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Upcoming am4 mini-itx boards with linux

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  • Upcoming am4 mini-itx boards with linux

    I'm very much looking forward to a mini-itx system with a ryzen cpu. There's one mobo coming out from biostar and another one from gigabyte, nothing available yet though.

    I've never had a mini-itx system, but it seems like they all have in built wifi and bluetooth these days, both of which i heavily depend on, bluetooth for keyboard and headphones. So how does linux generally cope with these? And if there's models from several manufacturers coming up, is it more likely to get wifi, BT & other stuff to work with a specific vendor than some others?

  • #2
    Out of curiosity, how extensively have you used Linux?

    I already have most of my PC ready for Ryzen+ITX. ASRock is also supposed to have a board available in mid April (so, around the same time as the Ryzen 5 series) and I'm guessing others will also release theirs in a similar time frame. I'm sure brands like MSI and Asus will have boards too, but they just haven't advertised that yet. Asus in particular seems to have had a rough start with Ryzen, so they're probably not going to make any announcements until they get everything else sorted.

    Not all Mini-ITX boards have built-in wifi. Most of them are wifi-ready (where they support mini PCIe or M.2 wifi cards with antenna mounts), but not all of them actually come with a wifi chipset. There are a handful of boards with integrated wifi, but those aren't common. Of boards that do come with wifi, nearly all seem to support Bluetooth too. But, there are ITX boards that, regardless of what slots they're equipped with, do not have antenna mounts. That doesn't mean you can't use either wifi or Bluetooth, but you're left on your own to figure out how to get reception. I wouldn't worry about any of this though, just pay attention to the specs before buying. In the event you accidentally bought a motherboard or wifi adapter that didn't come with Bluetooth, most of the time (regardless of what you buy) Bluetooth is recognized as a USB device. So worst case scenario, you can just buy a dirt cheap Bluetooth USB dongle and you wouldn't notice a difference. I have a USB Bluetooth 4.0 adapter that I got for about $5.

    Anyway, Linux works fine with all of this. In my experience, Linux can take a little longer to pair to a BT mouse compared to something like Mac, but it does work. As for headphones, that can depend on which desktop environment you use. KDE in particular can be a bit cumbersome for headphones, but, it does work.
    Last edited by schmidtbag; 03-22-2017, 10:17 AM.


    • #3
      Thanks for the info. I was just thinking it was not all that long ago when you'd see people say it's difficult to get these working on common laptops on linux. I have a pcie wifi card and a bluetooth usb dongle. Both work, though the usb dongle is cumbersome, and a bt keyboard only starts to work on login (to Ubuntu). So no fiddling with bios settings without a separate keyboard. I got an old mobo, am3 maybe, for amd phenom2.

      Anyway, it's good to hear there shouldn't be much of an issue.