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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?
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I'm updating an ancient server running RH7 to newer hardware to run either Ubuntu 8.04, or more likely openSuSE 11 & wanted to double check component compatibility. I expect it should be ok, but can't find anything specific. So the list goes:
MSI P6NGM-FD mobo with nVidia 7100 northbridge/video, nForce 630i southbridge, Realtek8211BL LAN, and Realtek ALC888 audio (don't much care about audio).
Intel Celeron E1200 1.6GHz dual-core
Lite-On LTD-163 DVD-ROM
NEC NR-7900A CD-RW
Seagate Barracuda ST380013AS SATA II drives (3x)
These components are fairly in widespread use and any recent Linux distro should work and perform just fine with them. The Realtek audio is no problem (I have it myself on a laptop), and the LAN is no problem. Some Realtek wireless can be very troublesome, but not the wired flavor. The SATA drives are no issue. Either of the two distros mentioned will handle this hardware just fine. I haven't used OpenSuse 11 except as a liveCD, but I know Ubuntu well, and it will work fine with that hardware.
One thing I do is read the customer reviews of hardware on NewEgg (even if I intend to buy from elsewhere). I read through, skimming to find the ones where the reviewer was using Linux. If they're short and sweet, simply saying it worked with Ubuntu or Fedora or whatever, then that's good. Obviously, it's best when the reviewer is using the exact same Linux distribution you intend to use.
If you are already used to RH I would consider Centos. Centos is RHEL(RedHat Enterprise Linux) with the logos removed. It has a five year support life(at least) and is free to download/update. The current version is 5.2. RH dropped the RHX after RH9 and switched to RHELX.
Thanks for the replies. Looks like Newegg ran out of that mobo openbox. So, I'm now looking at an AMD build using the BIOSTAR MCP6P-M2 and AMD Sempron 2.0GHz (now gives about a $35 advantage to AMD). The chipsets are similar, just different model numbers so I expect they ought to work as well. Missed the HCL here, and it's much more complete than anywhere else; I found enough fairly close hardware to make me believe either mobo ought to work fine. Once I get things set up, I'll post to the HCL to help expand it.
I realize it's a single-core. Dual-cores are quite nice--that's what I'm running on my main workstation, however, does a lightly-loaded web server really need the power? My current server is an ancient HP with a 350MHz P1 (yes, really) and does fine serving pages; I think the single 2GHz processor ought to be plenty for my needs. The 4050e is 2x the cost. I looked at the dual-core Celeron because it was pretty cheap--the second core was an unexpected bonus; now that the uber cheap mobo is gone the Intel route is about 20%+ more expensive due entirely to mobo & processor.
With the drives, as I said, I'm stealing existing hardware to keep costs down. The Raptors, while nice & fast instantly double the total build cost. What exactly are the problems the Seagate SATAs have in Linux, and are there workarounds? I've had good luck with the drives to date (9 drives between two desktops & a portable device), though I have had issues with the SiI 3114 & the drives in a Windows environment--the 3132 chipset works much better. The mobo I'm looking at appears to use the nVidia SATA controller.
This is a home server with a couple of small, lightly-trafficked websites. It's not going to be handling heavy loads. I may also use it as a print server and/or file server for the home network. So, I don't need ultimate performance out of it. I am making compromises to keep costs down. I do appreciate the comments, and am taking every one under consideration.
While Seagate drives tend to run hotter (designed that way), I have not had any issues with them. That being said, I think all drive manufactures have good models and bad models. When 250GB drives were the sweet spot there was a WD that was a real lemon, most WD drives are fine.