Since the summer of 1994, I have been running Linux on various Intel-based machines at home, from my old (now dead) Zeos Intel P5/60 machine to my currently up-and-running dual Intel Pentium 3/933 (Pyrite).

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I have found Linux to be very reliable and useful for many applications, including development. (It is a much more consistant environment, in fact, than Microsoft's Windows NT using their Visual C/C++ compiler. The combination of these two products in terms of cost, lack of reliability, and system requirements cannot compare to the completely open environment of Linux/GCC/X11. Yes, I have used NT and VC++. Porting any ANSI or K&R UNIX C code to VC is an absolute nightmare...especially TCP/IP networking code, at least as of 1997.) For example, for a linear algebra class at NMSU in 1996, Ross and I designed and wrote a simple 3D animated renderer to run under X within a 20-hour week on my Linux-based machine. Naturally, it was a trivial job to port to IBM's AIX, SGI's, and Sun's C compilers. Here's some screen shots from it running under AIX.

Originally, I started out using Slackware, back when 0.96 Linux kernels were the latest-and-greatest. Despite having installed Red Hat since then on various machines (including an Alpha box), I still much prefer Debian and its much less "in-your-face/hold-your-hand" installation and configuration. After my original Slackware installation on my now dead P5/60, I've installed Debian exclusively on machines for my personal use.

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Linux Compatibility

Just for reference's sake, I've helped set up Linux on a number my friends', my family members', and my own machines for work and play... (If this doesn't show that you can run Linux on any Intel-like platform i386SX and up [and even a Sun Sparc], I don't know what does!)

Note that I keep the above as up-to-date as possible. If any of the above info has changed, please let me know.

Hardware compatibility used to be a huge issue with Linux, but with more and more good press about Linux, more specs are being released and more drivers are being written. Here is a list of some specific hardware I have experience with and whether or not I've been able to get it to work under Linux (i386) can get much of the newer hardware in this list from : For some facts about Linux, check out these pages. Some are good starting places to find other sources of information.
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