Debian on a Via Epia

Debian on a Via Epia

10/01/11 | by admin [mail] | Categories: Hardware, Software, Linux

I mentioned that I also installed Debian on a Mini-ITX box, specifically it is a VIA Epia with a 533MHz Eden CPU, and nearly all you need integrated (as mini-itx boards normally are). I bought it a little while ago from someone who had assembled 95% of the parts to make an ADSL/WiFi router, but gave up on it. All it needed was a case/psu, which cost about as much as the board and bits I had already purchased. The other small problem was that it only had 256MB RAM. Not really enough. But since I had just upgraded the Cube, I took the two spare 256MB chips and bumped the RAM up in the MiniITX to 512MB.

I had previously attempted to install 3 or 4 distros (Fedora, SUSE, Mandriva etc) on this box, but had a variety of issues, ranging from the installer not running (or halting part way through), installing but then going into a restart loop, or installing and then not doing anything. This is probably due to the fact I was using current distros on a rather old board. So, back to old faithful Debian, which goes out of its way to support obsolete hardware like this.

I used a 5.0.4 DVD to install and only two little snags during the install: the Intel wireless card needed nonfree firmware (very simple to do), and half way through the pre-install config, the font died and turned to the default square boxes for all chars. Fortunately, I found screen shots of the install online and could work my way through the rest of the config. Installed ok.

At some point I will need to configure the WiFi on the MiniITX box, and put it in an appropriate location. I'm thinking to play around with kismet.

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