ASUS Pundit barebone computer under Linux

The ASUS Pundit (vintage 2003) is a nice small and quiet barebone computer, that has been positively reviewed at various hardware news sites. It is a bundle of a PSU, P4 motherboard and small box (so called "book size", but I don't have any books that big myself).

This page does not cover the Pundit-R which has a very similar case and form factor, but uses a different motherboard with a different chipset (ATI RS300) with at least video and ethernet being unrelated to the chips used in the original Pundit. Later computers in the family are likely to differ even more.

It has 2 half length PCI slots. They are full height, but cards which are really full height will not fit (by 2 or 3 mm). A nearly full height card is difficult to fit in the top slot.

This page lists Linux drivers that I have tested or others (thanks!) have reported working. My own tests were made with Debian-based distributions, but unless otherwise noted for individual devices, anything with a 2.4 or above kernel should be fine (2.4.22 or above for network support). Successful autodetection of most devices has been reported with Mandrake 9.2 (and above).

All of the machine's devices I know of are listed. Thanks to all the people who reported things working or not.

OK: This is the CPU fan controller. This is pretty essential because the fan is as noisy as usual at full speed (the default out of the box) and this features slows it down to the minimum necessary for a cool CPU. It's then pretty quiet. It blows directly outside the case through holes in the case, avoiding heating the inside of the case, which probably allows for the quiet PSU fan. Good news: this is a hardware or BIOS controlled feature, so once enabled in the BIOS it works fine with Linux.
SIS 650 integrated video - VGA
OK: Known as CRT1 to the driver. Supported by XFree86 4.3 native sis driver and VESA framebuffer.
SIS 650 integrated video - DVI
OK: The DVI interface shares CRT2 with DVI. It works with VESA framebuffer drivers (no acceleration). It does not work with XFree86 4.3's stock sis driver or earlier, the screen blanks out and cannot be switched back on. Thankfully the magnanimous SIS driver author has an updated version at that works fine, just replace sis_drv.o from your XFree86 modules directory. The DVI connector is DVI-I, which means it can be used to connect either a digital DVI monitor, or through a suitable cable a second analog VGA monitor. Dual head (two monitors connected simultaneously) has been reported to work.
SIS 650 integrated video - TV
OK: Latest XFree86 drivers from (as above) are reported to fix problems with regular XFree86 with overscan control, which may cause black borders on TVs. Slight hitch: if the SVideo cable is connected at boot time, the console framebuffer may not go over 800x600.
SiS 5513 IDE
OK: This is bog standard. Note that there is only one IDE header, so if connecting two devices they need to work well together in a master/slave configuration on one cable. This is almost always the case with modern IDE devices. Problem with ide-scsi (used for CD/DVD writers) reported in 2.4.22, patched in -ac version.
ENE PCMCIA interface
OK: The front panel has a PCMCIA slot. Worked fine out of the box with kernel 2.4.20.
BCM 4400 ethernet
OK: This is not supported in early 2.4 kernels, but the driver is on the CDROM provided Drivers/Lan/4401/Linux/bcm4400-1.0.1.tar.gz and on ASUS' website. To install from the network, a supported PCMCIA, PCI (or USB?) network card can be used. The driver is included in Linux 2.4.22 and above (module name b44). Most reports are that the driver is stable; although some have experienced problems with 2.4.22's version (2.4.23 changelog include fixes to this driver).
SIS 7001 USB
OK: usb-ohci module works fine. USB2 also works.
SiS7012 Audio
OK for both ALSA and OSS. i810_audio is the 2.4/OSS module. Stereo input/output OK. SPDIF output OK (reported not working with 2.4/OSS, but OK with ALSA). Analog 5.1 working with ALSA.
OK. Standard OHCI interface (ohci1394 module; reported OK with 2.6 and 2.4.22-ac4).
ENE Flash (smartmedia/MMC/SD/memory stick) drive
OK. ENE CB710 (PCI ID 1524:0510) chip which is a part of the Cardbus chipset. Reported working with kernel 2.6.31.
Temperature/voltage/speed sensors
OK. mbmon (which does not need kernel modules!) detects a chip and gives believable readings for CPU/case temp and CPU fan speed (voltage less convincing?). lm-sensors also work (both in 2.4, and built-in in 2.6); the modules are i2c_isa, i2c_sensor, it87. lm-sensors has been reported to disable the CPU fan speed management.

Last tweak 2009-11-08; most of the info is from 2004 or earlier | Feedback