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Recommended Complete Systems

por deborah Published on 11/01/2008 18:09
This information is currently being updated, but still provides an insight into many of the desktop machines used at the FSF.

Laptops

Gluglug X60

The Gluglug X60 comes pre-installed with Trisquel GNU/Linux and has been awarded the Free Software Foundation's "Respects Your Freedom" (RYF) certification for hardware.

Desktops

Asus F2A85-M/CSM

This Asus mainboard is supported by the Coreboot project: http://www.coreboot.org/ASUS_F2A85-M. It is readily available online.

Hardware 3D acceleration will not work with this setup.

Here is an 'lspci' output:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Device 1410
00:01.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Device 9904
00:01.1 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc Device 9902
00:11.0 SATA controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Hudson SATA Controller [AHCI mode] (rev 40)
00:12.0 USB Controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Hudson USB OHCI Controller (rev 11)
00:12.2 USB Controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Hudson USB EHCI Controller (rev 11)
00:13.0 USB Controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Hudson USB OHCI Controller (rev 11)
00:13.2 USB Controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Hudson USB EHCI Controller (rev 11)
00:14.0 SMBus: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Hudson SMBus Controller (rev 14)
00:14.2 Audio device: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Hudson Azalia Controller (rev 01)
00:14.3 ISA bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Hudson LPC Bridge (rev 11)
00:14.4 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Hudson PCI Bridge (rev 40)
00:14.5 USB Controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Hudson USB OHCI Controller (rev 11)
00:14.7 SD Host controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Hudson SD Flash Controller
00:15.0 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Device 43a0
00:15.1 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Device 43a1
00:16.0 USB Controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Hudson USB OHCI Controller (rev 11)
00:16.2 USB Controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Hudson USB EHCI Controller (rev 11)
00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Device 1400
00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Device 1401
00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Device 1402
00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Device 1403
00:18.4 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Device 1404
00:18.5 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Device 1405
03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller (rev 09)

Asus M2A-VM

This board is based on AMD's 600/690 chipset, which is supported in Coreboot and fully documented. The coreboot port is not complete yet though, but that will hopefully happen soon (end of March 2009, perhaps). Putting coreboot on this board will involve some soldering, as the ROM chip needs to be removed and replaced with a socket to allow recovery from a bad flash.

Hardware 3D acceleration will not work with this setup.

Freedom issue: this board supports HDCP. It's not entirely clear how this is implemented, but the (VGA) BIOS appears not to be involved. There is no free software HDCP support. HDCP is DRM, plain and simple.

At the same time, this board has ATI RS690-series VGA onboard, which is supported by free software.

As of February 2009 this board is still available on Ebay (new and used).

Here is an 'lspci' output:

00:00.0 Host bridge: ATI Technologies Inc RS690 Host Bridge
00:01.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc RS690 PCI to PCI Bridge (Internal gfx)
00:04.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc Device 7914
00:05.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc RS690 PCI to PCI Bridge (PCI Express Port 1)
00:06.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc RS690 PCI to PCI Bridge (PCI Express Port 2)
00:07.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc RS690 PCI to PCI Bridge (PCI Express Port 3)
00:12.0 SATA controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB600 Non-Raid-5 SATA
00:13.0 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB600 USB (OHCI0)
00:13.1 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB600 USB (OHCI1)
00:13.2 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB600 USB (OHCI2)
00:13.3 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB600 USB (OHCI3)
00:13.4 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB600 USB (OHCI4)
00:13.5 USB Controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB600 USB Controller (EHCI)
00:14.0 SMBus: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 SMBus Controller (rev 13)
00:14.1 IDE interface: ATI Technologies Inc SB600 IDE
00:14.2 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA)
00:14.3 ISA bridge: ATI Technologies Inc SB600 PCI to LPC Bridge
00:14.4 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 PCI to PCI Bridge
00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] HyperTransport Technology Configuration
00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Address Map
00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] DRAM Controller
00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Miscellaneous Control
01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RS690 [Radeon X1200 Series]
01:05.2 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon X1200 Series Audio Controller
05:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller (rev 01)

Gigabyte M57SLI-S4

  • Mainboard: Gigabyte M57SLI-S4
  • Video Card: ATI

The Gigabyte mainboard is supported by the coreboot project (http://coreboot.org/GIGABYTE_GA-M57SLI-S4_Build_Tutorial). It's relatively inexpensive (currently around $80), but has gone out of production in September 2008. It is still available from some online retailers as of early November 2008, but supplies are dwindling.

The motherboard has most necessary components already on board, including ethernet, sound and USB. These onboard components are provided by the Nvidia MCP55 chipset. This is not a graphics chipset - this board does not have onboard video.

As video card we recommend something made by ATI, because AMD (ATI's parent company) has been releasing detailed specifications for a host of ATI cards. This has made possible the development of a free software driver that can do 3D as well as 2D. This driver is called 'radeon' http://wiki.x.org/wiki/radeon, and it has 2D and 3D support for ATI cards of the R100, R200, R300 and R400 series.

The R500, R600 and R700 series cards are supported by the radeonhd http://wiki.x.org/wiki/radeonhd driver, but that still seems a bit more of a work in progress as of early November 2008.

A complete computer also needs a monitor, keyboard and mouse, but any of them made for PCs will work.

We are considering selling motherboards flashed with a free BIOS, and even full desktop systems preinstalled with a free BIOS and a free software operating system. If you might be interested in purchasing such a motherboard or system from us, please e-mail us at resources@fsf.org.

Here is an 'lspci' output for the M57SLI-S4 + Radeon 9700 (R300 family):

00:00.0 RAM memory: nVidia Corporation MCP55 Memory Controller (rev a1)
00:01.0 ISA bridge: nVidia Corporation MCP55 LPC Bridge (rev a2)
00:01.1 SMBus: nVidia Corporation MCP55 SMBus (rev a2)
00:01.2 RAM memory: nVidia Corporation MCP55 Memory Controller (rev a2)
00:01.3 Co-processor: nVidia Corporation MCP55 SMU (rev a2)
00:02.0 USB Controller: nVidia Corporation MCP55 USB Controller (rev a1)
00:02.1 USB Controller: nVidia Corporation MCP55 USB Controller (rev a2)
00:04.0 IDE interface: nVidia Corporation MCP55 IDE (rev a1)
00:05.0 IDE interface: nVidia Corporation MCP55 SATA Controller (rev a2)
00:05.1 IDE interface: nVidia Corporation MCP55 SATA Controller (rev a2)
00:05.2 IDE interface: nVidia Corporation MCP55 SATA Controller (rev a2)
00:06.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation MCP55 PCI bridge (rev a2)
00:06.1 Audio device: nVidia Corporation MCP55 High Definition Audio (rev a2)
00:08.0 Bridge: nVidia Corporation MCP55 Ethernet (rev a2)
00:0a.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation MCP55 PCI Express bridge (rev a2)
00:0b.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation MCP55 PCI Express bridge (rev a2)
00:0c.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation MCP55 PCI Express bridge (rev a2)
00:0d.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation MCP55 PCI Express bridge (rev a2)
00:0e.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation MCP55 PCI Express bridge (rev a2)
00:0f.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation MCP55 PCI Express bridge (rev a2)
00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] HyperTransport Technology Configuration
00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Address Map
00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] DRAM Controller
00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Miscellaneous Control
01:0a.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments TSB43AB23 IEEE-1394a-2000 Controller (PHY/Link)
02:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RV350 [Mobility Radeon 9600 M10]

Asus M2V-MX SE

This Asus mainboard is supported by the coreboot project (http://www.coreboot.org/ASUS_M2V-MX_SE_Build_Tutorial). It's relatively inexpensive (currently around $70) and easily available online. It has onboard ethernet, sound, video, and USB.

Hardware 3D acceleration will not work with this setup.

Here is an 'lspci' output for the M2V-MX SE:

00:00.0 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. K8M890CE Host Bridge
00:00.1 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. K8M890CE Host Bridge
00:00.2 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. K8M890CE Host Bridge
00:00.3 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. K8M890CE Host Bridge
00:00.4 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. K8M890CE Host Bridge
00:00.5 PIC: VIA Technologies, Inc. K8M890CE I/O APIC Interrupt Controller
00:00.6 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. Unknown device 6290
00:00.7 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. K8M890CE Host Bridge
00:01.0 PCI bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8237 PCI bridge [K8T800/K8T890 South]
00:02.0 PCI bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. K8T890 PCI to PCI Bridge Controller
00:03.0 PCI bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. K8T890 PCI to PCI Bridge Controller
00:0f.0 IDE interface: VIA Technologies, Inc. Unknown device 5372
00:0f.1 IDE interface: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82C586A/B/VT82C686/A/B/VT823x/A/C PIPC Bus Master IDE (rev 07)
00:10.0 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xxxxx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev b0)
00:10.1 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xxxxx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev b0)
00:10.2 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xxxxx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev b0)
00:10.3 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xxxxx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev b0)
00:10.4 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. USB 2.0 (rev 90)
00:11.0 ISA bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8237S PCI to ISA Bridge
00:11.7 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8251 Ultra VLINK Controller
00:12.0 Ethernet controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT6102 [Rhine-II] (rev 7c)
00:13.0 PCI bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8237A Host Bridge
00:13.1 PCI bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8237A PCI to PCI Bridge
00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] HyperTransport Technology Configuration
00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Address Map
00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] DRAM Controller
00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Miscellaneous Control
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. K8M890 [Chrome9] Integrated Video (rev 11)
04:01.0 Audio device: VIA Technologies, Inc. VIA High Definition Audio Controller (rev 10)

Other mainboards

There are a number of other options available - please check the coreboot wiki at (http://coreboot.org/Supported_Motherboards) for the latest information.

Servers

Silicon Mechanics A236 (supermicro H8DMR)

Chris Watson at http://siliconmechanics.com Silicon Mechanics says (2008/04/03):

We will commit to offering coreboot preinstallation on the http://www.siliconmechanics.com/i7045/opteron-server.php Rackform nServ A236 with a specific set of hardware and software. In the future, we may expand the program to additional platforms based on customer interest. We will include a message about coreboot support on the platform page in the next few days with instructions to contact sales for additional information.

If you want to buy such a machine, please contact Art Mann (artm@siliconmechanics.com) at Silicon Mechanics.

The A236 is a nice 1U server with 4 drive bays and a dual Opteron board (Supermicro H8DMR), which is supported in coreboot v2.

0000:00:00.0 RAM memory: nVidia Corporation MCP55 Memory Controller (rev a2)
0000:00:01.0 ISA bridge: nVidia Corporation MCP55 LPC Bridge (rev a3)
0000:00:01.1 SMBus: nVidia Corporation MCP55 SMBus (rev a3)
0000:00:01.2 RAM memory: nVidia Corporation MCP55 Memory Controller (rev a3)
0000:00:01.3 Co-processor: nVidia Corporation: Unknown device 036b (rev a3)
0000:00:02.0 USB Controller: nVidia Corporation MCP55 USB Controller (rev a1)
0000:00:02.1 USB Controller: nVidia Corporation MCP55 USB Controller (rev a2)
0000:00:04.0 IDE interface: nVidia Corporation MCP55 IDE (rev a1)
0000:00:05.0 IDE interface: nVidia Corporation MCP55 SATA Controller (rev a3)
0000:00:05.1 IDE interface: nVidia Corporation MCP55 SATA Controller (rev a3)
0000:00:05.2 IDE interface: nVidia Corporation MCP55 SATA Controller (rev a3)
0000:00:06.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation: Unknown device 0370 (rev a2)
0000:00:06.1 0403: nVidia Corporation: Unknown device 0371 (rev a2)
0000:00:08.0 Bridge: nVidia Corporation MCP55 Ethernet (rev a3)
0000:00:09.0 Bridge: nVidia Corporation MCP55 Ethernet (rev a3)
0000:00:0a.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation: Unknown device 0376 (rev a3)
0000:00:0b.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation: Unknown device 0374 (rev a3)
0000:00:0c.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation: Unknown device 0374 (rev a3)
0000:00:0d.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation: Unknown device 0378 (rev a3)
0000:00:0e.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation: Unknown device 0375 (rev a3)
0000:00:0f.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation: Unknown device 0377 (rev a3)
0000:00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] HyperTransport Technology Configuration
0000:00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Address Map
0000:00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] DRAM Controller
0000:00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Miscellaneous Control
0000:00:19.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] HyperTransport Technology Configuration
0000:00:19.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Address Map
0000:00:19.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] DRAM Controller
0000:00:19.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Miscellaneous Control
0000:01:06.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc: Unknown device 515e (rev 02)
0000:02:00.0 PCI bridge: NEC Corporation: Unknown device 0125 (rev 07)
0000:02:00.1 PCI bridge: NEC Corporation: Unknown device 0125 (rev 07)
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