Quote Originally Posted by WrinkledCheese View Post
Short answer: No. Not really. If you can install Windows XP Pro on it, you are more than likely able to install Linux on it. There are exceptions, but mostly related to peripheral devices such as Web Cams or new technologies, such as Wireless NICs.

Long answer: I would suspect that any hard drive you throw at a Linux system it's going to handle. However, when you're getting into older kernels, you WILL run into support issues for newer hardware. If you're building a legacy system you will have to keep your kernel at least as new - probably a little newer - than your newest piece of hardware. One of the biggest issues with Linux I find is that some companies just don't want to play ball with the Open Source community and provide drivers, or the docs required to create such drivers. On hardware niche this is apparent in is Wireless devices, such as Broadcom based wireless wireless devices. What you end up doing is running the native Windows driver in a wrapper.

However, the same is true for Windows. Early installers for Windows will require a driver disk for SATA drives. It prompts you at the start of the installer for this. The same goes with Linux although install time driver setup is a bit more complicated.

If we had more specs as to what you're thinking of building - IE Motherboard, Video Card, Hard Drive, RAM, peripherals, specific 'legacy distros' - we might be able to better assist you and provide a more straight forward answer.

I'm curious as to what you're planning on using to build this legacy system for kernels between 2.4.31 and 2.6.29.

I have been using Slackware Linux since it was shipped with Kernel 2.4.18 - Slackware 8.1 - and I had no issues with IDE disks - AKA Parallel ATA. Since 2004 I have been using Slackware with SATA disks - aka Serial ATA - with out issue. As of late, using Linux Kernel 2.6.37 - with Slackware 13.37 - I have noticed some issue with my atempt to use a SATA SSD - AKA Solid State Disk. This might just be the disk though. Sometimes you get bad disks.

As for hardware compatibility regarding disks, I have used over 20 different brands and technologies of disks, including SCSI disks using Splack many years ago on My Ultra Sparc 10. The first time I ever had an issue with PATA - AKA IDE, ATA - SATA or SCSI disks is with my latest venture with SATA SSD, although I suspect the disk technology is at fault.

I might have opened with this.

Can I have some?
Well, I'm way too paranoid to even consider webcam or wireless anything...any other "exceptions"?

Its these "support issues for newer hardware" that I need help avoiding, as my hardware buying list was done up back when I was aiming to trial current distro releases. Now that I've had to change course and restrict trial to releases using kernel 2.6.29 (or prior), my component procurement list needs to be revised.

To answer your question on distros, I'll trial-run the following:
aLinux 12.9 =kernel 2.6.29
CaosLinux 2 =
Damn Small Linux 3.3 = 2.4.26
Debris Linux 2.0 = 2.6.28
eAR OS 1.10 = 2.6.24
FaunOS = 0.5.4 =
LinuxMint 7 = 2.6.28
MyahOS 3.0 =
NetSecL 2.6 =
PhoenixOS = 2.6.24
Puppy Linux 4.2.1 =
Salix Linux 13.02 =
SimplyMepis 8.0.15 = 2.6.27
SuperOS 9.04 = 2.6.28
SymphonyOne 2008.1 = 2.6.22
Ultimate Edition 2.2 = 2.6.28
VideoLinux 2.1 = 2.6.15
I'llbe stuck with XP Pro until I can find an acceptable replacement, so will go through these one by one until I find OS I like, or until I reach end of list (in which case I'll pick the least irritating one).

To answer your question on hardware, as
said, I've had to pretty much scrap my specs and start over, but generally speaking:
CASE: Will likely pick it last, after I got better idea of what all need to fit inside. Definitely want full-size tower,either designed for noise suppression or able to accommodate sound-proofing;extra sturdy or 'armored' construction;lots of fans and dust filters.
POWER SUPPLY: Either Corsair, Enermax or Antec. As it must supply at least 100 watts more than total energy requirement of all components, I'll wait til I know what that requirement is (I'd prefer models listed at 'silentpcreview' though).
CPU: Was going for PhenomII...now maybe Opteron? Not sure just how far backwards I have to go.

Well this forum just blanked out two pages of typing, and I ain't doing it over, so will try to do the rest of the hardware list next time.