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Old 21st April 2011
Vetus Vetus is offline
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Default RE:Hardware pathfinder sought

If anyone here is successfully running both PC-BSD & Linux Mint on PC having two dedicated hard disk drives (no emulator stuff), using any Phenom II X4 CPU, without any Intel products in your build...I need your advice to choose compatible CPU, motherboard/chipset, graphic card, etc.
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Old 22nd April 2011
shep shep is offline
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I'm running Debian 6.0 on my main system. I have a test system/backup Dual Core Atom mini-itx running dual boot with Arch Linux amd64 OpenBSD current amd64. I have a very old laptop running Debian 6.0 and dual booting OpenBSD i386. and a newer laptop running Debian 6.0 dual booting with WinXP. I have another system with an all-in-one mobo that I put FreeBSD 8.2 on and tried the enlightenment desktop (enlightenment e17 was not very stable) I will probably try Arch with the new gnome 3.0 on the all-in-one mobo.
Some of these systems I have been able to put together for $170 but I watch for deals, put them together myself and shy away from high power bleeding edge hardware. In my opinion the best bang for the buck are the all in one mobos with embeded cpu (I bought an Asus C3 Terminator system for $45 that happily ran Slackware with an xfce4 desktop). Again, that was 45 dollar for a case, powersupply and all-in-one mobo. I added a recertified hard drive and dvd burner for another 50.
Biostar has a $62 mobo with embeded cpu and openchrome graphics that will run what you have mentioned but it will not be lightening fast or run flightgear flight simulator. It is enough for the base systems you are talking about.

If you want a higher end system I think Directron bundles together systems at a decent price. Link here:http://www.directron.com/ho.html?_s_icmp=systemsale. I have had good luck with them but your mileage may vary.
If your are going to put something together yourself (It is really pretty easy) Newegg has alot of refurbished and openbox parts. This openbox system will run the default Mint, PC-BSD installs along with winxp but the graphics will not give smooth 3D accelleration needed by games: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...2E16856115035R

I was replying to your previous similiar thread but found it a little hard to make suggestions as I am not sure if you are going to do any cpu intensive processing. To be honest most of the systems you want to run have the same applications. Gimp will run the same in PC-BSD or Mint
If you want the latest and greatest applications at the expense of stability run Arch
If you want applications that have been tested and patched with an eye to stability try Debian or Slackware.
If you want to learn Unix as opposed to Linux try OpenBSD or FreeBSD. You will learn very little with PC-BSD.
If you want to get some idea how the linux operating system works try Slackware. You will learn very little with Mint other than which package in synaptic to click on.

As far as hardware, unless you are planning to run multiple, threaded applications concurrently, you will probably not see much difference between a dual core and a quad-core cpu.

Last edited by shep; 22nd April 2011 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 17th May 2011
Vetus Vetus is offline
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Default Well, to answer your question...

My uses are as follows:
1. Surf the net as safely and anonymously as possible.
2. Send full screen video files, youtube clips, movies, TV shows ect., from PC to my LCD TV/DVD recorder setup to watchand record (via component, composite, or s-video connectors). Main goal is to replace moneypit Comcast with Internet-TV freesites, like Hulu.
3. Convert PAL & SECAM TV shows and DVDs to NTSC format. Also use of 'screen capture' & 'frame grabber'.
4. Burn CDs and DVDs (including bootable ones) and copy them.
5. Manipulate photos using Photoshos CS3 and GIMP.
6. Light word processing using Word 2003, Abiword, etc.
7.Secure online shopping
8.Print out Google photos to B&W Laser & color inkjet printers.
Again, I'm not interested in software/OS advice, which is why I resisted detailing this before. I've already chosen all operating systems, and see no reason to reinvent the wheel. Linux Mint 10 will be primary OS; XP Pro SP2 with BrowserLinux (on partition) is secondary; and PC-BSD 8.1 is tertiary OS.
In addition, I'll trial FortressLinux, Ultimate Edition, PinguyOS and various live CDs like Vatlator. Don't need any more operating systems...my plate is full. This post is solely for suggestions of hardware that will be compatible with Linux Mint 10, XP Pro, and PC-BSD.

This is how far I've gotten with hardware:
case: full-size tower...maybe Antec?
CPU: Phenom II x4...or Athlon II x4 as 2nd choice.
motherboard/chipset: ATX form factor. Non-integrated type. As many expansion slots as possible. Dual-BIOS (Gigabyte? Asus?). Support of 'fully buffered ECC RAM' & 'hard disk autodetection'. At least one PCIe slot. SATA2. eSATA. FireWire. USB 2.0. Gigabit ethernet.
Hard drives: three HDDs, probably Western Digital. HDD#1 is regular/internaltype, 500GB, dedicated to Linux Mint 10; HDD#2 is SATA mobile rack, probable 750GB for XP Pro SP2 +BrowserLinux on partition; HDD#3 is SATA mobile rack, 500GB, for PC-BSD 8.1.
Floppy drive: Apparently XP Pro requires it in emergency.
Optical drive: Plextor PX880SA
DVD burner: All format DVD/CD combo
Graphic card: nVIDIA I guess.
TV tuner: whatever works with all three operating systems.
Sound card: Asus Xonar D2, if possible!
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Old 18th May 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vetus View Post
My uses are as follows:
1. Surf the net as safely and anonymously as possible.
That is just not possible. Especially the second thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vetus View Post
2. Send full screen video files, youtube clips, movies, TV shows ect., from PC to my LCD TV/DVD recorder setup to watchand record (via component, composite, or s-video connectors). Main goal is to replace moneypit Comcast with Internet-TV freesites, like Hulu.
Hulu is Linux specific. Why are you bothering us? There are some good specialized Linux distros which will fit your needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vetus View Post
3. Convert PAL & SECAM TV shows and DVDs to NTSC format. Also use of 'screen capture' & 'frame grabber'.
Code:
man mencoder
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vetus View Post
4. Burn CDs and DVDs (including bootable ones) and copy them.
dvd+rw-tools. For encrypted DVDs you will have to learn how to use libcss and
mencoder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vetus View Post
5. Manipulate photos using Photoshos CS3 and GIMP.
I think that the first is misspelling and you meant Photoshop. I am not even sure that Photoshop is available on Linux let alone on *BSD. In BSD world we use little bit more advanced tools like GraphicsMagic.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vetus View Post
6. Light word processing using Word 2003, Abiword, etc.
That is ridiculous. I would have hard time that Word 2003 works via Wine even on
Linux. Wine does NOT run on most BSDs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vetus View Post
7.Secure online shopping
Not theoretically possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vetus View Post
8.Print out Google photos to B&W Laser & color inkjet printers.
There are many printers. Some of them a so called win printers. They require windows OS. Most decent now days can print of USBs and scan on them. They do not even require computer. Most decent printers speak PostScript language. They do not need any drivers to work. I do not know if you have a decent hardware.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Vetus View Post
Graphic card: nVIDIA I guess.
NVidia doesn't have open source drivers for any OS. If you want to use NVidia stick to Windows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vetus View Post
TV tuner: whatever works with all three operating systems.
There are no BSD drivers for any tuner cards except bkrt driver written by NetBSD people and ported to all BSDs. It provides support for PCI-based TV cards using a Brooktree Bt848/849/878/879 or a Conexant CN-878/Fusion 878a Video Capture Chip with the bktr(4) driver. You would have very hart time finding those on E-bay these days.
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Old 18th May 2011
shep shep is offline
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Oko posted while I was scripting a reply but I think we will both say the same thing.
You have 2 requirements that take a fair amount of processing
1) Converting Videos
2) Editing photos


Secure Internet surfing is somewhat of an oxymoron and paradoxically, the more obscure your operating system the more "security" you will have. The same applies to online shopping. Most vendors cater to encrypted "https" online ordering and I would suggest that the vendors web site is the weak link in the process. What you can do at your end is not save any passwords, encrypt your swap space and if wireless use wpa. When you talk to BSD users IMHO their focus is on the security of the entire system. Desktop users are sometimes concerned about the integrity and security of their own data and tend to want the most secure brower available. What is your focus when you talk about security?

One feature that you did not mention is if you will need flash video. My Online banking system uses it to generate confirmatory images. The BSD's need a linux based wrapper script for flash or use Gnash which is a cpu hog. If you search for security holes and flash you find that it is not very secure. If you want secure web surfing consider either not using flash or using a flash blocker browser plugin.

As far as hardware the video card will be the deciding factor and PC-BSD will will be the limiting factor. Both Mint and PC-BSD use xorg. I believe that Nvidea provides a FreeBSD/PC-BSD xorg driver so this would be your best bet. If you go AMD/ATI you should stick to the X3000 or earlier. I can't vouch for how well the Closed Source Nvidea drivers work and be aware that the xorg developers are reverse engineering the Nvidea driver. The xorg developers have been adding linux specific features to Intel and ATI drivers that have yet to be implemented in the BSD's although PC-BSD has put a developers bounty on KMS.

Any of the systems will word process, burn dvd/cd's and print although your choice of printer will matter.

I would be inclined to use 2 separate systems: one for converting videos and editing photos and feeding the videos to the LCD TV, and a less powerful system for surfing, printing, emails etc.

Last edited by shep; 18th May 2011 at 01:50 AM. Reason: Left out a period
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Old 21st May 2011
Vetus Vetus is offline
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Default Agreed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by shep View Post
Oko posted while I was scripting a reply but I think we will both say the same thing.
You have 2 requirements that take a fair amount of processing
1) Converting Videos
2) Editing photos


Secure Internet surfing is somewhat of an oxymoron and paradoxically, the more obscure your operating system the more "security" you will have. The same applies to online shopping. Most vendors cater to encrypted "https" online ordering and I would suggest that the vendors web site is the weak link in the process. What you can do at your end is not save any passwords, encrypt your swap space and if wireless use wpa. When you talk to BSD users IMHO their focus is on the security of the entire system. Desktop users are sometimes concerned about the integrity and security of their own data and tend to want the most secure brower available. What is your focus when you talk about security?

One feature that you did not mention is if you will need flash video. My Online banking system uses it to generate confirmatory images. The BSD's need a linux based wrapper script for flash or use Gnash which is a cpu hog. If you search for security holes and flash you find that it is not very secure. If you want secure web surfing consider either not using flash or using a flash blocker browser plugin.

As far as hardware the video card will be the deciding factor and PC-BSD will will be the limiting factor. Both Mint and PC-BSD use xorg. I believe that Nvidea provides a FreeBSD/PC-BSD xorg driver so this would be your best bet. If you go AMD/ATI you should stick to the X3000 or earlier. I can't vouch for how well the Closed Source Nvidea drivers work and be aware that the xorg developers are reverse engineering the Nvidea driver. The xorg developers have been adding linux specific features to Intel and ATI drivers that have yet to be implemented in the BSD's although PC-BSD has put a developers bounty on KMS.

Any of the systems will word process, burn dvd/cd's and print although your choice of printer will matter.

I would be inclined to use 2 separate systems: one for converting videos and editing photos and feeding the videos to the LCD TV, and a less powerful system for surfing, printing, emails etc.
I suspected overkill would be the way to go for Processor & RAM.

As mentioned, I've already researched software/operating systems. Those few questions I have yet to find answers to I may post later, but again, this post is only for hardware guidance. Getting a home PC is my priority, and I cannot start to acquire components until I solve the PC-BSD obstacle.

No, flash video is not needed for PC-BSD, as this is not my first choice for highly secure OS. FortressLinux and the various LiveCDs (Vatlator, Polippix, Amnesiac Incognito, etc.) were chosen to trial for that.

So back to hardware! I now know exactly what all components will work with XP Pro (pretty much anything/everything!), and I've found reasonably good list of brands/model numbers of motherboards,chipsets, CPUs, graphic cards, sound cards, NICs, etc., that will run Linux Mint 10 at:
http://community.linuxmint.com/hardware
Since XP Pro can handle anything listed at this link, all I need now is to find out which brands/model numbers of components listed here that PC-BSD 8.2 can handle. Once I have consensus of components that will work for Linux Mint 10, XP Pro, and PC-BSD 8.2, I can draw up procurement list, begin tracking them down, and passing them on to custom-build shop. PC-BSD 8.2 is the last holdout, current bottleneck, and sole reason for this post...useful (i.e. specific) hardware recommendations are welcomed!
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Old 24th May 2011
Vetus Vetus is offline
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Default Well now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oko View Post
That is just not possible. Especially the second thing.


Hulu is Linux specific. Why are you bothering us? There are some good specialized Linux distros which will fit your needs.


Code:
man mencoder

dvd+rw-tools. For encrypted DVDs you will have to learn how to use libcss and
mencoder.


I think that the first is misspelling and you meant Photoshop. I am not even sure that Photoshop is available on Linux let alone on *BSD. In BSD world we use little bit more advanced tools like GraphicsMagic.



That is ridiculous. I would have hard time that Word 2003 works via Wine even on
Linux. Wine does NOT run on most BSDs.


Not theoretically possible.


There are many printers. Some of them a so called win printers. They require windows OS. Most decent now days can print of USBs and scan on them. They do not even require computer. Most decent printers speak PostScript language. They do not need any drivers to work. I do not know if you have a decent hardware.




NVidia doesn't have open source drivers for any OS. If you want to use NVidia stick to Windows.


There are no BSD drivers for any tuner cards except bkrt driver written by NetBSD people and ported to all BSDs. It provides support for PCI-based TV cards using a Brooktree Bt848/849/878/879 or a Conexant CN-878/Fusion 878a Video Capture Chip with the bktr(4) driver. You would have very hart time finding those on E-bay these days.
can I expect to surf the net completely safe and anonymous? No. Can I make it excessively difficult for internet spies and cyberthugs to mess with me? Definitely! Security and privacy software was my first research topic, and have three-inch binder of printouts as reference. Just how safe, and how anonymous you want to be depends entirely on how much inconvenience, effort, and expense you are willing to endure.

So far as I know, both Linux and XP Pro can access Internet-TV sites, so whether or not PC-BSD can is of no importance. That is the benefit of having three OSs...if one cannot handle something, the others likely can.

PhotoShop CS3 is for XP Pro. GIMP is for Linux. I will look into 'GraphicsMagic' for PC-BSD. Thanks for the tip!

Word 2003 is for XP Pro. Abiword is for Linux. Don't know if PC-BSD has word processing software or not. Wine supposedly runs Word 2003 on Xandros Linux, and if XP Pro ever goes into catastrophic failure, I may pursue that, but until then, I'm not interested in Wine.

As for secure online shopping, refer to "safe and anonymous". While totally secure may not be "theoretically possible", this to comes in many degrees, depending on how much effort one is willing to engage.

For B&W laser printers and color inkjet printers, I require they are able to handle Linux Mint, XP Pro and PC-BSD. Next they are not ink gluttons, nor require outrageously overpriced refills (inkjet printers must have separate cartridges for each color). Lastly, absolutely no combo-crap...I want printer only (i.e. no fax, copier, etc.).

I originally wanted ATI/AMD graphics card, but everyone on other forums said I had to go nVIDIA, or else forget about Linux and BSD. Now you say the exact opposite! Plus 'shep' says opposite to you! I'm beginning to think you BSD aficionados have no idea exactly what graphic cards PC-BSD will actually use, and are just guessing! Or are you just playing at 'confuse the newbie'?

I can find pretty much anything on internet shopping sites, but need to narrow this down tospecific brands and model numbers. Trying to find generic TV tuner cards only by certain chips is likely waste of time.
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Old 24th May 2011
BSDfan666 BSDfan666 is offline
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GIMP and Abiword are definitely available for BSD, both are open source and use the GTK+ toolkit on X11.
  • ATI/AMD is good in the open source community, they contribute GPU documentation and paid developers to work on a open source driver for Xorg, which works on BSD and Linux.
  • ATI/AMD releases a proprietary driver (..catalyst/fglrx) for Windows and Linux, but not for BSD.
  • nVidia has a proprietary driver for Windows, Linux, and FreeBSD (..which obviously includes PC-BSD, which is a distribution).
  • nVidia has no open source inclinations, they release no documentation, and recommend their proprietary driver or the unaccelerated VESA on non-supported OS's.

Those of us using OpenBSD/NetBSD have no proprietary graphics drivers, and speaking for myself I wouldn't use them if they existed.. proprietary code in kernel space is a recipe for disaster.

Insulting people because you're unable to do your own research won't get you anywhere.. asking for a list of compatible hardware is flawed, a computer is made up of a lot of different components.. it is up to you to find a system with those components, people can only give you their preferences.
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Old 31st May 2011
Vetus Vetus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSDfan666 View Post
GIMP and Abiword are definitely available for BSD, both are open source and use the GTK+ toolkit on X11.
  • ATI/AMD is good in the open source community, they contribute GPU documentation and paid developers to work on a open source driver for Xorg, which works on BSD and Linux.
  • ATI/AMD releases a proprietary driver (..catalyst/fglrx) for Windows and Linux, but not for BSD.
  • nVidia has a proprietary driver for Windows, Linux, and FreeBSD (..which obviously includes PC-BSD, which is a distribution).
  • nVidia has no open source inclinations, they release no documentation, and recommend their proprietary driver or the unaccelerated VESA on non-supported OS's.

Those of us using OpenBSD/NetBSD have no proprietary graphics drivers, and speaking for myself I wouldn't use them if they existed.. proprietary code in kernel space is a recipe for disaster.

Insulting people because you're unable to do your own research won't get you anywhere.. asking for a list of compatible hardware is flawed, a computer is made up of a lot of different components.. it is up to you to find a system with those components, people can only give you their preferences.
Once upon a time (not so long ago or faraway!) thre were two ways to answer a post. First way was to ignore the post, and so silence was the answer. Second way was to actually try to actually answer the actual question. Lately a new way has arisen (probably invented by a politician or some other lowlife Master of Sophist Gobbledegook) to 'answer' a post by not answering it over and over (think Dickens reincarnated as a spin doctor). I call these 'non-answers', and define it as answering all the questions I never asked, usually in some detail, while completly ignoring the one question I actually did ask. Prior to posting I make some effort to word my question to make it as specific and easy to understand as possible. When a responder reads this question, decides that this is not the question I really wanted to ask, but he knows exactly what I meant to ask, so he then reworks and rewords my question to his whim, and proceeds to answer this fantasy question...which always has little if any resemblance to my actual post...yes Bucky, this irritates me! Usually I'll count to ten, and ignore this answer. But if he slips in a little barb ("Why are you bothering us?") with this non-answer, expect a sarcastic quip in return. If you cannot take it, don't dish it out. And by the way, I noticed your 'insultodetector' managed to zero in on my barb, yet remained oblivious to his. Playing one-sided referee "won't get you anywhere".

"asking for list of compatible hardware is flawed"

When the day comes that PC-BSD (or any other BSD) can claim to run on almost any brand/model number of any component, as XP Pro does, then your statement holds up. Until then, I'll assume you're joking. I know for certain not all brands/model numbers of graphic cards will work on PC-BSD. Some work excellent, some sorta work, others don't work at all. I suspect the same holds true for sound cards, NICs, and who knows what other components! As one doing custom-build and supplying most of the components, I need to know which specific brands and model numbers of motherboards/chipsets, CPUs, graphic cards, etc. are known to work excellent, so I can avoid them that only sorta work, and the crap that don't work at all. So far as I see, the only way to insure this is some sort of list. This has absolutely nothing to do with people's personal "preferences". It about what works, what kinda/sorta works, and what won't work at all!

"you're unable to do your own research"

I learned to research using the book "Google and Other Search Engines". After couple years of practice, I've about 75% success rate. I found all needed hardware info for XP Pro in an hour. Found all needed info on BEOS, Haiku, eComStation (and other OS I've passed on) within day to three weeks.
I sarted research in late December, and still no progress on PC-BSD. That is totally ridiculous.
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Old 31st May 2011
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PC-BSD is FreeBSD, you're not trying hard enough.

FreeBSD, like many of the BSD projects, includes many drivers for a wide range of hardware from a wide range of vendors.. covering a wide range of chipsets, and revisions of said chipsets.

The best way to tell if any operating system works with your hardware is to try it, driver man pages tend to document chipset and rarely product names, and sometimes a product name stays the same while the chipset is radically altered or replaced entirely.

FreeBSD/OpenBSD/NetBSD works on i386 systems as old as the i486, supporting ancient ISA NE2000 cards, all the way up to i7 and equivalent AMD with 1/10 Gigabit Ethernet.

PC-BSD may have a custom kernel configuration, read their documentation and see what hardware they recommend.. in fact, the commercial company backing that project sells complete systems running PC-BSD.

If you want to continue being helplessly difficult, you'll find BSD is not for you.
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Old 1st June 2011
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Vetus, It appears to me that you have put alot of effort into this but speaking for myself, I do not understand the rationale to having super home pc running a gazillion operating systems. As you are starting to find out (and was mentioned in earlier posts) both PC-BSD and Mint run Gimp and Abiword. For that matter Gimp and Abiword run on WinXP

You also will have an extremely complex boot scheme (grub, grub2, lilo or freebsd bootloader in PC-BSD) that will cause you significant headaches. My advice (you can take or leave it) is to set up a system that you use to work and a second one to try out different OS's. You will break something at sometime - hopefully it will not be on the system that has data that you value. The second one will also give you an opportunity to setup a home network, network printer, network storage, music server etc. The second one can be very cheap and does not need to be running "overkill on processor and ram"

Anotherl point, when you generate document say using Mint/Abword it would be nice to be able to manipulate it in WinXP MS Office. In my opinion OpenOffice/LibreOffice documents are more compatible with MS office. Both Mint/PC-BSD will have OpenOffice or it's fork Libreoffice

Lastly, very few individuals in these forum use PC-BSD. The forum regulars are much more likely to use FreeBSD as a minimal install and then add only the applications that they intend to run on that particular machine - ie "keep it simple s****" You might want to see if the PC-BSD forums will give you a specific video card to use but be aware the key is actually the chip set that the card uses.

Last edited by shep; 1st June 2011 at 03:27 AM. Reason: Added Open Office/ Libreoffice
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