"A new machine deserves a new operating system, so decided to
sample a few distributions before settling on one. I first tried
plain vanilla installations for 64-bit Ubuntu 8.10 and Arch Linux.
Both failed, but I succeeded with OpenSUSE 11.0. Alas, the nVidia
binary driver wouldn't load, so I followed another lead (thank
goodness for Google) and installed the 32-bit version of Ubuntu
8.10, aka Intrepid Ibex.
"I must emphasize that my failures with the other distributions
were likely my own fault. When I installed OpenSUSE I learned that
a bad driver (the Atheros wifi driver) could freeze an
installation. I fixed the problem by adding brokenmodules=ath5k to
the installation options, and soon afterwards I had a working
OpenSUSE system. I applied the same option to the Ubuntu
installation, along with brokenmodules=ath_pci. I'm not sure I
needed either option, but the installation proceeded smoothly to
"After the installer completed the basic user-level
configuration I replaced the GNOME desktop with Fluxbox and added
the realtime kernel to my start-up selections. I also added
nVidia's closed-source driver, an uncomplicated task thanks to
Ubuntu's Hardware Drivers manager. However, I needed to add myself
to the video group before I had full GL/GLX support as a normal
user. With that issue resolved I was ready to wrestle with the
machine's audio hardware."