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linux desktop from scratch?

On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 02:48:24PM -0500, R. Luoma wrote:
> I need a new desktop workstation and I am trying
> to figure out how to get something that will be as
> compatible with one of the stock linux distros
> (preferably the new Debian) as possible.
> I am also trying to figure out where to purchase
> the system or parts.  If I get parts, I need some
> way of figure out that I get all the needed parts
> and that the parts work together.
> How have other readers of this list approached this problem?

First I figure out what my goals are:

- total price range
- chassis size -- if you want something other than ATX/mATX,
  that may be a deciding feature
- CPU type
- motherboard features:
	- integrated video?
	- n SATA ports?
	- n PATA ports?
	- n NICs?
	- n USB2 ports?
	- n FireWire ports?
	- expansion slots?
	- other bits
- RAM -- type is largely determined by motherboard
- disk(s) -- what interfaces? How many, how big, what config?
- power supply -- to satisfy everything else.

Then I try a few combinations on paper to see how they fit into
my budget. 

Picking motherboards and video chipsets is largely done by
looking at release notes, problem reports, and kernel
updates. If you pick components that have been out for a year or
more, you are very likely to find good support.

I have Lenny running on:
AMD 3200+, Asus A7V600/K8V-X/A8V, PATA and SATA, Radeon 9200

AMD x2 5600+, Gigabyte GA-MA690G-S3H (built in ATI video), PATA
and SATA

Intel Q6600, Intel P35 motherboard (built in Intel video), SATA

All of them had minimal issues.


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