Guys, You should be aware of my distaste for anything (Ughh)M$. So I have just bought MandrivaLinux PowerPack. I'm looking to build a new computer around this and keep the old one (the one I'm typing on at the moment) for other stuff. Can anyone that already uses Linux give me a few pointers about installing this into a new computer?. As in:
What is the best(fastest) M/Board to use with this system?- By that I mean will all Hardware and CPU's work with this?.
Will Linux support all types of Chipsets?- I'm so used to M$ stuff that it's not funny when you get into a thing like this.
Is there a requirement for more or less RAM with a Linux system?.
I'm not kidding here, this is going to be a Linux only setup. Can anyone else recommend anything that I've forgotten?.
To start you off, you can just add an extra hard disk in the computer that you already use. When you decide on the rest of the hardware you can plug the linux disk in the new motherboard and it will work provided you reset the video parameters.
With dual disks you would install a boot manager such as Grub that lets you choose between systems at startup time.
The amount of RAM/CPU speed etc depends on what you are actually doing. My linux firewall/router manages fine on 16MB on an old 90MHz Pentium and for that job the hardware is ample. My linux systems at work on the other hand all fast Xeon CPUs and 2GB, because they are all supporting three Win2003 environments plus large image processing applications each under VMWare.
For the usual range of web browsing/ email/ wordprocessing etc I think 256MB or 384MB should do well. You may need to add more if you are also going to run other services like a database or a web server.
I have not seen people running into problems with chipsets with recent distributions of linux -- not for a couple of years now.
One important thing before you install is to decide on the most efficient partitioning scheme. In unix-based systems the concept of C: D: and other drive letters is not used. For a single disk, I prefer to have four partitions --
/ -- About 10GB /var -- About 10GB /home -- Rest of disk less 1GB swap -- 1GB
I'll fish around in a bit to find some more helpful documents. It's not as difficult as you might think, and it is very pleasing to be able to get control back over your computer rather.
Rather than guess, there is a hardware compatibility list somewhere. In general the very very very newest bleeding edge stuff might not be supported properly by a current release (although normally after a month or two, drivers etc become available). You might also consider that more people remark on having "adventures" getting it to run properly on laptop kit than on regular desktop hardware.
[small edit to clarify a couple of points]
[This message has been edited by jooles (edited 06-25-2005).]
Re: OK Linux#132215 06/26/0511:46 PM06/26/0511:46 PM
* What is the best(fastest) M/Board to use with this system?- By that I mean will all Hardware and CPU's work with this?. <--99% will, although I think if you ask 10 people which is the fastest you may get 10 different answers
* Will Linux support all types of Chipsets?- I'm so used to M$ stuff that it's not funny when you get into a thing like this. <-- Yes, the generic kernel supports almost every chipset, and after you get the system installed and a few things working you can compile a custom kernel optimized for the specific processor/chipset you have in your motherboard, although keep in mind that if you dual boot as jooles describes, then you might not be able to just move the hard drive from the old computer to the new without recompiling a kernel that supports the processor/chipset in the new computer's motherboard. I prefer and buy AMD processors over intel so I can simply move a hard disk from an old computer to a new one and have it boot just fine- however if I moved an AMD kernel to a MoBo with an intel processor, the boot process would bomb as soon as the bootloader tried to boot the AMD kernel on the Intel board. One solution could be to keep the generic kernel as a backup so you can boot on any motherboard, and then compile a custom kernel that suits the specific chipset/processor combo you have got on the computer- this will allow you to move the drive from computer to computer, while also having a kernel optimized for whatever hardware you use everyday. I keep the generic kernel as a backup option in my bootloader menu and set the customized kernel as my default kernel
* Is there a requirement for more or less RAM with a Linux system?. <-- Depends. Overall, linux uses less, especially if you are just using the command line and no X Windows, but you might still like to have as much memory as a windows system uses for the mere convenience of being able to have tons of apps runnig simultaneously, or have 40+ high resolution digital pictures open simultaneously. It is a personal preference, in my opinion. Tailor the amount of RAM to your needs and wants. Linux will certainly run just fine on 1/2 the memory windows requires and quite comfortably on the amount MS recommends for windows. Compiling a custome kernel that leaves out extraneous or uneeded features will slim down the size of the kernel and is one of the biggest ways to save memory or just have a system with a smaller memory footprint.
Re: OK Linux#132216 07/02/0509:33 PM07/02/0509:33 PM
Hey Ryan (trollog), Thanks for your input too!. Like yourself, I only have experience with M$ software, although we used to use Unix with programming PLC's/SLC's a couple of years back when I was an Industrial Electrician. I was just wondering if you could get a M/Board to work at the same speed under a Linux system as what you could with a M$ system. If the OS doesn't make a difference that's cool by me. Some time in the near future, I'm going to tear this system to bits and wipe both of the HDD's, there isn't anything that I want to keep on them anyway. And I want to start a fresh, with a Linux OS. I'm also looking to fit a new Motherboard and a Graphics Card to power a 20" LCD Digital monitor I bought the other day. At NZ$999 this is no small purchase.
Re: OK Linux#132219 07/03/0503:20 PM07/03/0503:20 PM
I have always been a bit cautious when updating my system, and gradually work the new from the old and leave lots of leeway to back out from changes if I turn out not to like them.
If you really really don't want anything kept from your current system then fair enough, but I'd be afraid that I was missing something and that I didn't remember it was even there, until after the disks are all reformatted...
Re: OK Linux#132220 07/03/0504:21 PM07/03/0504:21 PM
I was just wondering if you could get a M/Board to work at the same speed under a Linux system as what you could with a M$ system. <-- Of course you can. Compiling a kernel tailored to the chipset on your board will help this. For compatibility across multiple boards and chipsets, installer programs stick you with a generic linux kernel that will run so-so on almost any motherboard. There is also a tool called "hdparm" that you can use to tune your harddrives for optimal speed which helps a lot. The kernel doesn't really try to do too much guessing about your disk's capabilities, but you can tune it yourself for better performance. I'm not aware of much other tuning of the motherboard for speed, aside from getting things set properly in the bios. As long as the bios settings are correct, Linux should run as well or better than Windows. Both get their processor and motherboard bus speeds fed to them by the bios, so there really isn't much to do there, but you can monkey around with the disk settings and get better throughput than what the generic kernel is set for. If you have newer disks, the difference in speed and access time can be like night and day.
Re: OK Linux#132221 07/03/0504:39 PM07/03/0504:39 PM
Like yourself, I only have experience with M$ software <-- Actually I have been using linux since 1998 Of my 3 computers, my laptop and my nat-router/samba-server/firewall/ faithful-servant/trusty-mule system are linux-only and my desktop at home dual boots linux and win2k. The only reason I still have a win2k partition at all on any of my computers is because I manage a website part-time and it uses frontpage, which I am sadly stuck with using. If not for that I would have dumped windows entirely, years ago. Really, I can only say good things about linux and I am glad yet another person is brave enough to devote the time to learning about it and giving it a try. Believe me, you won't be disappointed, especially when you start to see how many powerful tools are available for linux that simply don't exist in the MS universe.