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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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Old 04-19-2005, 06:00 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2005
Distribution: not sure yet
Posts: 115

Rep: Reputation: 15
Buying the right hardware first time round

Hi there,
I'm currently learning apache/php on my winxp, and hope to buy a new desktop pc upon which to install a distro of linux, to learn how to run servers there.
I'm pretty green to linux, but figure I'd be better off buying a pc thats going to work nicely with it.
I've had debian in mind for a distro (for no really good reason) and was thinking of buying one of these:

<oops! Can't post links here yet - its a dell poweredge SC420>

..however the specs here are recommending red hat and I'd rather use a free(ish) distro.
Does anybody know if the dell poweredge will work with a particular linux distro?
If not, then any comments on coordinating hardware and distro before buying would be greatly appreciated.

If its of any value, I'm gonna want to add a kvm and 4way switch as well, some router/switchs apparently don't need drivers - does this hold true with linux?

Thanks in advance
Old 04-19-2005, 06:48 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Norfolk VA
Distribution: Slackware 11
Posts: 230

Rep: Reputation: 30
Really, any hardware will run on linux.

If it's a P4 or AMD (x86 architechture) it'll run no problem.

I always found that less is more in terms of hw specs with linux.
Example, I just downgraded from a Barton 2500, 1gig ram, 5900 ultra video card, dvd/cd burner, 120g hd to a 800 mhz mini itx system with 512mb of ram, a 5200 pci video card, cd burner, and 8 gig HD.

It all depends on what you want to do with linux.
The only reason Dell recommends Redhat is because they have a financial deal with RH.
I say, run the distro you want and enjoy.

Last edited by username17; 04-19-2005 at 06:52 PM.
Old 04-19-2005, 08:42 PM   #3
Registered: May 2004
Location: USA-Calif
Distribution: KANOTIX!
Posts: 48

Rep: Reputation: 15
Hi Howard

Compatibility has sometimes been an issue for me. I find that Linux is mostly compatible with lots of hardware. "Mostly" of course is worthless if your particular video card won't work with the Linux flavor you favor.

Since Dell says Red Hat works, you might want to look at distrobutions that are based on Red Hat.

Here are some flavors that should run on a PC that runs Red Hat.
White Box

There is more specific info and links to distro websites and venders at distrowatch.

I don't have a lot of experience with routers, but my Netgear router works fine with Mandrake without requiring a special driver.

Last edited by bandersnatchy; 04-19-2005 at 08:46 PM.
Old 04-21-2005, 07:09 AM   #4
Registered: Apr 2005
Distribution: not sure yet
Posts: 115

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
hi there,

thanks for the replies, I appreciate it.

Well, the debian 7 disk installer set just came throught the door ( my girlfriend went ahead and bought it from ebay) so I guess
that solves my distro problem, and I'm just watching prices for the Dell for a couple of days before I buy one.
re:compatability I guess I'm just gonna go for, and deal with any prolems that arise.

Thanks again!

I told my existing os that it had better be well behaved now...
Old 04-21-2005, 07:21 AM   #5
Registered: May 2004
Location: Cornwall, UK
Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04
Posts: 464

Rep: Reputation: 31
One thing i've read (can't remember were) about Dell poweredge servers is that people were having problem setting up the SATA/raid controllers.

Don't know which particular model it was but it might be worth a bit of googling just to be sure.


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