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An upgrade of another PC left me w/ components to reuse in this PC. I'd like to think before buying.

I need an AM4 socket motherboard, and want a Linux-friendly (Debian family) build for virtualization, to enable opening Win10 from within Linux. I want IOMMU and all OS used will be 64-bit. Here's the hardware I wish to reuse in that motherboard:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600X
RAM: 2 each 16GB DIMMs, DDR4 3200, dual Kingston, dual rank
GPU: GTX 1080
SSD: M.2, 2 each NVMe, 1 TB
PSU: 680W
Case: Spacious ATX

Everything I could find by searching Amazon and Newegg for an x470 OR x570 motherboard reveal no Linux driver support from the manufacturer; Realtek drivers are a massive recurring pain, quite frequently, over at https://askubuntu.com and I definitely wish to avoid Realtek LAN and WiFi.

Finding drivers for Linux are the eternal problem as most motherboard manufacturers do not provide them, and review sites such as KitGuru don't discuss Linux, only Windows.

Does any AM4 motherboard have manufacturer support for Linux?

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    You only need to worry about IOMMU support if you want to run games with good graphics performance in the Windows 10 VM. IOMMU is a feature that allows a VM to "see" hardware in the host system, and therefore use it as if it were physically installed in the virtual system. However, booting the Windows 10 OS inside a VM from its own NVMe drive may require IOMMU, it depends on a lot of specific configuration details. – Romen Feb 25 at 22:55
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    There are quite a few AM4 boards that have Intel NICs, but AFAIK, all of them have Realtek audio. You could always use a PCIe sound card. Probably easier than searching for that unicorn motherboard. – user13807 Mar 17 at 6:48
  • @MechEng, point well taken, so adjusting my sails for a slightly different tack. Thank you! – K7AAY Mar 17 at 15:48
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    If you use a USB DAC or soundcard you can rely on good support for linux because all USB soundcards use USB Audio Device Class. I believe the linux kernel itself comes with drivers for USB soundcards and audio frameworks like Pulseaudio, ALSA, Jack, etc. are all compatible with that driver. A standalone USB soundcard can easily be better quality than the built-in audio anyways! – Romen Mar 17 at 15:48
  • Likewise for PCIe ethernet devices, Windows has a term called "Plug and Play" which refers to basic built-in drivers for the most essential devices like soundcards, ethernet, wifi, etc. Linux would have this same sort of baseline support for various devices included in the kernel but hardware-specific features and settings are only controlled by the OEM's driver. – Romen Mar 17 at 15:56
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I've used the ASUS B450-F for my last Ubuntu build. It was originally a R7 1700x on an ASUS B350-F, then I later swapped it for a R7 2700x on an ASUS B450-F. No issues with either board.

Specifications: https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/ROG-STRIX-B450-F-GAMING/specifications/

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  • do you use virtualization on that upgraded PC, and run Win10 from within Linux? Do you use IOMMU? – K7AAY Mar 17 at 15:50
  • No, that specific build did not require any virtualization. – Evan Mar 18 at 13:07
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Any X-series board really works for you on top of the 2 gen, most have more than 1 m.2 port in case you need more you can use one of the PCI ports with which you can have up to 2 SSD M.2

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  • Thank you for that observation. However, I've learned more, and need to rephrase the question to avoid problems I now know I want to avoid. – K7AAY Mar 17 at 6:02

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