[BLUG] [Fwd]

Mark Warner markwarner1954 at att.net
Sun Feb 7 12:53:02 EST 2010

Comments inline.

> I am new to the BLUG mailing list. 


> I am in the process of having a desktop computer build from scratch - I 
> want it to be compatible with Linux and so would like to speak with 
> someone knowledgeable about hardware issues and Linux support. 

I assemble computers for my workplace and for individuals. In nearly all 
cases, I find that starting with a bundle of some sort from Tiger or 
NewEgg gives me a good basic machine at a reasonable price, and 
everything I've built in the last three years has been completely 
compatible with Linux. Probably the biggest reason for that is the fact 
that the components that are bundled are no longer the most current, 
latest 'n greatest, cutting edge stuff, and that the kernel developers 
have had time to integrate that hardware compatibility into the kernel.

> Mark Krenz recommend getting an Nvidia graphics card (ATI will work, but 
> can be tricky – problems with ATI was also mentioned by another BLUG 
> member).  Mark also said that Intel graphics chipsets suck in general 
> and cause problems.  I have been looking at a Gigibyte mother board 
> (GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX), but reviews on Newegg.com mention 
> problems with memory slots (either the board was OK or some of the 
> memory slots didn’t work – or failed within 6 months).  I have also read 
> on the web that Asus mother boards do not play well with Linux.  I am 
> currently searching the Linux forums for more information.  Do any of 
> the BLUG have suggestions for a mother board that are reliable and 
> compatible with Linux?

I would agree with Mark re: nVidia over ATI. I prefer using nVidia 
chipped boards, AMD processors, and nVidia graphics. I've had good luck 
with MSI, Asus, and Gigabyte boards. (And I've been badly burned on a 
couple occasions by BioStar. JME. YMMV.)

It all depends on how much you want to spend, how "cutting edge" you 
feel you need to be (remember, it's going to be outdated a week after 
it's built), and how much horsepower you require. You can go really 
basic for around $350, middle of the road for $450, and $600 will build 
you a rocket ship if you shop and buy smart. My last build was for an 
individual, an Asus/nVidia/AMD with a 3.0GHz dual core, 4G RAM, and 
512MB integrated graphics. It came in right at $500, ran like a scared 
rabbit, and should provide excellent performance for many years to come.

> I agree with Mark Warner’s comment: most of “what you guys talk about 
> here is waaay over my head 90% of the time.”  I am definitely a newbie.  
> So far I have loaded Ubuntu 9.10 as a dual boot with XP – but I haven’t 
> worked out all of the hardware/driver problems (nor the LAN/firewall 
> connections) – but still having fun.

Something doesn't sound right there. (Unless you're talking about a Wubi 
install, then all bets are off.) In 98% of cases, a wired Ethernet 
connection should be enabled out of the box. And frankly, if you're 
running behind a NAT router, I wouldn't be too concerned about 
firewalling a new desktop install. Messing with iptables, even with the 
GUI front ends available, gains you little and can cause difficulties. 

Mark Warner
Registered Linux User #415318

More information about the BLUG mailing list