[LinuxBIOS] VIA EPIA MII 10k stability questions

Lars Randers lranders at post2.tele.dk
Fri Dec 21 09:22:55 CET 2007

> On Thu, Dec 20, 2007 at 02:52:31PM +0100, Lars Randers wrote:

> > I've been dabbling with this board and the writeups for

> about a week

> > to little avail, so I'd like to hear from anyone who have

> this board

> > running stable with LB, and preferably with VGA enabled.


> I have a 6k which was fairly stable with VGA until the

> capacitors blew, but I did not use all features on the board.



> > I can't seem to build the bios successfully with the

> > Config.vga.filo.lb configs.


> Hm, I also seem to recall that the sample config didn't work.

> But I think it was fairly easy to sort out. What errors do

> you encounter?


/root/LinuxBIOSv2/src/mainboard/via/epia-m/auto.c -o auto.inc


"XIP_ROM_BASE is not a multiple of XIP_ROM_SIZE"

make[1]: *** [auto.inc] Error 1

make[1]: Leaving directory


make: *** [normal/linuxbios.rom] Error 1


> > I have also been investigating spurrious interrupts with

> the CF slot

> > when running Linux (Centos 4.5 - 2.6.9 kernel)


> This is a hardware problem with the Ricoh chip.


Can the interrupt be disabled BIOS wise or simply safely ignored?


> > and the strange LAN lockup, which seems to be related to a

> DMA issue

> > in the southbridge chip.


> AFAIK this is also a hardware problem.


So it's not possible to make a BIOS fix, workaround, disable DMA


> > Should I just trash the board and look for a more stable platform?


> If you have options, that may not be a bad idea.



> > It's a nice platform, low power and all, but if it's

> hopelessly flawed

> > in design it's out. Any input on the issue welcome!


> What other boards are your candidates?


Well it's a board I had lying around from an earlier attempt at making

a PVR. I think I had happily forgotten all about my woes with it :)

The current project is for a Trixbox PBX that I want to move out of my

Vmware environment because of sound tearing, how ever I want a diskless

solution as the Vmware server is more than capable of supplying storage

over NFS.


> > Furthermore I'm struggeling to get the Linux kernel to boot through

> > the initrd without ending up in a panic. I know it's not a

> LB issue,

> > but as I said, I'd like to get in contact with anyone who has any

> > knowledge into the problem.


> I don't like initrds much. As it stands you will need one

> solely for the purpose of resetting the Ricoh chip, but I

> would prefer to hack those few lines of code into FILO

> instead, so that the initrd can be skipped.


If we could get some code into FILO or the BIOS to somehow trick

the Linux kernel into thinking it's looking at a genuine IDE port

i.e. find a /dev/hda instead of the Ricoh chip, I'd be thrilled.

That would solve my initrd woes at the same time.


> > The wiki is incomplete in this respect and I certainly

> wouldn't mind

> > donating some of my time in return updating it if I could get it

> > working.


> Well, you should be able to find other pages about how to

> make an initrd. It will also very greatly with distributions,

> which makes generic advice somewhat difficult to produce.


> Why do you want the initrd in the first place? :) Is it some

> other reason than resetcf?


Well since the stock kernel is modular built, I need the initrd for

the hardware modules for the pcmcia / yenta as well as the ext3 fs stuff.

The hardest part seems to be getting cardmgr to run from inside the nash

script runner. I'm getting a strange select(): bad file descriptor error
from it.

The funny thing is that if I force nash out into a shell the command
from there, it's just a bit selfdefeating to do it that way...
It's frustrating to feel one is so close to making it work but still no

I have attempted to recompile the stock kernel from source, but after

it up using the CentOS buildenvironment it just fails compilation

I have succeeded in compiling the bleeding edge kernel with

but it corrupts the target fs badly, so I'd like to stay with 2.6.9.


> //Peter

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