Distro with best driver support?
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Thread: Distro with best driver support?

  1. #1
    Senior Member roswell1329's Avatar
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    Distro with best driver support?

    Hey folks. I know some of you are probably tired of "Which distro is best" threads, but I'm looking for something just a bit more specific. I'm gonna be buying my first brand new computer (!) in 8 years next week. Up till now, I've been surviving on Franken-systems made up of bits and pieces of whatever I could scrounge. Now I'm finally in a position to put together my dream machine. I'm ordering it specially made from scratch with all hand-picked components, but I don't want to pick something that's going to have zero support. I have no clue what brands for the latest hardware are best to buy for Linux (or BSD, I haven't decided on the OS yet either) compatibility. There seem to be several more brands since the last time I bought a computer!

    I've got two questions: "What do you all think is the distribution with the best support for the newest hardware?", and "What hardware manufacturers have been pretty dedicated to the Linux/BSD community?" For example, I've got my eye on a GeForce FX card, but I haven't found it on any of the major hardware compatibility lists, yet. I'm sure it will be supported in the very near future, but which chipset manufacturer would be the best bet for future compatibility (MSI, Gainward, etc)? Any advice I could get would be greatly appreciated!
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  2. #2
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    I would rate SuSE as the best linux distro vis a vis drivers. Check out their h/w dbase online.
    You can check out all you h/w there for support before building your machine.

  3. #3
    er0k
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    Rosewell, anything Linux, besides the holy slackware, comes with nice p&p support. FreeBSD i know has trouble with p&p but all of them have drivers available for download. I have a geforce 4 that works great with redhat, a god awful sound card, etc and all were plug and play. Im not exactly sure about the FX line, but you might check around some unix sites. www.unix.com is a good place to ask questions about this kind of stuff as well. Good luck sounds like a sweet box

  4. #4
    Senior Member roswell1329's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips, er0k, and don. I'm looking forward to piecing this thing together, now!
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  5. #5
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    well it's easy to pick one out if you haven't built the machine yet. pick out what distro you want to use, check out their driver database, and build to that.

    that being said, i went threw hell for about a year b/c no one supported my motherboard. it's an nforce with onboard video, sound, and lan. everything i installed didn't support either the chipset, video sound or lan. the closest i came in the first year was mandrake, and i had to install a new lan card and live without sound. now i use suse and i absolutly couldn't be happier with it. it detected everything, installs beautifully, and is the most fun distro i've ever run. i'd recommend it to anyone.

    i hope that helps. have fun!
    U suk at teh intuhnet1!!1!1one

  6. #6
    Senior Member roswell1329's Avatar
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    That's great advice Jabberwocky. I'm still trying to decide exactly how I want to set it up. One of the main purposes for this machine is to experiment with different operating systems (like Solaris 8, FreeBSD, Linux, Win2K, and NeXT). I'm trying to fill out my experience as a system administrator for my resume. That's why I'm also including a tape backup system. However, I don't know if I want to have a primary host OS (like FreeBSD) running VMWare for each of the guest OS's, or if I should use the Ranish Partition Manager to setup a multi-boot system. The system will also be used as a web-hosting server for about 30 customers down the road -- in a year or so. In the meantime, it's all MINE! Mu-ha-ha-ha-ha! Here are the specs I'm looking at:

    AMD Tyan Thunder K7X Pro (S2469UGN) Ultra SCSI Dual MP Mainboard with 2 onboard 3Com network controllers
    2 AMD 2.0 Gigahertz MP Processors
    1GB DDR RAM
    1 MSI GeForce 4 Ti4200-TD8X 128MB Video RAM TV/DVi Video Card
    1 Creative PCI 128 Sound Card
    1 IBM 60 GB IDE Harddrive
    1 Seagate STT22000N-RTF Tapestor Travan 20.0GB Tape Backup (SCSI)

    All housed in a Lian-Li PC-71 Black Aluminum tower case with a 460W power supply. Anyway, does anything on this list scream out as a bad Linux/BSD choice? Any further suggestions on how I should configure the 4-5 different development operating systems on this guy (either with a partition manager or VMWare)? I value the opinions here greatly. Thanks!
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  7. #7
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    1 MSI GeForce 4 Ti4200-TD8X 128MB Video RAM TV/DVi Video Card
    1 Creative PCI 128 Sound Card
    My home computer have same video card as you.roswel..the different only for sound card .. I have sound blaster and I have FreeBSD 4.7 running on this computer.(BTW I've already tried many Linux distro's on this computer and I don't have problem with my X configuration using that video card)

    My Linux Distro choice is SUSE Linux..SUSE Linux have capability to detect hardware specially if you've got new hardware.(it seems to me their "hardware detection" working very well)
    I tried to swap my sound card to PCI..and SUSE immediatly recognised that card. I even tried to install my new printer(I've got the old one and recently I just bought a new one) for my laptop..and as soon as I plug in, SUSE can detected that printer..
    But..well.. that's just my opinion..

    Hope this helps..
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  8. #8
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
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    hey man, check out this site to, it may help you out a bit in looking for OSs and a few other things, enjoy

    http://dmoz.org/Computers/Software/Operating_Systems/

  9. #9
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    that sounds like quiet a beast of a machine. it's good you're sticking to major brand names for all the components, that'll help with any support you're worried about. i don't see why you won't be able to run bsd or linux from it.

    the only suggestion i'm going ot make is that you go with a smaller, mulitple hard drives. 60gigs is a lot for anyone, and if you're going to be using this as a server, a raid system is a must. stick to level 3 and you're safe.

    have fun with your new machine!
    U suk at teh intuhnet1!!1!1one

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