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Asus A7n8x deluxe motherboard. What do I need to look for in a distro to determine whether it will go on this board without a lot of hassle? A certain kernel ? Are there any known distros that work well ? I have heard that getting the NIC's to work is a nightmare.
Also, Does Linux have any hard disk installation issues such as needing to be before the "2 Gig boot boundary" or the "1024 cylinder boundary" - I will be dual or multi booting
i have leadtek nForce2 motherboard. redhat 8.0 and redhat 9.0 work well. i have installed fedora 1 nowadays. it works fine too. u may download drivers (chipset, onboard sound and nvidia NIC) at www.nvidia.com for most of distors. after install installing packet, restart pc and redhat will configure your hardwares. i have installed redhat 8, 9 most of time to my pc. i didnt have any trouble about my hardware. maybe onboard sound didnt work well. i dont use onboard sound. i have emu10k1 .
linux uses bootloader for harddisk boot. it adds other OS (like win98/2k/xp) authomaticly.
it writes to MBR of hdd.
Distribution: Lots of distros in the past, now Linux Mint
>"Also, Does Linux have any hard disk installation issues such as needing to be before the "2 Gig boot boundary" or the "1024 cylinder boundary" - I will be dual or multi booting"
Not since....well, not for a long, long while. This was mostly a BIOS problem, and unless you're using something less than a pentium II (and a very old pentium II at that), you shouldn't have to worry about it. The warnings are still there, mostly because some people still use 486's and the like, but for most people, this isn't a problem at all. (If it was, you'd already likely know, because Windows wouldn't accept the disk either.)
I don't know about your particular NIC, but for the most part, any "wired" NIC will work just fine. You might run into a hassle with wireless, but that's because it's fairly new (and those walls are falling every week). You might have to dig up which driver to use, but once you find it, a simple "modprobe <drivername>" will install it, then you set it up like any other NIC in any other system.
You may want to visit different linux distro's web sites and see if your board is in their hardware compatability list. You didn't say what you will be multibooting with. If it is Windows XP with NTFS file system, then your best bet may be of install lilo on the linux partition and follow the NT Linux Multiboot howto. Be sure to make a floppy boot disk so you can boot to linux. Another option is to install XP and Linux on seperate hard drives.
The 2gb and 1024 limits for lilo pertain to older BIOSes.
I have the Asus A7N8X board with SuSE 9 also, and it works great.....I'm having a little trouble with getting perfect audio, but I have a sneeking suspicion thats user error and not the OS. It does everything I can figure out how to tell it to do. Also, one of the LAN ports works right out of the box, and I think there is a driver somewhere out there available for the other one. Good Luck, and great choice for a board, this thing is awesome!!!