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Old May 22, 2007, 08:26 AM
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I recently (last Dec) starting running ubuntu for the sole purpose of running the 64 bit SMP folding client from stanford. (Join the HCF folding team - we need new members )

While ubuntu is pretty good for a noob like me it still took some learning so i could do simple tasks and file sharing in support of my folding, but not a huge amount.

One thing to consider tho, is you seem to be moving to get away from setup issues with vista. There is no plug and play in ubuntu ... not sure if there is anything like it in the other distros since i have not tried them.

My first setup was pretty smooth on a p5b-d once i learned to disable the nic in bios that ubuntu wouldn't use/got hung up on - the other onboard pci nic worked fine.

Lately i have been having problems with lan drivers on fiesty 7.04 with multiple ds3's. Only 1 of them will use the onboard marvell nic and the others i have had to put older pci nics into them to.
6 of the 7 ds3's are the latest rev level with a newer marvel chip.

I also run it on p5w64's and p5wd2/-E/-P - no issues with onboard nic's with these. On the p5wd2-p i needed to update to the latest bios level.

I run minimal pci video on these rigs but i expect you could have similar driver issues with new graphics cards. From what i have read, the linux graphics drivers are not 'as good' as the windows ones from a performance/oc'ing perspective, and default drivers are not always that great.

I don't know if the sound works or not since i don't connect speakers to any of the folding rigs.

If you change your hardware config very often, you may need to learn a lot more than i have to get it running. When i make a hardware change, i just reinstall since it is pretty fast ~30-45 minutes. To get my folding app running i just copy its directory from a template on another rig so it is trivial - it just runs in a terminal window. But that is the only app i use on them other than the built in ones.

I am running Ubuntu 6.06 on ~ 5 rigs, 6.10 on another 5 and 7.04 on another 5.

I am not trying to turn you off linux (ubuntu), I think it is great, and free
But for the enthusiast, i think it takes a bit more than windows since there are so many linux distros, the software/hardware packages don't get the same amount of testing and integration work that they get on wxp.
For just running office/browser apps, i think it is a pretty good alternative to windows.
Some of what you say is correct and some of what you say is incorrect. When it comes to USB devices its pretty good for detecting them and installing the drivers if they are there. Linux can be setup in 1 of 2 ways; Hard code the drivers into the kernel or use modules.

If your system is one where hardware will never change and you know what USB devices will always be plugged in them learning to compile your kernel is beneficial as it will allow your computer to run more efficiently because its setup specifically to your hardware.

The second way is what is called modules and you can have the entire kernel setup so that is uses modules so that if you add any new hardware to your system you don't have to remake a kernel and you just insert the module and it'll detect the hardware on itself if its compatible with linux and you go from there.

What people need to understand about linux is that its a community of people and if something isn't recognized or supported well its because either nobody has it or its too difficult for the moment to reverse engineer drivers and since a lot of hardware is a lot newer now it makes things a bit more difficult.

In regards to if there is a distro that would be better for encoding and such? No. The reason for this is that in a whole (I've said it before) linux is linux its just how its setup that it differs. Some distros have better selection of software than others ie: Gentoo vs Debian which makes Ubuntu a good starting platform for people to get their feet wet.
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Old May 22, 2007, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by enaberif View Post
Some of what you say is correct and some of what you say is incorrect. When it comes to USB devices its pretty good for detecting them and installing the drivers if they are there. Linux can be setup in 1 of 2 ways; Hard code the drivers into the kernel or use modules.

If your system is one where hardware will never change and you know what USB devices will always be plugged in them learning to compile your kernel is beneficial as it will allow your computer to run more efficiently because its setup specifically to your hardware.

The second way is what is called modules and you can have the entire kernel setup so that is uses modules so that if you add any new hardware to your system you don't have to remake a kernel and you just insert the module and it'll detect the hardware on itself if its compatible with linux and you go from there.

What people need to understand about linux is that its a community of people and if something isn't recognized or supported well its because either nobody has it or its too difficult for the moment to reverse engineer drivers and since a lot of hardware is a lot newer now it makes things a bit more difficult.

In regards to if there is a distro that would be better for encoding and such? No. The reason for this is that in a whole (I've said it before) linux is linux its just how its setup that it differs. Some distros have better selection of software than others ie: Gentoo vs Debian which makes Ubuntu a good starting platform for people to get their feet wet.

I didn't even think of commenting on usb devices since i disable it on all my dedicated folding rigs whether windoze or linux (they are all dual boot). I have gotten into the habit of disabling it on my folding rigs just to remove it as a variable when i am oc'ing. I only use usb devices on my main wxp rig.

I am interested in your second way of configuring linux ... by modules. Is this an approach available on all distro's? Sounds like an area I should do some reading on. Does this mean compiling the modules for whichever kernal you are using? The noob than i am , and gui addicted vs command line, I have yet to successfuly compile anything on ubuntu. I think maybe i was trying to do it in one of my failed attempts at getting the sky2 driver working on fiesty ... or maybe it was just trying to install the compiled module :shrug:
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Old May 23, 2007, 08:51 AM
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Modules is with every version of Linux, it has to do with the kernel. Some distros make it more difficult to compile the kernel though, like Ubuntu. Once installed, you would need to install the Kernel headers and also ncurses in order to configure the kernel and then compile. Some distros have all of this built-in so you should be good to go.

Once you compile a kernel, the modules will be ready. All you will need to do is "modprobe modulename" as a root user. It's a very smart way of doing things and is why Linux systems rarely have to reboot for anything, whereas you can install something in Windows that's simple and you are forced to reboot.
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Old May 23, 2007, 01:11 PM
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Modules is with every version of Linux, it has to do with the kernel. Some distros make it more difficult to compile the kernel though, like Ubuntu. Once installed, you would need to install the Kernel headers and also ncurses in order to configure the kernel and then compile. Some distros have all of this built-in so you should be good to go.

Once you compile a kernel, the modules will be ready. All you will need to do is "modprobe modulename" as a root user. It's a very smart way of doing things and is why Linux systems rarely have to reboot for anything, whereas you can install something in Windows that's simple and you are forced to reboot.
Bit misleading as its very simple to install stuff on Ubuntu as its debian based so its just a matter of using apt-get and no you don't need the kernel headers you only need the kernel source and also modules are only created if you specify them in the kernel and do a make modules && make modules_install after.
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Old May 23, 2007, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by enaberif View Post
Bit misleading as its very simple to install stuff on Ubuntu as its debian based so its just a matter of using apt-get and no you don't need the kernel headers you only need the kernel source and also modules are only created if you specify them in the kernel and do a make modules && make modules_install after.
If a noobie is going to compile a kernel, they are not going to know that they need the sources or ncurses first. Yes apt-get is simple, but how is a noobie supposed to know exactly what they need?

I installed Ubuntu the other day because of an article I am writing, so I experienced first-hand what it was like to compile a kernel there. I wasn't expecting a need to install ncurses... or the kernel source. All of that should be pre-installed as far as I am concerned. It takes what.. 70MB of HDD space for both? At some point, everyone will want to tinker in their kernel, so why make them go and fetch pre-requisites first?

I don't think we will ever see eye to eye on Linux ;-)
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Old May 23, 2007, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Deathspawner View Post
If a noobie is going to compile a kernel, they are not going to know that they need the sources or ncurses first. Yes apt-get is simple, but how is a noobie supposed to know exactly what they need?

I installed Ubuntu the other day because of an article I am writing, so I experienced first-hand what it was like to compile a kernel there. I wasn't expecting a need to install ncurses... or the kernel source. All of that should be pre-installed as far as I am concerned. It takes what.. 70MB of HDD space for both? At some point, everyone will want to tinker in their kernel, so why make them go and fetch pre-requisites first?

I don't think we will ever see eye to eye on Linux ;-)
noobies shouldn't be compiling a kernel unless they have done extensive reading about it first. We all have to start somewhere and thats why Ubuntu is great out of the box.

ncurses does not need to be installed due to the fact that you are soley relying on a gui based environment like X, where if you choose to use console then yes I can see that as a requirement just as that redoing a kernel is mandatory.
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Old May 24, 2007, 07:19 PM
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ncurses does not need to be installed due to the fact that you are soley relying on a gui based environment like X, where if you choose to use console then yes I can see that as a requirement just as that redoing a kernel is mandatory.
Why is it then, that when I tried to compile a new kernel after installing Ubuntu, it told me to install ncurses first? Or, lack of ncurses was the error I was given when trying to run menuconfig.

I agree, noobies don't need to recompile their kernel. It still would be made easier to "hog" upwards of 50MB of HDD space for those who do, without having to worry about downloading it.
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