Dedicated Blender Setup - Ubuntu?

I am a Mac user. I was a long-time Windows tech (MCSE, HP ASE) but I moved to Mac a decade ago. I love the Mac, but Apple have dropped support for their high-end users so I find myself thinking about an ideal dedicated environment for Blender - I will continue to use a Mac notebook for everything else. So, assuming you would use the fastest processors, max memory and fastest drives, what would you use for graphics card, and what operating system would you use? (don’t say Windows…) I found an old post from someone in the UK who had built a stripped down Ubuntu/Blender environment, but other users complain on the forums that BF discourages Ubuntu and the release levels are always some way behind.

But does Ubuntu reliably support the latest graphics cards, HDD controllers and motherboards?

When I first used Blender in 2009 it ran very fast on a notebook - today, with all the additional functionality it seems Blender is now demanding enough to work the best hardware hard!

So, do you have any suggestions for the absolute optimum Blender implementation?

If you search around, you will find that many linux users here use Ubuntu as well as other distros. In terms of Linux support, I think the drivers for Nvidia are possible, just take a bit of wrangling to get them and get your card working in Cycles. I am looking at OpenSuse right now, as I already tried Ubuntu but still haven’t made up my mind.

As far as releases from BF - in linux, best is to just download the compressed file and unpack to your desired location and run from there.

You need a good i7 CPU about 16 GB of RAM and for Cycles a good GPU GTX660Ti 2GB or higher.
But read on other forums for production and animation rendering on GPU some take something like this:

PSU Silverstone Strider 1500W
Processor 2X Xeons E5-2660 2.20GHZ 8C-16T
Raid 1 boot 2 X Intel SSD 120GB
Raid 0 data 2 X Intel SSD 240GB
Ram 32GB ECC Kingston ddr3 1600
Motherboard Asus Z9-PE D8 WS
and 4 X NVIDIA Gforce TITAN

So it depends how many clients you have to get your invest back.
I can speak for OpenSUse only, no problems with latest GPU or other hardware.

Cheers, mib.

Heh heh, great suggestions, thanks! It will be a few months before I start looking to put together a system - I will wait and see what Apple do with the Mac Pro: a new machine is due out soon, but it might be pricey…

Apple Macs pricey? who woulda thought O_o

In the offtopic threads I have a thread with that title and I go step by step installing all the necessary for it to look great.
A linuxmint is an ubuntu but without the iphonization. When it updates it does from ubuntu repository.

Also you can use your Mac and have an USB or HardDisk with an ubuntu installation. When partitioning, I create three partitions: 40GB for Linux, 8GB (same as RAM memory you have) for swap and the rest of the disk a NTFS partition (so I can write there and boot the computer in windows and read there.
I usually download things and write files in my linux home folder but then the Friday I usually move all to the NTFS partition.
I use SystemRescueCD to make a backup of the linux partition. Or use Acronis in Windows.

I like to have my computer with several hard disks and each one is partitioned in a similar way: the OS, and the Data (and the swap in linux too)
Then I boot the computer and press F11 and a menu shows and I choose the disk where I want to boot. By default if i do nothing the disk with linux (the third disk) boots because i selected to make that one the default one in the BIOS.

When installing Linux, in a computer where there is already Windows installed. People usually let the grub install in the windows disk. So then when they boot windows, the grub shows asking them if run windows or linux. I DON’T LIKE THAT. And that happens because when installing Linux, in the same window where you choose this partition to be swap, this other to be / and this other to be ntfs and so, just below in that window it says something like “boot loader disk” and by default the first disk is selected. You would need to change that to the disk where you are installing linux. That way Windows will boot as always and if you want to boot in Linux you need to select it as I said (if your BIOS don’t have the handy F11 option then you would need to enter on the BIOS and do it there, so make sure you buy a computer with a motherboard that has the F11 (or other key) option to select the booting disk in boot time.

Ubuntu has not the latest of the latest nvidia controller but very similar. I for example just now have a much more recent driver in Linux than in Windows7

In Linux you will miss Photoshop. And also some other windows program so at the moment I recommend to have windows also installed. But I myself very rarely now go to windows. Only for photoshop and some video converter and video muxer now.