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Which Linux or No Linux

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May 22, 2006 12:47:09 PM

I have just purchased a new PC I am thinking of using a non windows OS, and was thinking of some version of Linux. I know nothing about any of the Linux OS; accept I have played with knopix 32 a little. I was wondering if someone could recommend a Linux for me. I am looking for something that is compatible with all my hardware (I don’t care about peripherals), and also something that will emulate a windows environment. Also should I chose a 32 or 64 bit Linux, and is Linux backward compatible with script like windows? IE can 64 bit Linux use 32 bit script? Or 16 bit script?
Or should I just stick with windows?
My system specs are:
Tyan s2895 mobo
4gb ram
Duel Opty 280s
7900 GTX SLI mode
2 60gb sata raid0 hd
300gb sata hd

PS. anybody want to buy a Opty comp, see below?

More about : linux linux

May 23, 2006 10:45:06 AM

Thanks for the good links
Related resources
a b 5 Linux
May 24, 2006 12:57:09 AM

Greetings and salutations :-D

Since you have a Dual Opty I would strongly recommend a good x86_64 distribution.


If you want something user friendly check out ubuntu x86_64 http://mirror.mcs.anl.gov/pub/ubuntu-iso/CDs/5.10/ubunt...

http://www.ubuntu.com/screenshots

If you want something cutting edge go for FC5 x86_64
http://mirrors.kernel.org/fedora/core/5/x86_64/iso/FC-5...

http://www.linuxforums.org/reviews/fedora_core_5_review...

OpenSuSE is kewl http://mirrors.kernel.org/opensuse/distribution/SL-OSS-...

http://gnuman.com/content/view/61/28/

If you want something stable ( and several versions behind ) for server use check out CentOS http://mirrors.kernel.org/centos/4.3/isos/x86_64/



Be sure to check out: http://distrowatch.com/


A good x86_64 distribution can run 64bit and 32bit code and can also run other operating systems using VMWare, QEMU, DOSBox, WINE, Cedega and many others.

http://www.vmware.com/products/server/

http://qemu.org/

http://dosbox.sourceforge.net/news.php?show_news=1

http://winehq.com/

http://transgaming.org/ aka Cedega


Linux can also emulate other architectures such as Power PC, ARM, Sparc, Commodore 64 and many others as well as game consoles (Nintendo, Sega and others).

Whatever Linux cannot run natively it can run in a Virtual Machine or in an emulator.

The underlying operating systems can use 64bit, 32bit, 16bit or 8bit code if they support it, that of course varies quite a bit.

Windows 64/32/16 runs fine in VMWare and QEMU.

Good Luck :-D
a b 5 Linux
May 25, 2006 4:28:45 PM

Nice setup, looks a lot like mine :) . I was able to get everything up and running fairly easily using gentoo, but that is a distro that you shouldn't use as a first-time user, not the most friendly at first. In any case, if you need some specific help getting some of the hardware running, PM me. I know the hardware pretty darn well, and I know a thing or two about Linux.

I also heartily back linux_0's suggestion of a 64-bit kernel, as this allows simplified and faster large memory support.

Not to speak for linux_0 (even though it is in his sig) but either one of us would be more than willing and able to help you out.
a b 5 Linux
May 25, 2006 5:00:59 PM

Quote:
Nice setup, looks a lot like mine :) . I was able to get everything up and running fairly easily using gentoo, but that is a distro that you shouldn't use as a first-time user, not the most friendly at first. In any case, if you need some specific help getting some of the hardware running, PM me. I know the hardware pretty darn well, and I know a thing or two about Linux.

I also heartily back linux_0's suggestion of a 64-bit kernel, as this allows simplified and faster large memory support.

Not to speak for linux_0 (even though it is in his sig) but either one of us would be more than willing and able to help you out.



:-D

AMD64s also run 25-75% faster in 64bit mode under x86_64 :-D
a b 5 Linux
May 25, 2006 5:05:39 PM

Indeed, all those brand spankin' new GP regs open up and I am happy :) 
a b 5 Linux
May 25, 2006 5:28:36 PM

Quote:
Indeed, all those brand spankin' new GP regs open up and I am happy :) 



:-D

Not only that, but you also have 2 full X16 PCI-E slots with a total of 32 PCI-E lanes + 2 PCI-X tunnels + 2X the RAM bandwidth.

So you could use one slot of a PCI-E RAID controller or up to 2 64bit PCI-X RAID controllers. Since you already have a 3W9500S you could add another one to double your bandwidth -- not that you need to.

The newer 3W9550SX is capable of 800MB/sec reads and 350MB/sec writes in RAID5 with 8 SATA HDDs :-D
a b 5 Linux
May 25, 2006 6:37:59 PM

Indeed, and I would have gotten the 9550SX but the 9550 line hadn't been released yet... sigh, I guess I'll just have to make due with what I have, as slow and pitiful as it is :D 

Edit: "Slow" =

[code:1:394be619d9]
brad@the-uberbeast ~ $ sudo /sbin/hdparm -tT /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
Timing cached reads: 4418 MB in 2.00 seconds = 2209.12 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 267 MB in 2.01 seconds = 131.36 MB/sec
[/code:1:394be619d9]

Woe is me :D 
a b 5 Linux
May 25, 2006 6:56:43 PM

Quote:
Indeed, and I would have gotten the 9550SX but the 9550 line hadn't been released yet... sigh, I guess I'll just have to make due with what I have, as slow and pitiful as it is :D 



Hehe :-D

We both know the 3W9500 is neither slow nor pitiful, it's a still a great controller :-D
May 29, 2006 10:26:35 AM

Quote:
Nice setup, looks a lot like mine :) . I was able to get everything up and running fairly easily using gentoo, but that is a distro that you shouldn't use as a first-time user, not the most friendly at first. In any case, if you need some specific help getting some of the hardware running, PM me. I know the hardware pretty darn well, and I know a thing or two about Linux.

I also heartily back linux_0's suggestion of a 64-bit kernel, as this allows simplified and faster large memory support.

Not to speak for linux_0 (even though it is in his sig) but either one of us would be more than willing and able to help you out.


I will be sure to take you up on your offer if I run into any difficulties.
May 29, 2006 10:33:50 AM

I am thinking I will try SUSE out, because Tyan and NVIDIA have drivers for it, and am thinking of taking a look at linux_0 too. I still have a few days for the rest of my hardware to get here, phhh I hate having to double ship to fpoap.
a b 5 Linux
May 29, 2006 11:33:12 AM

Quote:
I am thinking I will try SUSE out, because Tyan and NVIDIA have drivers for it, and am thinking of taking a look at linux_0 too. I still have a few days for the rest of my hardware to get here, phhh I hate having to double ship to fpoap.



FC5 and Ubuntu will work too :-D
a b 5 Linux
May 29, 2006 11:57:23 AM

Quote:
I am thinking I will try SUSE out, because Tyan and NVIDIA have drivers for it, and am thinking of taking a look at linux_0 too. I still have a few days for the rest of my hardware to get here, phhh I hate having to double ship to fpoap.


Honestly, I didn't need any drivers from Tyan for my board, all that was needed was already in the more recent kernels, so pretty much every user-friendly distro will be able to recognize all of the onboard hardware.

I also know that almost every distro also includes the nvidia proprietary driver which, as of the latest ones, supports SLI. Even if the chosen distro doesn't include the driver, the latest nVidia self-installer makes it pretty easy to add it.

Again, don't hesitate to ask if you run into issues or questions.
a b 5 Linux
May 29, 2006 12:13:13 PM

Quote:
I am thinking I will try SUSE out, because Tyan and NVIDIA have drivers for it, and am thinking of taking a look at linux_0 too. I still have a few days for the rest of my hardware to get here, phhh I hate having to double ship to fpoap.


Honestly, I didn't need any drivers from Tyan for my board, all that was needed was already in the more recent kernels, so pretty much every user-friendly distro will be able to recognize all of the onboard hardware.

I also know that almost every distro also includes the nvidia proprietary driver which, as of the latest ones, supports SLI. Even if the chosen distro doesn't include the driver, the latest nVidia self-installer makes it pretty easy to add it.

Again, don't hesitate to ask if you run into issues or questions.


That's absolutely correct! :-D

No drivers are required other than the proprietary nVidia driver which can be downloaded here:


i386:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux_display_ia32_1.0-876...



x86_64:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux_display_amd64_1.0-87...


Most distributions do not include the nVidia driver for legal reasons.

If you opt for FC5 make sure you update to the latest kernel before using the nVidia driver. The default kernel will not work. Also there are a few problems with nVidia RAID so it's best to use non-RAIDed drives for the install.
a b 5 Linux
May 29, 2006 4:53:04 PM

Quote:
Also there are a few problems with nVidia RAID so it's best to use non-RAIDed drives for the install.


Absolutely correct! It is completely possible, but it was difficult enough and riddled with horror stories of lost data (tsk tsk tsk they shoulda known better!) that even a hardened Linux veteran decided it was a little too dicey. As a result I ended up getting the hardware-based RAID card in my specs in my sig, which was much easier but still not a cakewalk. Plus, the kinda fiddling you would need to get things running would require a less friendly but more powerful installation method, something not advisable for a first-time install unless you instantly want to be discouraged.

If you really wish to use RAID, in Linux the way to go is either software-based (which actually provides awesome performance but can be tricky to setup if you want to use those disks for RAID for both Windows and Linux) or hardware-based (can be very expensive but also the easiest way to dual-boot two RAIDs on the same devices). NVRAID is somewhere in between the two and is generally only advisable if you only plan on using a RAID array for Windows-only access.

@linux_0: I really should keep more up to date on what the distros are doing these days, I should have figured that they weren't including the drivers (like mp3 support) for legal reasons. That's what happens when you post when tired.... time to take a ride and releax.
a b 5 Linux
May 29, 2006 7:05:05 PM

Quote:
Also there are a few problems with nVidia RAID so it's best to use non-RAIDed drives for the install.


Absolutely correct! It is completely possible, but it was difficult enough and riddled with horror stories of lost data (tsk tsk tsk they shoulda known better!) that even a hardened Linux veteran decided it was a little too dicey. As a result I ended up getting the hardware-based RAID card in my specs in my sig, which was much easier but still not a cakewalk. Plus, the kinda fiddling you would need to get things running would require a less friendly but more powerful installation method, something not advisable for a first-time install unless you instantly want to be discouraged.

If you really wish to use RAID, in Linux the way to go is either software-based (which actually provides awesome performance but can be tricky to setup if you want to use those disks for RAID for both Windows and Linux) or hardware-based (can be very expensive but also the easiest way to dual-boot two RAIDs on the same devices). NVRAID is somewhere in between the two and is generally only advisable if you only plan on using a RAID array for Windows-only access.

@linux_0: I really should keep more up to date on what the distros are doing these days, I should have figured that they weren't including the drivers (like mp3 support) for legal reasons. That's what happens when you post when tired.... time to take a ride and releax.


Indeed

Hardware RAID is orders of magnitude better than software RAID or hybrid RAID ( NVRAID ) :-D

3Ware makes some very nice hardware RAID controllers! I have used them several times!

Most distributions removed mp3 support for legal reasons and generally do not distribute proprietary drivers.
May 30, 2006 9:14:01 AM

For my raid, I will probably let windows be on the raided drive, and install Linux on the other drive hopefully I will be able to give it access to the raid drive though. I was planning on getting an additional raid card a little bit down the road, but that’s not in today’s forecast. Still waiting on the hardware, I will post an update once something happens.
a b 5 Linux
May 30, 2006 9:21:31 AM

Quote:
For my raid, I will probably let windows be on the raided drive, and install Linux on the other drive hopefully I will be able to give it access to the raid drive though. I was planning on getting an additional raid card a little bit down the road, but that’s not in today’s forecast. Still waiting on the hardware, I will post an update once something happens.



As long as it's not windoze software RAID Linux should be able to access it.

You will of course need the ntfs kernel driver.
a b 5 Linux
May 30, 2006 2:09:08 PM

Quote:
For my raid, I will probably let windows be on the raided drive, and install Linux on the other drive hopefully I will be able to give it access to the raid drive though. I was planning on getting an additional raid card a little bit down the road, but that’s not in today’s forecast. Still waiting on the hardware, I will post an update once something happens.


Quote:
As long as it's not windoze software RAID Linux should be able to access it.

You will of course need the ntfs kernel driver.


A fine idea to separate the OS's. If the Windows RAID is done via the on-board NVRAID, some setup may be required (haven't used some of the more recent "introductory" distros). A fine Ubuntu-specific guide, look at the "FakeRAID" section for the part that applies to NVRAID, and a bit denser but pervasive general guide.

Also, please consider these points:

1) With RAID0 (the most common one around here) you will only see marked benefits when accessing large blocks of contiguous data (i.e. video editing, engineering/scientific apps that are chewing on large datasets)

2) Access NTFS in Linux is safe for reading, but writing to NTFS is still genereally avoided (as such many distros just don't permit it with the configuration tools). As such, the strategy that I've always used is to create a FAT32 partition, preferable on a non-RAIDed disk, that will give both OS's read and write access to shared area. Even with read access-setup via system tools may be required (as linux_0 said) and are somewhat distro-specific.

3) Windows will not be able to see your Linux partitions as anything but unknown partitions (without some 3rd-part software, and even that has it's limitations) Another reason to have that FAT32 partition.

Some hints I always use for pre-Linux disk setup.
a b 5 Linux
May 30, 2006 3:43:22 PM

Quote:
Quote:
For my raid, I will probably let windows be on the raided drive, and install Linux on the other drive hopefully I will be able to give it access to the raid drive though. I was planning on getting an additional raid card a little bit down the road, but that’s not in today’s forecast. Still waiting on the hardware, I will post an update once something happens.


Quote:
As long as it's not windoze software RAID Linux should be able to access it.

You will of course need the ntfs kernel driver.[/linux_0]

A fine idea to separate the OS's. If the Windows RAID is done via the on-board NVRAID, some setup may be required (haven't used some of the more recent "introductory" distros). A fine Ubuntu-specific guide, look at the "FakeRAID" section for the part that applies to NVRAID, and a bit denser but pervasive general guide.

Also, please consider these points:

1) With RAID0 (the most common one around here) you will only see marked benefits when accessing large blocks of contiguous data (i.e. video editing, engineering/scientific apps that are chewing on large datasets)

2) Access NTFS in Linux is safe for reading, but writing to NTFS is still genereally avoided (as such many distros just don't permit it with the configuration tools). As such, the strategy that I've always used is to create a FAT32 partition, preferable on a non-RAIDed disk, that will give both OS's read and write access to shared area. Even with read access-setup via system tools may be required (as linux_0 said) and are somewhat distro-specific.

3) Windows will not be able to see your Linux partitions as anything but unknown partitions (without some 3rd-part software, and even that has it's limitations) Another reason to have that FAT32 partition.

Some hints I always use for pre-Linux disk setup.



Great info :-D
a b 5 Linux
June 3, 2006 3:33:43 PM

You likely have an Nforce 4-based chipset and that is supported by Linux kernels >= 2.6.10, which means any distribution made in the last year or so. My NF4-based machine runs just fine out of the box with no drivers needed (save for the NVIDIA GPU binary one for the TwinView.)

I third the recommendation to use a 64-bit OS as it is a bit faster than a 32-bit one and will handle more than 4GB and you likely will install more than 4GB in the future with that dual-dual setup.
a b 5 Linux
June 4, 2006 1:40:55 AM

Quote:
You likely have an Nforce 4-based chipset and that is supported by Linux kernels >= 2.6.10, which means any distribution made in the last year or so. My NF4-based machine runs just fine out of the box with no drivers needed (save for the NVIDIA GPU binary one for the TwinView.)

I third the recommendation to use a 64-bit OS as it is a bit faster than a 32-bit one and will handle more than 4GB and you likely will install more than 4GB in the future with that dual-dual setup.



:-D

The S2895 has an nForce Professional 2200 + 2050 Chipset and as you said 2.6.x should work fine :-D

It's a very nice board!

I would kinda recommend FC5 x86_64 or SuSE x86_64 for this one.


For hardware RAID I would suggest a 3Ware 9500 or 9550 PCI-X or if the OP were not using SLI any Linux friendly PCI-E hardware RAID controller ( LSI, Areca, Adaptec, etc )
a b 5 Linux
June 4, 2006 8:20:36 PM

If the kernel is 2.6.14 or later, you can also use the 9590se line of 3ware/AMCC cards. I've just been really pleased with the performance of my 9500.
a b 5 Linux
June 4, 2006 11:33:48 PM

Quote:
If the kernel is 2.6.14 or later, you can also use the 9590se line of 3ware/AMCC cards. I've just been really pleased with the performance of my 9500.




:-D

Indeed, too bad they are only 4X

Sadly the OP is using SLI so both 16X PCI-E slots are taken :-(
a b 5 Linux
June 5, 2006 12:51:22 PM

Well, since each lane is 2.5 Gbps (raw) => 2 Gbps (actual) = 250 MB/s, save for burst rates I really doubt a 1GB/s actual throughput is going to be the limiting factor, but more is always better. :) 
a b 5 Linux
June 5, 2006 1:10:20 PM

Quote:
Well, since each lane is 2.5 Gbps (raw) => 2 Gbps (actual) = 250 MB/s, save for burst rates I really doubt a 1GB/s actual throughput is going to be the limiting factor, but more is always better. :) 




:-D

This is true but the 9550SX-12 can already offer 800MB/sec reads and 350MB/sec writes with SATA drives in RAID5

I suspect the 16 drive model should be able to do about 1.4GB/sec which would exceed 1GB/sec.

There's also a 24 drive model IIRC
a b 5 Linux
June 5, 2006 2:50:37 PM

I guess I did presuppose what types of arrays would be used, but as you said earlier it is a moot point as he's using SLI.
a b 5 Linux
June 5, 2006 3:04:53 PM

Quote:
I guess I did presuppose what types of arrays would be used, but as you said earlier it is a moot point as he's using SLI.




Indeed :-D

There is nothing wrong with using one 9500-8 on PCI-X bus A and another 9500-8 on PCI-X bus B :-D

I've done that on servers I've built.
a b 5 Linux
June 5, 2006 6:20:57 PM

Quote:
There is nothing wrong with using one 9500-8 on PCI-X bus A and another 9500-8 on PCI-X bus B :-D

I've done that on servers I've built.


Quite a stout setup. I believe that I have PCI-X B relegated to... running my SoundBlaster Audigy2 ZS hangs head in shame (since I just don't feel comfortable sticking the card so close to the intake of the 7800GT above it). If I ever did install a new card, I'd likely move the SoundBlaster to the PCI slot.
a b 5 Linux
June 6, 2006 7:16:54 AM

Quote:
There is nothing wrong with using one 9500-8 on PCI-X bus A and another 9500-8 on PCI-X bus B :-D

I've done that on servers I've built.


Quite a stout setup. I believe that I have PCI-X B relegated to... running my SoundBlaster Audigy2 ZS hangs head in shame (since I just don't feel comfortable sticking the card so close to the intake of the 7800GT above it). If I ever did install a new card, I'd likely move the SoundBlaster to the PCI slot.



Nothing wrong with that if Bus B isn't doing much else :-D
!