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Old 08-07-2003, 11:04 AM   #1
sickboylives
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Getting BIG new server.. question on distros


Hey guys. I'm having a RATHER happy day here.

I'm getting a nice big server basically given to me by an old friend. He's one of the old school (and new school) gods, and he's liquidating a lot of his hardware.

Turns out, I'm going to be getting one hell of a system from him. I've got a few questions, though.

The system is a bit older. It's an 8 processer, Pentium Pro 200mhz system. 2 Gigabytes of ram are in it, and it has 16 18GB Hdd's in it (SCSI, of course, though I don't quite know what the controller card is yet. I don't have the system here yet.).

I want to turn this monster into a fileserver, and of COURSE I am going to play around on it. You know, surf the web, run XChat, enjoy the beast I'll have.

My questions surround the hardware. It is an older system, as I have stated, and I do not know what distros will allow for that many processers AND that old of processers. Also, I need to know if any distro will handle that amount of RAM, and if any distros will allow for that many drives. Spefically, if Red Hat 8.0 will work well on this system. *EDIT ADDED* I also would like to know if I could get X up and running on a system with these specs. I do not care about performance regarding X, I just want to know if it will run at all.

Pardon if this is a stupid question (IE, this isnt really a big system), but it will be the biggest machine I have ever owned. I've never owned a multiprocesser system, a system with this much RAM, or this many hard drives. Incidentally, it'll also be the first SCSI machine I have ever had. To me, this system seems HUGE.

*edited, additions denoted by the *'s*

Last edited by sickboylives; 08-07-2003 at 11:05 AM.
 
Old 08-07-2003, 11:47 AM   #2
sickboylives
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Bump - I know it's not been on here long, but I'd like to keep this post high on the list untill someone in the know answers it. Hey, what can I say... I'm excited.
 
Old 08-07-2003, 12:55 PM   #3
Cooner
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read this:
http://www.linux-mag.com/2001-01/linux24_02.html
 
Old 08-07-2003, 01:01 PM   #4
Cooner
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By the way...
I am jealous as hell
It will be a great box for the
 
Old 08-07-2003, 01:06 PM   #5
sickboylives
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I love you, Cooner. Thanks for the link.

While I'm pushing the limits of allowed processers at 8, I'm way in the clear with RAM size.

So Cooner, do you know how X would run on a system like this?

Followup question regarding SCSI drives and Linux: I've never had a SCSI drive, I don't know how they act. Will I have 16 partitions, such as /, /usr, /var, ect ect, or will it all show up as one massive / partition (more or less, not counting swap and /boot)?
 
Old 08-07-2003, 01:08 PM   #6
sickboylives
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cooner
By the way...
I am jealous as hell
It will be a great box for the
I hope so. My only real fear at this point will be that it has an unsupported SCSI controller. If it does, I don't know what I am gonna do with this box. MS software will NOT be put on this.
 
Old 08-07-2003, 01:14 PM   #7
Cooner
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X should run fine as long as your vid card is supported and being as old as it is that should not be a problem. Servers were never built for gaming.
Partitions are user preference and distro preference, if you go with RedHat (yuk ptew ptew ptew) and let it auto partion you end up with 3. Your drives are just seperate devices ie.. hda, hdb, hdc... that get mounted to your file system and can look like one BIG drive.
 
Old 08-07-2003, 01:22 PM   #8
sickboylives
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cooner
X should run fine as long as your vid card is supported and being as old as it is that should not be a problem. Servers were never built for gaming.
I don't particularly want to game on it. Maybe a couple games of MahJongg, but that's about it. What I really want to do is load up XChat, I have a nice script that outputs lots of information about the machine... uptime, memory/usage, HDD info, and cpu info. I just want to run the script and stare in awe.

If I have to, I'll use a basic, generic, worthless framebuffer type of video config. As long as I can do 800X600, or even 640X480 at 16 colors, I'm good.

Quote:
Partitions are user preference and distro preference, if you go with RedHat (yuk ptew ptew ptew) and let it auto partion you end up with 3. Your drives are just seperate devices ie.. hda, hdb, hdc... that get mounted to your file system and can look like one BIG drive.
I don't like to let Red Hat autopartition. I set them myself. With SCSI devices, I can map the entire chain as hda? Is this what you mean about "one big drive"?
 
Old 08-07-2003, 02:25 PM   #9
kith
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I HIGHLY recomend useing a BSD as your distro. BSD works WONDERS for servers, you can do everything you said you wanted to do and much more. I run a BSD server and love it. If its going to have alot of users, I would suggest OpenBSD instead of FreeBSD, mainly because Open has more security then Free. Good Luck
 
Old 08-07-2003, 02:30 PM   #10
Cooner
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Well sort of if you think about your cdrom drive. It gets mounted to /mnt/cdrom and becomes part of the file system, unlike windows where you have to jump from drive to drive. That drive on a NORMAL system is /dev/cdrom or in your case /dev/scd? they are devices. Your extra drives will get automatically mounted into your file system via your /etc/fstab file. This makes it appear as 1 big drive.

I also recomend *BSD any flavor is a real stable OS

Last edited by Cooner; 08-07-2003 at 02:32 PM.
 
Old 08-07-2003, 11:28 PM   #11
sickboylives
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Unfortunately, I don't have much choice in the OS.

I had cable internet at one point. It was great, and that's when I downloaded the ISO files for Red Hat 8.0. I have moved since then to a very rural area. In this area, there is NO broadband available short of Dish Networks UNGODLY expensive and ungodly non-broadband Sattelite ISP. Matter of fact, the only local dialup number is AOL; that's what I am using right now (My linux machine connects to the net through a proxy on a WinXP machine, since it is the only machine with a working modem in my house.).

Since I'm forced to use a very poor dialup ISP and have no recourse to a broadband connection, I'm not able to download ISO files for any distribution or flavor of nix. I have to stick with Red Hat 8.0.

I wouldn't mind trying a BSD. But, I can't. I'm fine with using RH8 on this monster machine, as I rather like this distro/version.

I had a nice thought. There's no way in hell that this machine will be used to it's limits by my wife, my brother (who will be using it remotely), and myself. I also plan on moving again in the near future; the area I am moving to has multiple broadband options. I am tossing around making this machine an http server (accessable by IP, no domain name), a public ftp server, a publicly mappable smb drive, and a free shell. Most likely, I want to go with a public ftp server and a free shell, and maybe http. I figure, I'm going to have this horsepower and disk space handed to me so why not share it?
 
Old 08-08-2003, 05:07 AM   #12
chongman99
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With a machine like that, you might want to email a couple of linux user groups. They might be able to put that computer to some good use by putting a thicker internet connection pipe on it.

If it sounds too terrible to let your server go, consider that it can easily run an X-server. You can get a remote X-terminal (Exceed) (or maybe VNC, I haven't tried it on Linux, but I have friends who rave about it on Windows). You can run whatever the heck you want on the server, letting it handle your processing needs, and just have the display export to your computer at home or anywhere in the world, for that matter.

Plus, you'll have your computer acting as that very cool file/web server you envisioned WITH a fatter pipe, ultra-geeks will help you set it up and teach you stuff, etc. A linux user group might actually take an interest in your setup and make it a club install project.

(Sorry to say this, but running interactive applications might not be the strong point of a multi-processor system. For learning, it may be better to go grab a non-SCSI system. That's just my guess though... I've never gotten to try one.)

Just something to consider...

---

As for "can I run X?", the answer is YES, DEFINITELY.

Right now, I am running X off of an AMD-K6-2, 333Mhz (just a small step above Pentium) with 384MB ram and a 40GB HD)
 
Old 08-08-2003, 05:08 AM   #13
chongman99
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Forgot to mention, I am a bit envious too.
 
Old 08-08-2003, 07:33 AM   #14
Werpon
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No BSD will support 8 processors. Your best bet is GNU/Linux.

EDIT: Perhaps FreeBSD will support them. Testing it won't do any harm, anyway...

Last edited by Werpon; 08-08-2003 at 07:37 AM.
 
Old 08-08-2003, 09:47 AM   #15
sickboylives
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Chongman99, that is a good idea. I'm going to get ahold of some of the ISPs in the place I am moving to and discuss hosting my server on their pipe. Shouldn't be too expensive, especially if I essentially make it part of their system by allowing them to use it for their needs.

Either that, or I could get ahold of Linux groups, as you mentioned. Come to think of it, that might be a better idea in the first place, since they'd have a keener understanding of what they are doing than an ISP.
 
  


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