Usually BIOS updating means booting DOS and running a proprietary tool from the board vendor. A few days ago, coreboot's flashrom 0.9 has realeased. It's an open-source tool which supports program almost all flash chips used on x86 mainboards. Its compatibility list includes Geode™ CS5530/A, which can be found on the ALIX.3D3 board. So why not using flashrom to update ALIX.3D3 BIOS.
Nowadays, most desktop mainboards provide more than one gigabit ethernet port. Connecting them both to the same switch causes most Linux distros by default to get a individual IP on each device and route traffic only on the primary device (based on device metric) or round-robin. A single connection always starts at one IP and so all traffic goes through one device, limiting maximum bandwidth to 1 GBit.
Here comes bonding (sometimes called (port) trunking or link aggregation) to play. It connects two ore more ethernet ports to one virtual port with only one MAC and so mostly one IP address. Wheres earlier only two hosts (with the same OS running) or two switches (from the same vendor) could be connected, nowadays there's a standard protocol which makes it easy: LACP which is part of IEEE 802.3ad. Continue reading
Process scheduling within Linux is done by the kernel, following different aspects. Usually it's goal is to share all resources fairly among all running processes.
Sometimes, there's a need to tell the kernel explicitly to prior some process, bind some process to a special CPU and so on.
Changing process priorities is commonly known:
nice -n 10 make
runs the program make with a priority of 10 (-20 meaning most favorable and 19 least favorable scheduling). If you want to change a priority of a running program, renice is your choice. Continue reading
The AMD CS5536 Geode on the ALIX.3D3 board has an included audio controller which headset output and microphone input is populated on the board. lspci lists the audio controller as
00:0f.3 Multimedia audio controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] CS5536 [Geode companion] Audio (rev 01)
In contrary to most ALIX devices, the ALIX.3D3 has an integrated VGA controller and an Award BIOS (tinyBIOS doesn't support VGA), so why not attach a monitor.
Standard text mode is supported by default (and faster than graphical mode), but if you wish to change resolution, add a boot logo or even want to use a graphical boot screen like splashutils a framebuffer device is needed.
lspci lists the integrated VGA controller of the AMD Geode LX800 CPU as the video device:
00:01.1 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Geode LX Video
Luckily the linux kernel supports this device directly and so no VESA framebuffer is needed. Continue reading