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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 12-30-2005, 09:58 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2005
Distribution: Mandriva '06
Posts: 98

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Wanting to build linux PC-don't know what to look for

I'm a complete newbie to Linux. I just read my first book. I want to build a CHEAP desktop system that i can mess around with before install on my main system.
I some one can--please list some compatible componet i need to build a solid working linux system. (PS--i've never built a computer before--but i'm sure its not that hard)

Last edited by dstrbd1; 12-30-2005 at 10:09 AM.
Old 12-30-2005, 10:13 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Missouri, USA
Distribution: Slackware 12.2, Xubuntu 9.10
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I did much the same thing as you're wanting to do. What I did was go to a local used computer dealer and get an el-cheapo used desktop (some old Compaq thing for about $50 bucks) - I think it was a PII 450MHz with 128MB ram and a 6GB hard drive, onboard sound and video. You might want to consider something like that first - I never had any problems installing Linux on it (Slackware 10.0); all the hardware was recognized during the install, and I was really happy with it. Once you've gotten familiar with the basics of Linux (primarily the filesystem and various configuration files and how they're set up) you might want to experiment with adding a new video card and sound card - if you take your time and do a little homework, it shouldn't be a problem.

Hope this helps
Old 12-30-2005, 10:19 AM   #3
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Distribution: Arch, Gentoo
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I would suggest getting a used PC too. Older hardware has a much better chance of working, as long as it's not too obscure
Old 12-30-2005, 10:23 AM   #4
Registered: Dec 2005
Distribution: Mandriva '06
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Original Poster
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thanks--i'll keep my eyes out.
I really want a laptop--but i can't afford that!
Old 12-30-2005, 11:48 AM   #5
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Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Boise, ID
Distribution: Mint
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If you want to start using Linux and want to make it easy on your wallet, you might want to try a Live CD such as Knoppix first. Basically, it's a full fledged Linux system on a bootable CD, and all you need to do is put it in the CD drive and reboot (make sure that the CD is the first option in your BIOS boot sequence) Nothing will be written to your hard drive, and all you need to do to restore your PC to its original state is to remove the CD. Good luck with it and welcome to LQ
Old 12-30-2005, 05:58 PM   #6
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: UK
Distribution: Slackware
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There are official nvidia drivers for linux so that's a good choice for a graphics card. There's also an hp linux project which is excellent if you've got an hp printer. My VIA sound chip is slightly problematic although I can get sound fine. Most hardware will work generally speaking. It's the peripherals that might be a little more problematic. It depends which distro you are using.
Old 12-30-2005, 10:29 PM   #7
Registered: May 2004
Location: NC USA
Distribution: Fedora 23 - Cinnamon Spin
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Something you may want to think about if you're new to linux and want a new system without compatibility problems, you can get a new base model Microtel from Walmarts web site for less than $300 US (minus a monitor of course). It's pretty basic but a solid system and comes bundled with Xandros Linux so hardware compatibility issues are not a factor. If you "outgrow" Xandros and wish to try another linux distro with a slightly higher learning curve you can do this without worrying about whether your hardware is compatible. I recommend you learn a little about linux before attempting to build a system tailored to linux. Would be a pretty big waste of money if you find that linux is not your cup of tea. I went this route and learned alot, enough to build my own box, most importantly I was sure that a Linux environment was where I wanted to be. You can check out the system I speak of here:
Thats my two cents-hope it helps. Have Fun
Old 12-31-2005, 09:19 AM   #8
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: UK
Distribution: Slackware
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This is what I did about 10 months ago:

AMD AthlonXP 3000+ CPU
ASUS A7V8X-X motherboard
NVIDIA FX5200 128mb graphics card
512mb CRUCIAL ram

I know you can no longer buy athlonxp cpu's or those motherboards. Sempron cpu's would be a good and cheap alternative. As I said above, you are unlikely to have any problems with internal hardware compatibilty. But if I were to build this system again I would chose a different motherboard. It would be an ASUS board based on the nvidia chip as opposed to the via chip. (A7N or A8N for example). Otherwise I am very happy with it.

Personally I can't see the point in having a 64bit system when there's so little 64bit software around. It seems a little pointless. Also you might want to look at the HCL list on this website. Hardware Compatibility List.


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