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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 04-22-2007, 09:29 AM   #1
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Custom PC for Ubuntu 7.04

I am planning to assemble my own pc that will run on Ubuntu 7.04. May I know the parts I need to purchase for this project? I'm not really an expert in Linux so I need a PC that will run out of the box. Thanks and God bless.
Old 04-22-2007, 01:06 PM   #2
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Well, it all depends on what you plan to use it for. Basically, you need the following:
  • Case
  • Power supply
  • Motherboard
  • CPU
  • RAM
  • Hard Drive
  • Optical Drive
  • Graphics card
  • Sound card (if not on motherboard)
  • Cables

If you have some more specific questions in mind, I'd be happy to answer them.
Old 04-22-2007, 02:04 PM   #3
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hardware specifics

before you purchase search (web and google groups) for the board (and/or the chipset) and linux to see if there's been any issues. Some chipsets are too new and not compatible with the kernel.

Also consider same for sata drives (especially opticals), graphics cards (especially if you want to do Beryl or Compiz, Nvidia's driver's have been somewhat more supported then others).
Old 04-22-2007, 04:05 PM   #4
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Moved: This thread is more suitable in Linux Hardware and has been moved accordingly to help your thread/question get the exposure it deserves.
Old 04-22-2007, 05:55 PM   #5
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Just make sure that all the components you want to buy are compatible with your mobo. Key points:

1. The CPU socket type must be the same as the mobo socket type
2. The CPU front-side bus (FSB) speed needs to be supported by the mobo
3. The speed of the RAM needs to be supported by the mobo
4. The graphics card connector type (eg, AGP, PCI, PCIe) needs to be supported by the mobo

The point is that you don't want to (for instance) spend money on a high powered CPU that physically cannot be installed onto your mobo. Good luck with it
Old 04-22-2007, 06:32 PM   #6
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Yah. What J.W. said.

Also, where are you buying everything? is a really good place to get your computer parts. Their prices are good and ship very carefully. I just got one stick of RAM in the mail and it was in a box big enough to be a shoe box and was filled with peanuts and bubble wrap. There are other places as well, such as Tigerdirect.
Old 04-22-2007, 10:41 PM   #7
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Be sure to check the hardware compatibility list:
There are a lot of recent vintage motherboards in there. The motherboard (and the motherboard's chipset, audio, and ethernet) are the main things you need to worry about.
Also check phoronix:
Lots of good hardware reviews on linux there. They have a forum also.
For video card, go with nvidia instead of ATI. Nvidia driver support is much better.
From what I have read, AMD socket AM2 chipsets from nvidia are pretty well supported now. You have to be more careful with Intel core 2 duo. Some chipsets are (more or less) supported in recent kernels than others. At lest one guy on ubuntu forums said he had no problems with the Asus P5B (core 2 duo). Phoronix had good luck with the P5B series also.
Old 04-23-2007, 12:08 AM   #8
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Hard drives:
To ease installation use IDE or PATA hard drives.

Optical drives (CD-ROM, DVD-ROM):
Use IDE or PATA optical drives.

Does not have to be the same speed what the motherboard supports. Memory can be a lot faster. If considering AMD processors, buy memory in a kit. I suggest ECC memory for better reliability and stability.

SATA controllers:
JMicron says it is supported by the kernel, but in reality they do not work well. Intel SATA controllers do work with the ahci or piix module. nVidia SATA controller also work. When using SATA, use only Western Digital or Hitachi hard drives.

IDE controllers:
I prefer Highpoint controllers with HPT370 to HPT374. Promise controllers are a little glitchy. Some motherboards that comes with ITE are good and they are supported.

You can buy based on looks but do not forget how it functions such as does the motherboard slide out to ease mounting it, does the hard drive cage pivot out or slide out, is it sturdy, is it deep. Stay away from a case with a power supply. A case that comes with a power supply is not good because the power supply is wimp compared to the power supply models that you can get separately.

Power supplies:
The two features a power supply should have is active power factor control (saves electricity) and universal voltage (no voltage switch). After searching for these two features, compare the wattage. More is better. I suggest power supplies from Eneramax, Seasonic, Power & Cooling. Seasonic makes the quietest and the most efficient.

Sound cards:
On-board versions are pieces of shit. Also you will have the most trouble with them in Linux than using standalone versions. I suggest a PCI sound card instead of using on-board versions. I recommend stay away from Creative Labs because they cost a lot, poor sound quality, hard to configure for more than two channels, and hard to record sound. The best sound DSP chip that works in Linux is VIA Envy 17xx. I have Audiotrak Prodigy 7.1 that has very good sound quality and it is very easy to use.

Video cards:
Go with cards that are nVidia based. ATI video cards are harder to setup and have limited features. ATI cards are also slower because the software is not mature.

Network Interface Card (NIC):
Most cards are supported but stay away from Marvell based cards. They do not work well in Linux. nVidia, Intel, VIA works well. Make sure you turn off nVidia's hardware firewall on some models. Realtek also works even their PCI Express versions are supported by the 2.6.19 kernel and up.

Chipset used on Motherboards:
nVidia, VIA, Intel, and ATI works. Avoid SIS like the plague. Be picky what chipset you select because it may not contain IDE. Intel's latest chipsets like 965 and 975 do not come with IDE, so motherboard manufactures have to select an IDE controller that is ATAPI compatible. Some chooses JMicron and others chooses ITE. ITE works in Linux while JMicron do not work well.

Sorry this may seem over your head, but the above is the truth instead of beating around the bush. This forum's HCL is not very accurate and people do not use a device for a year to really find out if there is any kinks before posting. IMHO, any motherboard that you buy will work.
Old 04-23-2007, 01:27 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the response. I hope you can share you systems with me so I can just buy the brand of hardware already proven. God bless you all.
Old 04-23-2007, 01:41 AM   #10
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I have several systems running Linux. My desktop (ozone) is:
  • Asus P4C800-E Deluxe Motherboard
  • Intel P4 CPU (2.8 GHz, HT)
  • 2x512MB PC3200 DDR RAM (Kingston)
  • ATI Radeon 9200 SE (8x AGP)
  • Maxtor 6L300R0 ATA Drive
  • Seagate ST3120026AS 120GB SATA Drive
  • Maxtor 7H500F0 500GB SATA Drive
  • Antec TruePower 450W ATX PSU
  • LITE-ON DVD+RW SOHW-812S (Single Layer)
Old 04-23-2007, 02:12 AM   #11
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Intel Core 2 Duo 6600
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy
ATI Radeon X1600
2 GB Corsair DDR2 PC6400
2x250 GB Western Digital Sata II
1 x 500 GB Samsung Spintpoint Sata II (not as good as WD)
Antec NSK 4400 case
NEC floppy, dvdrw and cdrw
Promise PCI TX2 Sata controller
Logitch kb, mouse and speakers

AMD 3800+
Asrock 939SLI-eSATA2
1 GB Samsung DDR400
ATI Radeon x300
250GB Western Digital SATA2
250GB Maxtor Diamond 10 PATA
LG dvd and dvdrw (=crappy)

pcs connected by a Linksys router and a Belkin KVM switch.

The first pc was a real pain in the ass, to be honest (mainly because of the JMicron controller) but since two or three months, it has been able to handle all recent distros with the exception of Suse. Solaris 10 and FreeBSD 6.2 work as well but are not supported by the ATI 1600 so I installed them on the second pc.
Old 04-24-2007, 11:09 AM   #12
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I am overwhelmed with the response and I would like to thank everyone who responded to my inquiry. I almost gave up on this OS because I can't seem to make it work well on my laptop. I would have loved it if it can run well on my Asus A6R, since I don't use it for games. God bless you all.
Old 04-24-2007, 11:48 AM   #13
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If there's one thing Linux has that you won't find on Windows, it's the community.

Stick with it and we'll help you out any way we can.



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