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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 10-01-2006, 10:59 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Shrewsbury, England
Posts: 71

Rep: Reputation: 15
New moderate system


I'd like to build a computer to install and learn Linux on. However, I don't want anything fancy. I have no interest in playing games, in listening to music, or in watching TV on a computer. At the moment I write letters, surf the Web, keep records, and send emails. I would like to be able to take up digital photography on the new Linux box, have an LCD monitor instead of the massive CRT I have now, and have a broadband connection instead of dial-up.

So, what I would like is for someone to kindly tell me what pc components would be adequate for my needs. I tried to figure things out from the net but, by golly, it's complicated.....

As well, I'd like components which would be most compatible with most moden Linux distros. I will probably want to try out quite a few until I decide on the one most suited to me.

Any help would be deeply appreciated.
Old 10-01-2006, 11:14 PM   #2
Registered: May 2006
Location: Kennewick, WA - USA
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 129

Rep: Reputation: 15
The only hardware issues that have ever really caused me a problem have been with ATI video cards, if it were me I'd stick with NVIDIA
Old 10-01-2006, 11:58 PM   #3
LQ Veteran
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Boise, ID
Distribution: Mint
Posts: 6,642

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There are only a few rules you need to follow if you are building your own box. The most important issues are to make sure the mobo, CPU, and RAM are compatible. In no particular order:

1. The CPU's socket type must be matched to the mobo's socket type
2. The CPU's front-side bus speed (aka FSB) must be compatible with what the mobo can support
3. The RAM speed must be compatible with what the mobo can support
4. Make sure the mobo can support the video card you want to use, meaning that the connector type (PCI, AGP, PCIe) is supported
5. Make sure your system has an adequate number of USB and other slots for your needs

As you've seen there's a huge amount of choices out there, but as long as you observe the above rules you should be OK. OTOH, if you are looking to buy a ready-made system (ie, Dell, HP, etc) then pretty much anything should be OK with Linux. The truth is that most hardware is basically neutral when it comes to which operating system is installed, but where you get into trouble is when certain manufacturers do not support Linux or offer Linux drivers. (See jon23d's comment
Check out the LQ HCL in my sig block for reviews of various individual hardware components.

As for your question about "which distro should I use?" I would encourage you to try several and decide for yourself which one best meets your needs and preferences. Be sure to visit LQ ISO Good luck with it

Last edited by J.W.; 10-02-2006 at 12:01 AM.
Old 10-02-2006, 06:41 AM   #4
Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Shrewsbury, England
Posts: 71

Original Poster
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Hello Both,

Many thanks for your replies. You've concisely given me the information I need and I'm very grateful.

Looking forward to exploring Linux.

Old 10-02-2006, 07:15 AM   #5
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Virginia, USA
Distribution: Mageia/Kali/Ubuntu/openSUSE/Manjaro/Pop!_OS
Posts: 39

Rep: Reputation: 18
FYI Mandriva (one of the major distros and my personal favorite) has a hardware compatibility database that you can check prioir to buying your parts. It has a somewhat good rating system for compatibility. You can find it at:

Good luck.
Old 10-02-2006, 08:16 PM   #6
Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Shrewsbury, England
Posts: 71

Original Poster
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Hello sntnlc,

Many thanks. Semms as if there's plenty of information out there if you know where to find it....



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