Compatibility

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Hello,

I have assembled a HTPC using a MSI M250B motherboard with a Intel G4600 processor. I was curious if Linux would be compatible with this equipment. The MSI docs say that only windows 7 and newer is compatible, but I thought I would ask and see if there was a way around it.

Thanks in advance.
 


wizardfromoz

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Hello @harbottleaudio and welcome to linux.org :)

Are you sure that that is an MSI M250B and not a B250M?

Cheers

Wizard
 

atanere

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Hello,

I have assembled a HTPC using a MSI M250B motherboard with a Intel G4600 processor. I was curious if Linux would be compatible with this equipment. The MSI docs say that only windows 7 and newer is compatible, but I thought I would ask and see if there was a way around it.

Thanks in advance.
Hi Cody, and welcome again! I'm not a TV/movie person, so I had to look up what HTPC was... I'm always glad to learn new things too. And a Home Theater PC is something my wife might like to explore for our home as she is quite addicted. :D

So, I understand that your specialty is sound systems, but your question here is about a motherboard. Frankly, I've never heard of an Intel or AMD system that would not run Linux. Of course, I can be wrong (it happens a lot)... but maybe the documentation means rather that only Windows 7+ is "supported" versus "compatible."

Compatibility extends beyond the CPU too, though. And specifically, in your case, maybe you need to know more about the onboard sound. Or... maybe we need to know.... is your ODM/OEM audio systems producing your own brand sound cards that you want to include on HTPC systems? It seems that is where you are heading... to produce superior audio cards than those offered on the motherboards. Please clarify this for us, and we can all better focus on the heart of your questions.

The Linux kernel has built-in support for many hardware devices: mice, keyboard, video, audio, wired/wireless, and so on. But what I call "exotic" devices often fail to work because their manufacturers fail to provide device drivers needed for Linux. Specialty sound systems might certainly fall into the "exotic" category... but more frequently, I think, the problem is with special mice and keyboards developed for gaming. And my brief Googling shows that many HTPC systems also may do double duty as gaming systems. So, maybe you can see where I'm going with this.... if you are intending to provide a full computer system in an HTPC market, you may run into driver issues beyond just the audio section that you specialize in.

Finally, since you have the MSI motherboard in question (and maybe more than one).... can you set up a test machine just for Linux development? If so, I would recommend Ubuntu or Linux Mint as your initial test distro because they usually provide the best hardware support immediately after installing, and together they are very widely used in the general Linux audience. If you are developing a specialty sound card, you will likely need a programmer to create Linux drivers for the device since you say you don't have that skill (nor do I).

Cheers
 
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Oh My! Yes, it is a B250M. It was 1 am where I live and I mixed up the numbers. (edit: Letters!, frick)

atenere: Thank you for your insight. What this htpc is for is to see how well Linux and moderately priced motherboards with their built in soundcards handle our audio systems. We build speakers and amps only. Its R&D as well as being able to take this system to audio shows and appeal to gamers and entertainment lovers alike by showing that our gear works across multiple platforms regardless of what you use.
Beleive it or not, there are hifi people that debate the "SQ" (sound quality) of different software, so this is more for the OS and software/apps that are available to Linux. Where this challenge came from is a engineer has his own proprietary software for mixing audio tracks and he wants to know how "neutral" and "blended" our speakers sound specifically through Linux as the OS. Im simply taking this opportunity to build a foundation for Linux users that are into audio by building a PC to test software, apps, games, and all kinds of audio with Linux doing the lifting. Mac and MS are tested, why not have a Linux system too?
 
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atanere

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As a Linux guy, I always appreciate when folks (and businesses) try to support us and keep us in the market, even though I know we are usually a smaller market than the MS/Mac crowd.

I don't suppose Linux has ever been famous to audiophiles for its quality either. We have two basic packages that control sound: alsa and pulse audio. There may be others, but these two come to mind quickly. This link gives a pretty good summary of the current state of Linux audio with these packages.

Well over my head is the fact that there are better multimedia tools for Linux than what I need or use. Ubuntu Studio is a specialized Linux distro that has some of those better tools, and you might especially be interested in their audio page. I've not used Ubuntu Studio, but I suppose it still draws the sound from alsa or pulse audio.

Assuming you usually plug into onboard sound then, I would guess that you will usually have success getting sound to your speakers. Of the quality, I'm not sure at all. And then there's the question of a user's ability to configure sound to enhance it beyond default settings, and this is a good place to focus for your shows and demos. Going off in yet another direction... wireless speakers can have even more troubles, but they are likely to become more and more popular since everything wants to be wireless. :eek::D
 
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the wireless tech is not quite there yet. but finding out what is possible with Linux is really exciting. I can measure SQ and determine that in my sleep. Its the finding out that has me pumped.
Apparantly my motherboard is compatible, so we will have to boot this sucker up and see what happens.
 

atanere

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the wireless tech is not quite there yet. but finding out what is possible with Linux is really exciting. I can measure SQ and determine that in my sleep. Its the finding out that has me pumped.
Apparantly my motherboard is compatible, so we will have to boot this sucker up and see what happens.
Absolutely! Boot it up! :D

Have you got a handle on making a bootable Linux USB or DVD already? A USB will run a little faster than DVD.
 

atanere

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Just be careful not to INSTALL it yet! :eek::D (Unless it's an empty computer or you don't mind overwriting Windows!)

You want to run the USB/DVD in "live" mode... so no changes to your computer (until you're ready for that).
 
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the computer is brand new with nothing on it.
i'm guessing i just copy Ubuntu from my downloads folder on my windows Descktop to my USB drive and stick it into my HTPC and power on?
 

atanere

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OK, it's not just a "copy" to the USB. You need to use a special tool so that it will be bootable. Once you do that and it boots, then you can run the Ubuntu installer. Here are a few of the special USB burning tools:

https://etcher.io
https://rufus.akeo.ie
https://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/

Ubuntu is one of the distros that will allow your USB to use "persistence". This is a little more advanced and you may not even need it.... but what it does is allows some info to be stored on the USB so that you can re-use it later and it will remember stuff, like your wifi login, etc. If you don't want to use it, don't let the burning software enable it... just takes extra time. I don't think Rufus will do persistence anyway, but the others do, I think.
 
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OK, it's not just a "copy" to the USB. You need to use a special tool so that it will be bootable. Once you do that and it boots, then you can run the Ubuntu installer. Here are a few of the special USB burning tools:

https://etcher.io
https://rufus.akeo.ie
https://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/

Ubuntu is one of the distros that will allow your USB to use "persistence". This is a little more advanced and you may not even need it.... but what it does is allows some info to be stored on the USB so that you can re-use it later and it will remember stuff, like your wifi login, etc. If you don't want to use it, don't let the burning software enable it... just takes extra time. I don't think Rufus will do persistence anyway, but the others do, I think.
Told you I'm a noob.
 

atanere

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No biggie. I've been playing with Linux for a long time, and I'm still a noob too, in many ways. But I enjoy using it and helping to introduce others to Linux too.
 

atanere

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I'm going to have to leave in a bit and I'll be gone the rest of the night probably... so this could be a cliff-hanger unless my friend @wizardfromoz appears in a puff of smoke and saves the day. (He is becoming quite famous for that!) :D

Google shows some solutions, but I don't have enough time to search better or cover thoroughly. Can you still boot and run off the USB stick?
 
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ya i can run off the stick. Im thinking there is something with the msi bios that is not happy. possible that he bios needs updating. im out of my depth on that stuff, but thats what my brain/gut is telling me.
 

atanere

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You're totally right that BIOS (now more accurately called UEFI) may need an update. That is one of the Google solutions I saw, but I don't want to rush that since I'm short on time. You definitely do not want to mess up a firmware update! So your computer is fine really... no worries. But at the moment Ubuntu has shown to not yet be compatible. Until we can investigate the firmware further, just play with the USB system a bit.... or try to download some other .iso files and test some different Linux distros. If you do this, each time you run the installer, tell it to "use entire disk" so that it will get rid of leftovers from the previous install. It's also a good way to play and practice installations.

There are some UEFI settings that may need tweaking, depending on the Linux distro you choose. Some may need "Secure Boot" turned off, and also "Fast Boot". Some may need "Legacy mode" enabled instead of UEFI mode. I don't want these to confuse you too much either... but if you make any changes, just try to keep track of them.

Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, and I'd try it without changing UEFI.... but it may give the same problem. I might also try Fedora. But these are only if you want to keep playing with it tonight. Don't let it frustrate you.... take a break if needed and we'll get more serious again soon.
 


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