[Freegis-list] hardware requirements for linux-based GIS

Jan-Oliver Wagner jan at intevation.de
Thu Sep 30 21:01:49 CEST 2004

On Thu, Sep 30, 2004 at 02:42:52PM -0400, Daniel Morissette wrote:
> Tim Greenhow wrote:
> >I am very interested in exploring open-source GIS on Linux, but I am 
> >truly a newbie when it comes to Linux. In my search for a new laptop 
> >computer I find some salesmen blithely tell me that "sure, this machine 
> >can run Linux, though we don't normally sell it with that OS installed." 
> >But one, trying to sell me a particularly expensive machine, tells me 
> >that of all the copumters he has on stock, this is the only one that has 
> >been tested and certified suitable for Linux. Others will have problems 
> >with certain Linux commands and functions, he tells me. He assures me 
> >that he is not referring to CPU speed, harddisk or RAM size.
> >My question therefore is simply:: what are the basic hardware 
> >requirements needed for running Linux? What am I supposed to check for, 
> >and how different are the requirements of different Linux versions? Note 
> >that I would like to try a variety of GIS programs, among them GRASS.
> I can't speak for the GRASS requirements specifically (I think it should 
> run on any decent machine but I may be wrong), but with respect to 
> running Linux on various laptop models, you'll find tons of useful 
> information at:
> http://www.linux-laptop.net/
> Most of the times the problems you'll encounter with Linux on laptops is 
> lack of support for power management (hibernation won't work) and 
> possible lack of good drivers for the laptop's builtin modem (WinModem, 
> bad bad), sound card (sometimes), wireless adapter (often), and 
> sometimes lack of an optimized X11 driver for the display.
> In the worst case scenarios, all of the above will be hard to find or 
> unavailable, but with more recent Linux distributions, and more recent 
> laptops that seems to be standardizing to well-known hardware, you may 
> be able to just load the install CD's, click-click-click and almost 
> everything will be magically be detected and run properly.
> The best is to look for the model/brand that you plan to purchase on 
> linux-laptop.net before you buy.

another nice test is to carry a recent Knoppix CD to the shop
and boot it. You can at least find out whether all the elements
are supported by some Linux drivers.
If you then buy it and install you prefereed Linux distribution
it might work well out of the box or it is not as current as
the Knoppix. In the latter case you have at least the confidence
that the drivers are available in principle when you go looking
for them ;-)

Jan-Oliver Wagner               http://intevation.de/~jan/

Intevation GmbH                      http://intevation.de/
FreeGIS                                http://freegis.org/

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