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Logic Supply is Now Offering Ubuntu on Select Systems.

By ·Categories: Technology·Published On: March 28th, 2008·3.6 min read·

After years of highlighting the benefits of using a small form factor platform for a Linux application, we decided to allow customers to fully take advantage of these benefits and purchase a total Linux solution (well, Ubuntu to be specific).

Ubuntu Solution ProviderLogic Supply is a Canonical Solution Provider Partner, and we have a staff of trained professionals who are knowledgeable and able to offer hardware support. We will offer the ability to purchase one of our systems with Ubuntu pre-installed. We will work with our customers to make sure the Ubuntu operating system functions correctly on our hardware.

When we first decided to officially pair our systems with Ubuntu, we wanted to make our intentions clear on what we plan to offer to our customers. For instance, after conducting some compatibility testing, we determined that certain mainboards are “approved” platforms while others were slightly problematic and won’t be able to have Ubuntu pre-installed on them. All of our test results will be available to our customers and we will make our process as transparent as possible.

Our Approval Process

I would like to give you an idea about what our goals were in testing and approving mainboards. Our purpose is to provide customers with a complete, reliable solution that will have all the available drivers installed, supported, and ready to go. If a well-functioning driver is not available from the official Ubuntu repositories, then we will not say that the platform is supported by this version of Ubuntu.

We don’t expect that these boards will support all of the operating system features of Ubuntu, and we don’t believe that every feature is incredibly important to our customers. However, we have constructed a list of features that we find are critical to the functionality of one of our computer systems.

Here are the features that we require to be functioning correctly in approved systems:

  1. board boots without any errors
  2. all peripherals are recognized and function correctly
  3. graphical user interface functions correctly—desktop displays properly and standard screen resolutions are supported and display correctly
  4. audio device works correctly

And, within each of those categories, there is a long checklist of items that need to be marked off before we give our final stamp of approval.

These are features that aren’t required for approval:

  1. Support for advanced hardware graphics acceleration (3D acceleration, MPEG acceleration) and advanced features such as TV-output
  2. Power-management-related features (Suspend or Hibernate Mode)

For the most part, each mainboard we tested fared pretty well. There were some that were slightly more problematic than we would have preferred. For instance, many of the boards that are designed around the CX700 chipset had some issues with the video card. They are technically fixable, but it does require a work-around.

Available Mainboards

So, without further ado, here are the boards that came out on top.

  1. VIA EPIA PX10000G (VIA VX700 chipset)
  2. MSI MS-7265 (Intel 945GM chipset)
  3. MSI MS-9642 (Intel 945GM chipset)
  4. IEI KINO-9452 (Intel 945GM chipset)
  5. Jetway J9F2-KHDE (Intel 945GM chipset)
  6. MSI MS-9803 (Intel GM965 chipset)
  7. VIA EPIA SN (VIA CN896 chipset)

Each of these boards require a very slight tweak, but that is why we are pre-installing Ubuntu for our customers. Some boards cannot support specific functions. For instance, the PX10000G supports Ubuntu without any additional modifications during the install process, but 3D graphics capabilities are not supported at all. This eventually could get fixed, but we wanted to, at the least, make our customers aware of these kinds of quirks.

Here are a few systems that a customer can purchase with Ubuntu pre-installed:

SolidLogic C2D-C137 Intel Core 2 Duo Socket P C137 System
SolidLogic C2D-5677 Intel Core 2 Duo Socket P 5677 System
SolidLogic C2D-VoomPC-2 Intel Core 2 Duo Socket P VoomPC-2 Automotive System
SolidLogic CD-GS-L06 Intel Core Duo GS-L06 Fanless System
SolidLogic SystemX07P1 X07P1 Pico-ITX System
SolidLogic CarX07P1 X07P1 Automotive Pico-ITX System
SolidLogic SystemGS-L08 GS-L08 Fanless Pico-ITX System
ARTiGO VIA ARTiGO Pico-ITX Builder Kit

For all other system configurations using the mainboards mentioned above, please contact one of our technical sales associates.

We’ll keep adding updates as we move forward. Please contact us with any questions.

For additional information, see our dedicated FAQ section on Ubuntu.


About the Author: Kristina Bond

Kristina Bond was the Marketing Director for Logic Supply from 2007 to 2012. She graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia with an M.F.A. in photography and a B.F.A in photography and communication from Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV. While technology and Logic Supply remain close to her heart, she moved on from the company in June 2012 to do marketing for the restaurant industry. To get in touch with Kristina, please contact kristina@kristinadrobny.com.
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  1. Sal Cangeloso March 29, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Nice job! Are these 8.04 ready? I’ve been using it for a little while now and its been working out great (some minor issues, but nothing too bad).

    I haven’t bought a pre-built system in a long time, but you guys are tempting me.

  2. Kristina March 31, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Hi Sal,
    Again, many thanks for your feedback. These systems are not 8.04 ready…yet. We plan on doing testing in order to eventually make these systems 8.04 ready. We don’t anticipate that we will see too many issues with the latest Ubuntu release on our already-tested systems. We hope that, if anything, we will see some improvements.
    We will make the upgrade to Ubuntu 8.04 as soon as we can.

  3. Dave Cole April 11, 2008 at 11:19 am

    3D acceleration, though is not an absolute requirement, can be a make or break point for Mini-ITX systems in certain environments, such as automotive systems. This great difficulty in addressing 3D support for your embedded video in Linux can harm your efforts to maintain your position in this niche market. For the most part, I’m a satisfied customer, having purchased the Intel 201GLY mainboard. However, its embedded SiS video is problematic in Linux. Any attempt to use 3D accelerated drivers result in the chipset overheating and artifacts on my Desktop. To avoid permanent damage to the onboard video, I’m using generic VESA drivers. I do not necessarily blame Logic Supply for the issue, for it is mostly out of your control, however there are steps that can be taken. As a licensed reseller, you can put pressure on the manufacturers of your boards to release better Linux drivers. Since Mini-ITX and similar small formfactors are a niche market, even a few resellers can make a difference, because companies will be forced to either release the drivers, or stop manufacturing the boards.

    Anyway, aside from this one minor issue, your products are top notch, your site is a dream to navigate, and I salute you for actively pursuing Linux solutions for your systems. I’m eager to see what comes in the days ahead, and even more eager to continue purchasing your products.
    God bless!

  4. richard kim April 11, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Friendly feedback. The tone of this post seems to say that “ubuntu is very unreliable, but we are making up for its deficiencies.” I realize that is not the intent, but you may want to reread it to see if you get that impression too. It is always important to say how valuable your services are, but not at the expense of putting down your product — a common mistake done with retail warranties. “Our product is great, but now that you already purchased it, it really sucks, so you should buy an extra warranty to cover its suckiness.

    The section “Here are the features that we require to be functioning correctly in approved systems” seems silly, as that is an unwritten expectation of ANY computer system. If that is needed to be mentioned here, Ubuntu must REALLY suck (an impression, not necessarily reality). Sorta like if a car dealer went out of the way to say that their car starts every single time without stalls, customers would normally be suspicious of why they need to make that claim.

    Again, just friendly feedback. I have no experience in marketing, and this is free advice, so take it for what it is worth. I am only trying to be helpful, and if you think I’m completely wrong, I’ll apologize ahead of time. Thanks and good luck.

  5. Kristina April 11, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Thanks Dave for the kind words and input.

    When we sat down to decide which boards we wanted to “approve” we ran into some difficult questions and had to make decisions based on our knowledge and capabilities.

    When we say features that we believe to be critical to a functioning system, we try to keep the following in mind:
    1. What features most of our customers would look for in one of our systems
    2. What most of our customers tend to do with one of our systems

    Understandably so, some features that we consider not critical might very well be critical to another user. Our goal is not to turn people off from working with us or to compromise our position in the open-source market. But, we have to decide how often some of these features are used and if there is an alternate solution.

    Also, most of the boards that we tested did support 3D capabilities, so we could easily point customers toward another option if they were specifically looking for that feature.

    As for issues pertaining to specific boards, we documented all the quirks that we saw spring up with Ubuntu 7.10, and we made this information available to all our customers. We also included some of the “fixes” to these issues. You can find this information in our FAQ section.

    We plan on testing all the mainboards again when Ubuntu 8.04 is released and we will make our results available online.

    As for feedback to the manufacturers, we do discuss a lot of these issues with them; however, they can be a little bit more difficult to persuade. But, we will continue to move forward and we will try to make this process as transparent and open as possible.

    Thanks again for your feedback. It is always good to hear these things!

  6. Kristina April 11, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Hi Richard,
    Thanks for the response. Our goal is not to cast Ubuntu in a negative light. We value this product, and if we didn’t, we wouldn’t offer it. :)

    We find that hardware support issues are not limited to Ubuntu, nor are they exclusive to the hardware that we sell. These are common issues faced by Linux users in general, and they are widely known. We have customers that are interested in running Linux on the hardware platforms they purchase from us and we want to help them do that.

    It certainly would be ideal if all of the features of Ubuntu functioned perfectly on all hardware platforms. Because that currently isn’t the case, we’re doing our best to provide that next best thing: full disclosure of information regarding features that don’t work as expected.

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