Have a (home-built) linux box? Let's discuss (I want to build my own)

In summary: Make sure to get a motherboard with a lot of PCI-E slots, 8GB of RAM is a good place to start. You can always add more later.In summary, the physics major found the linux help he needed in the past at the popular forum, and is now learning how to build his own computer. He recommends anyone starting out to watch this video from Newegg on how to build a computer.
  • #1
Hey PF!

Short First Post Intro:
I've been a long time spectator here. I'm a junior undergrad physics major. PF has been a lot of fun, and tremendous help to me (like last winter I applied to many REU's). So thank you all!

At the REU I'm in now, I'm learning linux. I'd love to hear any of the following:

1. Your current system:
Specs? Distro? Likes? Dislikes?​

2. Dream system?
(Desktop or laptop)? Distro?​

3. Any advice for someone who's never built their own computer.

So here's me:

1. Macbook pro. Intel core duo 2.8 GHz. 4 GB ram. Dual booting Xubuntu.
Likes: Love Apple's design/hardware. Xubuntu is fast and lightweight.​
Dislikes: Apple keyboard/hardware isn't always friendly with linux.​

2. I'm unsure, but something I've built myself so I understand the system (and of course awesome tech specs)...

3. n/a

Basically I would be blowing a good portion of my REU stipend on this...
Computer science news on Phys.org
  • #2
My comany uses Mandriva.

The dream systems are quad or oct processor systems. Some folks told me though that some high end 512-core (processor) systems aren't too expensive, so I'll be looking at those, with a large amount of RAM and a fast bus.
  • #3
Wow! That's a lot of horsepower. The most I could afford and put to good use would probably be an oct core system or two quad cores.

Eventually I'd like to upgrade to a cluster system, but I'm starting small.
  • #4
Jabberwocky said:
1. Your current system:
I built a system around a Core i7-2600K, I boot Xubuntu 11.04 (configured to look like 10.04, I don't like the updated interface) off of a 160 GB SSD along with Win 7 Ultimate for Visual Studio (Kinect SDK work) and SolidWorks. Each OS has a 1 TB WD Caviar Black HDD. I have a BD-RW drive. I have a GTX570 (for games and CUDA programming) and 16 GB of DDR3 @ 1333MHz. This is in an Antec 900 case.

Jabberwocky said:
2. Dream system?
Pretty much my current system, maybe all SSD and a third monitor, plus another 16 GB or RAM.

Jabberwocky said:
3. Any advice for someone who's never built their own computer.
Don't rush it, double check all your components. Watch this video from Newegg first (all three parts):

Make sure to get an nVidia graphics card if you don't use integrated graphics, ATI's Linux drivers are horrible.
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #5

I would highly recommend building your own linux box. It can be a fun and rewarding experience, and it also allows for a lot of customization and control over your system. Plus, it can save you money in the long run compared to buying a pre-built system.

In terms of my current system, I have a home-built desktop running Ubuntu 18.04. It has an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor, 16 GB of RAM, and a NVIDIA GTX 1660 graphics card. I chose Ubuntu because it's a user-friendly distro with a large community for support. I also appreciate its compatibility with a wide range of software and hardware.

For my dream system, I would love to build a high-end desktop with a powerful processor, plenty of RAM, and a high-end graphics card. I would likely stick with Ubuntu, but I also have a soft spot for Arch Linux.

As for advice for someone who has never built their own computer, my main piece of advice would be to do your research and plan ahead. Make sure all your components are compatible with each other and don't be afraid to ask for help or advice from others. Also, don't feel like you have to spend a lot of money to get a good system. There are plenty of budget-friendly options that can still give you a great experience.

Overall, building your own linux box can be a fun and worthwhile endeavor. It allows you to truly understand and customize your system, and can also save you money in the long run. Good luck with your build!

Related to Have a (home-built) linux box? Let's discuss (I want to build my own)

1. What are the benefits of building a home-built Linux box?

There are several benefits to building your own Linux box. First, you have complete control over the hardware and software components, allowing you to customize it to your specific needs. Second, it can be more cost-effective than buying a pre-built computer. Third, building your own Linux box can be a fun and educational experience, allowing you to learn more about computer hardware and software.

2. What components do I need to build a Linux box?

The main components you will need to build a Linux box are a motherboard, CPU, RAM, hard drive, power supply, and a case. You will also need a keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Additionally, you will need to choose a Linux distribution to install on your computer.

3. Is building a Linux box difficult?

Building a Linux box can be a challenging task, especially for those who are not familiar with computer hardware. However, with proper research and guidance, it can be a rewarding experience. There are also many online resources and tutorials available to help you through the process.

4. How much does it cost to build a Linux box?

The cost of building a Linux box can vary depending on the components you choose. However, it can be more cost-effective than buying a pre-built computer, as you can choose budget-friendly components and only pay for what you need. The cost can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on your budget and needs.

5. Do I need any special skills to build a Linux box?

While it can be helpful to have some knowledge of computer hardware and software, it is not necessary to have any special skills to build a Linux box. With proper research and following instructions, anyone can build their own computer. However, if you are unsure, it can be helpful to have someone with experience to guide you through the process.

Similar threads