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 2006-03-08, 21:48 #1 rx7350     Feb 2006 AR, US 24×32 Posts Linux - what version to use, where doI get it I want to minimize costs on a new build, so what version of Linux should I use, and is there anywhere I can get it free?
 2006-03-08, 22:32 #2 victor     Oct 2005 Fribourg, Switzerlan 22·32·7 Posts Take a debian http://www.debian.org/ or a gentoo www.gentoo.org (better IMO, but harder to install ;))
 2006-03-09, 01:58 #3 paulunderwood     Sep 2002 Database er0rr 2·7·281 Posts I use Ubuntu for my desktop -- it is Gnome-based, easy to install and easy to upgrade from the net. For my prime servers I do a minimal install of Debian using the small "net install" disk which then grabs stuff from the net. (<350Mb installed) Easy to upgrade with "apt-get" Last fiddled with by paulunderwood on 2006-03-09 at 02:00
 2006-03-09, 13:03 #4 rx7350     Feb 2006 AR, US 2208 Posts I'm totally ignorant on Linux distros, so some basic questions please: 1) Do any of these distros have GUIs similar to windows? 2) 64-bit, dual-core support, and does the Linux version of Prime95 do 64-bit 3) I assume the dsitros you all mentioned are compatible with running Prime95? 4) Are Linux distros generally targets of hackers, viruses, and spyware, to the point where I would need a firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware. Are there any packages available for free to accomplish this? 5) Are there any browser packages available for free? 6) Is it possible to remote from a Windows machine to a Linux machine? My intent is to build a dual-core, Intel architecture machine, as cheaply as possible, to be sued only to run Prime95. How successful I am at keeping the cost per machine down determines how many nodes I can build. So, any OS, and associated applications I can get for free helps accomplish that goal a ton. Thx for help?
2006-03-09, 13:34   #5
paulunderwood

Sep 2002
Database er0rr

2×7×281 Posts

Quote:
 1) Do any of these distros have GUIs similar to windows?
Yes. KDE is the desktop most like Windows desktop. Gnome is good too. There are others -- Windowmaker, IceWM, fvwm etc. KDE and Gnome are the most commonly used.

Quote:
 2) 64-bit, dual-core support, and does the Linux version of Prime95 do 64-bit
I believe that it does not! You will have to run two 32-bit versions of "mprime" which is the Linux version of prime95 -- one for each core.

Quote:
 3) I assume the dsitros you all mentioned are compatible with running Prime95?
Linux will run "mprime" natively. Prime95 can be run with a Windows emulator such as WINE under linux.

Quote:
 4) Are Linux distros generally targets of hackers, viruses, and spyware, to the point where I would need a firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware. Are there any packages available for free to accomplish this?
I think Linux boxes are difficult for hackers -- nothing is totally infallable. Windows is hacked to death because 95% of computers are running exactly the same closed source systems -- XP or 2000. Viruses are almost nil and what's more if there were a virus it would be patched in a day or two. M$tends to leave exploits open for weeks or months because it has to "test it thoroughly". Linux's depends heavily on passwords. So if you install a "ssh" server and let the world have access to the server's port and use weak passwords then an account can be broken into. If that account is "root" then you are in big trouble. There are various ways to ensure thing like this don't happen -- don't allow root access across "ssh" and, most importantly, use strong passwords which you should change on a regular basis. Quote:  5) Are there any browser packages available for free? You bet!!! There are many. Mozilla is a free browser. I'm using Firefox from my Ubuntu desktop to do this! Quote:  6) Is it possible to remote from a Windows machine to a Linux machine? I've not done this, but it is possible using a program called, I think, "putty".  2006-03-09, 15:21 #6 rx7350 Feb 2006 AR, US 100100002 Posts paulaunderwood, and everyone - Thank you so much, great info!!! Could I indulge you further, please? Do these Linux distros do an adequate job of utilizing both cores of a dual-core processor? As a side thought, does XP Home do as well as XP Pro as far as utilizing both cores of a dual-core processor? How much do you have to do from the command line, as opposed to how much can you do from the GUI? I assume that any Linux distro is still independent of the mobo BIOS? Meaning, I don't have to interact with the BIOS differently jsut because I'm not running Windows? What is the quickest way to search for a package that may do a similar function as a Windows app? Or, are there Windows emulators running alongside the distro GUI that would allow me to use the same Windows app? Since this machine will only be running mprime (Prime95), I won't have a need for too many types of apps, but it would be nice to run some of the hardware manufacturers' utilities. For example, ASUS has a utility called 'PC PROBE' that gives a display on the desktop that shows temps (CPU, etc) and voltages - very nice to monitor how the system is reacting to it's environment, and overclocking attempts. I can do my due diligence on the Forums to educate myself on Linux distros, but I really just needed some info on where to start. Thanks again for your time!!  2006-03-09, 15:24 #7 victor Oct 2005 Fribourg, Switzerlan 22·32·7 Posts >1) Do any of these distros have GUIs similar to windows? IMO, Gnome is the most windows-like window manager. You can install it Debian and Gentoo of course, and it is by default in Ubuntu (as said above). >2) 64-bit, dual-core support, and does the Linux version of Prime95 do 64-bit With Linux, (almost) everything is possible. I don't know for any other distro, but in Gentoo you can active dual-core support in the kernel, it's not a problem but it could be quite complicated if you are not familiar with linux's world :( >3) I assume the dsitros you all mentioned are compatible with running Prime95? Yep. >4) Are Linux distros generally targets of hackers, viruses, and spyware, to the point where I would need a firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware. Are there any packages available for free to accomplish this? Debian and Gentoo have both thousands of free stable software, including anti-virii, firewalls, anti-spywares... You will never have to pay anything. (and since I use linux, I haven't seen any virus) >5) Are there any browser packages available for free? Much more than for windows! Epyphany, Konqueror, Firefox, Netscape, Opera, links, elink, lynx, Galeon, Amaya, Dillo ... >6) Is it possible to remote from a Windows machine to a Linux machine? Yes, with SSH. You just have to install cygwin on your windows box, and an openSSH server on the linux box. Then you can have a total remote control. 2006-03-09, 15:42 #8 paulunderwood Sep 2002 Database er0rr 2×7×281 Posts Quote:  Do these Linux distros do an adequate job of utilizing both cores of a dual-core processor? As a side thought, does XP Home do as well as XP Pro as far as utilizing both cores of a dual-core processor? Yes and yes. Quote:  How much do you have to do from the command line, as opposed to how much can you do from the GUI? Most things can be done from the GUIs. Sometimes you might have to open the bonnet and use the command line. Quote:  I assume that any Linux distro is still independent of the mobo BIOS? Meaning, I don't have to interact with the BIOS differently jsut because I'm not running Windows? It is BIOS independent, although there is a push for things like DRM (Digital rights management) Quote:  What is the quickest way to search for a package that may do a similar function as a Windows app? Or, are there Windows emulators running alongside the distro GUI that would allow me to use the same Windows app? With Ubuntu, I use the "synaptic package manager" GUI which can be used at different "scopes" to search and get what you need from the net. It is comprehensive. You can get most things you need. If you have a Windows application ($) that you must have then maybe WINE will run it.

Quote:
 Since this machine will only be running mprime (Prime95), I won't have a need for too many types of apps, but it would be nice to run some of the hardware manufacturers' utilities. For example, ASUS has a utility called 'PC PROBE' that gives a display on the desktop that shows temps (CPU, etc) and voltages - very nice to monitor how the system is reacting to it's environment, and overclocking attempts.

Quote:
 I can do my due diligence on the Forums to educate myself on Linux distros, but I really just needed some info on where to start.
I strongly recommend you grab Ubuntu (AMD64) and try it out. It is one 650Mb iso download that you burn out to a CD as an iso. It'll require about 3 gig for the system plus a few gig for yourself. You will be pleasantly supprised by it -- Open Office, the GIMP, etc etc whose equvalent from the M$world would cost many hundreds of dollars  2006-03-09, 16:14 #9 paulunderwood Sep 2002 Database er0rr 2×7×281 Posts With respect to Linux and BIOSs: turn off "PnP operating system" (plug and play)  2006-03-09, 17:10 #10 nngs Jun 2004 22·3·5 Posts 1) Do any of these distros have GUIs similar to windows? Yes. Many windows managers under X can simulate M$Windows, and even offer better looks. BUT, if your purpose of building a machine is for GIMPS exclusively, then I suggest you not installing any X packages (they just waste your cpu cycles, at least 2-3%, based on my experience). 3) I assume the dsitros you all mentioned are compatible with running Prime95? GIMPS provides a linux version of Prime95, called mprime, available at the download page. 4) Are Linux distros generally targets of hackers, viruses, and spyware, to the point where I would need a firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware. Are there any packages available for free to accomplish this? Iptables (need some time to figure out how to use it). Or, simply, putting your linux behind a router ($40~50, they all come with a firewall, i think) will make life easier. 5) Are there any browser packages available for free? For the systems without X, links or links2 or lynx are good txt browsers. 6) Is it possible to remote from a Windows machine to a Linux machine? If you install sshd in your linux box (in most cases, it's installed by default), "putty" (freeware) is a great ssh client under WINDOWS Last fiddled with by nngs on 2006-03-09 at 17:16 2006-03-09, 17:22 #11 paulunderwood Sep 2002 Database er0rr 2×7×281 Posts Quote:  1) Do any of these distros have GUIs similar to windows? Yes. Many windows managers under X can simulate M$Windows, and even offer better looks. BUT, if your purpose of building a machine is for GIMPS exclusively, then I suggest you not installing any X packages (they just waste your cpu cycles, at least 2-3%, based on my experience).
While this is true if you are running the desktop, it is not so true if the computer is at the login manager (GDM) where I'd expect 99.9% for my number-cruching applications.

Many of my boxes have no X server/applications installed mainly to save on disk space and to lesser extent , as you say, to cut down on wasted cycles for graphics.

Last fiddled with by paulunderwood on 2006-03-09 at 17:24

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