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Re: Best Linux distribution for a Mini-ITX server?

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Some of us are also attracted to the small footprint.


Re: Best Linux distribution for a Mini-ITX server?
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Goodness what a dreadful site! You have to dig really deep to find out what
Epios *is*.

From the look of it, Epios is just an attempt to bring together all the
various drivers and patches that support the hardware used on EPIA
mainboards. Note, though, that you don't need to be using Epios to get
those drivers and patches (though it may be more convenient to do so) ...
and you don't need the drivers and patches if you're not worried about some
of the more advanced and hardware-specific features of the EPIA boards -
sensors, MPEG acceleration, etc.

For running a headless Apache server you don't need those EPIA-specific
drivers and patches, and a bog-standard install of any distro should be OK.
I use a fairly standard Gentoo setup (compiled for C3_2 CPU) and it works
very nicely.

Note, though, that the Epios kernel is built to run on any APIA mainboard,
so the code is generated for an x586 target, which is sub-optimal for the
Nehemiah processors on later EPIA boards, which are x686. Conversely, many
"vanilla" distros are built for x686 and won't run on non-Nehemiah
mainboards, so be sure to use a distro that does support the CPU type
(should be a 386 or 586 build).

[Note also that the Nehemiah CPU, although it is a 686, does not support
some "optional" 686 instructions (CMOV) that are used in code generated by
some versions of gcc without any runtime checks for support (this is a
now-fixed gcc bug).]

Cheers,
 Daniel.
 




Re: Best Linux distribution for a Mini-ITX server?

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Any Linux distribution is fine for what you want to do. If you have any
friends who are Linux users the use what they are using. I use Fedora Core
4, it has everything in it, but so do SUSE, Mandriva, Ubuntu. Which ever
distribution you choose I recommend that you put Webmin,
http://www.webmin.com , on your system. Webmin gives you the ability to
administer your system from a browser which is perfect for you because you
aren't going to have a local keyboard or display. Also the Webmin admin
tools for servers are very easy to use.

On you Windows box install Cygwin, http://www.cygwin.com . Cygwin will give
you an X server, ssh, tcsh, bash, basically a full *nix environment on
your Windows system. When you do the install make sure that you select
everything instead of doing the default install. I find there default
choices to be inadequate and it's easier to just install the whole thing
then to pick and choose.

 


Re: Best Linux distribution for a Mini-ITX server?

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Your requirements are at odds. Assuming this is a VIA mini-itx with
integrated C3 processor - the absolute best distro is Gentoo from a stage
one install. There is a wiki which details the steps, but it is time
consuming and demands attention to detail. Mine took about a week to
install. Gentoo will dowload every piece of software as source code and
compile it, specifically optimized for your hardware. It is significantly
faster than any 'out of the box' distro. It sounds like you're probably
not up to that yet, so go to www.distrowatch.com and do your homework.
Also pay attention to the via arena forums. BTW - note that technically,
Gentoo meets your requirements, since it would be a kernel (and everything
else) compile rather than a recompile.

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Security risks are pretty much nil with Linux. I'm running four computers
on a DSL connection - up 24/7/365 with no particular precautions. Been
doing this for three years with zero malware infectins.

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Yes. See Kenton Lee's X/Motif page for a list of X servers for MS. The
standard is pretty much Hummingbird's Exceed - but it is quite expensive.
There are various products from free to insanely expensive. I favor X
manager since it supports multiple X sessions. They have a very good demo
version - highly recommended.

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Re: Best Linux distribution for a Mini-ITX server?
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ray wrote:
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For what it's worth, Red Hat supports the CygWin port of Unix tools,
including the CygWin X server port for MSWindows. Since this is a port
of the Xorg (or Xfree86, I've forgotten which) X server, it is FOSS, and
 freely downloadable and usable without restriction. See
http://x.cygwin.com /

I use the Xming windows port of the x.org x server. It is lighter than
the CygWin port as it leaves out all of the Unix support tools, and just
gives you an X server. Along with PuTTY (an FOSS ssh client for
Windows), it makes an ideal X environment for remote access.
http://www.straightrunning.com/XmingNotes /

http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty /



- --

Lew Pitcher, IT Specialist, Corporate Technology Solutions,
Enterprise Technology Solutions, TD Bank Financial Group

(Opinions expressed here are my own, not my employer's)
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Re: Best Linux distribution for a Mini-ITX server?
I prefer X manager - it works pretty well, allows multiple X sessions, and
the eval copy handles my needs.


Re: Best Linux distribution for a Mini-ITX server?
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ray wrote:
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To each his own, I guess

I prefer Xming. It too allows multiple X sessions (rootless, if I want),
and it is FOSS, licenced under the GPL.





- --

Lew Pitcher, IT Specialist, Corporate Technology Solutions,
Enterprise Technology Solutions, TD Bank Financial Group

(Opinions expressed here are my own, not my employer's)
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Re: Best Linux distribution for a Mini-ITX server?

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Thanks for the reference - I'll see if I can find time to try it out in
the near future. It has been several years since I did an exhaustive
comparison; at that time, I tried basically everything I could find -
mostly those referred from Kenton Lee's X/Motif page. I found that most of
the 'free' packages were quite slow - several were Java based.


Re: Best Linux distribution for a Mini-ITX server?
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It's Xorg: RedHat and other vendors dumped XFree86 when they got strange
with their licensing, and when it became clear that the Xorg developers were
actually paying attention to the needs of the users (such as properly
supporting the large group of CygWin users by actually accepting patches to
make it work there.)

I've had very good success with it: it's fundamentally smaller and
friendlier than the commercial X products, and I find that it;s less likely
to fail with poorly written X apps. But X was simply not *designed* for fast
remote access speeds: stapling the X display system on top of Windows fairly
strange system to get a working display is.a hard problem.

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Cool. How well does it do weird fonts and displays? The RedHat
"systm-config" tools have turned out to be particularly painful.



Re: Best Linux distribution for a Mini-ITX server?
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Then cross-post the original query, but set follow-ups to a single
group, where you will monitor the responses.  That avoids the
interminable threads from hell, gets you the exposure, and is
generally manageable and efficient.

--
"If you want to post a followup via groups.google.com, don't use
 the broken "Reply" link at the bottom of the article.  Click on
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Re: Best Linux distribution for a Mini-ITX server?
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<sigh>

That doesn't work. One still has to guess which group is most appropriate
for the follow-up.

Modern newsreaders handle crossposting fairly elegantly and nobody using
one should be troubled by seeing any of the messages more than once,
crossposting with a follow-up is comparatively messy as any the answers are
liable to end up in a different group from that in which the poster saw the
question.

Furthermore, if I see a question that has a follow-up to a group that I
don't follow I don't know whether it has already been answered or not; so I
run the risk, if I relpy, that I will cause unnecessary duplication (as
well as further thread fragmentation).

Crossposting is best avoided, but followups (used this way) are evil.

Cheers,
 Daniel.
 


Re: Best Linux distribution for a Mini-ITX server?
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Crossposting is vastly, vastly preferable to multi-posting. The burden on
the clients and on the servers to handle 5 or 15 copies of the same thing,
and the followups, is vastly lighter than doing so with multi-posts,
especially because a good early answer from one of the more technically
savvy groups can eliminate a lot of unnecessary traffic in other newsgroups,
and wherever the question was asked can see that it was answered or followed
up to the other groups.




Re: Best Linux distribution for a Mini-ITX server?
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Agreed. I don't advocate multi-posting at all.

My point was that a followup is set on a crossposted message that
immediately breaks the threading. People will see the original message in
several groups but (unless they follow the followup group) they won't see
the replies, so they there may be lots of duplicated replies from people
who all assume that theirs is the first answer.

Other people who notice that followups have been set and who don't follow
the followup group will decide that checking to see whether there has been
a reply is too much trouble, and will refrain from making replying at all,
which means, possibly, that the OP will never get a reply from the one
person who knew the answer.

People who *do* follow the followup group, and who use a newsreader smart
enough not to download multiple copies of crossposted messages, may find
that they see the start of the thread in one group and the rest of it in
the followup group. This breaks up the discussion unnecessarily and
inconveniences the very people who least deserve to be inconvenienced:
those who are using decent software!

[Note: the only case in which this does not happen is that in which the
followup group is the the first in which the newsreader encounters the
message -- newsreaders usually progress through groups in alphabetic order
(should we therefore set followops on the basis of alphabetic precedence
rather that appropriateness of topic?)]

.. and, of course, some people will inevitably ignore the followup and
continue to cross-post ...

If a posting is truly relevant in several groups it is proper that it
should be crossposted to all of those groups AND that the ensuing
discussion should be accessible though all of those groups. Setting a
followup to just one of the groups effectively denies participation to
those who who not regularly read the followup group. At one time usenet was
small enough that people might have been able to follow every group, but
those days are long gone.

I would use a followup to move a discussion from one group in which it has
drifted off-topic to a more appropriate group, but not for any other reason
(unless I had good reason to believe that everyone reding either group
actually read both ... but that cannot be assumed in general).

[Sorry, this sounds like a rant -- I meant to be brief.]

Cheers,
 Daniel.
 



Re: Best Linux distribution for a Mini-ITX server?
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In this best of all possible worlds, Cunegonda, that would all
work.  But in practice threads drift without subjects being revised
and marked "was..", trolls attack from multiple groups instead of
just one, and the whole thread becomes an impossible nuisance.

I recently (March 6th) failed to set follow-ups on a thread I
created in c.a.e, c.l.c, and c.p.  It has drifted widely, yet the
subject line is still there.  Luckily, it has not filled with
trolls, but the time will surely come.  I should have followed my
own advice, but I felt that the subject was of continuing interest
in all three groups.  In that I was correct, but in failing to set
follow-ups immediately I was wrong.

--
Read about the Sony stealthware that is a security leak, phones
home, and is generally illegal in most parts of the world.  Also
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Crossposting and followups (Was: Best Linux distribution for a Mini-ITX server?)
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My contention is that even in the flawed world in which we live it is
better than the alternatives.

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True, and unfortunate -- and point taken! Note, though, that most decent
newsreaders will (or at least can) follow threads by message ID rather than
subject so while a change of subject is helpful it won't prevent automatic
collection of drifted messages.

Besides, some of the most useful and interesting things I've learned on
usenet have been from postings that had *nothing* to do with the original
thread subject. Drift isn't necessarily bad.

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Troll will do as trolls will do -- and that includes ignoring a followup
that someone else has set. I don't thing that should be allowed to affect
the behaviour of the rest of us.

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If the subject really was of sufficient interest to warrant crossposting it
in the first place than I would say that it deserved to continue to live in
all three so that all who saw the original posting could continue to
benefit from the discussion -- remember that some of them may not subscribe
to the followup group you might have set and would probably not bother to
go there just to follow one interesting thread.

.. but here I am rabbitting on again. Apologies.

Cheers,
 Daniel.
 


Re: Crossposting and followups (Was: Best Linux distribution for a Mini-ITX server?)
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If they choose not to go to the follow-up group, that is their
choice.  However if their group is inundated with off-topic
postings originating in the other groups, that is not their fault,
and they should not be burdened with it.

--
 Some informative links:
   news:news.announce.newusers
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Re: Crossposting and followups (Was: Best Linux distribution for a Mini-ITX server?)
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Yabbut ... the postings will NOT be off-topic if the original posting was
appropriately cross-posted. If the original poster posted to disparate
groups in some of which his posting was off-topic he is hardly likely to
have set a followup.

By all means set followups or (much better, IMHO) trim groups as and when
the topic drifts. that's an entirely different matter.

Enough, already.

Cheers,
 Daniel.
 


Re: Best Linux distribution for a Mini-ITX server?
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I've been running a Shuttle with White Box Linux (free release of
RHEL3.0) and have installed Fedora Core 3 and 4 on others. I am running
some old slow Celeron, 2GHz as I recall, and it's fine for a DNS or web
server unless you plan to run a lot of CGI. If you use FC4 and are on
the open net, be sure to specify the best firewall when asked, and don't
install anything you don't need. Use enough memory, and it should be fine.

As for Emule, you're on your own, rumor has it that's a CPU hog, if you
must use it and want decent performance you may want to rethink the
whole idea and go with a larger system.

--
bill davidsen
   SBC/Prodigy Yorktown Heights NY data center
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