Anyone assembling custom LINUX systems?

Anyone assembling custom LINUX systems?

Post by C U E Here Sys » Mon, 08 Aug 1994 22:50:11



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I apologize in advance if this should not have been crossposted between
.misc and .help

Can anyone provide a customized Linux system, or point me to someone who
can? Within one to to months, I hope to have finished negotiating a 56Kbps
dedicated Internet link, and may have to move faster than my limited Linux
experience will allow.

GENERAL:

This system will be an Internet node for a group who want an alternative to
the high cost of various service providers in the area, and must connect
V.35 to the 56K line. I expect the other end to be connected directly to a
router on the Internet. The system will be used to provide all manner of
Internet goodies (telnet, ftp, mosaic, chat, talk, finger, www, wais,
gopher, archie, veronica, mosaic, EMail, News, UUCP, and any others I've
left out) directly to dialup accounts (up to 8 dialups, 28.8Kbps modems). I
would also like to be able to use a couple of those dialups for either PPP
on demand or dedicated PPP connections as a host.

SPECIFICS:

Although I present the following as an idea of what I figure will be
required, please feel free to make suggestions; most of my experience has
been as a system administrator with Intergraph CLIX boxes on a local
internet, and my 'PC' knowledge is lacking.

o  Pentium 90Mhz
o  Tower Case w/HD power supply (250-300W), lots of bays
o  512K cache
o  16 Meg RAM minimum
o  SCSI II interface (w/external port)
o  500 Meg fast SCSI II hard drive minimum
o  230 Meg M/O R/W Optical drive minimum (for backup and archive)
o  CD-ROM (optional; I have NEC 3X external with SCSI ports)
o  Ethernet card for V.35 connection[?] (top quality)
o  Video card/monitor, good but cost effective (64bit might be nice for X
:-)
o  Sound card (not critical
o  Terminal server or multi port for dialups (Digiboard 8 ?)
o  Slackware 2.0 distribution CD, other Linux CDs
o  Other networking software as noted above.

I would appreciate a cost breakdown for a system which will be runnable,
right out of the box, plus leasing terms/costs, if it is an option.

ALTERNATIVELY:

If anyone is running a system for similar use, or a system of similar
configuration, I would appreciate any (general) information which will
enable me to make good component choices and minimize my setup and
configuration time.

Thank-you very much for any responses. Responses should be via EMail to the
address below. I will post an appropriate summary of responses to the
'ALTERNATIVELY' request, and possibly a general summary of responses to the
'SPECIFICS' request.

- --
Roger Walker (403) 465-4962  ****  SysOp, CUE Here BBS (403) 465-7715
 GIS Analyst (403) 496-4145


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Anyone assembling custom LINUX systems?

Post by Lawrence Foa » Wed, 10 Aug 1994 14:58:12



Quote:

>o  Pentium 90Mhz

Not to much different than 486, it might not be worth the extra
money. Anyone have any bench marks for Linux?

Quote:>o  Tower Case w/HD power supply (250-300W), lots of bays

Good.

Quote:>o  512K cache
>o  16 Meg RAM minimum

Good (8 megs would work for call ins only, but if your going to use X
locally while its running 16 is good). Make sure your board can cache
above 16megs incase you want to expand at some point.

Quote:>o  SCSI II interface (w/external port)
>o  500 Meg fast SCSI II hard drive minimum

I might go for more here since drive prices are way down these days,
and users love to have some real file space.

Quote:>o  230 Meg M/O R/W Optical drive minimum (for backup and archive)

You might want a DAT, R/W optical is very nice but the disks are
expensive, so keeping regular backups will costs over $1000 in disks.
DAT tapes are around $10 each for atleast 1 gig, the drives are around
$500.

Quote:>o  CD-ROM (optional; I have NEC 3X external with SCSI ports)

Good idea.

Quote:>o  Ethernet card for V.35 connection[?] (top quality)

I assume your going to a router with ethernet?

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Anyone assembling custom LINUX systems?

Post by Phil Hugh » Thu, 11 Aug 1994 00:01:18


The following companies advertise complete Linux systems in Linux Journal:



I don't have any first-hand experience with ny of these vendors.  Linux
Journal welcomes letters to the editor and feedback about these companies
(as well as any other companies that supply Linux-related products is

Linux Journal, P.O. Box 85867, Seattle, WA 98145-1867.  Or even FAX them
to (206) 527-2806.

--
Phil Hughes, Publisher, Linux Journal (206) 527-3385

 
 
 

Anyone assembling custom LINUX systems?

Post by Ove Ewerl » Thu, 11 Aug 1994 08:32:28


   >
   >o  Pentium 90Mhz

   Not to much different than 486, it might not be worth the extra
   money. Anyone have any bench marks for Linux?

We have a P90 system (PCI/48Mb DRAM (64bits wide)/512kb cache (WBack))

The P90 is 2.1 times faster wrt compiling the linux kernel.

The bandwidth to the DRAM of the P90 system is 4 times that of the i486 system.
This gave me quite a boost as far as linking large binaries with
lots of debugging info (6 Mb and larger).

 
 
 

Anyone assembling custom LINUX systems?

Post by Gustaf Neuma » Fri, 12 Aug 1994 06:07:24





 |>    >
 |>    >o  Pentium 90Mhz
 |>
 |>    Not to much different than 486, it might not be worth the extra
 |>    money. Anyone have any bench marks for Linux?
 |>
 |> We have a P90 system (PCI/48Mb DRAM (64bits wide)/512kb cache (WBack))

 |>
 |> The P90 is 2.1 times faster wrt compiling the linux kernel.
 |>
 |> The bandwidth to the DRAM of the P90 system is 4 times that of the i486 system.
 |> This gave me quite a boost as far as linking large binaries with
 |> lots of debugging info (6 Mb and larger).

 Same experiences here on a SUPER PCI/VLB P54 90Mhz motherboard.
 On cpu-intense tasks (largish Prolog programs, typically 4MB memory)

 -gustaf
--

Postdoctoral/Visiting Scientist    Tel: (914) 784 7086
IBM T.J.Watson Research Center, P.O.Box 704
Yorktown Heights, New York 10598

 
 
 

Anyone assembling custom LINUX systems?

Post by Keith Smi » Fri, 12 Aug 1994 13:59:19






> |>
> |>    Not to much different than 486, it might not be worth the extra
> |>    money. Anyone have any bench marks for Linux?
> |>
> |> We have a P90 system (PCI/48Mb DRAM (64bits wide)/512kb cache (WBack))

> |>
> |> The P90 is 2.1 times faster wrt compiling the linux kernel.

C'mon here.  Your comparing a LOT MORE than just the CPU here.  You've
spec'd a Total Write back 64 bit Pentium 90 with PCI and an unknown disk
controller (probably PCI/SCSI) against a simple IDE 486/66 ISA box.

The You have 3 TIMES the Memory in the Pentium box and twice the cache.
That in and of itself cost as much as the 486/66 box.


That's like comparing an Indy car with a V8 engine to an Olds 98 with a
V6. A lotus runs an inline 4, but is still faster and more responsive
than an Olds 98.  If you want to compare motors they need to be on the
same or similar chassis.

For a REAL comparison you need more roughly equivilant components, like
a Write Back cache 486/66 with the same amount of cache, and an EISA or
VLB SCSI controller for the disks.

Then that done bring up the cost factor.

Quote:> |>
> |> The bandwidth to the DRAM of the P90 system is 4 times that of

     the i486 system.

Quote:> |> This gave me quite a boost as far as linking large binaries with
> |> lots of debugging info (6 Mb and larger).

Uhmmmm,  with pre-fetch and adequate cache, I'd say your disk was
binding you up more than your memory bus.  With 48MB of RAM you can have
one HELL of a disk buffer cache under Linux.

> Same experiences here on a SUPER PCI/VLB P54 90Mhz motherboard.
> On cpu-intense tasks (largish Prolog programs, typically 4MB memory)


You can't compare apples and oranges and get anything meaningful.  There
are too many factors involved.  IMHO, save the money for the CPU and
upgrade your DISKS to fast SCSI.  I like my programs to launch quickly,
and I don't like to wait all day to copy a large file to disk.

Also note Cyrix is going to have WRITE BACK CACHE 486/66's any time now,
and the DX2/50 and DX/50's are out.  The W/B '100Mhz chips are scheduled
for late fall.

One of my favorite benchmarks:

$ dd cat some_large_10MB_file | gzip | gzip -dc > alternate_name

Nice thing about this is it hits your CPU and your DISK at the same
time.  It's also a similar usage pattern to the *I _do_, constantly
shifting data from point a to point b thru filters like awk, and then
compressing to save disk space.
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