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Valerie 07-08-2001 02:44 PM

Computers compatible with Linux
 
I want to go to best buys, compusa, fry's or the like and pick up an inexpensive, ready-made system on which I will be able to run red hat linux 7.1.

What machine would be the safest bet for compatibility and preferably, expandibility? Compaq? HP? eMachine? Other?

Thanks,
Valerie

jharris 07-08-2001 03:06 PM

As far as I know you should be safe with just about any make PC. More than the manufacturer it's the components in the system. If its not a very new system your getting then you should be fine with most of the components. The only problem you might run into is the modem. You want to try to get a hardware modem not a so called 'WinModem' as support for them isn't great and they can be a serious pain in the arse. Most video cards will be OK (again assuming they're not too new), I don't have much experience of soundcards, I've always stuck with Creative's SoundBlaster range as they're well supported.

HTH

Jamie...

mcleodnine 07-08-2001 03:16 PM

I would check out some of the smaller shops in your area. When you buy a name-brand machine they usually contain prorietary hardware/software that will only work under Windows (ie: WinModems or modem riser cards). Yes a Compaq or HP box has a good warranty, but the support is only for the machine as it was configured by the manufacturer. Not to mention the fact that you will be paying for a non-transferrable Windows license that you won't be using if you're buying it for linux.

Talk to the people at the small shops and see if they're on the up-and-up. If they sell Asus/Intel/Abit boards that's usually a good sign that they have a clue. Stick with good name brands for peripherals, like a Creative Labs Soundcard, Creative CD-ROM, Plextor CD-R, 3Com or Intel NICs. Do a search on this board for good video cards for Linux.

cinnix 07-09-2001 07:15 AM

I got myself one of those real cheap E-machines and it works fine. I had to switch the modem out of it, but other than that it was fully compatible.

The reason I mentioned that is because if a person can get linux running good on a frikin emachine, you can run it on anything.(almost) :)



( in case your not familiar with emachines, they are built so poorly that they cannot be fixed. If you return one to the store to be repaired, they take it out back and throw it away and give you a new one)

as far as advice goes, your distributions hardware compatability list is your friend. :)

trusouthrnplaya 07-09-2001 08:23 AM

I agree....I have 2 gateway computers, both pentium 3's. One I loaded with linux-mandrake 8.0... Only problem I had was with the modem and loading and adjusting the nvidia sound card that came with it. Other than that I have no problems

trickykid 07-09-2001 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by mcleodnine
I would check out some of the smaller shops in your area. When you buy a name-brand machine they usually contain prorietary hardware/software that will only work under Windows (ie: WinModems or modem riser cards). Yes a Compaq or HP box has a good warranty, but the support is only for the machine as it was configured by the manufacturer. Not to mention the fact that you will be paying for a non-transferrable Windows license that you won't be using if you're buying it for linux.

Talk to the people at the small shops and see if they're on the up-and-up. If they sell Asus/Intel/Abit boards that's usually a good sign that they have a clue. Stick with good name brands for peripherals, like a Creative Labs Soundcard, Creative CD-ROM, Plextor CD-R, 3Com or Intel NICs. Do a search on this board for good video cards for Linux.

I agree, I would go with the mom and pop shops, or smaller retail. You could probably most likely have them build you one to your specs on what you want and everything else, you do a little research and have no problems picking out the hardware you know will have no problems with Linux. Might even get a better deal too.
I don't like those large retail chains, use to work them, they will try to rip you off in any way they can, and that's with just some lame service plan or something like that just to cover additional warranty. Then if you do have to take it in to get serviced, you might be out of a computer for 6 weeks or so. Trust me, I use to work at Best Buy way back, a long time ago, in another galaxy far far away.

Valerie 07-09-2001 04:17 PM

Thanks, everybody! I think I'm going to go to a mom and pop shop like most of you suggest.

By the way, Trickykid and cinnix, I went to Best Buys to ask them if the emachine would run linnux and the sales person said that none of the machines they sell would successfully run linux!

I decided to try an old compaq that I had and was able to install Red Hat 7.1 on it. It's so proprietary that it can't easily be upgraded (i.e. memory and disk drive...don't get me started <grrr>) but, with an 8 gig drive, celeron processor, and 64 megs of ram, it will get me started. Once I learn more about Linux and what I want to do with it, then I'll get a system. I figure this machine will work as a learning tool.

It's nice to know I have a place to ask questions because I expect I will have many to come :)

Thanks again!
Valerie

jharris 07-09-2001 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Valerie
By the way, Trickykid and cinnix, I went to Best Buys to ask them if the emachine would run linnux and the sales person said that none of the machines they sell would successfully run linux!

Uhm... unless they were selling some really old hardware (pre 386) then it would have run linux (ok a 386 would be a little slow)... they probably didn't want you to ask them any technical questions ;)

Quote:

Originally posted by Valerie
I decided to try an old compaq that I had and was able to install Red Hat 7.1 on it. It's so proprietary that it can't easily be upgraded (i.e. memory and disk drive...don't get me started <grrr>) but, with an 8 gig drive, celeron processor, and 64 megs of ram, it will get me started. Once I learn more about Linux and what I want to do with it, then I'll get a system. I figure this machine will work as a learning tool.
From the spec you've mentioned above it sounds like you already have a perfect linux machine... 8GB & 64MB is plenty of HDD space and RAM, and even the slowest 'Cellery' will be find :)

Good luck - when it all seems like a complex nightmare and you feel like going back to Windows just remember (from a 'fortune' I believe) "They say the UNIX learning curve is steep, but at least you only need to climb it once".

cheers

Jamie...

cinnix 07-09-2001 11:21 PM

I avoid the salesmen at Best Buy and radio shack like the plague, I have gotten better answers from my three year old. No offense to any of you that work there. (If your local hangout is a linux forum, you are okay by me.)

mcleodnine 07-11-2001 03:14 AM

I'm currently running on a P-II/266, 128MB, RAID5, ATI All-In-Wonder 8MB. It's good enough for the daily routine, but it's showing the cracks when I run Corel PhotoStudio or build some .wav files from MP3's. You've got a good start with your system and if the Compaq gives you grief you can get a new/used case and MoBo and plunk the 8Gigger, CPU, and maybe RAM in it (but it's SO cheap these days!).

jharris 07-11-2001 04:15 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by mcleodnine
I'm currently running on a P-II/266, 128MB, RAID5
You've got a RAID-5'd desktop?? Ain't that kind of expensive? Quite neat though :D

cheers

Jamie...

mcleodnine 07-11-2001 02:52 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by jharris

You've got a RAID-5'd desktop?? Ain't that kind of expensive? Quite neat though :D

cheers

Jamie...

Naw. Three fuji 10 giggers that cost me CDN$110 (back in October) and two promise ultra/66 controllers. It was more of a proof of concept thing (Reiser over RAID5) and I stuck with it. Quite happy with it but I'll probably be going to RAID0 on two drives and setting up another PII terminal with the third drive.<shrug>

The servers use five 20GB Fireballs and three Promise Ultra/66 for an 80GB RAID5. We'll be migrating to 80GB platters later this summer to get up to 320GB :)

Someday when I grow up I want SCSI.

BrianG 07-11-2001 10:20 PM

i have an old emachine celeron 400...ran linux great. only 2 pci slots though :(. Ive built my other systems though.

trickykid 07-12-2001 07:50 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Valerie
I went to Best Buys to ask them if the emachine would run linnux and the sales person said that none of the machines they sell would successfully run linux!
That shows how much they don't know. Its sad to say but most of the people at Best Buy don't know anything, they lie if they don't know the answer.
I worked Car Audio a long time ago, and if some person asked something I didn't know, trust me they got an answer, but not the right one. I just wanted the sale.

When I go into those stores, I like to ask questions I know their not going to be able to answer so they then leave me alone.

DavidPhillips 07-13-2001 02:41 AM

Depending on the money you want to spend of course.

I bought a motherboard, MSI Turbo 2-A 6330 with 800MHz AMD and onboard sound for $215.00,

Onboard sound works with the Redhat 7.1

put in a stick of RAM 256MB $65
Added an 8.4GB harddrive $54

Plugged in my old Voodoo 3. Many video cards will work

network card $20

Spent $100 on Tower case with 300watt Power Supply.

Now I have a fine system, completely upgradable.

Top of the line PC. Very fast.

emachine is also upgradable, you just a throw it away and buy a new one.

Prices are cheaper now.
:Pengy:


I setup an Internet server at work for 25 or so computers on an old Compaq 400 with 10GB HD.

128MB Ram

It is doing great, very usable Gnome interface.


kc5hwb 07-13-2001 12:00 PM

Pentium 90
 
I am running Linux Mandrake 8.0 on a Pentium 90, with 64 MB of RAM, a 4MB video card and a 1.6GB harddrive. It works great! Thats the cool thing about Linux...you don't have to keep up with all the new hardware to have a successful OS. Windows XP claims that you should have 256MB of RAM minumum, and 512 Recommended!!!


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