new computer

hi all,

got myself a new computer over the weekend and i am rapped with it and i so chuffed that i just have to post the details.

For starters I am one of those geeky guys who has about 6 computers in a room and they are all chugging away doing something. That may explain the specs of the new comptuer.

Anyway, the new box is basically a Quad core with 8 Gig of RAM, 3 Tb hard drive and 1 Gig twin HD video card and this is what I've done with it.

Installed 64 Ubuntu onto it and then installed VirtualBox. With that, I've created 5 virtual computers on this one box and each virtual computer works and is configured as basically a separate standalone computer. These are the virtual machines I've created:

- 1 x 32 bit Ubuntu with Gnome (100 Gig HD and 1 Gig RAM). This will be my basic work machine

- 1 x 32 bit Mandriva with KDE (100 Gig HD and 1 Gig RAM). This will be my KDE play/experimentation box

- 1 x 32 bit Mythbuntu (200 Gig HS and 2 Gig RAM). This is my multimedia machine

- 1 x 32 Bit Win XP Pro (10 Gig HD and 512 Meg RAM). This is my scratch/experiment Microsoft box for generic web surfing

-1 x 32 Bit Win XP Pro (60 Gig HD and 1 Gig RAM). This will be my generic M'soft box for those apps i have bought.


All of the above virtual boxes are being managed by 64 bit Ubuntu.

So anyway, it all works perfectly. I can toss away the 6 comptuers i had before and now run them all on one box. Saves power as I am not running 6 separate comptuers and monitors, and plus, saves room and save power points.

The virtual boxes are happy working all together and i am able to cut and paste and clipboard between each. Plus, especially with the Windows boxes, if one was to get a virus, then the other boxes are all safe as the virtual manager isolates all the boxes and all the boot sectors. And if one virtual box gets corrupted (either by a crook file, or registry or whatever), i can still work on the other boxes and basically just delete that corrupt virtual box and create another. Alternatively, if i am happy with the status of a particualr virtual box, then I can take a snapshot of it and resume from that snapshot at any time (in case something happens with the virtual box).

I have also created a shared data drive (which is a separate 1 tb hard drive) and i use this drive for the data on the virtual boxes. the installs on the virtual boxes is just for apps and OS tweaks, and i keep the data on the shared drive. This means that all the virtual boxes can access the same data but the code is all separate on its own install.

I'm amazed and chuffed at this new computer. I bought the parts for a total of $1170 and i saved $150 by putting it all together myself. I'm amazed at the technology that is available to all now.


Thanks


g
 
Very nice and a great idea. I'm only running 3 Computers but will be heading the same Virtual way as soon as I get the time :)

And best of all mostly for freeeeee as its open source :)
 
Don't forget, that if you are using a 32 bit operating system then it will only see 2.8 gig of RAM. only a 64 bit operating system will see any RAM past that....

The new Windows 7 will have a 64 bit version, as with the new Mac OS. I went for the 64 ubuntu because it is better and free. However most people will still opt for the 32 bit version of any of the above. If you are one of the most that will go for the 32 bit version then any upgrades of RAM will be waste.


thanks


g
 
Wait a second....what do/did you need 6 computers for!?

Mac for doing publishing stuff
Mandriva Linux box just for fun
Suse Linux box because we can
Windows XP for running non Vista compatible apps
Vista for running stuff that doesn't require reliability
Unix machine for running stuff that's mission critical

Gee, like that's not obvious!
 
how many say what!

I just got a similar machine yesterday, it's i7-920 (8 logical cpus!) and running Ubuntu too.

I'm actually really curious about how well your Mythbuntu VM works in practice. As you know VirtualBox 3 has 3D graphics support but it's never going to be able to use the graphics card fully. So how does Mythbuntu in a VM go as far as encoding TV in real time, playing TV, music, videos?

To tell you the truth, I couldn't see myself managing so many VMs!

The approach I'm looking at taking is to have:
- my main Ubuntu 64 host OS as server, encoder, mythtv backend + frontend, Linux gaming etc
- Vista booting off an a e-SATA HDD if I want to play Windows games, this prevents it from polluting my system in any way, not even affecting the bootloader
- a small Ubuntu VM for work perhaps using the KVM hypervisor which is even more efficient than VirtualBox
- Any Windows apps I might need running in WINE

To me, this means I only have to maintain three OSes in total, and I get to enjoy the full benefit of the graphics card in 2 of them.

It's certainly cool to hear how others are using Ubuntu though :)
 
Don't forget, that if you are using a 32 bit operating system then it will only see 2.8 gig of RAM. only a 64 bit operating system will see any RAM past that....
I have 4G at the moment, I keep running out. XP 64 bit.

Wait a second....what do/did you need 6 computers for!?
My desktop.
His desktop.
Child's laptop.
Media center.
Local server.
Remote server.
Mac for testing.
and we rent a slice of someone else's computer for $US20 a month for the websites.

How can you NOT need 6 computers! :)
 
I agree - how can you NOT have 6 computers.

One major reason, i like stability but i also like experimentation, and both of those attributes do not bode well with Windows based machines - hence my desire to run Linux based OSes.

Plus, i run an online newsletter based on news and politics from Taiwan and this involves having a computer on all day chugging away and processing news and requests and sending out to the 34,000 subscribers. That is one specialised computer that i don't want to have interupted.

Plus, i pay some company in America to host a few of my websites, and so i have a process that backs up those websites onto one of my local boxes (just in case a bomb hits that company or they disappear). I'd like to be able to get my websites back if that company goes broke. That is another specialised computer.

Then, like many people, i don't mind the occasional net surfing time. So i use a combination of either Windoze or Linux for that, and as everyone knows, surfing the net on a Windoze box will most likely introduce nasties on your machine over a period of time. So a virtual box will be ideal for that as i can blow it away anytime and re-create another box.

That is just for me. Individual family members have their own computers that i don't touch (but i have to pay for though)

Having multiple computers is a necessity for me. Turning this question around, i cannot survive on only one computer (although one can argue that i'm doing that now with Virtualisation), and i'd like to know, how can a normal family survive on only one cumputer? It's a serious question.


Thanks


g
 
How many hours did it take to set up the 3TB hdd.

Are you really only using one hdd? What about redundancy?

How often do you do a full external backup of your 3TB hdd and how long does it take?
 
How many hours did it take to set up the 3TB hdd.

Are you really only using one hdd? What about redundancy?

How often do you do a full external backup of your 3TB hdd and how long does it take?

I'd also be concerned about this. Now that space is so ridiculously cheap, I'd be calling that 1.5TB of RAID 0.

Right now I have 750GB x 2 in my PC, not exactly RAID but one of which is purely to regularly back up the first one. So I think of my PC as having 750gb of space, not 1.5TB.

I got so sick of losing data due to HDD failure over the years!

-Ian

p.s. I keep all my failed HDDs in a box somewhere so that one day when I can easily afford the $3000+ recovery fee that some outfits charge, I might just see what's on them just for fun.
 
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