I'm not sure if hardware questions are alright here, I didn't see many. I am trying to install any Linux operating system on an eBox 3300. I am having trouble, and the only thing I have been able to get to work is Ubuntu's Netbook Remix. I would rather have fedora/ Debian/ or just about anything else.

What I really want to know is has anybody here encountered one of these devices and/or used them yourself? If so, what steps did you take to get it going?

Update for phunehehe's comment:

The processor is a Vortex86MX, which is a i586 chip, so we have to specifically find i386 images instead of i686 (which is slightly more troublesome than one would think). The network card is the R6040 from RDC, which I been unable to get Ubuntu Netbook Remix to recognize. A couple distros (I forget which ones) would not recognize the SD card slot, which is what we are using for storage.

The specific model is eBox 3300MX-C.

  • That looks like a proper PC and not some kind of exotic hardware. What kind of problem are you having?
    – phunehehe
    Feb 16, 2011 at 9:17
  • @phunehehe I updated my question for your comment, anything else you wonder? Feb 16, 2011 at 18:20
  • From my understanding of the Wikipedia article, a kernel compiled for 586 (such as the default kernel in Ubuntu 10.04) should work on Vortex86DX or Vortex86MX (but not on Vortex86SX). Feb 16, 2011 at 19:52
  • @Gilles It seems to me that most are 686, and this results in lack of CMOV errors. IIRC, this was the problem with 10.04. (and yes, that is my understanding too. I have the MX, btw) Feb 16, 2011 at 20:54

2 Answers 2


My company evaluated this box as a deployment platform for some of our software. We were able to get Fedora working on these boxes, however the box required a BIOS update from the vendor in order to get it to boot from flash memory. I assume this is what you are trying to do as well?

We also had other problems with this box that ultimately led us to drop it. For example, USB devices plugged into one of the front ports had intermittent data errors. These are nice little boxes, but I do not trust them for anything other than simple, personal use.

  • 1
    Ours is able to boot from flash memory. That's great you got fedora working. Could you possibly explain what steps you took to install it, like what specific version & disk image you used, did you install from a cd or bootable usb drive, did you have to change any BIOS settings? Also, did you do anything special to get the network card working? (R6040) That is one other problem we have had. Feb 16, 2011 at 18:11
  • It was working with a custom version of Fedora 11. As far as I know, no special steps were required to get the networking card to work. Feb 19, 2011 at 20:09
  • And I have installed one via a CDROM... Feb 20, 2011 at 2:49
  • I couldn't get fedora installation to recognize the local storage of my sd card or my usb drive, so no beans for me. Closest I've come though. Feb 26, 2011 at 6:50

I have a partial answer which should help.

I have used 20+ ebox 3300mx in a huge, hot and dusty industrial foundry.

Using Linux, pxe and a terminal emulator (tn5250) to connect to the as400 server they where a perfect choice considering the environment and the ridiculous cost.

They ran 24/7 for 2.5 years (as far as I know of) debian linux over pxe, without an sdcard or usb storage, a usb keyboard, without a single issue.

As for a step by step guide, I did not use one at that time, nor did I write one, but this should be a good start: http://wiki.debian.org/DebianEdu/Documentation/Lenny/HowTo/NetworkClients

For a local installtion (without pxe/ltsp server): http://robosavvy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=32329

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