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Re: System spec.'s

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Hi, I just thought I should reply and apologise for the other replies you 
seem to be getting.  Debian is quite proud of running on practically all 
hardware in existence, and I suppose you've effectively got told that in 

To answer your question:  Resource requirements for Debian are the same as 
any other Linux distribution.  The only possible exception is we tend to 
include older, more reliable software in our release systems which means they 
don't run the latest hardware. In general Linux it is slightly less resource 
hungry than NT.  For historical reasons this particularly applies to servers 
where it is quite a bit less resource hungry.

Some hardware works better with linux than other types.  For example, while 
practically any sound card made can be coerced into working, a SBLive card 
will work `out of the box'.  www.xfree.org has a list of the driver 
compatibility of different video cards, for ATI you'll apparently want to go 
for a Mach64, Rage, Rage 128 or Radeon (it might be worth double checking 
that,  Debian stable uses XFree version 3, but the system will probably be 
migrated to XFree version 4 before the end of its life so you'll want to work 
with both).  There are a number of web sites that list the compatibility of 
different pieces of hardware.  www.linuxtested.com was the first I found in a 
quick search. Debian is much the same as any other distribution, although the 
stable release tends to not run the latest hardware out of the box.

Disk space requirements tend to be lower than NT, probably because a lot of 
programs use each other to do some of the work so the size of each program is 
smaller.  The smallest disk you sell is probably more than large enough (10 
GB) unless your customer is doing something such as running a web proxy.  
Standard stuff really.

Ram requirements depend a lot on use.  Linux uses ram to cache the hard drive 
more than NT does, so if you've doing a lot of read access (e.g. web server, 
file server) then more ram makes a huge difference.  I would install about 
the same amount of ram as you would for NT (depends on the budget, with 2GB 
being reasonable on a high budget.)  Extra ram will probably give you the 
most noticeable improvement per dollar.  Linux runs fine as a server with 
32MB, although this is mostly because it swaps out the graphics subsystem and 
if you want someone to sit at it at the same time (never a good idea on a 
server IMHO) you'll want at least another 32MB.

Processor requirements also tend to be slightly lower than NT, I'm not 
entirely sure why.  The AMD processors are fine, you'll want to choose the k7 
kernel module for better performance, or recompile the kernel yourself for 
optimal performance.  None of these make a big difference, though they all 
add up.  Linux seems to get more benefit out of multiprocessor systems than 
NT does.  I suspect this is because it is implemented as many small programs 
rather than a few large programs so the kernel has an easier job of splitting 
the work between two processors.

For the network connection I personally like the Intel EtherExpress 10/100, 
but again just about any LAN card works fine.  On my home machine I use a 
generic NE2000 clone and I've never had any problems with it.

If you want to use a CD ROM for backup then you'll almost certainly need to 
go for a SCSI model rather than an IDE one, the IDE CDR drivers are a pain to 
set up.

Oh, and if all it is doing is acting as a basic file server/web 
server/similar then the network connection is almost certainly going to be 
the bottleneck and you can get by with a minimal spec machine.  Many people 
use a 486 as their server with Pentium 3 type machines as clients, simple 
filesharing places very little stress on the server.

You'll want to install the stable version of Debian.  This is probably all 
anyone will offer to sell you, but just in case you hear about testing or 
unstable, they are more appropriate for people who want the latest software 
and are willing to tolerate a few bugs, hardly the situation a server is in.

Incidentally, you posted to the wrong list.  If you want to use a Debian 
specific list then the list you should have used is debian-user or possibly 
debian-commercial.  debian-devel is for the ongoing development of debian, 
not for helping people using the system.  This probably didn't help in the 
set of replies you got.

I hope this helps.  Mail me if you have any further questions.

Corrin Lakeland
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