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Thread: First linux system; what do you think? Compatabilty & more.

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up First linux system; what do you think? Compatabilty & more.

    As the title states, I decided to build my first system and also to move to Ubuntu from windows. Anyway, here are the specs:
    Intel Core i5 3570K
    Asrock *z77* extreme4
    Kingston 8GB HyperX Genesis 1600MHz CL9 (Kit of 20)
    Western Digital 2TB Caviar Black SATA III
    Intel 120GB SSD 330 Series 2.5¨ SATA III Bundled Desktop Kit
    (Corsair Professional HX650W
    Cooler Master HAF 912 Plus)

    Would this system be Ubuntu/ Linux -compatible?

    To the best of my knowledge it would be, but I'd like someone to confirm that. Info, especially on the compatibility of the motherboard with linux has been scarce.

    Do I need a graphics card?
    Is there one you would suggest?

    Am I missing anything? Do you have any suggestions to make it better?

    Thanks in advance? I'm not really sure how to close this...
    Last edited by thatrandomn00b; July 22nd, 2012 at 03:31 AM. Reason: Info

  2. #2
    ahallubuntu is offline Chocolate-Covered Ubuntu Beans
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    Re: First linux system; what do you think? Compatabilty & more.

    Can you post the exact model number of the motherboard? When I google for "Asrock extreme4" I get more than one model (different chipsets, one a P67, one a Z68 - the latter one is still in stock at NewEgg, the former isn't).

    The motherboard chipset is probably the most important thing in determining compatibility.

  3. #3
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    Re: First linux system; what do you think? Compatabilty & more.

    Quote Originally Posted by ahallubuntu View Post
    Can you post the exact model number of the motherboard? When I google for "Asrock extreme4" I get more than one model (different chipsets, one a P67, one a Z68 - the latter one is still in stock at NewEgg, the former isn't).

    The motherboard chipset is probably the most important thing in determining compatibility.
    Oh yeah, sorry about that, it's z77.

  4. #4
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    Re: First linux system; what do you think? Compatabilty & more.

    These websites might be of help to you-

    http://www.newegg.com/

    And; Tiger Direct also-

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...asthead-_-Comp

    I lot of folks are using the HD Graphics these days and Nividia G-force are good cards as well.

    Good luck
    "A morning w/o coffee is like something w/o something else"


    Voyager 12.04 Xubuntu based on AMD Phenom Quad Core & Fedora on Sony Vaio


  5. #5
    ahallubuntu is offline Chocolate-Covered Ubuntu Beans
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    Re: First linux system; what do you think? Compatabilty & more.

    Quote Originally Posted by thatrandomn00b View Post
    Oh yeah, sorry about that, it's z77.
    It looks like some people have had issues with this chipset. Read here for example:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1995945

    In a couple of cases, upgrading to the 3.3 version of the kernel fixed freeze issues people were experiencing. So be prepared for the possibility; at least there is a work-around if that happens to you. I think with newer hardware you run more of a risk of compatibility issues not yet fixed in the Ubuntu repositories.

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    Re: First linux system; what do you think? Compatabilty & more.

    Another somewhat newer article on z77, but a different vendor's motherboard.
    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...z77h2a2x&num=1

    Since it is very new hardware it is surprising that it works as well as it does.

    You have lots of new system issues. UEFI install or BIOS install. gpt partitioning or MBR. IF dual booting with Windows and using gpt you have to use UEFI to boot. SSD configuration is also somewhat different. I only made a few settings, used gpt but do not dual boot on same drive with Windows and have only BIOS.
    AsRock calls BIOS mode AHCI.

    Grub2 efi info ArchLinux - Arch but grub2 is grub2 with maybe minor differences by distribution, Arch has good technical info.
    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php...r_UEFI_systems
    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php...ware_Interface
    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/UEFI
    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/GPT
    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Grub2
    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Solid_State_Drives - SSD

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UE..._64%20UEFI-GPT
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  7. #7
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    Re: First linux system; what do you think? Compatabilty & more.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldfred View Post
    Another somewhat newer article on z77, but a different vendor's motherboard.
    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...z77h2a2x&num=1

    Since it is very new hardware it is surprising that it works as well as it does.

    You have lots of new system issues. UEFI install or BIOS install. gpt partitioning or MBR. IF dual booting with Windows and using gpt you have to use UEFI to boot. SSD configuration is also somewhat different. I only made a few settings, used gpt but do not dual boot on same drive with Windows and have only BIOS.
    AsRock calls BIOS mode AHCI.

    Grub2 efi info ArchLinux - Arch but grub2 is grub2 with maybe minor differences by distribution, Arch has good technical info.
    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php...r_UEFI_systems
    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php...ware_Interface
    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/UEFI
    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/GPT
    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Grub2
    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Solid_State_Drives - SSD

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UE..._64%20UEFI-GPT
    I won't be dual-booting with Windows, either. (There is a chance of a dual-boot with another Linux distribution in the future, but a really small one, as if I want to explore other distros I'll run them in a VM. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.)

    So, since I won't be dual-booting with windows, what do you suggest? (I'm reading the links you gave me, and trying to make sense of them, but it may take a while. Thank you, by the way.)

  8. #8
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    Re: First linux system; what do you think? Compatabilty & more.

    This user has a similar card. Had some issues & seems to have worked them all out.
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2020496

    If only Ubuntu I prefer to keep system partition small and have separate /home or what I do move all data out of /home and keep /home inside / with only the hidden user settings and no data. I do this primarily because I am multi-booting versions of Ubuntu. So it may not apply to you.

    Data can be shared without the possible conflicts of user settings being different in different versions. I only copy some settings from one install to the next, normally. But I have to separately back up /home and the /data partition. Also saves the error of reformating a /home partition accidentally. I never reformat my /data and just configure / for install.

    Splitting home directory discussion and details:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1811198
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1901437
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...hlight=%2Fdata

    For the Total space you want for Ubuntu:
    Ubuntu's standard install is just / (root) & swap, but it is better to add another partition for /home:
    If gpt(not MBR) partitioning include these first - all partitions with gpt are primary
    250 MB efi FAT32
    1 MB bios_grub no format
    Ubuntu partitions - smaller root only where hard drive space is limited
    1. 10-25 GB Mountpoint / primary or logical beginning ext4(or ext3)
    2. all but 2 GB Mountpoint /home logical beginning ext4(or ext3)
    3. 2 GB Mountpoint swap logical

    Depending on how much memory you have you may not absolutely need swap but having some is still recommended. I do not hibernate (boots fast enough for me) but if hibernating then you need swap equal to RAM in GiB not GB. And if dual booting with windows a shared NTFS partition is also recommended. But you usually cannot create that as part of the install, just leave some space. Or partition in advance (recommended).
    One advantage of partitioning in advance is that the installer will use the swap space to speed up the install. Thanks Herman for the tip.

    If you're using UEFI mode to boot, you don't need a BIOS Boot Partition with gpt partitions (only for BIOS), but you do need an EFI System Partition (ESP). This is entirely different; it should be a 200-300 MiB FAT32 partition that's flagged as an ESP and must be the first partition. In libparted-based tools, you'd give it a "boot" flag (which is entirely unrelated to the MBR boot/active flag, although libparted makes them look the same). In gdisk, you'd give it a type code of EF00.
    An EFI System Partition EF00 (~100 to -256MiB, FAT32) for UEFI, a BIOS Boot Partition EF02 (~1MiB, no filesystem) for BIOS, and whatever partitions you want for Linux. You must set the partition type codes correctly, but how you do this depends on the utility you use to create them. Also, you should be sure to create a GUID Partition Table (GPT) on the disk, not a Master Boot Record (MBR) partition table. In BIOS mode, Ubuntu's installer defaults to creating MBR partitions, at least on sub-1TB disks, so you may need to use another utility to do the partitioning. You do not need both but it does not hurt as both are small, and then you can configure easily to boot with either UEFI or BIOS. You can boot via bios AND efi (after setting up your efi boot entry using efibootmgr or via efi shell and running the efi binary)
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  9. #9
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    Re: First linux system; what do you think? Compatabilty & more.

    @oldfred

    So if I'm understanding you right, this is what I should/could do:
    (I'll be using GPT since it's newer and because it appears I have no reason not to.)
    In order have the ability to use either EFI, or BIOS:
    I should create an ESP partition first and depending on the tool I use, I should give it a flag/code. Then a 1 MB bios_grub partition, so that I'll be able to use BIOS as well.

    Do you suggest I put these on the SSD?

    Then, for Ubuntu:

    25 GB / partition (on the SSD?)

    A Swap partition, on the HDD. I'll be using 8GB of RAM, so about 8GB swap, or is that overkill? I guess if I need to hibernate, I can always add a Swap file, right?

    Finally a separate /home partition, on the HDD? That is unless I manage to do what you suggested and keep /home in / and create a /data partition to put files such as music, videos etc. in it.

    Am I missing anything?

    By the way, where is /boot located? Should I make a separate /boot partition on the SSD?

    Thanks for your patience.

    Edit: Would the Intel 4000 HD be enough to run Virtual Box, or do I need a Graphics card?
    Last edited by thatrandomn00b; July 22nd, 2012 at 08:16 PM.

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    Re: First linux system; what do you think? Compatabilty & more.

    You should not need a separate /boot leave than in /.

    My 60GB SSD with two / partitions. My /home is inside /. I am not using the efi now but may move drive to new system soon, so I created it. I am using the bios_grub for grub to install with gpt in BIOS mode.
    Code:
    fred@fred-Precise:~$ sudo gdisk -l /dev/sde
    GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 0.8.1
    
    Partition table scan:
      MBR: protective
      BSD: not present
      APM: not present
      GPT: present
    
    Found valid GPT with protective MBR; using GPT.
    Disk /dev/sde: 117231408 sectors, 55.9 GiB
    Logical sector size: 512 bytes
    Disk identifier (GUID): 85A657E7-D379-4592-B060-E8EA09953D80
    Partition table holds up to 128 entries
    First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 117231374
    Partitions will be aligned on 2048-sector boundaries
    Total free space is 3645 sectors (1.8 MiB)
    
    Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
       1            2048          616447   300.0 MiB   EF00  
       2          616448          618495   1024.0 KiB  EF02  
       3          618496        58925055   27.8 GiB    0700  Precise
       4        58925056       117229743   27.8 GiB    0700  Quantal
    I used gparted to partition it and the installer to format the / partitions. With an SSD I boot in 10 sec from grub menu to working system. About 20 seconds total with BIOS & grub loading, so I have no reason to hibernate. I have 4GB of RAM and almost never use swap (a good thing) but I have my swaps on each of the rotating drives.

    Supposedly the HD4000 graphics are decent, but I do not know.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







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