Which distro should I use?


I need to run a piece of open source software for my thesis which only runs on Linux. I’m not sure which distro / version to install though. My computer is has an intel server board, but I’m not running it as a server. Also I have a lot of memory so it makes sense for me to use a 64 bit version. I was looking at ubuntu and got confused as to whether I should install the desktop version or the server version, and also it seems the 64 bit version are all prefaced with AMD. Does that mean they only work for AMD chips?


Probably Ubuntu

We generally recommend Ubuntu for new users, as it’s the most popular linux distribution at UCT and for good reason :)

You want the desktop version if you intend to use the machine as a desktop. The server edition exists for minimal server installs.

Intel invented 386, and we call it i386. AMD invented the amd64 architecture, thus it’s named after them. It works on almost all Intel Processors since late Pentium 4. If you have more than 3GB of RAM, you probably want to use amd64. If you want 3rd party proprietory software to work well you may want to use i386.

great, thanks!

great, thanks!

Trouble with the installation

So I started installing the Ubuntu 9.10-amd64 but when it gets to the partioning part it shows no partions or drives at all. I have the same problem with the text based installation.

Is there a way to install ubuntu via the command line, using cfdisk or something? If so, can you walk me through it.

Thanks in advance,

re: Trouble with the installation

If it won’t see the disks, chances are it’s either a hardware or driver issue.

I assume the disk is attached via SATA. Have you put the chipset into AHCI mode rather than IDE emulation (a lot of motherboards default to IDE emulation so that windows XP can be easily installed).

What chipset does your motherboard have?

Intel Xeon E5520, 2.27 GHz.

Intel Xeon E5520, 2.27 GHz. Two of them, each quad core, each core with 2 threads so it shows as 16 CPUs.
I’m afraid I don’t know what AHCI is, and struggled to find how to put the chipset into that mode on the net. How do I do this?
——> Just changed it to AHCI now, seeing if it helps…

I partitioned the unallocated space (off the unbuntu live DVD) in the hopes that that would solve my problem. But it still finds nothing.


Still no luck

OK, so it is still not showing any devices in the “prepare partitions” stage of the installation :(

I changed the chipset to AHCI, it wasn’t set to IDE emulation though, it was set to “SW RAID”. Do you think that’s a problem? Also when I set it to AHCI I can no longer boot windows…
——> Although I notice you say I must change the chipset, I could find nothing to do with AHCI under the “processor configuration” but rather under the “Mass storage controller configuration”, so have I been changing the wrong thing?

What else can you suggest that I try?


Older version works

So I decided to see if another version would have the same problem and turns out I could install 9.04 without any problems so everything seems sorted for now.



I’d also give 10.04 a try, it’s in Beta 2 already and will release this month, so it’s pretty safe to install.

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