I need advice on choosing the components to build my first PC. Budget for this endeavor is not to exceed $400 if at all possible. Brand name isn't important but quality is a primary consideration and I'd like to build a system that I can update and keep for a number of years. I'm moving 2 HDD and 2 optical drives from my existing system to the new one which gives me a few more $$ to spend on the new system. I'm not a gamer therefore plan to use the onboard graphics card. One last note, I will be using Linux on this system and not Windows so it's important that all components are Linux compatible.
You can go to "Home build" section and take a look at others' build.
I also think that when you're building a computer for only $400, don't think about the future update ability because most parts you are buying now will all be out of date in two years and it will be hard to find newer parts that work with them. Probably just make sure you get a motherboard with on-board GPU and a PCIex16 slot for update.
I wish I could help more, but I am also a beginner who just built my first computer, so I could be wrong.