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This document was originally hosted at the ETHZ. It remains in the WayBack archive under the ETH license.

Page index: [ Motherboard | Processor | RAM | Device drivers | Disk | Display | Communication | Modem | PCMCIA | Mouse | Sound | USB | Example machines ]

PC Native Oberon Hardware Compatibility List

This page is under construction and will be used for installation information and user installation reports. Please send your installation reports for inclusion on this page. The information contained herein applies to the most recent Alpha / Beta versions.

Subjects treated in linked documents:

You will find a good support for hardware and software considerations not directly related to Native Oberon in the Operating System resource centre documents maintained by Chris Lattner.

Motherboard and expansion slots

Native Oberon runs on single processor motherboards of all brands, even on older ones, with ISA, PCI and AGP expansion slots in any combination. AGP expansion cards are similar to PCI cards from the software point-of-view. USB too is supported, but to a lesser extent. IrDA is not supported.

Oberon's PCI analyser tool

The PCI analyser command PCITools.Scan is designed to obtain all the required information on the installed PCI and AGP devices. The PCI bus is scanned and all the devices found are listed, along with a textual description extracted from an ancillary file. Some of the most valuable informations displayed are: bus number, device number, device class and subclass, vendor name and code, device name and code, IRQ assigned to the device. Keep in mind that non-PCI devices may also use IRQs and that IRQ conflicts may be at the origin of installation problems (e.g. black screen when the display device IRQ is in conflict) or other malfunctioning (e.g. network card IRQ conflict).

A full-fledged Oberon system is not required to use the tool. Booting from an Oberon-0 diskette is enough and can be of great help even to non-Oberon users. Alternatively, use the Oberon Utility Disk.

Installed hardware inspection

The needed information about the installed hardware can ideally be collected in advance of an Oberon installation with the facilities of an installed operating system. This can be useful when the manufacturer's documentation is not available or for a noname computer.

  • Windows 2000/NT: follow "Start -> Programs -> Administrative Tools -> Diagnostics"
  • Windows 95/98: follow "Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> System"
  • Linux: view or print /var/log/boot.msg

Besides that, there exists a profusion of published and downloadable software for analyzing, diagnosing and performance testing of hardware components. E.g.

  • PC Analyser [expired] - DOS
  • Dr. Hardware - "2002" for Win9x/ME/NT/2000/XP or Sysinfo for DOS

Native Oberon runs on these 32-bit architecture processors

  • Intel processors, starting from the i386, and equivalent processors offered by other manufacturers such as AMD and Cyrix. Native Oberon has been reported to work on AMD K5 and K6 series chips, Cyrix MII-333. If no coprocessor is found, the emulator module FPA.Mod will take its function over.
  • Transmeta processor TM5400 as reported by Thomas Kistler.
  • StrongARM processors based on the ARM Architecture Version 4: SA 110, SA 1110. Theoretically, it should run on Intel PCS Application Processors, but that was not tested.

For more information, see ETH Oberon Compilers.


Native Oberon supports maximally 128MB, because of the way page tables are allocated in low memory. This could be improved in procedure Kernel.InitMemory. If more than 128 MB are installed, only the first 128MB are used.

Device drivers

Device drivers must be installed for the various device categories reviewed in this document. Depending on the device's importance, a driver installation may have to take place immediately at system start or may be delayed to a later time:

  • A disk driver (ATA/EIDE or SCSI), located on the boot device, is installed straight from the start by the boot loader.
  • At system start, a VGA driver is installed which is soon replaced by a display driver specified in the Display= and associated configuration strings. Other strings may command the installation of further drivers.
  • At a later time, a driver module is dynamically loaded when needed, just like any other Oberon module, by executing an appropriate Oberon command. The installation command depends on the controller. A driver is immediately operational: no reboot is needed. To automate the installation, it suffices to edit a line containing the appropriate installation command in the System.InitCommands group of Oberon.Text. Commenting out the line is enough to bar the installation.

Drivers dynamically loaded on demand remain in memory during the entire session. Consequently, a driver must not be uninstalled, in principle. Exceptionally, say for test purposes, a driver may have to be unloaded (the modules importing it must be unloaded first).


Cfr. Disk support

Standard ATA/EIDE for IDE & EIDE controllers
Manufacturer Controller / Chipset Vendor / Device
Intel Corporation 82371AB/EB PIIX4 IDE 8086H / 7111H
Adaptec AIC 7xxx SCSI for Adaptec (PCI)
Controller Vendor / Device Status
AVA-2902A/E 9004H / 5078H Recognized / Not Tested
AVA-2904 9004H / 5078H Recognized / Not Tested
AVA-2910 (AIC-7850P Fast/Wide SCSI II) 9004H / 5078H Recognized / Not Tested
AIC-7855 Fast SCSI Controller 9004H / 5578H Recognized / Not Tested
AIC-7860 SCSI Controller 9004H / 6078H Recognized / Not Tested
AIC-7870P Fast/Wide SCSI II Chip 9004H / 7078H Recognized / Not Tested
AHA-2940/W Fast/Wide SCSI 9004H / 7178H Recognized / Not Tested
AHA-3940/W Dual-Channel FAST/Wide SCSI 9004H / 7278H Recognized / Not Tested
AHA-3985 4 Channel RAID SCSI 9004H / 7378H Recognized / Not Tested
AHA-2944W SCSI 9004H / 7478H Recognized / Not Tested
AHA-3940U/UW/UWD Ultra/Ultra Wide/Dual SCSI 9004H / 8278H Recognized / Not Tested
AHA-398X (AIC-7883U) 9004H / 8378H Recognized / Not Tested
AHA-2944UW SCSI 9004H / 8478H Recognized / Not Tested
AHA-2940U/2940UW Dual 9004H / 7895H Recognized / Problem reported (1)
AHA-394xAU/AUW/AUWD AIC-7895B 9004H / 7895H Recognized / Problem reported
AHA-2940U2W/U2B 9005H / 0010H Recognized / Not Tested
AHA-2950U2W Ultra2 SCSI 9005H / 0010H Recognized / Not Tested
AIC-7896/7 Ultra2 SCSI 9005H / 005FH Recognized / Not Tested
AHA-3940U2x 9005H / 0050H Recognized / Not Tested
AHA-3950U2D Ultra2 SCSI 9005H / 0051H Recognized / Not Tested
AIC-7880P Ultra/Ultra Wide SCSI 9004H / 8078H Tested
AHA-2940U/UW Ultra/Ultra Wide SCSI 9004H / 8178H Tested
AHA-2940U2/W SCSI (AIC-7890) 9005H / 001FH Tested
AIC-7861 AHA-2940AU SCSI Controller 9004H / 6178H Problems - BIOS maybe

(1): one problem reported, card hangs while booting (as soon as interrupts are switched on, scsi selection time-out interrupts are raised, and the interrupt cannot be cleared or is set again by the card)

NCR 810 SCSI for NCR Symbios Logic (LSI Logic) (PCI) Cfr. NCR 53C810 and NCR BIOS info
Controller Vendor / Device Status
53C810 8100S Fast-SCSI Adapter 1000H / 0001H
53C820 820 Fast-Wide-SCSI Adapter 1000H / 0002H
53C825 825XS/D Fast-Wide-SCSI Adapter 1000H / 0003H
53C815 815X Fast-SCSI Adapter 1000H / 0004H
53C875 8100ASP, 2081X Ultra-Wide-SCSI Adapter 1000H / 0005H
53C860 8600SP Ultra-SCSI Adapter 1000H / 0006H
53C875 875XS/D, 2280X Ultra-Wide-SCSI Adapter 1000H / 000FH

The documentation for programming the 53C8xx chip is found at [expired].

Example: The add-on ASUS PCI-SC200 SCSI controller is based on the NCR/Symbios 53C810 chip.


Cfr. Display support

VESA and PCITools.Scan information contains detailed information on the video modes of some of the video subsystems listed below.

Manufacturer Controller / Chip set Bus Vendor / Device Drivers tested
ATI Technologies Inc. Xpert98 AGP 2X / Chip: Mach64: Rage 3D Pro AGP 2x 1002H / 4742H Vesa 2.0
3D Rage II+ PCI Mach64 / Vesa 2.0
Mobility M3 AGP 2x 1002H / 4C46 VGA / Mach64 / Vesa 2.0
3D Rage P/M Mobility AGP 2x 1002H / 4C4D VGA (640x480x8) / Mach64 (1280x1024x32) / Vesa 2.0 (1280x1024x24)
Diamond Multimedia Systens, Inc. Riva TnT 128 [NV04] PCI 10DEH / 0020H Vesa 3.0
FireGL 1000 PCI 3Dlabs Permedia 2
3Dlabs TVP4020 Permedia 2 - Texas Instruments AGP 1x 104CH / 3D07H 3Dlabs Permedia 2
S3 Inc. Trio32/64/64V+ / Chip: 86C764/765 PCI 5333H / 8811H S3 Trio64
ViRGE/DX or /GX / Chip: 86C375 PCI 5333H / 8A01H S3 Trio64
Aurora64V+ on-board Compaq PCI S3 Aurora64
Matrox Graphics, Inc. Power Graphics Accelerator, MGA Series, VGA/VBE BIOS V2.5 PCI Vesa 2.0
MGA 2164W [Millenium II] 16MB PCI 102BH / 051BH Vesa 2.0
NeoMagic MagicGraph 128XD on IBM ThinkPad 380XD PCI Vesa 2.0
IBM ThinkPad 380 PCI Vesa 2.0
PowerColor Goya S3 325 Virge DX - PCI PCI Vesa 2.0
Silicon Motion LynxEM+ - 4MB PCI Vesa 3
STB now nVIDIA PowerGraph 64 Video (Trio64V+) PCI S3 Trio64
Trident Cyber 9385 on IBM Thinkpad 760ED PCI Trident 9xxx

The drivers are listed with the name they are given in Oberon.Text, which is edited from the [Configure] button in System3.Tool.

Net3Com509 for 3Com ISA board
EtherLink III for ISA/EISA - 3C509B
Net3Com905B for 3Com PCI board
Supports the 3CxxxB boards of the next driver Net3Com90x which is more generic
Net3Com90x for 3Com PCI board
Controller Vendor / Device Status
3C900-TPO Fast Ethernet 10B7H / 9000H
3C900-Combo Fast Etherlink 10B7H / 9001H
3C900B-TPO Etherlink XL TPO 10Mb 10B7H / 9004H
3C900B-Combo Etherlink XL Combo 10B7H / 9005H
3C905-TX Fast Etherlink 10/100 10B7H / 9050H
3C905B Fast Etherlink XL 10/100 10B7H / 9055H Tested
3C905B - 10/100Mb T4 10B7H / 9056H
3C905C-TX Fast Etherlink 10B7H / 9200H Tested
3C556 laptop tornado 10B7H / 6055H Testing on version 0.9.5
NetNe2000 for NE2000 board (PCI)
Controller Vendor / Device Status
Winbond 89C940 1050H / 0940H
Winbond 1050H / 5A5AH
SureCom NE34 10BDH / 0E34H
RealTek RTL-8029 10ECH / 8029H
Via 86C926 1106H / 0926H
Compex RL2000 11F6H / 1401H
Holtek HT80232 12C3H / 0058H
Holtek HT80229 12C3H / 5598H
NetVin NV5000SC 4A14H / 5000H
KTI ET32P2 8E2EH / 3000H

Only modems with a serial (V24/RS232) port interface are supported. Modems of the type "WinModem" have a proprietary interface to the operating system driver. Normally, they work only with Windows.

The safest is to buy an external modem with a serial interface, that understands the "AT" command set. Spending a bit more for a good modem (e.g. a 3COM US Robotics) is also worth it, because you will get better connections.


No support yet.


Cfr. Mouse support

Examples of mice known to work (Mouse type is described in "Mouse support"):

Manufacturer Description Mouse Type
Logitech PS/2-style on mouse port, e.g. Compaq trackball, PS2
WingMan Gaming Mouse,
MouseMan Wheel Mouse,
Pilot Optical Mouse - 3-buttons
Logitech type 1 on COM 1/2 LM1
Logitech type 2 on COM 1/2 LM2
Logitech type 3 on COM 1/2 LM3
new Logitech on COM 1/2, e.g. Pilot+ and MouseMan wheel MSI
Microsoft IntelliMouse MSI
Mouse Systems Mouse Systems type 1 on COM 1/2, e.g. Optical - Serial - 3-button MS1
Mouse Systems type 2 on COM 1/2 MS2
Mouse Systems type 3 on COM 1/2 MS3
Mouse Systems type 4 on COM 1/2 MS4
Microsoft Microsoft 2-button on COM 1/2 MSM

Cfr. Sound support


Cfr. USB support

Chip sets compatible with the Universal Host Controller Interface (UHCI) 1.1 are supported, e.g. VIA's T83C572. OHCI is being investigated.

Manufacturer Controller / Chip set Vendor / Device
Intel Corporation 82371AB/EB PIIX4 USB 8086H / 7112H
Examples of machines known to work with Oberon
Manufacturer Description Disk driver
Acer Acer Entra Standard ATA/EIDE
Dell Dimension XPS R400 (PSH98)
433/L and 466/L
OptiPlex GXM and Optiplex GXpro
Precision 410 with on-board AIC7880 & AIC7890 Ultra-2 SCSI and IDE controller Adaptec AIC7xxx and Standard ATA/EIDE
Inspiron 7500 Standard ATA/EIDE
Dell Latitude C600 Laptop
IBM Thinkpad 760ED
w:Compaq Armada 7700 Series - Pentium MMX 166 Mhz
Intel 486DX-33, Symphony chipset, AM BIOS
Generic PC/104
8 MB flash memory on embedded system Custom boot loader

The alpha version is working on:

Manufacturer Description Display controller
HP Vectra VL series 3 5/75 and 5/90 Omnibook XE2 (DC Series) Cirrus Logic 543x on embedded VGA Silicon Motion SMI LynxEM - 4MB


4 Aug 2002 - Copyright © 2002 ETH Zürich. All rights reserved.
E-Mail: oberon-web at