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The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-tech mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox-tech] Newbie: On building a Linux box
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Re: [vox-tech] Newbie: On building a Linux box



on Mon, Sep 16, 2002, Rod Roark (rod@sunsetsystems.com) wrote:
> On Monday 16 September 2002 07:16 am, B Raiford wrote:
> > I like building my own computers, so I built one for Linux. Now I find out
> > almost none of the components are compatible with Red Hat (the distribution
> > I've got); some are compatible with SuSE (available and recommended by a
> > friend).
> >
> > Red Hat didn't list any motherboards, 

Unlikely.

>> so I figured they would all work; there were also no hard disks
>> listed. 

I agree with others that you're misdiagnosing your problem and providing
inconsistent and/or insufficient information.

>> I try to install Red Hat and find that the chip set and the hard disk
>> will not work. As far as I can tell I will have to build another box,
>> so here is the question:
> >
> > Is there an easy (minimum headaches) way of selecting components for
> > this new box. What I have started doing is: Make a list of
> > motherboards and chipsets available, Check with each site to see
> > which are compatible with which Linux distribution, Purchase the
> > best of the compatible motherboards Make a list of video cards
> > available Check with each site...
> >
> > When I bought the boards for the box I've been trying to use, I
> > asked if it was Linux compatible, and was told "yes." I had
> > forgotten that computer component sales people fall into the same
> > category as used car salesmen (ie, "yes"=commission).

Yes, they do.

The _only_ way to be _completely_ certain is to select your components
off of a known HW compatibility list.  That said, there isn't much
hardware that doesn't function at least partially under GNU/Linux.
Primary problem areas are:

   - Video -- newer cards in particular.
   - Sound -- newer cards in particular.
   - WinModems -- virtually all of 'em.

> One good way to check hardware compatibility is with a Google Groups
> search in comp.os.linux.hardware, to see what other folks are
> reporting.

I'm becoming increasingly fond of dropping a bootable live GNU/Linux CD
onto a box, and seeing what it comes up with.

Two favorites are the LNX-BBC and Knoppix (URLs below).  I also like to
run a script to gather as much information from the now-running system
as possible, for use in configuring the box as you build up a new
installation on it.  Better yet, run debootstrap, and put a Real
Distribution[tm] on it (Debian ;-).

    LNX-BBC:  http://www.lnx-bbc.org/
    Knoppix:   www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html

Script for dumping system information in useful form:

    http://kmself.home.netcom.com/Download/system-info

    (save output to file and print or copy to removeable media).

Knoppix _may_ have an alternative 'si' (system information viewer),
which effectively does the same thing, though in greater detail and
length.

Peace.

-- 
Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
    Anyone who quotes me in their sig is an idiot.
     -- Rusty Russell

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