GCG Package!

Tim Cutts timc at chiark.greenend.org.uk
Wed Mar 17 03:57:37 EST 1999

In article <7cmh18$jvp$1 at mserv2.dl.ac.uk>,
Malay <curiouser at ccmb.ap.nic.in> wrote:

>We are planning to buy GCG package for our institute. We are not sure which
>computers to buy and what should be the minimum configuration. Our budget is
>limited. We would appreciate any comments in this regard. We also expect
>comments on Seqlab and Seqweb, the former being the GUI of GCG and whether
>there is any free or cheap X-windows server, capable of running Seqlab.

I used to run a GCG service for a large British university.  We found
that an SGI Origin 200 with four CPUs was more than adequate to serve
the needs of the 1,400 or so molecular biologists who had accounts
with us.

I would recommend, however that your purchase should be influenced by
what brands of hardware are already in place at your site; that will
mean those brands have more experience within your institution to help

It's a great shame GCG do not support Linux (or have they changed this
with version 10?), since a Pentium II PC with a couple of CPUs and
lots of RAM would probably serve your needs adequately for well under
half the price of a big name UNIX vendor.

As far as X servers go, the best I have seen on a PC is to run Linux
on the PC, and use XFree86.  It takes some effort to set up but it's
fast, high quality and free.

If you need Windows X servers, MI/X is free, but not good it also has
security problems.  eXceed is good, but quite expensive.

If you need Mac X servers, eXodus is good, but it has security
problems.  MacX is even more insecure, and I wouldn't touch it with a
barge pole.  If X is available under one of the Mac versions of Linux,
that would probably be the way to go there as well.  At least you'd
know it was secure.  Again, MI/X is bad.  It only ran on about half
the Macs I tried it on, and then made mistakes with the display,
especially when updating menus.

So, in summary, my opinion is:

1.  Go with the UNIX vendor with whom you can get the most local
2.  Go with Linux on cheap PCs for your X servers.


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