Network Administration: Linux Server Installation System Requirements

Before you install Linux, you should make sure that the computer meets the minimum requirements. Although the minimum requirements for Linux are considerably less than those for the latest version of Windows Server, you can’t run Linux on an abacus. The following paragraphs summarize the minimum capabilities you need:

  • A Pentium-based computer. Even a slow 100 MHz system will run some builds of Linux, although performance will be slow. The minimum recommended for Fedora Core is a 200 MHz Pentium.

  • 256MB of RAM or more. Of course, the more the better. But Linux can make do with much less RAM than Windows.

  • A hard drive with enough free space to hold the packages that you need to install. The kernel itself needs about 1GB. If you choose not to install a graphical user interface, you can install a full-featured server in about 1.5GB. If you install everything, you need about 5GB.

  • A CD-ROM drive from which to install the operating system.

  • Just about any video card and monitor combination. You don’t need anything fancy for a server. In fact, fancy video cards often lead to hardware compatibility issues. Stick to a basic video card.

  • A mouse is very helpful. If you’re converting an old junker computer to a Linux server and you’ve lost the mouse (that seems to happen a lot), pick one up at your local office supply store. A cheap one costs only about $15.

  • A network interface.