Fun with my little VIA console

By Doug Schaefer

At the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose this year they handed
out little VIA embedded EPIA systems to the attendees. I'm not sure
everyone got one, but I was thrilled. It has a embedded VIA processor
with a chipset that includes Unichrome 3D graphics, and also include a
hard drive, ethernet, VGA, four USB ports, and audio in and out. It's a
cool little unit.

I
haven't done too much with it, but thinking about this Open Console
concept (set top box with 3D graphics running Linux), I thought I'd try
setting it up with some of the things I had in mind. I started by
putting the Debian lenny installer onto a USB stick and installing from
it. That was a little tricky until I reformated my USB stick and put
syslinux on it properly. I installed enough packages to get X running
with the openchrome driver for 3D graphics. glxgears ran pretty
smoothly which gave me some hope I could actually use this thing to run
games.

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