Actually the OS DOES care about the motherboard. ASUS has some "nasty" bios code which actually stopped Linux working with their latest Motherboards, so I think that there needs to be some kind of pool of knowledge to help us find out which are the best Chipsets to use with Linux.
I have been running Ubuntu since 5.10 and I'm totally wowed by the progress they made with Ubuntu 9.04, but sadly I have just bought a new motherboard and it will not let me Install Linux. I can run it from the Live CD, but I can't install sucessfully to any of the HDDs ( there are 3 on that machine).
As a test I installed Vista 32bit and Windows 7 64bit and it worked perfectly. So I tried installing Ubuntu 9.04 again and Grub just kept showing an error. I had made sure that I wiped out the Windows installs before I retried the Linux one.
I then read about this ASUS anti Linux BIOS thing and began to wonder what the BEST Motherboard would be for Linux based users?
If there are any learned geeks out there with some model numbers for AMD boards, I would be most grateful
I strongly agree with virtualtom. I have always used Asus motherboards and lately (last few years) they just seem to be pushing away linux and becoming Microsoft only. Just try looking at Asus driver download section they list every Microsoft OS from DOS all the way through Vista 64 then they use the word Other. My latest Mother board from Asus (P5E) I gave up on trying to get the onboard gigabit network card to work. I'm shopping around for a new mother board now and want to buy a mother board from a company that is in line with my needs which is Linux only.
Asus M3A78-EM here with AMD Athlon X2 5000 (Purchased about a year ago on Newegg and I think I left a review there too). I've had Debian Etch, Lenny and Squeeze on this machine with no problems. The gigabit ethernet works fine. As far as speed goes, I wouldn't call it "badass" or anything, but it's certainly not slow (but I'm not a gamer, I don't overclock, test the cpu, etc).
My Linux distro of choice is stable Debian=Lenny 5.02. However, over the years I've learned that just because one Linux distro doesn't work does not mean another won't. Trying different distros will often reveal clues as to why another may not have worked. (I'm no geek, and these things are often hit and miss for me). Anyway, as I recall, I tried Ubuntu and I think it installed but there was a video problem. Fedora and sidux worked. Zenwalk worked and was faster than anything I've ever used. (Much faster than Debian).
My next mobo I am going to try a Gigabyte to compare to the Asus.
I have replaced a motherboard Asus P5LD2-VM-DH wich was not fully compatible with Ubuntu, but compatible with Windows XP sp3, by a motherboard ASRock G31M-GS R2.0/G31M-S R2.0 (with 2 Giga memory) wich looks like fully compatible with Ubuntu 11.04 and the same Windows. I use the same CPU Intel Pentium4. I use the motherboard ASRock for more than one year and I have on my PC a website using IPv6.