[Scottish] Using old Sun and HP boxes for Linux

Colin McKinnon scottish at mailman.lug.org.uk
Fri Jul 18 18:00:01 2003

On Thursday 17 July 2003 00:11, Keith Stenson wrote:
> Hey all,
> I was just wondering if any of you guys have had any experience in using
> old sun and HP boxes with Linux. I'm thinking of picking up one to act
> as a test box to play about with but ultimately maybe using them as
> samba servers etc?

I find it hard to get excited about running Linux on peculiar architectures=
I guess the only reasons to do it are:

1) you are getting old equipment for free (or just for pennies)
2) you really an enourmous fast new system and can't build a cluster
3) you want to foil the script kiddies (not a very good one)
4) you want to learn how to be a Sun/HP hardware engineer

=2E..but I'd be interested to hear if anyone has any other reasons.

My experience is mostly with HP boxes:
Even the most trivial of spares can be ridiculously expensive (HP charge=20
=A3100.00 for a 1.5m wide SCSI cable). Having said that, I recently is cove=
that 2nd hand prices have taken a major nosedive in the last 3 years.=20
Hardware documentation can be tricky to find. They tend to be huge, noisy a=
use lots of power. Often weird too.

I'd be very surprised if you can get more bang for your buck from HP/Sun=20
compared to intel. They should be more reliable (particularly older systems=
though, +you'll probably get good quality SCSI disks.

Linux on PA-Risc is becoming more mainstream / usable, and Sparc support ha=
been around for a long time.

I'd stick with Intel, or buy an iMac if you want to be peculiar.