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Old 03-31-2012, 02:19 PM   #1
David_g
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Am I crazy or could I learn to work between Linux and Windows


I do not know how many time I have said that I have had it up to here with Windows, then something happens and I need to use my old Windows based files before I spend the time to learn about Linux. This time I really, really have had it and what is different is that I am semi retired and have a bit more time.
I would like to know whether I could gain any advantage (aka sanity) by converting an old PC into a Linux based server. The PC is Athalon 64 dual 2.2GHz 2GB RAM, which struggles with Vista 64 to run 4 SATA drives and 1 IDE DVD. It is cabled to a router and wireless network/ broadband connection.
If it is not a crazy idea to use this venerable beast as a Linux based server for windows files then, bearing in mind it would be my first experience of modern Linux. how do I start?
Many years ago I had some experience of UNIX based Venix and I am old enough to remember DOS.
Any suggestions?
 
Old 03-31-2012, 02:58 PM   #2
camorri
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That would not be a bad idea to convert the server to linux, however, you might better be served by picking up an old desktop, and installing linux, with a desktop and develop your skills on that.

Servers are usually headless, keyboard-less, and no desktop so you need to know how to ssh into the device, and be reasonably good at the command line. That takes time to develop. So give your self the best chance for success by installing what you can see and work with first.

That server is no slouch, you will be surprised how fast it can be with linux.

You might try a live CD distro first. Live CD's can be booted to a desktop, and don't modify and HD's you may have installed. You can play and learn as you go. Good first step.
I downloaded Vector linux about 2 months ago to give it a try. It is a Slackware derivative, and is tuned for speed. I saw pleasantly surprised how well it ran as a live CD. You will get much better speed out of any distro once you install to a HD. CD/DVD drives are about 10% of the speed of a HD, and the programs are compressed, so they are slow to load form CD/DVD.

There are lots other live CD's to try. You can give Knoppix a try as well. It has lots of apps to try out. It is good at hardware recognition as well.

Ask questions as you come to them, and have fun with it.
 
Old 03-31-2012, 03:09 PM   #3
ukiuki
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Now if you want to see that computer goes fast as a rocket try Slitaz or Tinycore, those can boot as live CD as well, get as many live CDs as you can and try them all out, it is the only way to find out what goes better with you hardware and which one you will get with better.

Regards
 
Old 03-31-2012, 06:30 PM   #4
jefro
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I never get into that one way or the other deal.

I don't know what is going on here. This ought to be usable. "Athalon 64 dual 2.2GHz 2GB RAM, which struggles with Vista 64 to run 4 SATA drives and 1 IDE DVD." You should have run the 32 bit version. You wasted a gig of ram on that choice.

If there is no data on it then load up a clean copy of Vista 32 bit and see how it work. Then load up any of the top 20 or so at distrowatch.com to see how you like it. Almost no difference as there used to be in versions made for servers. Most of that is all common anymore. Pick a few and see how you like it. Each one may have a steep learning curve. Once you make your choice then stick with it usually.
 
Old 04-01-2012, 05:15 AM   #5
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David_g View Post
I would like to know whether I could gain any advantage (aka sanity) by converting an old PC into a Linux based server.
I have little reason to believe that having a server, if you do not have one now and are able to work without one, is going to add materially to your chances of sanity. That said, if you feel that there is an advantage, Linux could easily be the operating system that powers your server. Inevitably, you will have to do some learning, but if you are up for that project, why not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_g View Post
The PC is Athalon 64 dual 2.2GHz 2GB RAM, which struggles with Vista 64 to run 4 SATA drives and 1 IDE DVD. It is cabled to a router and wireless network/ broadband connection.
Decent spec machine; that part shouldn't be a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_g View Post
If it is not a crazy idea to use this venerable beast as a Linux based server for windows files then, bearing in mind it would be my first experience of modern Linux. how do I start?
Many years ago I had some experience of UNIX based Venix and I am old enough to remember DOS.
Any suggestions?
Bits of advice:
  • Decide what you want to achieve; 'having a server' isn't a sufficient definition, 'sharing files between windows computers' or 'having a machine that acts as a cache' is a lot better (the definition will probably change with time, but it is still what you want to do at that time).
  • Use a Linux distribution that gives you a fair amount of time before support disappears and you need to reinstall; some of the 'desktop distros' are on a rapid support period, and that wouldn't be appropriate
  • have a look at www.linuxhomenetworking.com for some of the stuff that you could set up with such a box
 
Old 04-01-2012, 05:53 AM   #6
i92guboj
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So, before looking for a solution, may I ask... what's the problem you are trying to solve?

In other words, please, let us know what concrete tasks will this "server" be up to. What do you want it to "serve" you for? If we have an idea on what you want it to do, then we can start suggesting you the right tools, and what concrete bits of knowledge you should develop to install and maintain that server.

That machine is not an ancient beast, you'd be surprised what it can do with the correct OS deployed onto it.
 
Old 04-09-2012, 09:56 AM   #7
David_g
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Thank you

Many thanks for all your suggestions. I particularly liked the idea of using an old PC to "play with" and to become familiar with Linux. The idea of a "server" includes an element of peace of mind as an external backup device as well as file sharing. There is also a touch of "the good old days" when a fully blown ICL 1900 series computer had a massive 44k of RAM and was so greatly revered that it occupied a whole room.....Progress!
 
  


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