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Old 09-09-2008, 12:56 AM   #21
Yuri_Rage
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I'm pretty *nix aware, and I've used commercial Sun products before. However, I've read that there are some issues when installing OpenSolaris on a machine with pre-existing Linux. I'll certainly try out the Live CD, but I'll approach a full install with kid gloves.

After all this crazy OS experimentation, I'll have to grab a screenshot of my boot menu!

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Old 09-09-2008, 01:47 AM   #22
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VMware Server is free... I gave up multi-booting a long time ago.

Gentoo is awesome once you get it set up and running, you need to pay attention to configu files with etc-update, but if you can use diff, you can figure it out. Emerge is head and shoulders above any package management system once you get things working. It is a bit of a chore to get it set up and the kernel tweaked.

I view it as "All Grain Linux"

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Old 09-09-2008, 02:02 AM   #23
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I'm going to have to start playing with some of these OS's to see what all the whoopla is about. I'm sure I can dig up an old machine at work to install on, but all I can do is test with them. I'm an MSCE and a CCNA so I'm embedded with the enterprise platforms I have running at work. I'd be interested to see what the Linux variations can do though. Can they run Microsoft Enterprise applications like Exchange '07 and SQL '08? Are they native 64-bit OS's?

I'm trapped in my own little IT world and haven't experimented with any of the OS's listed above.

Although for what it's worth, I upgraded my first server to Windows Server 2008 Enterptise (x64) and put Exchange 2007 SP1 on it over the weekend and so far I'm thoroughly impressed.

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Old 09-09-2008, 02:09 AM   #24
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Quote:
I view it as "All Grain Linux"
I like that.
gentoo certainly takes longer to install/update than say fedora or ubuntu but if you select the compile flags and packages carefully the performance increase is worth it. even a full re-emerge only takes me about 16 hours and that's on an old 2ghz P4 system.
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Old 09-09-2008, 03:05 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage
I am curious, however as to whether the end state system will be noticeably faster/leaner than Ubuntu.
That's kind of an unfair trial, unless you're really benchmarking equal configurations too. You described your system as having "plenty" so I doubt you'll find the optimizations much use at all. If you want to see a fast system, build up something minimal. Debian and Arch linux are considered some of the fastest.

You can speed Ubuntu up noticably by removing services you don't use. The Ubuntu vs Gentoo comparison will side heavily towards Ubuntu if you factor in download and compile times in "total cost of ownership".

One of the best things I've heard about Gentoo's supposed "optimization" at the compile level is that "-03 doesn't do much except expose compiler bugs".

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xen is not free - it has a free trial.
Xen is free (gratis) and free (libre) since it's actually a heavily modified Linux kernel itself. Most distros include Xen, some by default.

Ubuntu -- Details of package xen-hypervisor-3.2 in hardy

Quote:
You suggest you virtualize
Virtualization rocks, though I prefer KVM. It's a part of the default Linux kernel since 2.6.20 and Red Hat just purchased the company that maintains it (Qumranet) so it will be supported even more, while the company that purchased Xen is Citrix, a Microsoft Partner. I'm not anti-microsoft but it should be obvious which company will be more aligned towards useful and complete virtualization for Desktop Linux users.

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Can they run Microsoft Enterprise applications like Exchange '07 and SQL '08?
No, Microsoft bundles those products to their Windows operating system. There's nothing directly compatible/comparable to Exchange, but there are things as good (I'd argue better) than MSSQL.

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Are they native 64-bit OS's?
The super duper technical answer is "No, Linux is not an operating system". It's a collection of tools that can be mixed and used as you see fit. This is because the source code is publicly available and the license allows you to use it where and how you see fit. Because you have that source code, it runs just fine on 64-bit platforms. but it runs on a LOT of platforms (ARM, i386, AMD64, SPARC, MIPS, Power, et cetera) and depending on which specific application it may NOT have been developed FOR that architecture but almost always works fine on it.

Good enough for you? :P

If not, grab a LiveCD and give it a spin. You can run it live, without installing though you should know that it will be slower (CD read speeds suck compared to HD reads) and that some features might not work fully (due to being partly or entirely read-only).

Also, Microsoft Virtual PC allows you to virtualize on Windows so that you can run a different operating system WHILE running Windows at the same time and when I last used it, it was still free to Windows users.

Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 download
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Old 09-09-2008, 04:34 AM   #26
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I run Slackware on three of my machines, one of which is a laptop, simply because it is rock solid and straightforward to configure. The package manager is really just an installation tracker and you often have to build the packages yourself; it's not an automated system like RPM or aptget with dependency resolution. But I don't care for those features, as I totally destroyed a Fedora system using RPM dependency resolution once.

I used to run FreeBSD on one of my systems until I upgraded my hardware and neither 6.0 or 6.1 could boot anymore. I may try it again someday.

I'm running YDL on my PS3.

I boot Damn Small Linux from a USB key drive mainly as an emergency repair system, although I find the full blown Knoppix LiveCD handier for disk recovery chores.

I've got Ubuntu on a second laptop, but I rarely use it. It's a pretty old and slow laptop with limited resources. Eh, but it works.

Red Hat and I parted ways years ago, and my brief flirt with Fedora 3 and 4 proved unsavory. I had video problems with Debian that I never figure out before moving on to Slackware.

Slackware is great. I'll stick with it for my primary systems as long as Patrick Volkerding continues to support it. Volkerding is a homebrewer, by the way.

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Old 09-09-2008, 04:43 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage View Post
xen is not free - it has a free trial.
You are looking at the commercial Citrix version not the xen.org version...

try this:

Xen Hypervisor

More and more of my clients are asking me about the performance aspects of the virtualization of the servers without understanding that since "vmware allows you to assign 8 processors on a 4 processor machine!" doesn't actually make any sense. Still... paravirtualization using an HVM compatible platform is undoubtedly going to take over the enterprise in short order and most likely all enterprise desktop platforms will support HVM moving forward so virtualizing is a no-brainer even if you aren't running multiple vm's.
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:25 AM   #28
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Sorry - didn't realize that xen had a few variants. I think, in the interest of curiosity and experimentation, I'm going to install a ridiculous multi-boot scheme, then see what happens to functionality and performance when I move to a vm. I doubt that it will be all that scientific a venture, but I'll certainly post my impressions.

BTW, my machine isn't all that impressive. It's a 1.8GHz AMD64 single core with 2GB RAM and an nVidia card. The motherboard is the best ASUS model I could find that would support the processor chipset. I run 32 bit Ubuntu for day to day desktop apps, and I've just installed 64 bit Gentoo, further skewing any direct comparison opportunity. I should probably upgrade to a dual core or even quad core machine if I intend to really exercise the vm possibilities.

EDIT: As it turns out, my processor is just a little too old to support virtualization. Unless I'm missing something, the AMD 3000 series processor will not support xen or kvm.

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Old 09-09-2008, 06:04 AM   #29
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Gentoo took way too much of my time. I spent 3 months trying to configure my laptop, almost nothing worked, it took 4 hours to install or reinstall anything because it all had to compile from source, then finally something I did screwed up my master boot record.

I installed Ubuntu and I've never been happier. Well, until the 64-bit distro screwed up my hardware and I installed the 32-bit distro. Since then I've never been happier.

SWMBO even prefers Ubuntu with Compiz Fusion to Windows Vista. Number of Linux converts on my scorecard: 1.

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Old 09-09-2008, 11:27 PM   #30
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Code:
# emerge --update --deep world
...
>>> No outdated packages were found on your system.
Finally!

What a pain in the ass. There were broken dependencies galore! --skipfirst was REALLY handy. I've got the video card working correctly and fluxbox is easy enough to use. There are a few more issues to iron out, but I finally have a useable Gentoo install. Perhaps I'll grow to like it...perhaps not.
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