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I am the quintessential newbie. I am uber-newbie!!! In fact this post marks my start into Linux (sound the fanfare). I'm looking for a cost effective box to run Linux (Red Hat and Oracle) on. I have seen some PCs that have Red Hat pre-installed for a good price, but I would like to start from the start. Which means I would like to install the OS and software myself. I have seen some barebones systems, but I'm confussed by the compatibility issue. I'm also going to network this to my Mac (fold hands, pray). So my questions are these. (1) If I buy a bare bones system, what parts do I have to be mindfull of, and where do I find a compatibility list? (2) Going this route, are there any hidden land mines anyone can alert me to, or places that sell good bare bones systems? Or (3) would I just be much better off getting a built machine OS intact? The ultimate end here, is to learn all I can about Linux and Oracle. I would appreciate any and all advice. Thank you. MacGuy
IMHO ure goin way too fast.
Cost effectiveness in the end comes from experience, so Id say get that experience first...
Be prepared to throw ure first install out of the window & start again. Linux is powerfull, pitfalls are ure means of learning :-]
Depending on if this box is going to be a dev box or an operational server there are many things to look at. Servers want a large /var directory (FHS compliance) to be sure webdirs, temps and logging always have enuff space, they usually dont use X server (headless rackmounts), compiling tools/header libs are better locked away, only have the right services running and no user accounts other than the required ones.
OTOH, if its a dev box, u go full blast on headers, tools n stuff.
Next to securing ure box (services, accounts, access, IDS), optimizing it (configs, i386 to i686, better network & HW response) and maintaining it theres always something to figure out with like shell scripts, perl, tktcl, python, C...
If u really want to DIY it u can go for the Linux From Scratch approach (www.linuxfromscratch.org) but I wouldnt recommend that unless uve got basic knowledge of Linux.
I still have to find the definitive HAL for Linux but Root Hat's HCL's are here (www.redhat.com/support/hardware/), Linuxdoc's got a Howto (www.linuxdoc.org/HOWTO/Hardware-HOWTO/) and theres the LHD at www.linhardware.com.
Closing off I cant recommend a ready made system, always have done it myself. Only thing I can say about flakey support would be with stuff still in development like USB or crap like Winmodems.
If you want to learn Linux, start off by not buying a barebones system but maybe a old used machine instead. Older machines are more likely supported then newer one's, since drivers for the latest and greatest aren't out quite as quickly as for Windows.
Stay with name brand is always good too, maybe a little slight older if you want to go bare bones or build your own.
Most distro's have a compatibilty list of hardware. Just go to each of their sites to go from there.
First pick out your hardware, check it for compatibility issues, then buy it.
I'm learning Linux by taking an old Pentium 60 that I really didn't have much use for anymore, and playing with it. You should be able to pick up something like that for well under $100 - check your local swap meet or flea market. Installing Linux is easy - I've done it at least 5 times, learning more each time. I think I'm finally at the point of having a stable install.
Linux is (relatively) small and fast, I would try this cheap approach before buying a new machine just to try out the OS.