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Old 18th March 2011
Vetus Vetus is offline
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Default Motherboard advice wanted...

Preparing to get PC via custom-build shop. Will have four HDDs (one for XP Pro, one for PC-BSD 8.1, one for Linux Mint 7). Fourth will be mobile rack-type to trial various operating systems. Looking to use either Phenom II (x2, x3, or x4) or Athlon II (x2, x3, or x4) CPU. Hoping for Asus or Gigabyte Dual-BIOS motherboard, but main thing is support for all 3 operating systems. Also hoping to avoid using any Intel or NVIDIA components in build, if at all possible. Anyone know of motherboards that fit these needs?
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Old 19th March 2011
shep shep is offline
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Based on your wanting to run various Operation Systems it seems that you are mainly building to experience different Distributions rather than to accomplish some specific tasks. Also some of the systems you mention have had newer releases - in particular Linux Mint 10 and PC-BSD 8.2 have recently been released.

The system that I use day in and out gets the newest hardware and the most stable Operating system that I can generate to get my work done. When I want to try out a new configuration or OS it goes in the older hardware. Multiboot systems have their place ($5000 CAD program that only runs on XP) but you only use one at a time on a single box (I don't use virtual machines). I wonder what PC-BSD does that LInux Mint does not?

I would also suggest that the experience of building a custom FreeBSD system (you should come pretty close to duplicating the Mint applications) will teach you a great deal. All distros usually have a hardware compatibility list and comparing the one you find on the MInt Web site vs the one on the FreeBSD site will be enlightening. In general Linux tends to support the latest hardware earlier than the BSD's.
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Old 30th March 2011
Vetus Vetus is offline
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Default Well, I have specific tasks...

Quote:
Originally Posted by shep View Post
Based on your wanting to run various Operation Systems it seems that you are mainly building to experience different Distributions rather than to accomplish some specific tasks. Also some of the systems you mention have had newer releases - in particular Linux Mint 10 and PC-BSD 8.2 have recently been released.

The system that I use day in and out gets the newest hardware and the most stable Operating system that I can generate to get my work done. When I want to try out a new configuration or OS it goes in the older hardware. Multiboot systems have their place ($5000 CAD program that only runs on XP) but you only use one at a time on a single box (I don't use virtual machines). I wonder what PC-BSD does that LInux Mint does not?

I would also suggest that the experience of building a custom FreeBSD system (you should come pretty close to duplicating the Mint applications) will teach you a great deal. All distros usually have a hardware compatibility list and comparing the one you find on the MInt Web site vs the one on the FreeBSD site will be enlightening. In general Linux tends to support the latest hardware earlier than the BSD's.
but 'test driving' other operating systems takes priority above everything. Right now XP Pro SP2 is all I can use, and I'm very aware this OS is living on borrowed time. Detest Vista & Windows 7. My first and primary task is to find replacement for XP Pro before it goes 'belly up'. I can find more/better instructional books on the Ubuntu version (9.04?) that Linux Mint7 is based on, plus don't see anything Linux Mint 10 has that Linux Mint 7 doesn't...at least nothing I need. Same for PC-BSD 8.2. Just not interested in constant upgrades for the sake of upgrades (one reason to wave byebye to ole Billy Gates). The neverending pursuit of the 'latest&greatest&biggest&best' does not move me, but to each his own I guess.

As for what PC-BSD does that Linux Mint does not, I've no idea. If there were NO differences there would not be different BSD & Linux distros, nor loyal followers of each. Why do some like Dodge, some swear by Lexus, others favor Mazda...a car is a car, right? I won't know which I like best til I give them a trial! This will be my first home PC, and likely the last, plus my focus is on 'future-proofing', so there is unlikely to ever be "older hardware".

I have been trying to compare PC-BSD & Linux Mint hardware for months now. Not much progress....especially on chipset/CPU, motherboards, etc. Don't have much positive to say about Billie Gates but at least he has the foresight to make finding all necessary hardware info easy, detailed, and up to date!

Last edited by Vetus; 30th March 2011 at 10:09 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 31st March 2011
shep shep is offline
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Quote:
The neverending pursuit of the 'latest&greatest&biggest&best' does not move me, but to each his own I guess
Have you looked at Debian? It is not the latest and greatest but it very stable, security upgrades are maintained for all portions of the operating system and it has a very large variety of packages. Selecting the defaults during an install has a good probability of getting you a usable system.

Quote:
Well, I have specific tasks...
Firefox works the same in either BSD or Linux. Same with Thunderbird, Sylpheed, Kmail, Claws-Mail, alpine, mutt for email. Perhaps what you need to settle on is which applications meet your needs. Most operating systems allow you to pick and choose browsers, email clients etc. Listing your tasks also be helpful. As an example, I manage my bank account online and my Bank requires a flash plugin and javascript which made linux a better choice (I don't like the idea of running wrapper inside of BSD for the plugin)

The other question is if you want to learn the basic features of the operating system or just want it to work with the click of a button. You will learn more with Slackware or OpenBSD/FreeBSD. If your network does not work with PC-BSD you will not have learned the basics of setting it up or how to trouble shoot it. Yet someone who is familiar with FreeBSD would have not problem looking at the configuration files in PC-BSD.

Last edited by shep; 31st March 2011 at 04:24 AM.
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Old 31st March 2011
drhowarddrfine drhowarddrfine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vetus View Post
my focus is on 'future-proofing'
Then you want FreeBSD. In another thread, there's a discussion of new things that Linux has come out with that are incompatible with previous versions of Linux and the BSDs. FreeBSD has always had the reputation of staying with the tried and true and only carefully venturing into anything that creates major change.

fwiw, my little company runs on FreeBSD for everything except one Windows box we use for QuickBooks, and that's it.
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Old 31st March 2011
shep shep is offline
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Future Proofing is a fine goal but in practice hard to accomplish. I'm saying that as I look at a box of Socket A CPU's, AGP video cards and pc133 memory.
The manufacturers of desktop hardware keep changing it. I just helped a neighbor who bought a new HP/Compaq system put a wireless card in it. It only had a PCI-e and a PCi -e16 slot. My old pci wireless cards are looking at future extinction.

Video drivers are also a current issue as most of the mainline cards (intel, amd/radeon)
are implementing KMS which at this time is only available in Linux. The BSD's
run older video drivers or heavily patched video drivers. I read someplace that
to get the new intel video driver to work in OpenBSD it took 4000 lines of additional code.

Another suggestion is that best future proofing is to pick a main line operating system and learn it. If you learn it you will be able to make it what you want. Judge the OS by the documentation, the forums and how security is handled

Mint and PC-PSC basically choose applications for you and the Mint version I saw
looked like a mish-mash of Gnome and KDE applications. PC-BSD is largely KDE although you can add gnome or xfce. I personally don't like the idea of having a
lot of bloat on a system (more to go wrong, more places for security holes, more
overhead maintaining daemons that you may not even use).

There are also 2 Slackware derivatives that have a philosophy of one task, one application. Zenwalk and Salix are extremely simple installs and are available
with various desktops (KDE, Gnome, Xfce4, openbox, fluxbox).
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Old 4th April 2011
Vetus Vetus is offline
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Default For me its not optional...

Quote:
Originally Posted by shep View Post
Future Proofing is a fine goal but in practice hard to accomplish. I'm saying that as I look at a box of Socket A CPU's, AGP video cards and pc133 memory.
The manufacturers of desktop hardware keep changing it. I just helped a neighbor who bought a new HP/Compaq system put a wireless card in it. It only had a PCI-e and a PCi -e16 slot. My old pci wireless cards are looking at future extinction.

Video drivers are also a current issue as most of the mainline cards (intel, amd/radeon)
are implementing KMS which at this time is only available in Linux. The BSD's
run older video drivers or heavily patched video drivers. I read someplace that
to get the new intel video driver to work in OpenBSD it took 4000 lines of additional code.

Another suggestion is that best future proofing is to pick a main line operating system and learn it. If you learn it you will be able to make it what you want. Judge the OS by the documentation, the forums and how security is handled

Mint and PC-PSC basically choose applications for you and the Mint version I saw
looked like a mish-mash of Gnome and KDE applications. PC-BSD is largely KDE although you can add gnome or xfce. I personally don't like the idea of having a
lot of bloat on a system (more to go wrong, more places for security holes, more
overhead maintaining daemons that you may not even use).

There are also 2 Slackware derivatives that have a philosophy of one task, one application. Zenwalk and Salix are extremely simple installs and are available
with various desktops (KDE, Gnome, Xfce4, openbox, fluxbox).
as I've no plan to constantly taxi full-size tower to and from custom build shop every few years, or waste couple thousand dollars on new rig every five years. This one I'm designing will be it, for better or worse...so I'd best be dang sure to do it right the first time! Ever think the manufacturers "keep changing it" because the 'latest&greatest&biggest&best' addicts keep buying into it? I've been using the same crappy Dell PC at library for past two years, and if a clone of it is all I could afford, I'd be satisfied. As is, I've discovered local custom-build shop that is okay with me supplying the components. This allows me two advantages. First I can buy parts one at a time, which gives me greater purchase power;second, I can pick optimal hardware to satisfy each OS.
What little I understand about KMS, pre-R600 Ati Radeon graphic cards work just as well with both Linux & PC-BSD...if true, I see no reason for "mainline cards".

Anyway, my software research concluded last year. Recommendations from Linux forums was that for newbie like me the best choices was PCLinuxOS, Linux Mint 7, Xandros 4, or Ultimate Edition 2.2. I studied each and choose Linux Mint 7, as having the most complete applications, easiest to learn, and having best instructional books...same reason I choose PC-BSD. XP Pro for reason already stated in previous post. I'm now focused on hardware, as I want to have all components bought and delivered to shop at least before end of year...a lot sooner even better! I'm looking for suggestions of motherboards/chipsets, CPUs, graphic cards/TV tuners, sound cards, NICs, routers /w NAT/SPI,& printers (both B&W laser and color inkjet), that are known compatible with all three operating systems.
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