getting a new Debian box
I've been using Debian with my desktop replacement laptop HP Pavilion
zv5260 for about 2 years now. This was the only computer I had for about
2.5 years. I got tired of using the laptop constantly. I want something
more convenient with a bigger screen and that I can use more
So I decided to get a desktop. I need some advices.
I use computer primarily for reading/writing emails, browsing internet,
occasional openoffice.org use, watching movies on dvds or any mpeg
movies. Most other times I spend sitting in emacs writing some code. I
don't play computer games or use any 3D graphics applications.
So I figured, I don't need a very fast and expensive graphics card, a
lot of memory, the latest CPU or biggest HDD. This Desktop Computer is
going to be used primarily for writing and compiling my code.
So, my first question is: does it make sense to build my own Debian box,
or for my purposes it's not necessary? From what I checked on the
internet today some manufacturers offer prebuild computers for less
price than I think I will be able to build it using the same parts. Any
comments would be appreciated.
Also, I don't want hardware compatibility with linux to be an issue. I
still remember that it took me a while before I managed to make my
laptop work (with ndiswrapper for wireless, patches for touchpad and
So, I found out that Dell offers Dimension n-series without preinstalled
Windows, specifically for customers of open source operating systems.
Dell claims that these computers should work with linux with no hardware
I am specifically interested in Dell Dimension n-series e521 model. It
seems to be a good choice for me. Good value and not expensive.
That's what I am thinking to get:
Dell Dimension E521N: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 4000+
Operating System: FreeDOS included in the box, ready to install
Memory: 1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz- 2DIMMs
Keyboard and Mouse Bundles: Dell USB Keyboard and Dell Optical USB
Monitor: 19 inch SP1908FP Silver Flat Panel Monitor w/TrueLife (Glossy
Video Card: 256MB NVIDIA Geforce 7300LE TurboCache
Hard Drive: 250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache
Floppy Drive and Media Reader: No Floppy Drive Included
Network Interface: Integrated 10/100 Ethernet
Modem: 56K PCI Data Fax Modem
CD ROM/DVD ROM: 16x DVD+/-RW Drive
Sound Cards: Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
Speakers: Dell AS501 10W Flat Panel Attached Spkrs for UltraSharp Flat
Limited Warranty, Services and Support Options: 1Yr In-Home Service,
Parts + Labor - Next Business Day*
Are there any other desktop computers I should consider buying instead
of this one? Is there any configuration part I should consider changing?
Should I upgrade to 2 GB of RAM ? 1GB seems to be enough for me, since I
am using now etch on my laptop with 512MB and I don't see any problems.
In general e521n seems to be enough for etch and everything I use, since
I am running a 2.5 year old laptop and I don't see any real performance
issues. But again, I am open to advices.
I googled e521n and debian and found out that there was a problem with
usb malfunction that froze mouse but that it was solved with the new
bios update released by Dell in January, 2007. I didn't find any other
issues. Everything else seems to work in Debian.
So if somebody here is using this model with Debian, please, provide
feedback. Do you have any issues? Something to be aware before bying it?
Any compatibility issues with Debian? I would prefer to install on it
Debian Stable (Etch) that goes with linux kernel 2.6.18
Will I be able to do that? Or I will need new kernel 2.6.20 from
Thanks for help in advance...
"From a little distance one can perceive an order in what at the time
- F. Scott Fitzgerald