Friday, March 23, 2012

How to Build a Mini Computer for Linux Distro

Because Linux is powerful but does not take up as much space or as many resources, it has become a popular operating system to run on mini-computer systems. Building a mini-computer system for your Linux distribution can save you money and reward you with a higher-quality computer than if you had purchased a similar complete system from the store.

Step 1

Items you will need

Barebone kit

Processor

Heatsink

Thermal paste

Hard drive

Optical media drive

Peripheral cards

Data cables

Keyboard

Mouse

Linux distribution CD

Research the mini-computer parts and components. There are many options to choose from when dealing with mini-computer setups. Generally, you purchase a "barebone kit" that has the specialty case and motherboard found in mini-computer setups. Make sure to purchase a setup that works with the Linux distribution you plan to use. (Most Linux distributions do not work with Atom processors in their standard format.) Make note of any additional components that you need that do not come with the kit.

Step 2

Purchase the barebone kit and components. If you intend to use your mini-computer for a specific purpose, make sure you purchase any specialty items associated with that use, like a TV tuner card or wireless network card.

Step 3

Open the case. Make sure you properly ground yourself as is discussed in Smart Computing's guide "Get Grounded."

Step 4

Install the processor and heatsink, if your kit did not come with either one. Lift the socket lever, place the processor in the socket and replace the lever. Apply thermal paste as directed by the manufacturer and secure the heatsink to the motherboard with the mounting bracket.

Step 5

Insert the memory into the memory slot. There are locking clamps on each side of the memory chip slot that lock into place when the memory stick is fully seated.

Step 6

Insert the hard drive and optical media drive into their respective drive bays and secure them with the included mounting brackets.

Step 7

Insert any specialty peripheral cards into their respective expansion slots and secure them with the provided mounting hardware.

Step 8

Connect the power and data cables to the drives.

Step 9

Close the case and connect the keyboard, mouse and any other devices (such as a monitor or TV) to the mini-computer.

Step 10

Power on the mini-computer and install your Linux distribution CD.

Tips & Warnings

You can install a Linux Distribution from a USB drive or over a network, if you prefer not to use a CD.
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