Linux on a J7F4K1G2E-PB

ChageLog: [… things are too much in flux right now to worry about a changelog. When things stabilize, I’ll start recording changes.]

I am going to record here how to install and maintain Linux on a Jetway J7F4K1G2E-PB motherboard. I’m using Ubuntu server edition version 8.04 (Hardy Heron). The goal of this page is merely to record information about how to use Linux on that motherboard. This page is designed to make sense to people who already have experience maintaining hardware, maintaining servers and with Linux in general. Explanations are going to be terse. Use any of the following information at your own risk. Don’t just execute commands I record here without knowing what they do. This is not a tutorial. If you don’t know what you are doing, you can hose your system. You always need to adapt what I write here to your own situation.

Booting from a USB stick

It took me a long time to figure this one out. The key to booting from a USB stick is that you need to have enabled legacy USB support for all devices in the BIOS. Even then, getting a stick to boot can be a long shot. I eventually was able to get my USB stick to boot by making it look like a USB-ZIP device and selecting the proper boot device settings in the BIOS. I turned my stick into a ZIP device by using:

$ sudo mkdiskimage -4 /dev/sdb 0 128 32 

Then I followed the information here about booting from a USB stick. I used the “flexible way”. The only thing I did differently was to create a syslinux.cfg file with the following contents:

DEFAULT vmlinuz
APPEND  file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu-server.seed initrd=initrd.gz quiet --

Various BIOS Settings

RAM

For some reason the default RAM timings were set at 4-4-4-7, I changed them to 4-4-4-12 to work with my 3AMD2533-512M1-R Winctec memory module. (I.e. I changed the RAS Active Time from 7T to 12T.)

Booting without a Keyboard

Set the “Halt On” parameter on the “Standard CMOS Features” screen to “All, But Keyboard”.

Installing and Configuring Ubuntu

Hardy Heron installs fine. There are issues however:

  • The system will freeze if the PC speaker is used at all. Luckily it is not used during a normal boot procedure so it is possible to boot into Unbutu and then: a) rmmod pcspkr b) edit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist to prevent the module from loading in the future. I do not know how to preserve PC speaker functionality.

12 thoughts on “Linux on a J7F4K1G2E-PB

  1. Ben Schaffhausen

    I’m using this motherboard to build a low-power server. I’ve just installed Ubuntu 8.04 server x86 on it and the speaker is working fine.

    Just something I noticed- good luck with your project!

    Reply
  2. Tom

    I’m using this motherboard with Debian. It seems like the system clock is quite a bit slow: 15 seconds in just one hour of mostly being idle. Have you noticed something similar?

    Reply
    1. Louis-Dominique Post author

      Tom, I have not paid close attention to the clock. I’ve noticed today that it was fast by at least one hour. Somehow, it seems that ntpdate-debian is not being run at decent intervals on my machine.

      I’ll keep an eye on this. Thanks for reporting.

      Reply
  3. Paul

    Thank you for information. I’m waiting for this motherboard to be shipped for me. I’m going to install gentoo linux on this hardware, and I hope it will be quiet easy. I’ll keep in ming your notes.

    Reply
    1. Louis-Dominique Post author

      Please let us know how it goes.

      The NAS I’ve set up using this motherboard has been running quite well for several months now. I have been away from home the past few months so I have not had a chance to check on the speaker problem again but I’m going to be back home soon.

      Reply
      1. Paul

        Hello, Louis. I’m trying to buy a RAM for this motherboard. I have bought Samsung ddr2 1GB pc2-5300 k4t1g084qd-zce6 but it was detected by BIOS and by OS as 512 MB. I don’t know what’s wrong with this memory, but it is detected as 1GB on other motherboards. Do you know what type of memory is compatible with this motherboard?

        Reply
        1. Louis-Dominique Post author

          Paul, I checked out the doc for your RAM module a bit and checked out the motherboard’s doc again but I can’t quite see what would be the problem. I must say it has been a very long time since I’ve had to deal with the fine details of how RAM operates and there may be something evident I’m missing.

          My RAM module just needed to have the motherboard DRAM timing settings tweaked a bit for stability but the entirety of it was recognized right off the bat.

          I’m sorry I cannot be more helpful.

          Reply
          1. Shamus

            I too seem to have LAN problems; I have tried installing 10.04 server, 9.04 and eventually had to settle on 8.04. One of the Ethernet ports is working, but the other won’t.

            My main issue is getting Avahi to work properly. I think I’ve traced the problem to the fact that Avahi needs the LAN driver to properly handle multi-cast.

            From what I can see, Hardy Heron is using the r8169 driver; have you tried any others? I found the following post https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/lucid/+source/linux/+bug/562742 but haven’t had a chance to try alternatives.

            Just looking to see if anyone else has figured out the LAN drivers.

            Reply
            1. Louis-Dominique Post author

              I have not tried other drivers. As far as I know both ethernet ports should use the same driver. I would guess if 10.04 has one port working but not the other, there must be some driver/kernel parameter which must be set. I have not upgraded yet but eventually I will have to. Unfortunately, I do not have time to research this right now.

              Reply
        2. Paul K

          Paul, it must in our name. I have the same problem.
          The 1GB memory is only detected as 512 MB.

          Have you solved this problem already?

          Another question, I can’t get the LAN working (yet)
          Any ideas? What driver to use?

          Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *