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View Full Version : Linux distribution recommendation for an Opteron system?


Caveat Emptor
February 3rd 06, 05:17 PM
I bought and assembled a new PC:

AMD Opteron 144 (939 pin)
Asus A8R-MVP mobo
1 GB Corsair valueRAM
Hitachi 160 GB PATA drive

Tried to install Fedora Core 4, Ubuntu 5.10 and Gentoo 2005.1 and spent
a lot of time trying to get them to work with the ethernet port and the
sound. Had a lot of issues just trying to get them to install in the
first place.

Can someone recommend a good, reliable distro that will work? My needs
are basic home computing - browsing, e-mail, documents, instant
messaging, and bulding java and database business applications.

I tried installing FC4 and updating my kernel to 2.6.15 as I read
somewhere that it supported my gigabit ethernet controller. But no
success in getting it to boot with the new kernel. Tried a prebuilt
kernel as well as built my own.

The other consideration is that I am moving away from a windows OS for
good (hopefully) and want a reliable distro, that I can upgrade. That's
why I was considering Debian based Ubuntu.

I like my OS to be efficient in its use of resources, which is why I
have been playing with Linux for several years. Early versions of
RedHat were much better than windows. Now I am not sure.

Is there a distro I can select packages for, without spending a lot of
time (Gentoo) and that has a good package manager (rpm does nto do a
good job of managing dependencies, IMO and I have not been impressed by
Synaptic in Ubuntu)

John Weiss
February 3rd 06, 08:26 PM
"Caveat Emptor" > wrote...
>I bought and assembled a new PC:
>
> AMD Opteron 144 (939 pin)
> Asus A8R-MVP mobo
>
> Can someone recommend a good, reliable distro that will work? My needs
> are basic home computing - browsing, e-mail, documents, instant
> messaging, and bulding java and database business applications.

I haven't taken the plunge yet, but a good friend swears by the Mandriva
distribution.

General Schvantzkoph
February 3rd 06, 09:38 PM
On Fri, 03 Feb 2006 08:17:03 -0800, Caveat Emptor wrote:

> I bought and assembled a new PC:
>
> AMD Opteron 144 (939 pin)
> Asus A8R-MVP mobo
> 1 GB Corsair valueRAM
> Hitachi 160 GB PATA drive
>
> Tried to install Fedora Core 4, Ubuntu 5.10 and Gentoo 2005.1 and spent
> a lot of time trying to get them to work with the ethernet port and the
> sound. Had a lot of issues just trying to get them to install in the
> first place.
>
> Can someone recommend a good, reliable distro that will work? My needs
> are basic home computing - browsing, e-mail, documents, instant
> messaging, and bulding java and database business applications.
>
> I tried installing FC4 and updating my kernel to 2.6.15 as I read
> somewhere that it supported my gigabit ethernet controller. But no
> success in getting it to boot with the new kernel. Tried a prebuilt
> kernel as well as built my own.
>
> The other consideration is that I am moving away from a windows OS for
> good (hopefully) and want a reliable distro, that I can upgrade. That's
> why I was considering Debian based Ubuntu.
>
> I like my OS to be efficient in its use of resources, which is why I
> have been playing with Linux for several years. Early versions of
> RedHat were much better than windows. Now I am not sure.
>
> Is there a distro I can select packages for, without spending a lot of
> time (Gentoo) and that has a good package manager (rpm does nto do a
> good job of managing dependencies, IMO and I have not been impressed by
> Synaptic in Ubuntu)

When you built the 2.6.15 kernel what did you use for the .config file? I
always start with the latest FC4 .config and then do a make gconfig and
set the options that I want. You didn't say if you are using 32 bit or 64
bit FC? If you are using 32 bit FC then when you build a kernel you'll
want to change the Processor Type from the i686 to AMD64. You'll also want
to turn on all of the speed governors for AMD64. The 32 bit FC .config
files don't seem to include the A64 speed governors, the 64 .config files
do. Finally if your the driver for your ethernet controller is brand new
to 2.6.15 make sure that it's enabled in the .config.

Caveat Emptor
February 4th 06, 01:04 AM
I have a fresh install of FC4 x86_64 so, I assume I must have the
latest config files for the 64 bit version. I just ran menuconfig. I
did select the drivers for my ethernet controller (marvell), which was
supposed to be supported in the 2.6.15 kernel. My issue was that the
kernel installed ok, but i could not not boot up with it. Can boot up
with the old kernel. With the new kernel, the system starts to boot up,
recognizes the disk and CDROm, and then reboots on its own.

Incidentally, I used rpmbuild.

Any help would be appreciated.

General Schvantzkoph
February 4th 06, 01:58 AM
On Fri, 03 Feb 2006 16:04:28 -0800, Caveat Emptor wrote:

> I have a fresh install of FC4 x86_64 so, I assume I must have the
> latest config files for the 64 bit version. I just ran menuconfig. I
> did select the drivers for my ethernet controller (marvell), which was
> supposed to be supported in the 2.6.15 kernel. My issue was that the
> kernel installed ok, but i could not not boot up with it. Can boot up
> with the old kernel. With the new kernel, the system starts to boot up,
> recognizes the disk and CDROm, and then reboots on its own.
>
> Incidentally, I used rpmbuild.
>
> Any help would be appreciated.

I wonder if you have a hardware problem. There is nothing very special
about your setup, it should work fine with any recent distro. Try running
memtest86+ on your system. You might also want to run a disk diagnostic,
you can download one from the Hitachi site. The disk diagnostic will wipe
your disk but given that you've just put this system together I'm guessing
that you don't have anything on your drive that needs saving.

Caveat Emptor
February 4th 06, 04:04 AM
I don't think I have a hardware problem, because I can run the knoppix
live CD fine. I also just now tried and successfully installed ubuntu
6.04 flight 3, which is still a test version. My ethernet works fine,
but sound does not. I want to install a stable distro and there are
still a couple of months for FC 5 or ubuntu 6 to come to a final
release, let alone stabilize.

I think my choice is to find a reliable distro and update the kernel.