Below are the specifications for any Linux/Unix based computer to be used on the network. It is not recommended to use a computer on campus under these specifications. If you choose to install a Linux/Unix based operating system, you should be aware of the risks and benefits. Unfortunately, ResNet only offers limited support for these systems.
*Note: All students are individually responsible for not violating the ResNet Usage Policy when operating an open-source operating system such as Linux*
Minimum Computer Specifications
There are no minimum requirements for running Linux on the Residential Network.
Recommended Computer Specifications
Recommendations for students who intend to keep a computer for four years without a major upgrade:
|Monitors||17 inch LCD||Personal Preference|
|Processor/CPU||Intel Core i5 (2.66 GHz, Quad Core) or AMD FX (3.0 GHz, Octa Core)||Intel Core i5 (2.4 Ghz, Dual Core) or AMD APU (A6-3400M or higher)|
|Ram||4 GB RAM||4 GB RAM|
|Hard Drive||1 TB Traditional hard drive or 256 GB Solid State Drive* (SSD) with external hard drive||750 GB Traditional hard drive or 180 GB Solid State Drive* (SSD) with external hard drive|
|Networking Hardware||10/100/1000 Ethernet adapter||10/100/1000 Ethernet adapter, 802.11 G/N|
*A solid state drive is a hard drive that does not use "traditional" hard drive technology of recording data on magnetic disks, meaning it has no moving parts. This makes them more reliable, faster, and less prone to data loss from dropping / carrying a laptop around. The downside is solid state technology is still more expensive than "traditional" hard drive technology, and space is still a limiting factor. If a solid state drive is purchased, we recommend also purchasing an external hard drive for data storage.
You must ensure that the operating system and all software is kept up to date. Security updates come out for most Linux distributions daily. It is your responsibility to stay on top of these updates to ensure conformance with the Usage Policy and, more importantly, to keep your machine from getting broken into.
Linux is available in many different forms from several different distributors. Many popular distributions are listed below:
Ubuntu has been hailed by Desktop Linux and eWeek as the most popular Linux distros today. It is the easiest to install and use for first-time Linux users, but versatile enough for pro-users as well. Recommended for beginner to advanced Linux users.
A build of Ubuntu making use of a clean user interface, Linux Mint is the 4th most-widely used operating system behind Windows, OS X, and Ubuntu. Mint makes use of a more traditional user interface that PC switchers may find useful.
Gentoo throws you head first into Linux knowledge by having you build your system from the ground up. Recommended for intermediate to advanced Linux users that want to learn a lot and run a very customized operating system.
One of the longest running distributions, Debian is still under active development, but releases more slowly than other Linux distros. It tends to be used for servers, rather than desktops.
The open source (and free) version of SUSE from Novell.
Another commercial Linux distribution that comes with support. Recommended for Linux beginners.
A Red Hat-Sponsored Community Project.
The most common Unix variant (aside from Linux) is BSD, developed at UC Berkeley. The most popular open source distributions of BSD are: