070707: LinuxMCE-1.1 Beta2 + Kubuntu Feisty (7.04) installed on an IDE drive, works as good as flawless apart from the display driver issue. --Zaerc
20070806: LinuxMCE-1.1 RC1 + Kubuntu Feisty (7.04) unfortunately MythTV turns out not to be working with the on-board graphics chipset drivers [1], this was previously untested. -- Zaerc
20080214: LinuxMCE 0710b3 With the exception of MythTV not working with the onboard x1250's drivers, everything went pretty smoothly installing a system based on this motherboard as a diskless MD. Even the S/PDIF on the riser card worked and I was able to use AC3 passthrough on it. UI2 with masking (medium) works well. -- Venom986

Versions Used

Hardware Features

  • Size: µATX
  • Socket: AM2
  • Northbridge: AMD 690G
  • Southbridge: ATI SB600
  • Memory: 4x DDR2-800 (PC6400)
  • Graphics: ATI Radeon X1250, VGA, RGB, DVI-D, HDMI (optional). Not all simultaneous output is supported.
  • Expansion: 1x PCIe-16 (used for optional HDMI output), 1x PCIe-1, 2x PCI
  • Audio: Realtek ALC883
  • Storage: 4x SATA (RAID-0, RAID-1 & RAID-10), 1x UDMA133
  • Network: Realtek RTL8168b/8111b (confirmed support for PXE netboot)
  • USB: 10x USB-2.0/1.1
  • Firmware: 0801

Problems and Pitfalls

Storage

The SB600 chipset is apparently unable to handle 64 bit SATA transfers properly [2]. This problem was fixed by disabeling them in kernel version 2.6.21.5 according to the changelog

   [PATCH] ahci: disable 64bit dma on sb600
   
   SB600 claims it can do 64bit DMA but it can't.  Disable it.

Unfortunately Kubuntu Feisty, which is the only supported distribution for installing LinuxMCE-1.1 Beta2, uses the older "2.6.20-16-generic" kernel version that suffers from this problem.

Possible Workaround(s)

  • Use only IDE drives, but this is somewhat limited since the board only has one UDMA133 bus and therefore only supports 2 IDE devices. Shouldn't be an issue for diskless Media Directors though.
  • Installing LinuxMCE on Kubuntu Gutsy (7.10), but this is unsupported and has not been thoroughly tested, not recommended. Expect breakage.
  • Patch the kernel and recompile it. [3]
  • This problem doesn't seem to exist under LinuxMCE 0710 Beta 3


Display

This board features the ATI Radeon X1250 graphic chipset but is apparently only recognized as "VESA compliant" by Kubuntu. Several people have reported problems getting display drivers set up properly, this seems to be a more general problem of the configuration scripts (there also seem to be repeated attempts to download pluto-ATI drivers, while starting the core). The M2A-VM HDMI edition has now been tested using the HDMI riser card and specifically connecting to a Sony Wega 32" CRT over the S-Video out connector on the riser card. Using NTSC-M, the restricted ATI drivers and UI2 (masking/medium) things seem to work fine with the exception of MythTV still. Other features such as DVI and HDMI still remain to be tested.

NOTE: MythTV does not work due to driver incompatibilities.

Possible Workaround(s)

Install the latest Display Drivers for ATI chipsets. When these are properly configured UI2 (medium/with masking) should work.

Personal experience (please add yours)

There were a few minor issues during the installation (and upgrade) of Kubuntu Gutsy (7.10) Tribe-1, this is to be expected when using a test release. After the installation the onboard NIC and extra NIC showed up as eth2 and eth3, the configuration file: /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules had to be modified in order to fix this.

During the installation of LinuxMCE-1.1 Beta2 under Kubuntu Gutsy (7.10) Tribe-1, Control-D had to be pressed several times to keep things going. This is likely due to version/dependency mismatches with this test version of Kubuntu. Also, the installer was run several times over.

Even with these things considered it is usable for me already. This seems to me like a powerful and inexpensive base for a really nice Media Director.

-- Zaerc 16:08, 7 July 2007 (MST)


Well I finally got around to setting up MythTV (television is not high on my list), shame the frontend doesn't work with the drivers for this on-board graphics chipset so I guess I'll have to chuck in another graphics card for the second screen (and get alpha blending as well). It's just one disappointment after another with this mainboard, the SATA issues can be fixed, but I doubt MythTV will run on the ATI drivers anytime soon. [4] [5]

-- Zaerc 16:13, 6 August 2007 (MST)

External Links