(yet another) Which version of Linux for me?

zyberwoof

Distinguished
Apr 6, 2006
135
0
18,680
0
I'm guessing that you get tons of these posts a day, so sorry for adding another.

I am ready to start giving Linux a try, expecially since the price is so reasonable (free, booyah!). I have two systems I would like to try it on.

System #1:
Socket A Sempron 2200+
256 MB RAM

This computer's main use is a file server for backup purposes. Whatever version of Linux I put on it will need to be able to network with Windows PCs easily. FTP would be good to have included. Aside from everything else, accessing the storage over a network is this PC's main function and ease of setting up and maintaing the file sharing is the biggest priority.

Other functions I would like it to have but are not necessary at all are mail server and web server functionality. Other functionality like web browsing, using open office ect. would be nice to, but not at all necessary. It's server abilities are the first priority.


System #2:
Athlon 64 3000+
512+ MB RAM

This computer is going to be a normal "home desktop." It needs to be versitile like a desktop, and it does not need to be specialzed in any area in particular. This OS may be minimal or bloated out the wazoo since it has decent specs.


For both of these computers ease of use is really important. I am pretty decent with a PC, so I don't need the OS to be so easy it is crippled, however. Lots of community support and good help files should suffice. Also, I do not mind having multiple OS's on each computer to try them out, but I would rather not be suggested many different OS's to try out since that would take a lot of time.

Finally, one quick question...
In Windows, when I partition a hard disk it tells me that I am limited to partitioning a drive into 4 or 5 partitions max. Is this the case always, or can I make more partitons? If so I would like to so that I can install more OS's at once to try them out.


In summery...
- What OS for my file (and maybe web) server PC?
- What OS for my general purpose desktop PC?
- How many partitions can on a hard disk?

Oops, one more question... should overclocking on a linux system work the same as overclocking on a Windows system? Should the stability be the same?
 

zyberwoof

Distinguished
Apr 6, 2006
135
0
18,680
0
Ok, so you are saying that FC5, Ubuntu, CentOS, SuSE all work for both of my systems?

/dev/sda1 ext3 $drive_size-4GB /
/dev/sda2 SWAP 4GB
I have no idea what ^ means :-D

When using SFTP, what client software would I use on my other PC's to connect? Would running War FTP client work?
 

linux_0

Splendid
Dec 18, 2005
5,314
0
25,860
34
Ok, so you are saying that FC5, Ubuntu, CentOS, SuSE all work for both of my systems?

/dev/sda1 ext3 $drive_size-4GB /
/dev/sda2 SWAP 4GB
I have no idea what ^ means :-D

When using SFTP, what client software would I use on my other PC's to connect? Would running War FTP client work?


That's the partition layout.

One ext3 partition which is the size of the drive - 4GB
One SWAP partition 4GB

Check this page out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_SFTP_clients

You can use GFTP under Linux and ssh/scp/sftp

On windoze you can use any of the clients listed @ wikipedia

:-D
 

bmouring

Distinguished
May 6, 2006
1,215
0
19,360
26
Just to add some clarity here (knowledge is good! :)) the "/dev/sda1 ext3" entry corresponds to your "normal" disk (think C:\), while "/dev/sda2 SWAP" is the swap or pagefile on it's own partition (think C:\pagefile.sys).

There is no 4 partition limit (even in Windows, actually), but there is a 4 primary partition limit. One of those partitions, however, can be turned into a single large "primary" partition that actually houses many smaller "extended" partitions. It's a workaround for legacy-compatibility. I'm sure the wikipedia article and other online source have more information than you'd care to know.

Also, all of the "distros" (or distributions of linux, grouping of kernel patches and software shaped by either a community of company) mentioned by linux_0 are great starter distros that are also just technical enough that they are incredibly powerful too. You might want to look into the provided samba (Windows network shares are SMB-type traffic, hance SaMBa) capabilities as well as sftp as already pointed out. The file-server would be a great place to centralize an automated backup scheme (so that other users on the network could, if their machine is on and they are sharing a particular folder, can have an automated backup of important documents... just an idea)
 

zyberwoof

Distinguished
Apr 6, 2006
135
0
18,680
0
Thanks a lot for clarifying bmourning. Both of you have been a lot of help. I am going to go ahead and give samba a shot. If I have more questions I'll be back!
 

bmouring

Distinguished
May 6, 2006
1,215
0
19,360
26
Yup, if asked for more clarification on the automatic backup, I was ready to furl out the cron job using rsync after mounting a samba share... good stuff :)
 

zyberwoof

Distinguished
Apr 6, 2006
135
0
18,680
0
Yup, if asked for more clarification on the automatic backup, I was ready to furl out the cron job using rsync after mounting a samba share... good stuff :)
Once I start getting things set up I may be asking for more clarification/help. An automatic backup is what I have planned.
 

linux_0

Splendid
Dec 18, 2005
5,314
0
25,860
34
Yup, if asked for more clarification on the automatic backup, I was ready to furl out the cron job using rsync after mounting a samba share... good stuff :)
Once I start getting things set up I may be asking for more clarification/help. An automatic backup is what I have planned.



I would actually suggest rsync over ssh

Something like this:

[code:1:d60ea7dc2d]
rsync -artlpzv -e ssh /home/username "user@192.168.0.2:/home/username"
[/code:1:d60ea7dc2d]
 

zyberwoof

Distinguished
Apr 6, 2006
135
0
18,680
0
Allright you two, here is another question...

I am planning on using xubuntu (I think that is how it is spelled) on my less powerful, file server PC and I was wondering if I can also set it up to be my router? If so, is that functionality built in that you know of or do you have a recomendation for some software that I could use with that OS?

One with lots of features (but still easy to navigate) would be good. Features like setting priority devices, such as my Xbox. I forget what they call that feature, but I know that D-Link has something like it on one of their routers so that certain devices can get better treatment and thus less lag. :-D

My less than a year old $100 Netgear router has gone rabbid and I think I'm gonna have to put'er down.
 

linux_0

Splendid
Dec 18, 2005
5,314
0
25,860
34
Allright you two, here is another question...

I am planning on using xubuntu (I think that is how it is spelled) on my less powerful, file server PC and I was wondering if I can also set it up to be my router? If so, is that functionality built in that you know of or do you have a recomendation for some software that I could use with that OS?

One with lots of features (but still easy to navigate) would be good. Features like setting priority devices, such as my Xbox. I forget what they call that feature, but I know that D-Link has something like it on one of their routers so that certain devices can get better treatment and thus less lag. :-D

My less than a year old $100 Netgear router has gone rabbid and I think I'm gonna have to put'er down.


Any Linux or BSD machine can be a router :-D And a dang good one too!

Normally you should use 2 NICs in your router:

eth0 -> cable/DSL modem, etc

eth1 -> private LAN 192.168.0.0/24

You can either configure it by hand ( I can give you the config ), use a firewall distribution or use firewall tools with a GUI or web interface.


I'm sure bmouring will suggest something even better :-D but here goes:


http://www.smoothwall.org/

http://m0n0.ch/wall/

http://ipcop.org/

http://freshmeat.net/search/?q=linux+router&section=projects&Go.x=6&Go.y=14


:-D
 

bmouring

Distinguished
May 6, 2006
1,215
0
19,360
26
Those are great suggestions, the only one I can add is firestarter which is an app instead of a distro with a specific purpose. It's great if you want to use, say, a desktop distro for daily use but also want to use the same machine to share the network connection. If you'd rather just use the machine more as a router/server/etc I would recommend one of the distros suggested by linux_0
 

zyberwoof

Distinguished
Apr 6, 2006
135
0
18,680
0
Allright. So far I have installed unbuntu on my file server pc and I am trying to get samba working and I am trying to format all of the hard disks in the pc (other than the one with ubuntu installed on it).

First of all, I have got to say that this is driving me nuts. Going from Windows where I either know how to solve my problems or how to figure out how to solve my problems to Linux is pretty tough. I still have hardly any idea how to install software or run it. Somehow I managed to install firestarter, but that is the extent of my success.

Anyways, here ismy question...

I am trying to format my hard disks with some software called qtparted, but when I run it it says it cannot find any drives and maybe I am not root. I am guessing that means I need to be logged on as the admin to run it. How do I run a program (is it called a package on Linux?) as the admin (is it called an admin or superuser usually?)?


Once I get my file server up and running, I will be able to install ubuntu on my other PC and take the time to play around with it.
 

linux_0

Splendid
Dec 18, 2005
5,314
0
25,860
34
Allright. So far I have installed unbuntu on my file server pc and I am trying to get samba working and I am trying to format all of the hard disks in the pc (other than the one with ubuntu installed on it).

First of all, I have got to say that this is driving me nuts. Going from Windows where I either know how to solve my problems or how to figure out how to solve my problems to Linux is pretty tough. I still have hardly any idea how to install software or run it. Somehow I managed to install firestarter, but that is the extent of my success.

Anyways, here ismy question...

I am trying to format my hard disks with some software called qtparted, but when I run it it says it cannot find any drives and maybe I am not root. I am guessing that means I need to be logged on as the admin to run it. How do I run a program (is it called a package on Linux?) as the admin (is it called an admin or superuser usually?)?


Once I get my file server up and running, I will be able to install ubuntu on my other PC and take the time to play around with it.


The admin or superuser on Unix is root

To become root just type in

[code:1:b98661932b]
su -

# or

sudo su -
[/code:1:b98661932b]

su stands for switch user


to get help on any command:

[code:1:b98661932b]
man command_name

man -k keyword

info command_name

cd /usr/share/doc/program_name/
[/code:1:b98661932b]


be sure to check out:

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Linux


to install things on Ubuntu I'd advise you to use the GUI frontend to apt-get

and remember google is your friend!

Good Luck :-D

PS I'd be happy to try to help you over IM just PM me your IM info.
 

zyberwoof

Distinguished
Apr 6, 2006
135
0
18,680
0
What about if I am not running it from the terminal? There is an icon to run the software, kind of like Start -> Programs on Windows.
 

bmouring

Distinguished
May 6, 2006
1,215
0
19,360
26
Anything that has a icon launcher can be run from the terminal as well. try this:

[code:1:de06df3b20]//$ = User #=root
$ xhost +
//reply about allowing access to the X server
$ su
//Enter the root password
# qtparted
//should open a window with qtparted in it. Go from there.[/code:1:de06df3b20]

also note that the parted familiy of apps if for making of partitions, not formatting the disks. In order to do that, use the various mkfs commands.

[code:1:de06df3b20]man mkfs[/code:1:de06df3b20]

Most importantly, try not to get frustrated. We've all been there. Find some good forums and wiki's (ubuntu's got some great ones) and don't be afraid to google. We'll of course be happy to help any way we can.
 

zyberwoof

Distinguished
Apr 6, 2006
135
0
18,680
0
Thanks again you two, I think that answers my question.

My file server PC has 6 drives in it that all (except for one) are partitioned with NTFS and some have multiple partitons, so I am going to basically make them all clean and fresh.

Also, after looking around on the net for a bit, I came to the conclusion that the XFS file system would probably be best for my purposes. It seemed to be both quick and safe since it is a journaling file system (I just learned the journaling stuff a min ago :-D ).
 

bmouring

Distinguished
May 6, 2006
1,215
0
19,360
26
XFS is great for high-performance systems but if the data is critical, it is best to have the system on a UPS as the agressive caching scheme used by it can render a lot of file data either corrupted or missing during unexpected shutdowns. Journaled is nice because it guarentees that your filesystem is always structurally coherent but makes no guarantees about the file data itself. I could explain in excrutiating detail, but I'll spare you ;)

Generally, this is acceptable for most people though, just adding in my $.02 (Had a course in Unix Filesystems). XFS is great, I've never had issues with it, but I also keep the system that has it on a UPS. I generally use Reiser 3.6.
 

zyberwoof

Distinguished
Apr 6, 2006
135
0
18,680
0
If you recommend Reiser for reliability, then Reiser it is :-D

And don't be afrid to talk in depth about things like that. I am a CSCI major and it is always great to hear about advanced data structures, algorithms, and the such. ( if the "I'll spare you" part was a nice way of saying I'd rather not bother writing a huge post I understand that too :-D )
 

Similar threads