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Old 17th February 2011
shep shep is offline
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Default Via C7-D x86-64 instruction set

I purchased a Biostar Viotech 3100+ as a low energy use mobo and noticed that the single core cpu is supposed to support the X86_64 instruction set.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VIA_Nano

None of the 64 bit, opensource OS's I have tried (Slackware 13.1, OpenBSD 4.9current, Arch Linux, NetBSD5,1 or Debian 6.0) are bootable and some (Slackware and Arch) return a message that the cpu is an i686.

The CMPXCHG8B instruction set is enabled in the bios.

I googled linux and openbsd in regard to the problem and searched the linux kernel bugzilla without any mention of 64 bit processing on this cpu.

I'm guessing it is either buggy and ignored or the issue has not been brought to the attention of the appropriate kernel coders.

Anyone have any insight into this? I'd like to report it as a bug but it looks like it would take the better part of the day to register at the various bugzilla's and mailing lists only to have someone tell me it is buggy and they are not going to address it.
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Old 17th February 2011
BSDfan666 BSDfan666 is offline
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You should try to bring this up on mailing lists if you're sure it does support 64-bit long mode..

You can use the CPUID instruction to check if it is supported using a small userland program.

As for kernels claiming it's an i686, that's normal for identifying the x86 families.. i686 technically encompasses the Pentium PRO to the Pentium 3, Pentium 4 was a dramatic change for Intel and the family identifier went from 0x6 (6) hexadecimal to 0xf (15) apparently working around a Windows NT bug, there was no i786/i886/i986.

A lot of kernels just pick "i686" as the lowest common denominator for modern x86 compatibles, with SSE/MMX etc.
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Old 17th February 2011
shep shep is offline
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Thanks BSDfan66. I learned more about cpu instruction sets and the Via C7-D+ lacks the lm flag which is a good indicator of a x86_64 cpu. I'm not overly disappointed as I did not buy it as a x86_64 board although I now wish I had gotten an intel atom based system. The VT8237 southbridge also does not support 2 sata channels in OpenBSD. Old problem that persists
http://www.daemonforums.org/showthread.php?t=4752
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Old 5th July 2011
Randux Randux is offline
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What message(s) do you get from the Slackware installer, and have you tried the 32 bit installer and does it work? Slackware is shipped in two discrete versions, either 32 bit or 64 bit and neither is multilib.

The 32 bit Slackware runs like a bat out of hell on my E2200. If you find you can't get a 64 bit distro to work and you choose to install it I'm sure you'll be pleased. BTW my E2200 is a 64 bit processor according to Intel but if I remember correctly I couldn't install Slack 64 on it either. Now I'm starting to wonder what this means...
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Last edited by Randux; 5th July 2011 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 5th July 2011
shep shep is offline
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This is a pretty old thread. Both of my Via C7's are now happily running Debian Squeeze i386. One is a laptop that I wanted to scan and connect to the wireless network of my choice. It was easy to set up in Debian using wicd-curses. I recall the slackware64 installer gave an error message that the install kernel was not supported.

Last edited by shep; 5th July 2011 at 10:32 PM.
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