Hardware information needed

David Mandel dmandel at transport.com
Wed Jan 29 12:53:32 EST 1997

On Tue, 28 Jan 1997, Cristina Milesi wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm buying a PC to work with GRASS for Linux. These are the main PC features:
> PC Pentium Pro200
> HDD 2,1 GB
> What kind of video board is needed? Are there Linux incompatibilities with
> SVGA Matrox Mystique (4 MB)?
> And with the SCSI II controller?
> Which version of Linux is suitable to work with GRASS?
> Any suggestion is welcome!  Thank you in advance.


    I'm a little reluctant to reply as I haven't ran GRASS much
lately.  (I hope to change this in the future.)  Also, my own well
tested and perfected Linux systems use extremely dated hardware.

    However, ...   A Pentium Pro/200 with 32 mb RAM and an 2.1 gb disk 
should work great.  (Please send me one.)  I'm not sure about the SVGA
Matrox card, but I expect it would work.  Check the Hardware
compatiability list.  The disk, CD, etc can be either enhanced ide or
SCSI.  I personally much prefer SCSI.  I generally use Adaptec 1542 (ISA)
or Adaptec 1740 (EISA) SCSI controllers.  I like them and would recommend
either using an Adaptec or Bus Logic controller.  Of course, you should 
get a model for your bus (probably PCI).

    There are a number of distributions of Linux, including Slackware, 
Red Hat, and Debian.  All three of these are excellent general purpose
distributions, and thus are suitable distributions for GRASS.  I use
Slackware, because I started with it; but would probably recommend Debian
to a new Linux user.  (Ok, Red Hat is good too; and super good is you
happen to have a Dec Alpha workstation.)  The distributions have version
numbers, but the distribution version number isn't as important as 
the version of the LINUX kernel within the distribution.  Many old kernels 
work just fine.  (I'm writing this note on a system running a version
1.0.8 kernel.)  But, you definitely want ELF binary support which is 
complete with kernel 1.2.13 and newer; and in practice I would recommend
installing a 2.0+ kernel.  Most of my systems are running 2.0.?? from 
the SLACKWARE distribution on vol1 of the Sept 96 release of InfoMagic's 6
CD developers set which retails for about $US25.00.  It is complete and
stable and generally real nice; and will run either A. Holt's a.out 
release of GRASS or Kang's ELF release.

                                          Dave Mandel

 David Mandel, Linux Activist             dmandel at transport.com
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