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Revision 5 as of 2007-01-17 17:47:49
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Comment: added note that debian installer nightly builds have jmicron support now
Revision 6 as of 2007-03-10 23:21:17
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Currently (Dec 2006) there is no official install CD to install Debian from. The problems are that the kernels until 2.6.19 do not support the JMicron controller, i. e. no way to use a PATA CD-/DVD-ROM drive during the installation. Just grab some current (testing) installation ISO image from some Debian mirror and install. (This works now as of 03-2007; before there were some problems, because the JMicron Controller was not supported.)
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There are therefore two possibilities to install Debian. The first one is by using the ["PXEBootInstall"] method. The second one, much simpler, is to use ["KenshiMuto"]'s [http://kmuto.jp/debian/d-i/ Backported Debian Installer], based on the 2.6.19 kernel.

The debian etch installer nightly builds have support for jmicron now. I just successfully installed with the 2007-01-16 build needing no special kernel options. http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/

Debian on a Asus P5B Deluxe Wifi

In fall 2006 Asus started selling this motherboard.

Chipset and additional hardware

The motherboard is equipped with the Intel ICH8 chipset. Additionally (because the ICH8 does not support PATA) a JMicron controller is used.

The board comes with quite a lot additional things,

  • ICH8R RAID Controller
  • JMicron RAID Controller
  • Two gigabit ethernet NICs
  • Onboard HD audio (with 7.1 and digital output)
  • 8 USB 2.0 interfaces
  • Firewire 400 (IEEE1394)

(Note: this is no typo: there are really two RAID controllers)

Hardware

A lspci gives the following output:

 00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation P965/G965 Memory Controller Hub (rev 02)
 00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation P965/G965 PCI Express Root Port (rev 02)
 00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 02)
 00:1a.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI #5 (rev 02) 
 00:1a.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI #2 (rev 02)
 00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 02)
 00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 02)
 00:1c.4 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 5 (rev 02)
 00:1c.5 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 6 (rev 02)
 00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 02)
 00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 02)
 00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 02)
 00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI #1 (rev 02)
 00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 PCI Bridge (rev f2)
 00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801HB/HR (ICH8/R) LPC Interface Controller (rev 02)
 00:1f.2 RAID bus controller: Intel Corporation 82801HR/HO/HH (ICH8R/DO/DH) SATA RAID Controller (rev 02)
 00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 02)
 01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation G70 [GeForce 7600 GS] (rev a1)
 02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. Unknown device 4364 (rev 12)
 03:00.0 SATA controller: JMicron Technologies, Inc. JMicron 20360/20363 AHCI Controller (rev 02)
 03:00.1 IDE interface: JMicron Technologies, Inc. JMicron 20360/20363 AHCI Controller (rev 02)
 05:03.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments TSB43AB22/A IEEE-1394a-2000 Controller (PHY/Link)
 05:04.0 Ethernet controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88E8001 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 14)

(Only the graphic card is not placed on the motherboard itself.)

The WLAN card is connected via USB; the lsusb output:

 Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0bda:8187 Realtek Semiconductor Corp.

Installing Debian

Just grab some current (testing) installation ISO image from some Debian mirror and install. (This works now as of 03-2007; before there were some problems, because the JMicron Controller was not supported.)

Kernel

Here are some hints to configure a kernel for this motherboard (kernel version 2.6.19 is used):

ICH8 HD Audio

 Device Drivers  ---> 
  Sound  --->
   <*> Sound card support
   Advanced Linux Sound Architecture  --->
    <M> Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
    PCI devices  ---> 
     <M> Intel HD Audio

Firewire

 Device Drivers  ---> 
  IEEE 1394 (FireWire) support  ---> 
   <M> IEEE 1394 (FireWire) support
   <M>   OHCI-1394 support

You may also chose some / all of the protocoll drivers.

JMicron

This PATA can be found under the SATA section (that also includes some experimental PATA) drivers.

 Device Drivers  --->
  Serial ATA (prod) and Parallel ATA (experimental) drivers  --->
   <*> ATA device support
   <*>   AHCI SATA support
   <M>   JMicron PATA support 

It is also possible to write CDs and DVDs with this driver.

SATA ICH8

 Device Drivers  --->
  Serial ATA (prod) and Parallel ATA (experimental) drivers  --->
   <*> ATA device support
   <*>   AHCI SATA support
   <*>   Intel PIIX/ICH SATA support

Ethernet 1

 Device Drivers  --->
  Network device support  --->
   [*] Network device support
   Ethernet (1000 Mbit)  --->
    <M> SysKonnect Yukon2 support (EXPERIMENTAL)

Raid

To get the raid (Intel ICH8R) working, dmraid can be used: apt-get install dmraid

Not documented

The following components are not working yet or were not tested:

  • Second Ethernet interface

nVidia Graphics

Because of the new kernel, the Debian nvidia packages do not work. Grab the driver directly from nVidia and install them.

Not Supported

WiFi Solo AP

The board comes with a Realtek 8187 for WLan communication. The driver can be downloaded from: http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/downloadsView.aspx?Langid=1&PNid=24&PFid=1&Level=6&Conn=5&DownTypeID=3&GetDown=false&Downloads=true (be sure to the the right one - there are driver for 8185 and 8187 on this page)

The problem: the current version (1.10) does not compile with the 2.6.19 kernel. There is a Debian package for 2.6.13 that can be downloaded from this page, so it looks that it sometimes did work.

Conclusion

After getting around the first boot / installation problems, this is a fine board and mostly all the interfaces and hardware seems to work without any problems under Debian.