Dell OptiPlex GXpro 200 and LINUX

Dell OptiPlex GXpro 200 and LINUX

Post by Mirek Bartkowi » Wed, 31 Jul 1996 04:00:00



Hi,

We plan to buy a top-of-the-line PC and use it as a powerful
LINUX workstation. However, before we buy one, we have to make sure
that LINUX supports the hardware. Currently, we are looking at two
particular systems:  DELL OptiPlex GXpro 200 and MICRON Millennia
Pro Plus. These are:

************************************************

System 1: DELL OptiPlex GXpro 200:
----------------------------------

Chipset:  440FX Pentium Pro Chipset

Processors: Dual Pentium Pro 200MHz with 256KB cache each

RAM:   128MB EDO ECC DIMMs

Video Card:  STB S3 Trio V+ PCI with 2MB Video Memory
             or
             #9 Imagine II PCI with 4MB Video Memory

Audio Controller:   Vibra 16 (Sound Blaster 16-compatible;
                    support for .WAV recording and FM Synthesis)
                    integrated into the motherboard
                    or
                    Creative Labs AWE32 NT Wavetable card

BIOS:  2MB Flash memory for BIOS, Setup, Plug-and-Play, DMI support

Bus Interface:    PCI, ISA

EIDE Interface:  Integrated bus mastering PCI Fast ATA 2/3 with two
                 channel/connector on PCI, Mode 4 PIO support

SCSI Host Bus Adapter:  2940UW Fast/Wide SCSI Card

Hard Drives: 4GB SCSI + 2GB SCSI

Tape Drive:  4/8GB SCSI DAT

CD-ROM Drive:   6X SCSI

Monitor: Ultrascan 21TE Trinitron Color (19.6" v.i.s., .30NI)

Network Interface:  3Com? EtherLink? III Parallel Tasking?,
                    Plug-and-Play capable 10Mb PCI Ethernet, RJ45
                    Twisted Pair Connector; 3Com AutoLink
                    Configuration Utility; integrated into the
                    motherboard
                    or
                    3Com Ethernet 3C590 PCI (Combo)

************************************************

System 2: MICRON Millennia Pro Plus (C)
---------------------------------------

Chipset:  Intel 82440FX PCI Chipset

Processor:  200MHz Intel Pentium Pro

RAM:  128MB EDO RAM

Video Card: Diamond Stealth 3D 2000 Video Card w/2MB EDO & MPEG
            or
            Diamond Stealth 64 Video VRAM with 4MB
            or
            #9 Imagine 128 8MB VRAM Video Card

Audio Controller: Creative Labs SoundBlaster 16 sound card
                  or
                  Sound Blaster 32 wavetable 3D sound w/2MB RAM

BIOS: AMI Plug-n-Play Flash BIOS

SCSI Host Bus Adapter:  PCI 32-bit Ultra SCSI Fast-20 controller
                        or
                        Adaptec AHA-2940U SCSI Host Adapter

Hard Drive:   9.0GB Fast SCSI-2 hard drive

Tape Drive:  Sony DDS-2 4/8GB SCSI DAT Drive

CD-ROM Drive: 115ms 8X Eight Speed 1.2MB/S SCSI CD ROM drive  

Monitor: 21" Micron 21FGn .26 NI SVGA color monitor

Network Interface: 3COM 3C595 PCI 10/100 Ethernet NIC
                   or
                   3COM 3C509, ISA NIC Ethernet Combo

************************************************

We would prefer to get the DELL system (since LINUX
supports multiprocessor systems, this might be a very
powerful workstation), but we are not sure if
Linux supports the rest of the (relatively new) hardware.
In particular, wouldn't the integrated into the motherboard
network and audio cards cause problems?
Micron, on the other hand, is a more conventional
single-processor system, but we want to make sure that we
choose the appropriate optional hardware.

Any help with these difficult decisions would be appreciated.
Particularly that both systems are rather expensive, and it makes
sense to use them as workstations only if they are capable of running
Linux.

Please feel free to email directly to me.

Kindest regards,


Solid State Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, Tennessee

 
 
 

Dell OptiPlex GXpro 200 and LINUX

Post by Ivo Wel » Wed, 31 Jul 1996 04:00:00


I could not pin down anyone who has used this system under linux before, and
DELL specifically claims they are not supporting linux. But they have a
30-day MBG, so I am ordering one of these Optiplex GX200pro machines tomorrow
morning.  I will post a message about whether it works/does not work under
linux in August.

In any case, I am not planning to try the SMP support.  I will try it only if
I hear that someone else will have succeeded with it.

Regards,

/ivo welch

 
 
 

Dell OptiPlex GXpro 200 and LINUX

Post by Chris Hans » Wed, 31 Jul 1996 04:00:00



   Date: 30 Jul 1996 21:14:04 GMT

   I could not pin down anyone who has used this system under linux
   before, and DELL specifically claims they are not supporting linux.
   But they have a 30-day MBG, so I am ordering one of these Optiplex
   GX200pro machines tomorrow morning.  I will post a message about
   whether it works/does not work under linux in August.

   In any case, I am not planning to try the SMP support.  I will try
   it only if I hear that someone else will have succeeded with it.

I have Linux (Debian 1.1) running on the DELL machine.  It mostly
works very well, with some caveats:

* I don't have the second processor installed.

* I have a 3com 3C509B-COMBO installed, since we have thin ethernet.  I
  disabled the motherboard's networking hardware, since I can't use
  it.  So I can't say whether it works or not.

* The 2940UW SCSI and 6X CD-ROM work fine.

* I Haven't tried the installed Vibra 16 sound hardware.

* I have the Imagine video card, and after some poking around I have
  come to believe that there is _no_ X server, free or commercial,
  that supports it.  This is not a major problem for me, as I bought
  the machine to run a handful of Windows programs and installed Linux
  on it because I like Linux.  I suspect that this video card will
  eventually be supported, and I can wait for that.  But if you need
  Linux and X today, _don't_ get this card.

Other than this, the machine appears to be a fine piece of hardware.
It is very fast, and I had no (serious) trouble installing any of the
operating systems on it: DOS, OS/2, Windows NT, and Linux.