Posts Tagged ‘Soltek Qbic’

Kernel 2.4.26 on the Soltek Qbic

Tuesday, August 17th, 2004

My kernel upgrade rampage has hit my home server to day. It was still running the kernel installed by the debian netinstall cdroms I had used, so the amount of available modules were rather scarce.

Most of the motherboard is based on the Intel ICH5 chipset, not that different than the Intel ICH4 chipset on my Asus M2N laptop, so much of the same should hold.

The kernel from the install cdrom didn’t have the i810_audio module and other related modules, so I installed Debian kernel-image-2.4.26-1-686. Everything is in there.

The machine uses grub for bootloader, and the kernel install just updated /boot/grub/menu.lst. I had to add acpi=on to the kernel lines to get ACPI enabled, otherwise it is just used during boot and then disabled.

On bootup the system tried to load all sorts of modules for stuff there wasn’t there, and it switched the console display to a higher resolution automatically, removing the possibility to scroll backwards with Shift-PgUp. As a consequence I removed both the hotplug and discover1 packaged that had made the first installation so simple. I can understand the use of such packages on many systems, and during first installes, but I prefer have more controll, so they went.

The system boots on the default initrd image, so I have made no changes to /etc/mkinitrd/modules.

I have to load the following modules through /etc/modules to get everything up and running:

# IDE detection
# Network card - Realtek RTL-8100B/8139D
# Intel ICH5 audio
# Supported ACPI modules
# USB controller and devices

I listen to internet radio on the computer, so I need sound configured. The ICH5 chipset is supported by the i810_audio module:

Intel 810 + AC97 Audio, version 0.24, 13:12:23 Jul 22 2004
PCI: Setting latency timer of device 00:1f.5 to 64
i810: Intel ICH5 found at IO 0xd400 and 0xd800, MEM 0xfe77b800 and 0xfe77b400, IRQ 17
i810: Intel ICH5 mmio at 0xde918800 and 0xde91a400
i810_audio: Primary codec has ID 2
i810_audio: Audio Controller supports 6 channels.
i810_audio: Defaulting to base 2 channel mode.
i810_audio: Resetting connection 0
i810_audio: Connection 0 with codec id 2
ac97_codec: AC97 Audio codec, id: ALG32 (ALC650)
i810_audio: AC'97 codec 2, new EID value = 0x05c7
i810_audio: AC'97 codec 2, DAC map configured, total channels = 6

Not everything is perfect, though, as some wav files sound weird, but mplayer plays windows media streams just fine and that is what I need.

ACPI support in the Soltek Qbic is rather limited. The button module controls the power button on the front only, and the thermal which gives a little information on the CPU.

ACPI: Power Button (FF) [PWRF]
ACPI: Processor [CPU1] (supports C1)
ACPI: Processor [CPU2] (supports C1)

It reports two CPUs! Not quite sure why, though. Something to investigate, I guess.

I don’t use this machine as a desktop computer, but playing a little around with a few modules, I get this:

# modprobe agpgart
Linux agpgart interface v0.99 (c) Jeff Hartmann
agpgart: Maximum main memory to use for agp memory: 409M
agpgart: Detected an Intel(R) 865G Chipset.
agpgart: Detected 32636K stolen memory.
agpgart: AGP aperture is 128M @ 0xf0000000
# modprobe i830
[drm] AGP 0.99 Aperture @ 0xf0000000 128MB
[drm] Initialized i830 1.3.2 20021108 on minor 0

I guess I’ll have to install X one day, just to try.

The complete boot log is here.

Installing Debian on a Soltek Qbic EQ 3401M

Monday, June 14th, 2004

I bought a Soltek Qbic EQ 3401M computer to use as a cheap home server.

A low noise level was one of my main priorities, since the computer must on at all times, while being located in my home office where I work every day, and the Soltek delivers what they promise. The machine is very silent. One has to sit down besides it with the ear close to it to really hear the fan. The only time I really notice it is when the disk is hard at work.

Second, I wanted a reasonably powerful computer, capable of running dynamic web sites while taking care of mail for several domains, acting as internal NFS and SMB file server, print server, CVS server and whatever else I might want to throw at it.

There’s a community network called Bryggenet where I live, and I have a shared 62Mbps line directly into my home, for the exorbitant price of $25/month flat fee. I feel obliged to use that bandwidth to something useful, after all, all the others just do file sharing and p2p. So I wanted to have a web server 🙂

The hardware specifcation is as seen on Soltek’s site. Mine has a 2.8GHz Pentium 3 cpu, 512Mb of memory, a 120Gb SATA diskdrive and a CD/DVD-RW combo drive. The various other units can be seen from the following output from lspci:

0000:00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corp. 82865G/PE/P DRAM Controller/Host-Hub Interface (rev 02)
0000:00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corp. 82865G Integrated Graphics Device (rev 02)
0000:00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) USB UHCI #1 (rev 02)
0000:00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) USB UHCI #2 (rev 02)
0000:00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) USB UHCI #3 (rev 02)
0000:00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) USB UHCI #4 (rev 02)
0000:00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 02)
0000:00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82801 PCI Bridge (rev c2)
0000:00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) LPC Bridge (rev 02)
0000:00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) Ultra ATA 100 Storage Controller (rev 02)
0000:00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corp. 82801EB (ICH5) Serial ATA 150 Storage Controller (rev 02)
0000:00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) SMBus Controller (rev 02)
0000:00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 02)
0000:01:09.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ (rev 10)
0000:01:0b.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Lucent Microelectronics FW323 (rev 61)

The entire Linux bootup output can be found here.

I used a Debian Sarge netinst CD-image, downloaded from some mirror linked from The installation went almost too smoothly. The only problem was that the installer didn’t find any networks cards, and after trying out almost all the drivers by hand, I entered the bios and found the nic disabled. Once enabled, I had a fight with the boot sequence setup in the bios, since it almost insisted on booting from the network, which is probably why they shop had disabled it during QA. With this in order the rest of the installation went without a hitch.

The kernel installed is version 2.4.25. I tried to use the 2.6 kernel on the install disk, but it had some display problems (in text mode!), so I settled for 2.4.

I had some problems with the soundcard, where the default driver didn’t give any meaningful output, so I installed the alsa-drivers (debian packages alsa-base, alsa-modules-2.4.25, alsa-utils), which solved the problems.

I haven’t tried XFree86 on the system, so I don’t know how well that works. I use it as a server, so there is little need for a GUI.