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Looking to build a seperate rig just for Linux

post #1 of 55
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Hey all this will be my second build. I don't have a lot of things to spend money on so I figure I should build another rig. I don't plan on spending TOO much. At any rate I plan to use it to learn some programming ,command line, and how other things work as well (since I don't have a very large Linux background).

Any suggestions will be appreciated
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post #2 of 55
Just look for a pre-built system without any OS pre-installed. If you can't find one, building one is easy, just make sure all the parts are compatible to the slots for them. Like, make sure sure your ram slots are compatible with the ram. IE: PC2-4200 should fit in an xmms1 for PC2-4200. Easy. Same goes with the case, to the mobo, and the mobo to the processor, and the fan sizes, and the power supply is the right size with atleast enough wattage for the gear you're plugging in. Don't buy a pair of SLI cards of you get a non-SLI mobo, and make sure the mobo can handle the video cards. Like, an EVGA 680i SLI will take 2 video cards, but those type of slots in the mobo do not accept any nvidea card over 512mb-vidram. Make notes, compare, use tabbed browsing, and just be concious of each part you order. Don't be in a rush. It's really easy.
    
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post #3 of 55
Just build it like you would a Windows based computer. However, there is one trick. Make sure when you get a part that isn't standard (like a sound card, wireless card, etc.), run a google check to see if it is supported in Linux.

I recommend you buy Nvidia, because their drivers are better supported. You'll get less bugs; there are practically no Nvidia based bugs in Linux. ATI doesn't run horrible, but I would recommend against it.

Make sure you always have a backup USB Linux (Ubuntu is one of the best) boot drive handy. If you screw something up, and it won't boot (this can happen quite often), sometimes it's as easy as just booting up a boot drive and editing a text file on your computer.

Other than that, I don't think I can come up with any suggestions for hardware. What distro are you thinking of throwing on there?
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post #4 of 55
Another thing to think about, unless you want to get into heavy graphics or play modern games go cheap. You don't need excessive ram unless you want to compile an entire desktop. That's the only thing I've compiled and gotten a hard lock on, though I was using extreme optimization (using more ram than normal). My current rig is probably over the top for anything you plan on doing and it isn't what you would call an amazing rig.
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post #5 of 55
I don't know if you've thought about this but you could also just partition your current hard drive and dual boot the linux distro of your choice or windows. Two for the price of one . Either way it's no different than building a pc for windows just a matter of how well supported the hardware is on linux and nvidia is a good way to go too. Also HP has great printer driver support.

Cheers! (Writing this from Fedora 15 x64 dual booting vista)
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post #6 of 55
well the only suggestion i really have would be to get an nvidia chip instead of ati other than that... you odnt really need a whole lot of ram for linux, 2gb will do, a dual core would fly but linux will take advantage of as many cores as you wanna throw at it

in distro choices, its really an entirely separate matter, choices are quite abundant i like a modified debian called crunchbang, others like arch linux, and others like fedora or ubuntu... and even beyond that you get people like slackware fans, or hard core gentoo guys, or even puppy linux enthusiests the one thing i would suggest though, just go 32bit there isnt much reason to run 64bit honestly... especially if you dont have more than 4gb of ram (in which case you could just use a 32bit PAE kernel) the reason being is that 64bit linux while almost exactly right there with 32bit linux, it does still have the occasional lib issue causing some compatibility issues, and for newer users it would be nice to avoid that even for advanced users its nice to avoid that if you can
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Kinda meh now...
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post #7 of 55
If you just want a box that works and don't plan to do a lot of heavy stuff on it, just get a bunch of second hand parts and shove them inside a case. A nice dual core CPU, an ATI r5xx based video card, 2-4GB of RAM, a nice size HDD, sound card optional (if you do get one, try to get an older SoundBlaster card).
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post #8 of 55
I like how OP was referring to building a computer for Linux then everyone starts by recommending distros to use. OP use whatever distro you want, hopefully you picked this out since obviously you want a dedicated machine. My first desktop I built about 4-5 years ago (AMD x2 6400+, 2gb ddr2 800, etc) runs great for arch linux. I don't pay for windows and I have two windows 7 pro licenses through my school and both are currently being used. I dislike windows anyways.
    
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post #9 of 55
Can't believe no-one has suggested it, but what you should try is Virtualbox. It's free, and will give you free reign to play around without any worry.

However, if you're insistant on building a new rig, get the cheapest CPU & mobo you can (45nm Intel, or a low-clock Phenom II), and either an Nvidia GPU card, or onboard Intel graphics if you're not that interested in 3D graphics, not that it's a big part of Linux! The more you can stick to onboard components, and Nvidia graphics, the more likely you'll have a trouble free time. Wireless can be a bit of a game though - before you commit to a wireless card, check Google for Linux compatibility.
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post #10 of 55
For the easiest compatibilityuse ethernet and nvdia, that eliminates the two most trying linux issues. Also before buying a motherboard try googling and see if things like temperature sensors will work.

I had a second rig for a while and I used it for overclocking and linux experiments. I went with an 1156 i3 4gb of ram I had lying around and an extra gtx460 I had.
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