Thursday, June 04, 2009

The next big thing. [2]

There was a change in plan; following is the configuration of my newest machine:
  • AMD Phenom 2 x4 940 (3.0 ghz, 4 cores)
  • Biostar Ta790gx (amd 790gx chipset, radeon 3300 builtin)
  • GSkills 4 GB RAM (ddr2, 1060mhz)
  • Western Digital 1 Terabyte HDD (32mb cache, 7200 rpm)
  • Antec 300 ATX case and Anter 430w PSU
  • Samsung 23' High Definition LCD Monitor (max. res. 1920 x 1080, 5 ms response time)
I don't know how much I saved, but I am sure that it's atleast $300. I found really good deals. Anyways, adding everything I paid, the sum was $650 for all of the above. I do not plan to overclock it, and I will not use it for gaming. The average CPU temperature is around 30c, which is not bad. I did an Ubuntu 9.04 installation on it (with default options) and following was the first exception:

error 18 selected cylinder exceeds maximum supported by bios

I looked around for workarounds, and found nothing straightforward. A few fellows hinted that the boot partition shouldn't be huge because the location of the kernel must be in the first few gigs of hdd. So, all newbies who'll go with the default ubuntu installations are going to see this error (if they have large hard drives). Here is the simple workaround assuming that it's a new system/build:
  • You'll need to re-install ubuntu.
  • This time, choose manual partitioning option.
  • The problem will be solved if you'll make a separate boot partition (/boot) at the beginning of the disk. It's size can even be 32 mb, but I chose 128mb to be on safe side (this has something to do with ppl who play with kernels)
Following is my new partition table:
  • /boot (128mb, primary partition)
  • / (20gb, primary partition)
  • swap (2gb, logical partition)
  • /home (900+gb, logical partition)


  • I can update my ubuntu installation without messing with my home folder.
  • I don't really need a swap, but I've too much of free space :p
  • Twenty gigs for Root partition (/) is enough for default installation and many softwares.
  • Above all, separating boot partition helped me to get rid of Error 18

My next step - to use some hypervisor and ensure a separation of concern. Primarily, I want to isolate my (future) webserver from everything else I'll be doing on this machine. I know XEN and VMWare ESXI. I am analyzing the comparisons of both; with all I know by now, I might settle down for Xen.

Above all, I am loving it :)