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Linux Build Help

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January 27, 2013 9:01:01 PM

Hello,

I was putting together a new build for my brother and he told me he wants to use Linux. I have no experience with linux and I don't know if my parts that I picked out even support linux.

Parts I've picked out from MicroCenter:
i5 3570k
8gb 1600mhz Crucial
AsRock z77 extreme4
Intel 330 120gb SSD
Going to be using on board video

Stuff I already have:
DVD/CD RW
Raidmax 850w AE 80+Gold PSU ( I know its overkill)
Antec 300
WD Green 500gb HDD.

So I'm just all around confused about linux. Do my parts support linux? Do they still need to install drivers and such? I suggested he uses Win 7 pro. Should we both save ourselves the headaches and get Windows 7 pro?

More about : linux build

January 28, 2013 1:37:22 AM

Not a bad set of parts. I understand Linux physically **chews up** SSD-drives by multiple re-writes unless one pronounces a non-trival set of juju within certain files. I've read discussions of that mumbo-jumbo and such was enough to scare-me-off including SSD in a new/ongoing build.
Could Linux RANK-OUT your new SSD in a matter of weeks? I have no idea. I could discern no built-in **feedback** to report the supposed effect of the changes. Your risk tolerance may be greater than mine.


garrettk4 said:
Hello,

I was putting together a new build for my brother and he told me he wants to use Linux. I have no experience with linux and I don't know if my parts that I picked out even support linux.

Parts I've picked out from MicroCenter:
i5 3570k
8gb 1600mhz Crucial
AsRock z77 extreme4
Intel 330 120gb SSD
Going to be using on board video

Stuff I already have:
DVD/CD RW
Raidmax 850w AE 80+Gold PSU ( I know its overkill)
Antec 300
WD Green 500gb HDD.

So I'm just all around confused about linux. Do my parts support linux? Do they still need to install drivers and such? I suggested he uses Win 7 pro. Should we both save ourselves the headaches and get Windows 7 pro?

a b 5 Linux
January 28, 2013 5:10:53 AM

You understand wrong about Linux and SSDs. There is no problem using the two together.
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January 28, 2013 5:29:27 AM

nss000 said:
Not a bad set of parts. I understand Linux physically **chews up** SSD-drives by multiple re-writes unless one pronounces a non-trival set of juju within certain files. I've read discussions of that mumbo-jumbo and such was enough to scare-me-off including SSD in a new/ongoing build.
Could Linux RANK-OUT your new SSD in a matter of weeks? I have no idea. I could discern no built-in **feedback** to report the supposed effect of the changes. Your risk tolerance may be greater than mine.


Would you be referring to the sand bridge controller that certain SSD's have. By which I mean that they write stuff to certain blocks of its memory, tries to delete it and then the block becomes un-usable. I believe Intel fixed that with their firmware updates.

New PSU: Corsair cx500.

I was looking at Ubuntu and Linux Mint, can anyone give their opinions on those? My brother is going to basic program making, testing, etc. No games. That is why he is going to use on board video.
a b 5 Linux
January 28, 2013 7:01:35 AM

garrettk4 said:
Would you be referring to the sand bridge controller that certain SSD's have. By which I mean that they write stuff to certain blocks of its memory, tries to delete it and then the block becomes un-usable. I believe Intel fixed that with their firmware updates.

New PSU: Corsair cx500.

I was looking at Ubuntu and Linux Mint, can anyone give their opinions on those? My brother is going to basic program making, testing, etc. No games. That is why he is going to use on board video.


nss000 was referring to the way in which linux writes things to the hard disk.
btw nss000 seems to be a user who has never used the terminal and constantly wonders why his two year old kernel doesn't have drivers for his brand new motherboard.
Would consider taking most of his advice as a molecule of salt.

Here is a good bunch of information that touches on maximizing performance/minimizing writes on SSD. Written for Arch linux wiki, but generally will apply to any modern distrobution.
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Solid_State_Drives

That said, Linux Mint is a good distrobution for new linux users (it is a derivative from ubuntu)! All of your hardware should be supported out of the box, with modern linux distrobutions most drivers for common hardware are simply built in. The exception being wireless drivers, which depending on the card, can occasionally be tricky to get working but rarely more than simply installing the firmware.

If you simply want to try linux mint (or most any other distrobution), you can run it right off of a flash drive without needing to install anything at all.
In 2013, the only reason i could really advocate windows is for running windows only games.
January 28, 2013 7:38:29 AM

I'd vote Ubuntu. I tried Mint a couple of times (I think versions 10 and 13) and found them pretty glitchy. No distribution will be 100% glitch-free, but Ubuntu seems pretty close. Default interface ('Unity') has been controversial (I don't hate it, but it's not the best) but that's what the official KDE/Xfce editions are for - Kubuntu and Xubuntu respectively. Xubuntu is my distro of choice, great interface, highly customisable and fast.

Also re SSD, people are talking about a feature called TRIM. It is supported in all modern versions of the kernel, but give it a Googling to find how to confirm that it's enabled and working, or write performance will degrade over time without it. My SSD is reserved for Windows (poor old Linux just gets an old HDD :-)) so I've not tried it myself. I'd also recommend the Samsung 830 or Vertex 4 over that Intel 330. Intel are great for warranties/support (I'm using one myself) but it's nowhere near as capable as the 830, despite being priced the same (where I am at least).

EDIT: There's Lubuntu also by the way (LXDE-based, lightweight and fast) but Xfce is also lightweight and almost 70% more sexy.
a b 5 Linux
January 28, 2013 7:47:07 AM

Not just TRIM *aka garbage collection*, but if you use a SSD:
1.)use 'noatime' or 'relatime'
2.)use 'NOOP' or 'Deadline' i/o scheduler instead of default CFQ
3.)keep certain files that write to disk many times, like browser profile, in RAM
4.) consider relocating /var partition to a mechanical drive
January 28, 2013 8:46:11 AM

skittle said:
Not just TRIM *aka garbage collection*, but if you use a SSD:
1.)use 'noatime' or 'relatime'
2.)use 'NOOP' or 'Deadline' i/o scheduler instead of default CFQ
3.)keep certain files that write to disk many times, like browser profile, in RAM
4.) consider relocating /var partition to a mechanical drive


Are there no distros that take the first three measures by default when they detect they're installed on an SSD? If not, possibly a simple front-end for people who don't want to have to edit their fstab etc?
January 28, 2013 12:37:59 PM

tut tut SK:

Prudent fear of dual boots, BIOS flash & CLI is the beginning of all wisdom. I might have hoped for some "back-porting" in U_10.04 when I installed it with the MSI_a77a-gd55; but that hope is no more outrageous that the dismay discovering drivers missing for a 10-yo Epson scanner. *nix lusrs gotta be tough!


skittle said:
nss000 was referring to the way in which linux writes things to the hard disk.
btw nss000 seems to be a user who has never used the terminal and constantly wonders why his two year old kernel doesn't have drivers for his brand new motherboard.
Would consider taking most of his advice as a molecule of salt.

Here is a good bunch of information that touches on maximizing performance/minimizing writes on SSD. Written for Arch linux wiki, but generally will apply to any modern distrobution.
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Solid_State_Drives

That said, Linux Mint is a good distrobution for new linux users (it is a derivative from ubuntu)! All of your hardware should be supported out of the box, with modern linux distrobutions most drivers for common hardware are simply built in. The exception being wireless drivers, which depending on the card, can occasionally be tricky to get working but rarely more than simply installing the firmware.

If you simply want to try linux mint (or most any other distrobution), you can run it right off of a flash drive without needing to install anything at all.
In 2013, the only reason i could really advocate windows is for running windows only games.

!