These are some notes about Via EPIA Mini-ITX systems
Suse 9.0 Linux installed without incident from DVD to an M10000 EPIA motherboard. This is the "Nehemiah" CPU which seems to offer better compatibility than earlier Via Mini-ITX CPUs.
FreeBSD? 4.9 installed from CD without any problems. The distro CD Xfree86 didn't appear to have obvious drivers for the M10000, but I suspect a driver could be found, but I was not concerned about getting Xfree86 to work for my purposes. Text mode worked. It detected and used the on-board ethernet fine and seemed to detect the USB and PC-CARD interfaces too. Not sure if it could use the CF card of 1394 firewire.
Travla C138 case
I built a system using the Travla C138 case. It is the smallest case I could find that provides support for a PCI card. The system I built is shown in the photo above. It includes the following:
- Via EPIA M10000 "Nehemiah" motherboard
- 128MB DDR SDRAM
- 20GB laptop IDE hard drive (adpater required, included with C138 case)
- Slim-DVD ROM drive (adpater required, *not* provided with C138 case)
All this is crammed into the little 8x8x4 C138 box, along with a PCI card.
Below are some links to photos of the inside of the case and the assembly process:
Installation of the PCI card. If you don't requuire a PCI card, you can fit a 3.5" drive in to the case:
A laptop drive has to be used if you need room for a PCI card:
This photo shows installing from a full-size DVD/CD drive. This cannot be installed in the case and is just being used for the installation: