Linux Kernel Virtual Machine Multiplatform Plan

May 10, 2020 | Reading time: 2 minutes

I’ve been a “DOS Guy”, “FreeBSD Guy”, “Mac Guy”, a “Windows Guy”, and lately a “Linux Guy” for various parts of my life. As I get older the lines are blurring and I’m settling in on “Linux Guy” as I’ve become more familiar and less frustrated with the operating system as a whole compared to the other options.

My biggest problem right now is Software. Sure I can use GIMP, KDEnlive, Blender, etc and I love and use these programs dearly, but right now Adobe is the 600 pound Gorilla that the media is using for content cration and sharing.

I can now work in Windows for day to day development on, but it’s still not a comfortable environment for me. I don’t really game, so that’s not much of an issue, but when I do, I’d like to have the option to play a game or two on Windows.

So, here’s my plan: a new workstation.

In the past I’ve not been someone to build top of the line specs (I’ve always liked the second or third tier for pricing/performance). The biggest expense here will be the second, dedicated graphics card for the KVM running instance of Windows. I’ve thought hard about going nVidia, but I believe I’m better off sticking with two AMD based graphics cards because I’m also looking to do some VM of MacOS as welll, and really, all in all, nVidia isn’t open-source friendly.

So, an AMD Ryzen 9 workstation it is!

Here’s my current plan/specs for what I’ll be saving up for and building over the next few months. This will change as new items become available:

  • AMD Ryzen 3950x. 32 cores of honest-to-goodness power for a multiload workstation
  • MSI Prestige X570 CREATION Motherboard. Appears to have the expansion slots I need for 2 dedicated GPUs and 2 dedicated USB PCI slots
  • Two AMD 3700x Graphics cards, I’m not sure on the vendor yet. Linux support is second to none, and it handles Windows quite well.

I’m not sure if I want to attempt water cooling or just stick with air cooling, there are caveats to both.

The rest is mostly immaterial, as I’m working on getting the technical challenges of integration and getting Adobe Products working with a Linux Desktop. InDesign is really what I’m focusing on, for Scribus isn’t cutting it for me.

Now if Adobe were to announce the big 4 apps to be compatible for Linux by the end of the year my new Adobe subscription would feel much more justified.


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