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Linux supports the standard ISA, EISA, PCI, and VESA (VLB) system buses used on most IBM-compatible PCs. Linux recently gained support for IBM's MCA bus, used in IBM's PS/2 series of computers. However, at the time of this writing, Debian GNU/Linux does not yet support the MCA bus. If you have an IBM PS/2, you may be unable to install Debian GNU/Linux (check the Debian Project web site for the latest available information on support for the MCA bus).

Your motherboard should include at least 16 MB of RAM for optimum Linux performance. Some users have managed to coax Linux into working on systems with as little as 4 MB of RAM. However, if your system has less than 16 MB of RAM, you probably won't be pleased with its performance. If you plan to run X, you may wish to install more than 16 MB of RAM - perhaps 64 MB. Although X operates well with 16 MB of RAM, you can open more windows and switch between them more quickly if you have additional memory.

A handful of motherboards presents special problems when installing Linux. Generally, the problem stems from a bad BIOS, for which a fix is often available. Check the Debian Project web site for details.

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