Setting Up Ubuntu

Hey all

So I've given up on Windows for the time being and want to go back to using Linux as my main O/S. I've chosen to use Ubuntu 10.10 because a few of my friends have been praising it for quite a while. I've just got a few questions prior to the migration:

First off, my hardware. I'm strapped for cash right now (currently in school) so I'm using a computer I built from spare parts. I've got an AMD Athlon 64 3200+ processor running 2gigs of ram. For harddrive I've got a choice between three: 500gb Wester Digital Caviar GP, 320gb Seagate Momentus (old laptop drive), or 120gb Seagate (old laptop drive). Will Ubuntu 64 bit run okay on a single core with only 2gb ram, or should I amp up the RAM before going 64? What harddrive should I go for (I'm thinking of the 500gb because of the Intellipower and it's the only actual desktop HDD)? I've also got a 256mb GeForce 7900 GS, just to let ya know.

I'm going to school for a degree in Computer Information Systems, Cisco focused so I'm in all network and admin classes. I'd like to set a server up to test things on while I'm working on projects. I chose Ubuntu because when I was younger I had a great server set up through Ubuntu Server Edition. What I'm wondering is if anyone thinks setting up an FTP, HTTP, and SSH server would horribly hinder normal desktop usage performance. None of those services would be used by anyone, but me, and only for testing purposes, nothing serious.

Now you're probably asking yourself 'Why's this COMPUTER major asking such silly questions?' Well there's a reason for this and it's kinda twofold. Growing up I learned how to service Windows computers only, so I know how hardware runs in compatibility with Windows systems, not Linux. I know Linux uses hardware resources differently, which brings me to my next point which is time. I have very little of it seeing as to my full class load and rigorous work/homework schedule. I don't have time to test everything I want on each HDD or with different settings. I would prefer the smartest estimated answer so I can get this setup and back on my feet.

I sincerely appreciate any serious advice anyone can give me. I just want to get this setup so I can start running some tests for the 20 page paper I need to start.
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  1. In my experience Ubuntu (or any other Linux) will run just fine on your machine as is including running those three servers. None of them will be heavy on RAM. I would use the 500 GB desktop drive. 2GB RAM is plenty and your processor and video card are well supported.

    Given your time constraints Ubuntu should be a good choice, being straightforward to set up and having plenty of on-line support. In the unlikely event that you do have any problems, Mandriva is another choice which seems to be compatible with practically any hardware.

    I'd always advise trying a Live CD of your chosen distribution first, before going to the trouble of an install, just to make sure that it is happy with your hardware. But I would be surprised if you ran into any problems.
  2. Everything should go smoothly as far as the installation, and your proposed rig should have no issues running what you're wanting off of it.
  3. I'm running all of those services and more on a P4 1.5ghz with 256mb pc-100 ram and an 80gb hard drive. Your machine is plenty strong enough to run circles around your previous windows install, even with those 'extra' services running.

    IF your really concerned with the resources being used by those services, you can use xinetd to frontend them. What it does is listen to the sockets used, and when a conneciton attempt is made it starts the daemon process for that server as needed. That way you don't have every server in memory stalled waiting to be used. _I_ don't think it'll be nessecary, and it'll be more work to setup, but if your paranoid that's a good solution for ya.
  4. Got everything desktop-wise setup yesterday. Also got my SSH setup so when I get some free time at work I can start setting up my server services.

    Thanks for the input, guys!
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