A short while back, while I was working on my KiCAD project; I had to create a Debian VM to finish up work on the PCB. Why did I pick Debian? Well, I have several Raspberry Pi’s around the house and so I have used it and am comfortable with it.
Sidebar: While a Macintosh user since 1985, I have always had a curious spot for UN*X. It started at university. While they had PC labs setup, they were often full or busted. And they hadn’t installed the Mac lab as of then. The Sun workstation lab always seemed to have at least once seat open. From there it just seemed to grow, my interest in UN*X. I longed to have a NeXT Cube (which I do now). I did install Apple’s version of UN*X. Oye Vey, that was a monster and I forget how many floppies I loaded onto that Mac IIfx. I was amazed when Linus came out with Linux. The first version I installed was on some tossed aside 386 and it took a small stack of floppies. When Steve brought NeXT to the Mac that was the cat’s meow!! I have been pretty happy every since with my BSD based Macintosh.
So why this, why now? The original goal is to have a permanent Minecraft server believe it or not. I have been trying to use one of the Pi’s for the server, but it keeps getting roped into a project, experiment, or something. I stumbled upon an old, used AMD box. Since I don’t need much in the way of horsepower; we won’t be gaming or doing any serious work with it, I thought it would work out just fine. I didn’t want it to be so old that it wouldn’t really be useful. I have tried using an older iMac and Mini, both core2Duo and neither worked out very well and were abandoned for other projects and sold on eBay.
The old PC I am starting off with is the:
• Phenom II X2 B53 (2.80 GHz) – Kept
• 2 GB DDR3 – added to
• 320 GB HDD – kept, upgrading
• Windows 7 Professional 32-bit – SO GONE
• ATI Radeon 3000 – kept, tired to upgrade
The computer didn’t come with wireless and my router is too far away to tether it. I found an old Asus USB wireless adapter. It worked right out of the box with Debian, which was really nice to see. I was expecting to be tracking down drivers and troubleshooting the installation. The throughput isn’t the greatest, but for setup right now it is doing its job.
2GB of RAM got me through the installation, but it was a little doggy when setting it up. I was able to find 2x2GB sticks of extra RAM so I added it for a total of 6. It seems quite happy now. Update 15 Aug: While digging around my Studio I found 2 2GB sticks of RAM from when I upgraded my Mac Pro. Woo-Hoo, now it has a total of 8GB and should be good for the future!!
The drive is old, and to be honest that 5400rpm shows when booting up. I am looking around for a bargain SSD drive to replace it with. Car repairs come first, so instead of a shiny new SSD, I found an old, new stock, still sealed, Apple 250GB Server SATA drive. It will work much better for now.
Windows was ditched right away. I didn’t know the password to the system, so I just popped in the Debian 9 (Stretch) minimal install disc and went from there.
OOoo – shiny penny moment. . .
I found a Radeon 6350 card in a box. Hey, not much of a card, but a little step from the 3000 on the box now. I installed it quick to see if it would just work or if I would have to play around. I had to play around with it just to get it to fit in the chassis. LOL.
It worked, just not at a decent resolution. I found a couple of sites with drives and installation suggestions, but I decided to just take it out and keep on going. In the end this will be a headless box sitting someplace quite. If I need to get to it there will be the VNC. It would have been nice, but I will leave the distraction for another day.
I have been taking some notes during my installation. I started with the Debian Minimal setup, so I have been going through updating and installing the software I will need for my endeavors.
Here is one of the well, done guides I found in my research for setting up this box. Here is a second one. About the one place I deviated from both installs is that I just installed everything on one partition. I understand the reason behind it, but I just toss it all on one. I may learn a Linux lesson the hardware down the road, that will be ok.
Before I go too much further I need to make a snapshot, or quick clone of the drive. I am hoping it will be as easy as Super Duper or CCC on the Mac. To date, I am quite please at how easy all of it has been to setup to date.
The Agenda for tonight:
- Snapshot debian install to date
- Install git
- Install sudo
- Install Java
- Install Spigot
- Setup Spigot
- VNC server, tigervnc