New to Linux and CentOS

Comments, suggestions, compliments, etc
coalitionguy
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New to Linux and CentOS

Post by coalitionguy » 2020/11/07 01:14:17

Hello. I’ve been a MacOS user since 1984. I finally realized that some companies want to be your go to solution for everything. Apple is one of those companies, and I’m going to end my Apple Experience. Apple, IMO, does do some very nice work, but their business model / philosophy is not for me.

I would like to install / begin my introduction to Linux, and especially Server, with CentOS. Unfortunately, I’m old. I’m old as dirt, (65) and sometimes a bit of an idiot. So, without further self denigration and the like, here’s my scenario and questions:

I want to install CentOS on my Thinkpad T15g Laptop, until i learn get to know CentOS Server. Perhaps running Server on a laptop sounds a bit retarded, but I will be starting a silo project for municipalities and educational institutions shortly.

Since I’m coming from a MacOS environment, I’d like to have the bigSUR look and feel on the Server GUI. I realize that in most cases the gui is resource black hole, but I need to be able to transition with a familiar theme.

My Laptop has an 8 core intel i9 processor running at 2.4Ghz - 5.3Ghz. I have 64 GB DDR4 2933MHz (2 x 32 GB) and a 1TB SAMSUNG SSD.

Keep in mind that for me, I’m only using this ThinkPad as a learning environment and tool.

QUESTION: For my purpose, can I get the gnome desktop to mimic bigSUR without losing what little hair I have left?

Also, if anyone has any recommendations for me to learn linux quickly but properly, I would be grateful.

Walt.

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KernelOops
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Re: New to Linux and CentOS

Post by KernelOops » 2020/11/07 14:00:33

My suggestion, is to use Fedora as your desktop distro on your laptop. Its easy to learn and to get a grip on the Linux methodology. Next, you may run CentOS as virtual machines or containers, that way you keep your Fedora desktop separate from your tests.
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coalitionguy
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Re: New to Linux and CentOS

Post by coalitionguy » 2020/11/07 15:08:24

Thank you.

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jlehtone
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Re: New to Linux and CentOS

Post by jlehtone » 2020/11/08 09:02:42

(Not sure if this the the right subForum.)


Fedora and CentOS belong to same family. Fedora is bleeding edge content. Red Hat occasionally cherry picks features from Fedora to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). CentOS is a rebuild of RHEL.

Whether Fedora (or any Linux distro) is "easy to learn" is quite debatable. At least Fedora and CentOS have similar features (e.g. package management).

Fedora has larger selection of content that is newer too. For example desktops. I don't know "bigSUR", but then again all desktops (Apple, Gnome 3, Gnome 2, KDE, Windows, XFCE, ...) look same to me. Sure, they have differences in details, but do I care?
On the other hand, if you do care and it turns out that none of the Linux desktops is even close, then what will you put up with?

New versions of Fedora are released frequently. One basically has to change version every year. One CentOS install can run many years.
We had Fedora Core in use, but it was too much to learn too often. Stable environment, even if lacking fancy new features, is easier.

It is possible to install Fedora and some VMs, later install another Fedora on the side and transfer (logic of) settings between Fedoras and keep the VM's intact, but that requires some knowledge already in the beginning.

Use of VM's is definitely a good thing. One can experiment in a VM instance and scrap it if it goes South. Messed up host OS is harder to clean up.

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KernelOops
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Re: New to Linux and CentOS

Post by KernelOops » 2020/11/08 10:06:21

You raise some valid points... but I'd like to shed some light to the version issue:

Fedora is released twice a year. You may follow that schedule without re-installing, because Fedora fully supports dnf upgrades, all you have to do is use the dnf-plugin-system-upgrade plugin. It will download the required packages, perform some tests and reboot to do a full upgrade.

In addition, you may just skip a whole version and instead of upgrading twice a year, you may skip the next version and upgrade only once a year. For example, to go from Fedora 32 to Fedora 34.

References:
https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Fedora_R ... Life_Cycle
https://fedoramagazine.org/upgrading-fe ... fedora-32/


PS:
The default gnome3 desktop is truly horrible, which is why I prefer the Fedora Cinnamon spin. Give it a try, its worth it.
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coalitionguy
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Re: New to Linux and CentOS

Post by coalitionguy » 2020/11/08 12:30:11

Thank you very much. I appreciate the help.

One thing i know for sure is that centOS has a good and solid reputation. Unlike Apple and others, the developers don’t merely do a few gui tweaks and then pawn it off as a brand new version. Secondly, it’s completely user configurable. Let’s not even get into “hardware” configs.

I want to be able to serve entire ‘student’ desktops from a single server center, ‘silo’; so to speak, but the desktop to server will be hard-wired for security purposes (within a College/University building). There could be up to 2500 students connected through ethernet at one time. We are getting away from the global cloud ideology for now.

I’m told that CentOS, or RHEL would be perfect for our needs. Would you agree?

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KernelOops
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Re: New to Linux and CentOS

Post by KernelOops » 2020/11/08 17:27:52

Can't possible give you an answer... it depends on many factors, like what kind of applications are being used, data transmitted, backups, load balancing, fail-over procedure, throughput, and many many other things.
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coalitionguy
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Re: New to Linux and CentOS

Post by coalitionguy » 2020/11/08 19:02:27

The simplest description is to say this:

2500 desktops operating simultaneously with, Mathematica or Blender at full throttle.

100gb fibre connections to the servers, each classroom has 5-50gb ethernet connections available, each workstation has a 10gb ethernet connector.

aks
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Re: New to Linux and CentOS

Post by aks » 2020/11/08 19:55:11

Seemingly your setup has "bucket loads" of bandwidth (well at least on the surface of it).

Where I'd be concerned/apprehensive:

1. Mathematica can be a SERIOUS CPU hog (by virtue of what it is/does). That may be tempered by the (injected by me) idea this is either primary or secondary education.
2. Blender needs SERIOUS GPU (it's 3D after all). I imagine that secondary school students would "like" that. A municipality *may* like to model streets, roads and so forth. Quite some rendering to be done.

Perhaps more about how you pass through the executable instructions as close to the actual hardware as possible (I'm assuming virtualisation of some form), rather than the base OS?

coalitionguy
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Re: New to Linux and CentOS

Post by coalitionguy » 2020/11/08 20:29:36

I can tell you this much:

There are 20 of the following in this rack/tower:
2U 4-Node - Intel® C621 Chipset - 24x NVMe - 2200W Redundant Power
8 x Intel® Xeon® Gold 6238R Processor 28-Core 2.2GHz 38.5MB Cache (165W)
96 x 128GB PC4-23400 2933MHz DDR4 ECC RDIMM
8 x 1.0TB Micron 2200 M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe Solid State Drive
24 x 12.8TB Micron 9300 MAX Series U.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe Solid State Drive
4 x Supermicro AOC-SMG3-2H8M2-B - 2 Hybrid NVMe/SATA M.2 carrier for Big Twin,HF,RoHS
4 x Mellanox 100Gb/s EDR InfiniBand Adapter ConnectX-5 VPI (2x QSFP28) - PCIe 3.0 x16
4 x Supermicro SIOM 100-Gigabit EDR InfiniBand Adapter AOC-MHIBE-m1CGM (1x QSFP28 & 1x RJ45)
4 x Trusted Platform Module - TPM 2.0 - Infineon 9670 - Server Provisioned - Horizontal
4 x Thinkmate® Server Manager (Datacenter Management Package)

There are 10 of the following in this rack/tower:
Intel® C622 Chipset - 10x SATA3 - 2x M.2 NVMe - Dual Intel® 10-Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45)
2 x Intel® Xeon® Gold 6258R Processor 28-Core 2.7GHz 38.5MB Cache (205W)
Thinkmate® 2U Datacenter Class Passive Heatsink
Supermicro SNK-P0068PSC Heatsink
16 x 128GB PC4-23400 2933MHz DDR4 ECC RDIMM
Thinkmate® STX-4244 4U Chassis - 72x Hot-Swap 2.5" SATA/SAS - 12Gb/s SAS Single Expander - 1280W Redundant Power
2 x 2.0TB Micron 1300 2.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Solid State Drive
2 x 3.84TB Samsung PM983 Series M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe Solid State Drive
72 x 7.68TB Micron 5300 PRO Series 2.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Solid State Drive
No Optical Drive Support
Intel® Virtual RAID on CPU (VROC) - Premium Module, RAID 0,1,10,5
LSI MegaRAID 9361-8i SAS 12Gb/s PCIe 3.0 8-Port Controller with 2GB Cache
CacheVault Flash Cache Protection Module for 9361/9380 Series (CVM02) w/bracket
Mellanox 100Gb/s EDR InfiniBand Adapter ConnectX-5 VPI (2x QSFP28) - PCIe 3.0 x16
2 x Intel® Optane™ SSD DC P4800X Series 1.5TB PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe Solid State Addon Card
Trusted Platform Module - TPM 2.0 - Infineon 9670 - Server Provisioned - Horizontal
STARTECH 12IN 4PIN FAN POWER SPLITTER CABLE MFG P/N FAN4SPLIT12
Supermicro MCP-220-82616-0N - Dual 2.5" Hot-swap HDD tray
Thinkmate® Update Manager (OOB Management Package)

I posted this as such because our products are being put together now.

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