[Melbourne-pm] [OT] Seeking the 64-bit linux that's right for me

Shlomi Fish shlomif at shlomifish.org
Tue Nov 6 06:26:57 PST 2012

Hi Rob,

On Wed, 7 Nov 2012 00:18:39 +1100
"Sisyphus" <sisyphus1 at optusnet.com.au> wrote:

> Hi,
> I use mainly MS Windows - not that I understand that OS all that well, but I 
> probably understand it better than I understand the linux systems.
> I have an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4600+ 2.40 GHz processor, 
> with 1.00 GB of RAM, and a (new) 465 GB hard drive.
> It's currently running (more like "walking") Windows Vista64, but now that 
> I've got hold of a new Windows 7 (x64) box, I'd like to stick a 64-bit linux 
> distro on this older box.

I would recommend something like Mageia - https://www.mageia.org/en/ . Its
advantage is that while it has an x86-64 version, you can still install some
32-bit i586 packages from the package manager, which are sometimes needed by
games, proprietary packages such as Skype, etc. Moreover, Mageia's perl package
is up-to-date and superb, and it has a very good coverage of CPAN
distributions packages as .rpms, and tools for packaging maintaining them:


(short URL - http://xrl.us/bnyajo )

Caveat: I am a Mageia user and contributor.

The reason why Debian and derivatives may not be as suitable for x86-64 is
because I believe the x86-64 version does not allow you to easily install
32-bit i386 packages.  

Now for your requirements:

> The requirements are pretty basic:
> 1) Be able to connect to the internet via my Satellite BroadBand account 
> with Optus;

Are you connecting using an Ethernet card? Is it a standard DHCP connection?
How does the connection look like as far as the host computer is concerned?

> 2) Be able to run an OpenSSH server (so that I have a server against which I 
> can easily test my Windows builds of x64 and x86 Net::SSH2);

No problem here. I am running OpenSSH servers on both my Mageia machines, and
it works very well. Of course, I don't recall running into any show-stopping
problems with OpenSSH servers on any Linux distribution I tried, but Mageia is
not exceptional in this respect. 

> 3) Supply (or provide the capability to build) gcc-4.7.0 or later, including 
> g++ and gfortran;

I think gcc-4.7.2 is the latest version -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Compiler_Collection . gcc-4.7.2 ships with
Mageia Linux Cauldron (the development distribution that will become the Mageia
3 release sooner or later), and you can install gcc-4.7.x from source, or by
building the new .src.rpms on older distributions (I've done it several time).

> 4) Supply (or provide the capability to build) recent versions of perl, 
> going back to (say) perl-5.8.8;

Mageia has a very recent perl under /usr/bin/perl. If you're interested in
building older versions of perl, then take a look at perlbrew:
http://perlbrew.pl/ . You can urpmi a perlbrew package on Mageia, or otherwise
install App::perlbrew. perlbrew works nicely on my systems.

> I take an interest in PDL, so X11, Prima, gnuplot, and PLplot are also of 
> siginificance as regards graphics capabilities. I would expect that all of 
> these  are readily available on most versions of linux ... but please tell 
> me if you happen to know that such expectation is unrealistic.

I think they should be either available or easy to install. Note that 1 GB of
RAM is getting kinda low, especially for a 64-bit system, but if you can live
without KDE and other memory hogs, then you should be OK. I'm running KDE
comfortably on my x86-64 laptop with 3 GB of RAM.


	Shlomi Fish

> Apart from that, I'm mainly just interested in checking on the modules that 
> I maintain:
> http://search.cpan.org/~sisyphus/
> Any advice ? Have I left out stuff that has a bearing ?
> Cheers,
> Rob
> _______________________________________________
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> Melbourne-pm at pm.org
> http://mail.pm.org/mailman/listinfo/melbourne-pm

Shlomi Fish       http://www.shlomifish.org/
Understand what Open Source is - http://shlom.in/oss-fs

XSLT is the number one cause of programmers’ suicides since Visual Basic 1.0.

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