Linux Questions; Modification, Compatibility.

For an upcoming project that I will be working on this summer/fall/winter (it will be an ongoing project), I would like to create a Linux box. I’ve already got my system planned out, and it is just waiting on funds.

First things first, are there any MAJOR compatibility issues with this planned setup?

Zotac NF630I-D-E MINI-ITX LGA775 GeForce 7100 DDR2 1PCI-E1 2SATA2 RAID LAN DVI Motherboard:

Kingston HyperX 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory - Retail:

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB SATA2 3.5IN 8.5MS 7200RPM 16MB Hard Drive OEM:

Intel Pentium Dual Core E5200 Dual Core Processor LGA775 2.5GHZ 800FSB 2MB Retail Box:

Sony Optiarc Black 8X DVD-ROM 24X CD-R 24X CD-RW 24X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA Slim Combo - OEM:

Now, assuming all of that is compatible, I would also like to find a CHEAP wireless card (sold at either or ) that is Linux compatible, and is PCIx1.

Secondly, I need some software. I am planning on eventually (once I can afford the touch screen and power inverter) making this into a CarPuter, so I need some software that will allow me to browse the hard drive for music and play it. I’d like something that looks fairly nice, but functionality and ease of use is most important, considering I need to be able to use it while driving. For video playback I’ll probably just use VLC, because it’s amazing :p, unless there are any other suggestions.

I’m trying to find a nice Distro that would work well for this application. I was thinking Ubuntu with a custom theme (read next paragraph), but am open to suggestions. Again, ease of use, nice looking, not a resource pig.

Next (the most important thing; this is what I’ll be working on), I want to make my own theme. By making my own theme, I mean going all-out. I want to make all of my own icons (I have Photoshop, so that is doable. Do I just save them as .ico files?), I’ll get my own backgrounds, and I’d like to do some modification to how the Windows, Menu Bar, Splash Screen, etc. look. Any tools/applications and/or detailed guides would be much appreciated.

Thank you very much in advance. If there’s any info I missed let me know.
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  1. Ubuntu should work but if it doesn't you can always try Fedora :)

    Either one should work, try both.

    GIMP and the icon editor will let you customize your backgrounds and icons.

    If you have to have wireless make sure you get a card that is guaranteed 100% compatible. Check

  2. Awesome, thanks :) So does the icon editor actually change the icons on the system, or does it just help me create icons?

    EDIT: Fooled around in Photoshop for about 30 minutes, came up with these. I'm sure they'll change, but this is the basic version of what I want. Give you guys a feel for how this will look.




  3. You can use a variety of icon editors like kiconedit ( kde ).

    Usually your system icons are in /usr/share/icons/ most are png's so you can use gimp or any other image editor to modify the existing icons or just make your own from scratch.

    There are lots of pre-existing themes and icon sets in many different sizes so you should be able to find something you like.

  4. Oh sure, I coouullddd get a theme, but how is that any fun :p

    As for editing the Splash screen, is that just a replaceable image file like the icons, or does it take a bit more work than that to change it up?
  5. You might like the cystal icons /usr/share/icons/crystalsvg/128x128/ or the oxygen icons /usr/share/icons/oxygen/128x128/

  6. Pyroflea said:
    Oh sure, I coouullddd get a theme, but how is that any fun :p

    As for editing the Splash screen, is that just a replaceable image file like the icons, or does it take a bit more work than that to change it up?

    Just about everything is customizable, so yes you can replace the login screen with your own.

  7. Yay, that makes life easier. Thanks :)
  8. Just curious, do you know anything about BIOS flashing/modifying? My other thread isn't getting any replies :(
  9. Where's your other thread?

  10. There's a Linux BIOS by the way :)

    You can also flash a BIOS from ssh using FOSS.
  11. dup!

    Some BIOSes have this feature and allow you to load an image using software provided by the manufacturer.

    Some ASUS boards let you do this using Asus MyLogo. A few other manufacturers do this too, but many do not.

    Even though you can theoretically hack almost any BIOS to display an image, that is not something that's particularly easy or safe to do.

    If your board has a removable BIOS chip and you have an EEPROM programmer or you have a board with dual BIOS chips, you could try it.

    It might be easier to use coreboot ( formerly LinuxBIOS ) which is open source and much easier to modify.


  12. linux_0 said:
    Some BIOSes have this feature and allow you to load an image using software provided by the manufacturer.

    Some ASUS boards let you do this using Asus MyLogo. A few other manufacturers do this too, but many do not.

    Yeah, I can't find one for Zotac boards :(

    linux_0 said:
    Even though you can theoretically hack almost any BIOS to display an image, that is not something that's particularly easy or safe to do.

    I was afraid of that...

    Thanks a lot for the help anyways :)

    Also, for wireless adapters, do certain types work better than others (ex. 802.11g works better/worse than 802.11n), or is that not the factor that leads to compatibility issues?
  13. It's the wireless chipset that really matters. has a compatibility list.

    Don't buy an adapter based on marketing talk, get an adapter that is known to work very well.

    Most of the time if there's interference or other issues there is no way to use the faster modes anyway.

    Good luck :)
  14. deleted dup
  15. What's the deal with you and 'dup!'? :p


    Well, I've been searching the only places that I am able to order from/go to personally, and I'm not having any luck. I've checked a few sites, and I can't seem to find what I'm looking for. Since I'll be running the Mini-ITX form factor, it only has the PCI-Ex1, and USB. Instantly, my choices for wireless adapters are cut down to probably 10-20% of what's out there. I can't seem to be able to find many PCI-Ex1 network adapters, and MadWifi doesn't support USB adapters. So unfortunately, the only thing I can think of (not that I know much at all about Linux) is ndiswrapper. I'm just curious about the success rate of using this. I wouldn't mind doing a bunch of reading and learning how to set it up, but I'd like to know what my chances of it working are first. :/
  16. ndiswrapper usually works fine but you could have some issues.
  17. Woo-hoo! Found a likely candidate!

    $20, andd...



    * Linux
    * 1.0

    Linux drivers!
  18. The driver looks like it might work, but there's no way to be sure until you plug the adapter into your actual system.

    Good luck :)
  19. Thanks :)
  20. Just curious, is it worth getting 2GB of RAM, or if 1GB is adequate? Not sure on what Ubuntu requires. I'm going to have Desktop Effects enabled, and it needs to be able to play Audio, Video, as well as be decent at multi-tasking without lag (I know that's heavily dependent on the CPU, but I'm just throwing it in there).
  21. Get at least 2GB, or 4GB if you can afford it :)

    The more RAM the better!

  22. Just for curiosity's sake;

    My system specs will be the following:

    Intel e5200 Dual Core CPU ~2.5GHz
    2GB DDR2
    GeForce 7100 (Integrated)

    How capable is that graphics chipset? Would it be worth paying a bit more for a motherboard with a better one? I want to be able to have Desktop Effects (They amuse me), as well as have video playback (Highest quality DVI can play) without it stuttering on me. So what's the verdict? :)
  23. I don't think the 7100 is that great.

    Get a 6600GT 7600GT 8600GT 9600GT or better.

  24. Hmmm. Well, I'll have to start trying to figure some stuff out. I may have to bump up to Micro-ATX (although I don't really want to due to this rig's intended future use), but I'll look at my options. Thanks.
  25. How do Intel's G45/Q45 compare so some of the cards you listed?
  26. I don't think there's any comparison.

    I think the nv7300 is better than the nv7100.

    The problem with having the VGA onboard is that nasty things happen when the VGA goes bad and there is a huge difference between onboard cards and the nicer PCI-E cards when it comes to 3D capabilities and performance.

    If you are going to stick to 2D then onboard video will probably be fine, just look for the most reliable motherboard you can find.

    Quality control has been going to bleep bleep bleep bleep for years and has gotten even worse lately.

    I'd recommend nv and AMD over Intel any day. Even if you get an Intel board I'd still recommend nvidia graphics.

    Good luck :)
  27. These boards are interesting but the reviews are not that great.

    This intel board looks ok on paper and has a PCI-E slot but users are complaining about various problems.

    This 780G has good specs on paper and reviews similar to the intel.

    I'm not recommending any of these though.

    Good luck :)
  28. This shuttle barebone has 1 PCI-E x16 slot, a PCI slot and nvidia 8200 series onboard video.

  29. Have I ever told you how freaking much I love you? :D Thanks a lot for finding that.

    Quick question regarding it; would the 8200 be adequate, or would you still recommend getting a video card?

    Or how about this? Not sure how that compares to the one you listed.
  30. The 8200 is not as good as an 8600GT, 9600GT or better but it may be good enough.

    This is pretty nice too, but the ATI drivers are not as good the nvidia drivers.

    ATI hardware and nvidia hardware is about evenly matched, I own and like both :)

  31. Alright. Well if you had to choose either of those, with bang-for-buck in mind, which would you go for?

    (Sorry for asking so many questions:), been out of the computer scene for awhile)
  32. This is more budget friendly :D

    It should work if you use Fedora and possibly Ubuntu, although I haven't tried a 760G myself.

    My ATI X850XT and ATI 4870 1GB both work fine with the fglrx driver from rpm fusion.

  33. Alright, thank you very much for your input. I am still considering the other one; just deciding if the other features are worth the money to me or not.
  34. If the 760G is not fast enough for ya, you can always install an nvidia 9600GT, ATI 4850 or 4870 later :)
  35. I'm back :) I've rethought this a bit, based on what you've said, and this is what I've come up with:

    Shuttle Glamor XPC SN78SH7 AMD Socket AM2+ / AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8200 2 x 240Pin GeForce 8200 mGPU Black Barebone:

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+ Brisbane 2.8GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail:

    SUPER TALENT 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model T800UX4GC4 - Retail::

    Then just whatever I throw together for a Hard Drive and DVD Drive. That Shuttle's MB has a PCI-e x16, if I ever want to upgrade the graphics as well.

    What I'm curious about is 64-Bit. I'm gonna be running Ubuntu, and I honestly don't know the advantages to 64 over 32-Bit. Do 32-Bit programs still work in 64-Bit? Then, as mentioned above, what are the benefits of running 64-Bit? Thanks.
  36. On x86_64 versions of Linux you can run 32bit and 64bit programs without any problems, you just need to install both the 32bit and 64bit libraries.

    32bit software runs without any performance penalty. 64bit software runs faster :)

    When you run 64bit apps you get a much larger address space and can use much larger files and filesystems too.

    Good luck :)
  37. How do I install both Libraries? :)
  38. Down to 2 motherboards; also decides which CPU I go with, as there's one of each socket.

    ASUS M3A78-EM

    Obviously the first is preferred, due to cost. I'm just worried about compatibility with the Video Chipset. Would it work, or should I go with the second to save myself a headache?
  39. Go with the ASUS M3A78-EM :)
  40. linux_0 said:
    Go with the ASUS M3A78-EM :)

    Alright, thanks :)

    EDIT: For those who are curious, final system will be as follows:

    ASUS M3A78-EM
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+
    OCZ Gold XTC PC2-6400 2GB 2X1GB (Will add another set if needed)
    Western Digital 640GB
  41. Zombie thread time!:p

    Anyways, finally ordering things, got the case ordered, placing an order on most of the remaining components on Monday or Tuesday. My actualll setup is as follows:

    Case: Apex DM-387
    Motherboard: MSI 785GM-E65
    CPU: AMD Athlon II Dual Core X2 245
    Memory: OCZ NVIDIA SLI-Ready Edition 2GB
    Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB

    Other Accessories:
    Samsung SH-S223F 22x DVD±RW Drive
    OKGEAR 6 ft. HDMI cable
    Rosewill RFA80L-W 80mm White LED Case Fan
    SYBA PCI Lower Profile Single Port Parallel Card

    So anyways, that's out of the way! Anyways, on to my actual reason for posting. The motherboard I have chosen utilizes the ATI HD4200 Integrated Graphics Chipset. At this point in time, ATI does not have this listed on their website for drivers. I have been told drivers are included on the CD, however. So a few questions arise:

    1.) Does anybody know if there really are drivers on the CD?
    a) If there are, are these just Windows Drivers, or are there Linux drivers as well?
    b) If there aren't, is there any way to get the Windows Drivers to work on Linux?
    2.) Does anybody know when ATI is scheduled to release drivers?

    Also, is there any major advantages/disadvantages to going 64-bit over 32-bit?
  42. 1 a probably only windows drivers.

    1 b if you use Fedora you can yum the drivers from if you use ubuntu you should be prompted to install the ATI drivers or it may do it automatically.

    2. impossible to tell.

    64bit is better / faster and can run both 32bit and 64bit apps :)

    Good luck :)
  43. Alright, thank you very much for your help :) Hopefully they release drivers soon! I find it odd that they'd release a chipset before posting drivers as well.
  44. Computer is ordered!
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