Ethyriel wrote:A NUC with Dragonfly BSD? I don't think Mint provides enough of a roadblock to just jumping onto Facebook, unless they already have a very real desire to learn the OS.
**Disclaimer** I have no idea if a NUC would have good hardware support from Dragonfly.
Welch wrote:Hmmm, bear in mind that kids these days are going to have the competition of their classmates and friends with cellphones (yes even kids in elementary school), tablets, and other nifty mobile like devices. If you can give them something that is equally as cool but also sparks their interest in the world your into then you have a winner. I'd say perhaps an in-expensive tablet/netbook like device, something similar to the ASUS Transformer Book T200TA? Comes with Windows 8.1 but you could install a VMWare OS on it, or perhaps dual boot? (unsure if you can dual boot from the 64gb drive in it). It does however allow for expansion for storage in the keyboard, obviously you couldn't install the OS on it since the two halves separate.
What is your price range? If you wanted to go ultra cheap... Grab up a cool Raspberry Pi sized PC board, have them pick out the little case it comes with, and build it together. Go through the entire OS install and everything, make them do some real hands on with it and maybe even paint the exterior before you even start to install the OS. That will keep their interest in wanting to get the thing they put all of that work into to actually boot into an OS with you.
Just some thoughts
bthylafh wrote:2GB of RAM and a quad-core is seriously unbalanced. You're going to run out of RAM long before you do CPU cycles.
deruberhanyok wrote:Yes but, if you just want them to learn Linux, what good is a video card that you can use GPU sharing in a VM environment?
You could take, for instance, a Kabini chip, motherboard, 4GB of RAM, an SSD, HDD, optical drive (go external, and don't bother with blu ray, there's no proper movie playback support in linux) and a small case, you could probably put that together for under $400, and it'd be a great setup for learning a new operating system.
But if you're talking about virtualizing your GPU and using water cooling on the CPU... that sounds like an entirely different sort of setup, much more high-end than just "something to learn on". You've already mentioned they have a habit of breaking things, do you really want to give them a watercooled PC?
It sounds like you're talking about two different usage scenarios for this system, so I guess I don't understand exactly what you're saying you want to build? Is it a low cost, easy to assemble box they can use to learn Ubuntu or Mint? Or is it a more expensive, beefy processor, virtual-machine cranking sort of beast with glowing water pipes all up in its business?
Hz so good wrote:I primarily want them to use for educational purposes, and when I was their age, my parents dumped a PC and a bunch of manuals and said "here, figure it out".
Flatland_Spider wrote:Here are my suggestions below. Both come in SSF sizes. They're aren't ARM dev board size, but they are smaller then normal. The 9020 comes with Intel NICs, but I'm not sure about the XE2.
Dell Optiplex 9020
http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineSale ... 2&fid=8781
Dell Optiplex XE2
http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineSale ... 2&fid=9696
There is a Pentium G3250 that looks tempting.Hz so good wrote:I primarily want them to use for educational purposes, and when I was their age, my parents dumped a PC and a bunch of manuals and said "here, figure it out".
If you want to do it that way. FreeBSD or Gentoo/Funtoo would be good options.
Chrispy_ wrote:Last time I dabbled, Nvidia had the only Linux support worth talking about. Is that still the case? Is that why AMD/Intel all-in-ones aren't of interest?
Flatland_Spider wrote:AMD is the distant second to the other two in both categories. The binary drivers aren't as good as Nvidia, and their open source drivers aren't as good as Intel.
just brew it! wrote:Flatland_Spider wrote:AMD is the distant second to the other two in both categories. The binary drivers aren't as good as Nvidia, and their open source drivers aren't as good as Intel.
Yup, and this is why my next Linux build will have an nVidia GPU in it.
I got tired of dealing with AMD's binary drivers' weirdnesses, and have just been living with the Open Source ones for the past year or so. I suppose I could just swap in an nVidia one, but I keep putting it off because I had really intended to built a new desktop before now.
deruberhanyok wrote:Intel's linux support is great, Chrispy_ - I've actually been doing some gaming on HD 4600 in Ubuntu recently and I've been quite impressed by how well it handles things at 720p. Couldn't speak to AMD's open source or binary support right now, haven't used one in a while. It was improving pretty quickly last I saw.
OP said he wanted an NVIDIA GPU for GPU virtualization with VMware, for whatever reason, I think that's why he wasn't interested in AMD or Intel GPUs.
just brew it! wrote:Yup, and this is why my next Linux build will have an nVidia GPU in it.