Building a Linux PC 8 replies

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RadioShackRob

Radio Shack, Do Shit

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30th October 2007

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#1 10 years ago

Although I will never stray from my windows PC, I do want an inexpensive machine that I can run Linux on, but before I do, I need some info. First, hardware, what chipsets are best supported on Linux? Please provide series rather then specifics, ex. nforce 4/5,6/7 or Intel x3X,x4X. Graphics chipsets would be great to! I wont be sticking anything midrange or above in this thing, but if a low budget discrete card would provide better results then an intergrated, I am most definately willing to spend a few extra bucks! Processors? How demanding can Linux be? Will I be fine with dirt cheap? (As far as NEW lines go, I would never buy an older gen processor for its low price, I buy the cheapest/newest, where the latter is being more important. How much memory for it to run smoothly? I will probably go with 2GB seeing as how cheep RAM is of late, but if I could shave off an extra $20 by switching to 1GB and still maintain adequete preformance, I will. And finally, which flavor of linux? Is Ubutunu still the better one out there? And where may I aquire a copy without any additional crapware? Have fun, hopefully I provided enough info for you guys and I would appreciate the help!




Rookie VIP Member

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3rd May 2005

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#2 10 years ago
RadioShackRob;4493798Although I will never stray from my windows PC, I do want an inexpensive machine that I can run Linux on, but before I do, I need some info. First, hardware, what chipsets are best supported on Linux? Please provide series rather then specifics, ex. nforce 4/5,6/7 or Intel x3X,x4X. Graphics chipsets would be great to! I wont be sticking anything midrange or above in this thing, but if a low budget discrete card would provide better results then an intergrated, I am most definately willing to spend a few extra bucks![/quote] Hardware support for Linux has come along in leaps and bounds the last few years - in fact, "out of the box" it probably supports more hardware than either XP or Vista. It's not picky about motherboards, sound cards or AC'97/HDA chipsets (ALSA works with just about anything you throw at it), and installing enhanced graphics card drivers is a trivial matter, whether you use ATi or nVidia GPUs.
RadioShackRob;4493798Processors? How demanding can Linux be? Will I be fine with dirt cheap? (As far as NEW lines go, I would never buy an older gen processor for its low price, I buy the cheapest/newest, where the latter is being more important.[/quote] Modern Linux distributions aren't all that demanding - they'll generally play well with anything > 1GHz, although you could go a fair bit lower than that before you begin to see any serious performance issues. [quote=RadioShackRob;4493798]How much memory for it to run smoothly? I will probably go with 2GB seeing as how cheep RAM is of late, but if I could shave off an extra $20 by switching to 1GB and still maintain adequete preformance, I will.
Linux is much more efficient in its use of RAM than either WinXP or Vista. 512mb would be more than enough to run it smoothly, never mind 1gb - although naturally more is better. [quote=RadioShackRob;4493798]And finally, which flavor of linux? Is Ubutunu still the better one out there? And where may I aquire a copy without any additional crapware?

If you're new to Linux (and it sounds like you are), then yes, Ubuntu is definitely the way to go. You can download it here for free, or if you want them to mail you a CD or DVD for a relatively small fee, go here. You can even request a single disc for free, although they say that it could take up to 10 weeks to arrive - that being the case it'd probably be faster to download it, even if you do use dial-up.

Ubuntu comes with no 'crapware' whatsoever, only the essentials you need for day-to-day use; Firefox for web browsing, Rhythmbox for music, Totem/MPlayer for videos and DVDs, Evolution for email, OpenOffice for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations - et cetera, et cetera. Naturally you can add and remove software as you see fit.




Kilobyte

What does the Fox say?

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23rd November 2002

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#3 10 years ago

I will agree with most of what Rookie said.

I will add the following.

You don't want anything too new. It does take time for Linux programmers to add support to Linux.

Intel chipsets are usually well supported, such as the i945 series, or the q35 series. The G45 chipset seems to have a few minor issues, which will be fixed by October at the latest.

As for a graphics card, integrated Intel chipsets usually work well, but an Nvidia 6 series card or better is preferred.

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I ran Kubuntu on a 1.6ghz P4, with 512mb of RAM, and a Geforce 6800 128mb AGP card. It ran nicely. Its not too different from the system I'm running it on now.




Pethegreat VIP Member

Lord of the Peach

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19th April 2004

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#4 10 years ago

Ubuntu is the easiest to use. I would say it is even easier than installing windows. Ubuntu is pretty low on the crapware. The software that comes with it is chosen because the most people will want to use it. You can prune the software down if you want to after you install. You can do it all in one step as well.

For hardware compatibly use this site. I know from personal experience that nforce 6 chip set and nvidia cards work well. I ran Linux on an AMD +4800 and it was screaming fast. Now I run it on a C2D @ 1.5ghz and it is fine. The +4800 was better at running a virtual machine than the C2D. I found that 2gb of ram is better for VM's, but I run with 1gb and only use about half of it.




RadioShackRob

Radio Shack, Do Shit

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30th October 2007

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#5 10 years ago
Rookie;4493979If you're new to Linux (and it sounds like you are), then yes, Ubuntu is definitely the way to go. You can download it here for free, or if you want them to mail you a CD or DVD for a relatively small fee, go here. You can even request a single disc for free, although they say that it could take up to 10 weeks to arrive - that being the case it'd probably be faster to download it, even if you do use dial-up. Ubuntu comes with no 'crapware' whatsoever, only the essentials you need for day-to-day use; Firefox for web browsing, Rhythmbox for music, Totem/MPlayer for videos and DVDs, Evolution for email, OpenOffice for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations - et cetera, et cetera. Naturally you can add and remove software as you see fit.[/quote] I'm not entirely new to linux, I have toyed around in the past with a version of Knoppix I had, along with mandrake. I wasn't to impressed by the versions I had. This was.....I don't even know how long ago..... [quote=Pethegreat;4494283]For hardware compatibly use this site. I know from personal experience that nforce 6 chip set and nvidia cards work well. I ran Linux on an AMD +4800 and it was screaming fast. Now I run it on a C2D @ 1.5ghz and it is fine. The +4800 was better at running a virtual machine than the C2D. I found that 2gb of ram is better for VM's, but I run with 1gb and only use about half of it.

How does a Virtual Machine run? Do you mean to emulate windows applications? Or something else....




Kilobyte

What does the Fox say?

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23rd November 2002

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#6 10 years ago

Well, I would still recommend Ubuntu, since it doesn't sound like you were a Linux Power User.

I myself run Kubuntu, which is Ubuntu with KDE (Knoppix Desktop).

Pethegreat;4494283The +4800 was better at running a virtual machine than the C2D. I found that 2gb of ram is better for VM's, but I run with 1gb and only use about half of it.

I would assume that the VM software was single threaded. It probably only reported a single processor to the emulated OS, preventing it from running at full capacity.




Guest

I didn't make it!

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#7 10 years ago

i like opensuse better than ubuntu i didnt like ubuntu couldnt get into it




*The.Doctor

Trust me, I'm a Doctor

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25th November 2003

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#8 10 years ago
Modern Linux distributions aren't all that demanding - they'll generally play well with anything > 1GHz, although you could go a fair bit lower than that before you begin to see any serious performance issues.

I ran Ubuntu 6.06 on a 750Mhz Pentium 3 with 288MB ram, it was surprisingly fast. Much better than i would have expected. On my older P4 3.0Ghz / 1GB ram machine it blew Windows away in speed.

If you're new to Linux (and it sounds like you are), then yes, Ubuntu is definitely the way to go. You can download it here for free, or if you want them to mail you a CD or DVD for a relatively small fee, go here. You can even request a single disc for free, although they say that it could take up to 10 weeks to arrive - that being the case it'd probably be faster to download it, even if you do use dial-up.

Speaking of dial-up, is Linux support for 56k modems any better than it was in the past? That's the main reason i don't use Linux, since i'm stuck with 56k where i live. Sure, i can take it to a friends house with high speed to download updates and such, but i never could get any of my modems working right.




Kilobyte

What does the Fox say?

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23rd November 2002

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#9 10 years ago

Well, not really. WinModems are still a P.I.T.A to get working. Especially without working internet to begin with.

Several Lucent modems, and Conexant modems work well. See the website belore for more information. linmodems.org

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As for older computers, it is not so much the speed of the computer, but driver support. I've learned first hand that older AMD systems have lackluster driver support, compared to older Intels.

I must be out of my mind to run a System without DMA, but my Nforce motherboard is no longer supported. Not sure if it is an original, or an Nforce 2,... Anyway, no DMA means that anytime the OS hits the hard drive, performance decreases 90%.