Recently I've been pretty intimate with a thin client that has been built pretty much exclusivity out of VIA parts...The Processor, NIC, Sound Card, and Video Card. It is a WYSE V90L: 800Mhz Eden processor, 512Mb RAM, 512Mb SATA IDE HDD.
I have several of these units that originally came with Windows XP Embedded... however, overtime, virtual memory issues became too much of a bother to keep these units in production...
For a few months, I've tested different minimalist Linux distros to see how they hold up for long periods of time, while applications are open and running. Hands down, performance and stability seem to be optimal in Linux over XPE.
I've had the most luck with Porteus (Slax Remix)... the community has been great for personality and support.
My greatest challenge in getting everything I need has revolved around dual screen support. I've accomplished TWIN screens, however, require extended or spanning. From what I understand, there are several options to accomplish this...Xorg.conf tweaks, XrandR, and r300g. I've dabbled with the Xorg.conf and XrandR... but haven't gotten very far... I wonder still, if there is a better driver to be looking at, than what I am using.
I have found these to work well, over other VIA drivers (they enable both screens, but in twin view):
Most distros detect and uses this OpenChrome driver: VT8233/A/8235/8237
However, the video card is a VIA VT1632A. VESA mode on some distos work, but doest offer or detect 2 screens. Windows XPE uses VIA/S3G UniChrome Pro IGP drivers... it offers several resolutions and extended desktop. If only I could....use ndiswrapper for this.
If anyone has a clue of some things to try (to enable an extended/spanning desktop)... on any of the listed, or comparable, distros... I've love to try it. I have lots more of information to provide upon request.
VT1632A is just a converter for DVI (and some other outputs) which plugs into an existing VIA chipset with built-in graphics, which is a PM880 in your case.
The openchrome driver has Xrandr support on their todo list. But work is going slowly, there aren't much developers. Currently there are other things that have higher priority.
Thank you Albert for the reply,
So your saying that I am sporting a VIA PM880 chipset video card and the VT1632A I've been calling my video is just an interface for it? That's interesting, cause it could change my direction upon things to try.
Cracking open the case again, and looking at the chips, it's hard to identify what is what...whereas this Thin Client is pretty much exclusively made up of VIA components.
I just looked on Google on the chipset used in your computer, one website mentioned the PM880. But that website was obviously wrong as PM880 is a chipset for Intel CPU's and not VIA Eden. But the website you gave, shows this lspci output: CN700/PM4800 Pro/PM4800 CE/VN800 [S3 UniChrome Pro].
Edit. So it must be a CN700 or VN800, as that are chipsets for VIA CPU's. Given that the computer has DDR2 667MHz RAM (the website mentions PC2-5300), it'll be a VN800 as the CN700 only supports 533MHz. You can usually run lspci and see the northbridge model on the first line.
That's indeed a lot of VIA chips. The northbridge, which contains the video, is usually under a heatsink. The southbridge (a VT8237R+?) should also be somewhere near or under the heatsink. And there must also be an I/O chip to provide PS/2, parallel and serial port, and the floppy connector, but I've never seen one from VIA (edit: they appear to exist, I found the VT82C686A/B model number).