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Old 02-10-2014, 11:09 PM   #1
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GigaByte GA-970A-DS3 with FX-8350: Hello Users, Any Success with any 64bit distro?

I'm eyeing a Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3 MB with AMD FX-8350 for my Debian AMD 64bit distro. Web search reports mostly bad results from individual posters regarding 64bit. shows this board tested successfully with 64bit Ubuntu, and unspecified Mint. There is just one light at the end of the tunnel in the It appears that disabling iommu in the bios, and passing a kernel command iommu=soft cures crippled network, and usb operation for this board. IMHO, the Linux community is entering into troubled waters with the advent of uefi and its spawning of "innovations" like iommu, and who knows what else to emerge in the new world of the "unbios". Most of the hardware compatibility sites that were so crucial in the early days of Linux are dead, or on life support. Hope (with its high Alexa rating), and Phoronix/ can resusitate the nitty gritty reporting that former sites were known for. I propose a link here with the logo "UEFI + stop sign icon" where we can go to find "off limits" motherboards, and other peripherals that have completely abandoned any settings in their pretty 3d boot gui screens that, to date, have let Linux "in". The only big guy in the Linux ecosystem is IBM, and they are married to PowerPC server farms. However, IBM is no friend of Linux outside of its environs. The uefi spec. specifically prevents "other os" on PowerPC platforms. Won't affect most of us, but its a door that's now closed to non-IBM kernel Linux on one hardware platform. So much for IBM's intro of SLOF years ago. Bye bye SLOF..ehh?

Old 02-13-2014, 12:08 AM   #2
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Conflicting iommu Recommendations GA-970A-DS3

I reported that a post on recommended disabling iommu to get the GA-970A-DS3 to behave with 64bit linux distros. I must now report I have found more than one post that contradicts that, and thus iommu must be enabled. Another post on ubuntu claimed a complete cure by entering the boot GUI Peripherals section, and under the EHCI handoff option, enabling Port60/65 emulation. The post claimed this was the charm to curing ALL problems with this board+64bit. I suppose anybody who enjoys skydiving as a hobby, would want to dive into this board and have a go with a 64 bit distro installation. Maybe one day, a surviving GA-970A-DS3 skydiver will find this thread, and report in with a FULL set of accurate directions to a successful 64 bit installation.

Old 11-16-2014, 10:09 AM   #3
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64-bit Linux distro installation on GA-970A-DS3P FX8320 mobo

This a slightly different model of board to the one mentioned by stanlinux, but the problems encountered trying to install either LMDE 64-bit or Xubuntu 64-bit without changes to the BIOS settings were as reported. Trying to install from DVD, both distro's would freeze at the "Try..." or "Install..." screen stage, necessitating use of the reset button to escape. I was trying to install alongside Windows 7 64-bit that was installed using the "Legacy" setting in BIOS (BIOS Features) but with no other BIOS changes. Eventually successful installation of both LMDE 64-bit and Xubuntu 64-bit was obtained by leaving the BIOS setting at "Legacy" and enabling both "IOMMU Controller" and "Port 60/64 Emulation" in "Peripherals". I do not have nearly enough technical knowledge to know why these options worked but hope they might be of help to anyone else thinking of buying such a motherboard or having problems trying to install 64-bit linuxes. Thanks to stanlinux for the comments about IOMMU and Port 60/64 emulation; otherwise I would have been a complete monkey on a keyboard!


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