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  1. #1

    OS Issues on HP xw9400 workstation


    My community center was given a HP xw9400 workstation... It uses 2 AMD Opteron 6 core 8439 SE processors and dual Nvidia FX 4600 GPU cards. I do not want to use win, yet I have. I do not like it... never did, it is kinda slow anyway. I have tried Ubuntu Studio last time around. Too many issues and it makes my spleen ache. I did try a couple other distros like BSD (okay I was goofing around) and some other "Art" based distro. Odd, my notebook is faster than this which seems unlikely, but it is.

    So, The folks at HP say RedHat are the go to guys... The box is certified to run RHEW 4 and 5. I just think it is certifiable in general... I may be too though...

    But, I digress.... What I did want to try is some music and video editing/creation. Anyone have any input on what direction I can go in for stability here? As much as I like to support Linux programmers I really do not know that I like some of the stuff I have read regarding Red and how they do or did business...

    I also have a bit of a limited budget and this workstation is supposed to be used to teach neghborhood youth some skills in music and other art creation... like 3D, programming some blender plug-ins, GIMP, LMMS, cinelerra etc.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this and considering. I am not too sure how many people out there have something like this, but it is a older box and there has got to be some geological research guys out there that have some experience with this kinda thing?

  2. #2
    I am not perfect in hardware but to begin correctly I want to know the processor architecture of this machine :
    is it i686 or i586 or i386 x86 or x64 or what
    go to this link and choose Architecture from the menu you will find a lot of choices search
    if this is a PC you may try to use distributions designed for low-end or low resources hardware such as CrunchBang
    in the link choose "Old Computers" from the "Distribution Category" menu
    finally I think you need to clarify your request..
    good luck

  3. #3

    I have been using *nix for... hmmm 12 years at least. My issue is not going to be resolved on Distrowatch. At least it has not been. The AMD Opterons I have in this box are AMD64 architecture if that is what you are asking... They are Istanbul cores and A-10 architecture in real life.

    I know that redhat is the one to use per HP and of course there is always slack. But, Slack is going to be a lot of work and I do not have the time to do all that.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    may be AntiX is best for you..try disabling unnecessary services to speed up the system

  6. #5
    Hi Kareem, First thanks for your interest.

    As far as AntiX... Well, my box is from 2004 and it was updated in 2009 with the 2 new 6 core CPU's. It was given to me last year. AntiX, while a worthy distro seems to be more for the older computers, not the odd workstation. Perhaps I am missing something however?

    In any cast this computer should be a LOT faster, I can see from my poking about that the CPU's are not running at speed, but at only 1.30 not 2.80. I did not want to wade through all the possible setting areas/code etc. on this machine only to keep finding problems (apps freeze and such) so back when I started this thread it seemed better to ask here if anyone used this particular type of machine. If so, what did they use as an OS. There may be a hardware issue here I am not aware of also. But my experience is limited to Sun dual Opteron systems like the W2100z. I have had my share of issues with THAT thing too... but it was not the best Sun workstation in the first place.

    Without anyone having experience with this kind of box my next question is; How long does it take a average user to build a *nix from binary? Back when I studied elec eng we used turbo pascal. This will be no help here. So, how many hours would I be looking at... lets make the estimate on the long side too.

    Thanks again for the interest...

  7. #6
    where are you now ? how is it going with you? what did you achieve in solving this problem?

  8. #7
    We have been busy busy busy with teaching at risk youth mechanics and welding. I have been too tired to deal with much else. I learned from a gentleman who goes by rubberman or something like this that cent os is the same as redhat. I did get my hands on red hat also, but I rather not pay cash to redhat as we are spending a lot on teaching the kids. We have very little in the budget in the way of cash, but much more in time and effort. We are going to start soon to teach the kids all about open source and see if we can get this generation to jump on board, become a community player of sorts. That they like anyone needs to take some responsibility for the world since unless they do this kind of resource will go away.

    Back to the computer issues though... I now also understand that I need to get several 15,000 rpm scsi drives to stripe them using the raid to get some serious bytes through the box. At this point I have to choose either solid state drive to speed up the start up or spend some real money to get the faster raid system going. Having a workstation is all well and good, but I now see that having capability is not the same as having the speed associated with same. It takes time for a Operating System to load up all those bells and whistles and if I do not have the one bottle neck resolved then I will keep having a slow system.

    Thanks for the interest!

  9. #8
    Suse Linux enterprise desktop is also an option
    I found drivers for it on the following page
    HP xw9400 Workstation*-* Download drivers and software - HP Business Support Center
    check it out
    and you are welcome..

  10. #9
    Hi, Thank you again for the interest...

    Yes, HP has or had certified Redhat and Suse as well as Vista. I would not use a obsolete MS OS so that is out of the question for this and other good reasons. There is HP unix too I suppose.... However Suse is Office or Business based/concentrated while Cent OS being basically Redhat and having a good support group which will help us teach the kids and young adults how to use that kind of community resource seems to be the most fulfilling.

    One of our goals is to help the disenfranchised get rewarded by being part of a community again. The more that this happens the better the chances of helping these young people become both self reliant, community minded and more important feel powerful as they can belong to a group even if it is not the one out on the streets. Then there is the possibility that they can do better financially and in the business worl if they "know" linux or *nix platform for computing.

    When I have time again to revisit this project (it is a bit advanced for this poorly educated group) I will look again at the choices available and Suse will be one of the possibilities. We need to get a handful, or armful of scsi ata drives to use striped raid for the speed and then I will hope that at least a few are ready for this more advanced line of study.

    I can dream anyway

  11. #10
    good idea and good project ..god will bless you..

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