FreeBSD on GigaByte GA-8EGXDR-E?

Dan Strick strick at
Tue Sep 23 18:11:38 PDT 2003

> From: Tom Munro Glass <gentoo at>
> To: Dan Strick <strick at>
> Subject: Re: FreeBSD on GigaByte GA-8EGXDR-E?
> Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 11:36:10 +1200
> Hi Dan,
> Try:  
> As far as I know, it's a current model.

I found it.  For some reason it is categorized on the Gigabyte web site as
a networking product rather than as a motherboard.

I don't have any direct experience relevant to the compatibility of this
motherboard with FreeBSD because my new Gigabyte motherboard, the 8KNXP,
uses a different support chipset, the Intel 875P/ICH5R, and has a very
different set of motherboard devices.

I found that while FreeBSD runs reasonably well on my motherboard, FreeBSD
does not support a large number of the more exotic motherboard devices.
The situation is expected to improve a little bit when FreeBSD-5.2 comes
out, whenever that happens.  Not soon I gather.  I frequently browse the
freebsd-current mailing list.  FreeBSD-current looks sufficiently unstable
that I don't want to mess with it.  FreeBSD-5.1 is flaky enough.

Your motherboard seems to have an even more exotic set of motherboard
devices and features.  I would check the HARDWARE.TXT file for the FreeBSD
release you intend to run.  Devices not mentioned in the HARDWARE.TXT file
are moderately likely to prove problematic.

I see that your motherboard has an AWARD BIOS.  The AWARD BIOS on my
motherboard does something strange that confuses the standard FreeBSD
master bootstrap program (booteasy) as to which disk is really being
booted so that I have to type F5 at it three times in order to boot.

If the Intel ICH5R serial ATA controller on my motherboard is configured
to operate in "native" mode, the AWARD BIOS fails to enter my serial ATA
disks into the BIOS disk list.  Since I have to boot off my serial ATA
disks, I have to configure them in "legacy" mode.  That means I can't use
one of my standard ATA ports and that means I can't use standard ATA disks
on my system (unless I buy an extra PCI ATA controller card for them).

You may get lucky, but I expect you to have some exiting experiences
in your future.

Dan Strick
strick at

P.S. I find that Gigabyte email tech support is extremely sluggish
and not very helpful.  If you have clout, please light a fire
underneath those guys.

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