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Re: [gNewSense-users] gNewSense as lightweight PIM server on VIA ARTiGo

From: Sam Geeraerts
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] gNewSense as lightweight PIM server on VIA ARTiGo or Lemote Yeeloong?
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2010 19:20:23 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20100415)

Pen-Yuan Hsing wrote:
On the hardware side, I am looking at the VIA ARTiGO A1100 (, with the following specifications:

Mainboard: EPIA-P820
Processor: 1.2 GHz VIA Nano (64-bit)
Memory: 2 GB 200-pin DDR2 800 mHz
Graphics: VIA Chrome9 3D/2D AGP Integrated Graphics
LAN: VIA VT6122 10/100/1000
Audio: VIA VT1708S 8 channel HD audio
Wireless: VIA 802.11 b/g (not sure what model number)
HDD: Transcend 32GB SSD or OWC Mercury 40GB Extreme Pro SSD

Here's what I am wondering:

Are the software and hardware solutions I stated above Free (as in Freedom)? I know gNewSense is, but what about hardware support for the A1100?

I assume that by "Free hardware solution" you mean for the hardware to be supported by Free drivers/firmware (as opposed to hardware with freely available schematics, e.g. Qi hardware [1]).

Via's drivers for the graphics are non-free, but gNewSense 2.x has the openChrome driver. I don't know what features it provides, but whatever it provides should be fully functional (we don't seem to rip anything Via-related from Linux).

I don't know about the other hardware components, but I'm not very hopeful about free software support.

IF the hardware is not fully free, is there a viable alternative of a similar, tiny form factor? Perhaps something similar to the Lemote Yeeloong but not a netbook? If the Yeeloong is the only way to go, please let me know how I should set it up.

Please let me know either way, and if there is an alternative please show me where to find it?

There's the Lemote Fuloong, but it needs a non-free blob in the firmware for VGA. As you're going to use it as a server you probably don't need video output, so this might be an acceptable solution. You can order it from Tekmote [2] or directly from Lemote [3].

For an "as free as it gets" computer the Yeeloong is still the only solution (the Ben Nanonote is not exactly server material).


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