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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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View Poll Results: Best Linux Distribution for Laptop?
Fedora 11? 19 15.08%
CentOS (RHEL)? 3 2.38%
Ubuntu? 43 34.13%
Debian? 19 15.08%
Mandriva? 9 7.14%
Suse? 5 3.97%
Other Linux Distributions (pls mention it)? 36 28.57%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 126. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-04-2009, 11:04 AM   #46
iphigenie
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Registered: Aug 2009
Location: IDLE, UK
Distribution: Slackware
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This is based on my experiences with the hp2133 mininote - notoriously cranky with via C7, chrome graphics and broadcom

I have found SliTaz quite incredibly easy to make work on netbooks, very light and easy to create packages for. It deserves a lot more attention. It was certainly the slickest of the lightweight distributions I tried. If you never looked at it, give it a whirl (the 'cooking' development version might be a better choice as it has more recent kernel and that makes a difference for several types of wireless)

Slackware - always solid although openchrome that ships with it is broken (same as many other distros from arch to ubuntu), but at least since slackware has text based complete install you can install the distro then compile the driver manually. Works out of the box with no config after that

Mint, if you choose a light desktop, has worked where debian and ubuntu would not even get their installation gui started. I find it a bit too monolithic for a netbook though, it is hard to remove certain apps since Mint seems to have some rather greedy dependency lists. On my hp2133 the wireless drivers are quite iffy - they work once straight after boot, but lose the connection or start it without a network to connect to, and it wont work again until you reboot

Other good netbook distributions that didnt work on mine but which seemed well crafted:
pclinuxos (the light desktop version)
vector linux
suse (with light desktop choice)
 
Old 09-16-2009, 03:25 AM   #47
henryxcrudos
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Registered: Sep 2009
Distribution: VectorLinux Light 6.0
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Blog Entries: 1

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My distro of choice for OLDER laptops is VectorLinux Light 6.0. Speedy (IceWM & Slackware derivate) and newbie-friendly at the same time. Plus a great community (perhaps the most important thing for a newbie).
 
Old 09-17-2009, 03:51 AM   #48
overnout
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Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Quebec
Distribution: OpenSuse 10.3, Ubuntu 8.04, Win7RC
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The smoothest experience I had with Linux on a laptop was Ubuntu on an ultraportable Sony Viao. That was Ubuntu 8.04. Fully functional and gorgeous. Then 9.04 came along and the display driver got flaky. I "returned" to Slackware, that is, I had used Slackware for years on a desktop and thought to give it a try. Bottom line: too much fussing to get everything working. I mean I could tell from what I did get working (adjustable cpu throttling) that Slackware could be absolute tops, more stable and reliable than any generally available OS I know. On the desktop (also, when I had more time for tweaking and compiling), nothing compared. On a laptop, on that one at least, I saw that it would take too much work. (And Slackware could use a live CD with a fully functional desktop to help test machines.)

I would suggest a more detailed variation on this pole, one that is based on features. All the following are really important for me:
1. basic hardware, of course (display, WiFi, other networking, usb/ieee1394, memorycard readers, optical drives, etc.)
2. battery life
3. suspend to RAM
4. suspend to disk
5. breadth of support for various Fn+ key combos and non-standard buttons
6. fine-grained control of hardware: selective activation/deactivation of wifi/bluetooth/etc. and other hardware components; CPU throttling;
7. SSD optimizations! (truth is, I am writing this on an X200 thinkpad with a nice big - and fast! - SSD while working out a proper strategy / optimal setup for it under Linux, and shopping for a distro that will make it easy and worthwhile).
8. (and finally) speed and general feel (but this gets into wm and feature choices)
 
Old 09-17-2009, 10:51 AM   #49
Erik_FL
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Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Boynton Beach, FL
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In my experience each laptop is a unique situation. The three problem areas are usually wireless, sound and software dial-up modems. The last two versions of Slackware Linux (12.2 and 13) have improved support for laptop hardware. Although Slackware requires a little more work to install and configure it now supports laptops as well as most other distros.

Perhaps the best distro for a laptop is the one that is familiar. I find that I'm better off to focus on one distro and use it for most computers unless there is a good reason to use something else.
 
Old 09-17-2009, 11:02 AM   #50
honeybadger
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Registered: Aug 2007
Location: India
Distribution: Slackware (mainly) and then a lot of others...
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I knew Ubuntu was going to be it ......

I really do not understand the hype behind Ububtu. Honestly whenever I installed it I was fed up. By the way I have Debian on my laptop and I swear it is going to be there as long as I have the laptop.

To be honest a perfect computer would be the one that has Debian and Vector installed on a dual boot.
 
Old 09-17-2009, 11:34 AM   #51
mudangel
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Registered: May 2008
Location: Ohio
Distribution: Slackware
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik_FL View Post
Perhaps the best distro for a laptop is the one that is familiar. I find that I'm better off to focus on one distro and use it for most computers unless there is a good reason to use something else.
That's why I always install Slackware.
 
Old 09-21-2009, 12:51 PM   #52
fib11235
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Registered: Sep 2009
Distribution: Gentoo, openSUSE
Posts: 20

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Of course Gentoo. Using or rather configurating it isn't easy compared to Ubuntu etc. but you gain more like longer working on battery, faster processing and full control (very important form me).

Last edited by fib11235; 09-21-2009 at 12:52 PM. Reason: grammar mistake
 
Old 09-21-2009, 12:55 PM   #53
~sHyLoCk~
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I'd never hurt my laptop by compiling gentoo on it, slackware it is for me. Gentoo is only for my pc.
 
Old 09-30-2009, 09:06 AM   #54
tymentide
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Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Madison, Alabama
Distribution: Debian, PCLinuxOS, Mint
Posts: 8

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Best Linux Distribution - Toshiba L355

My Toshiba came with Vista, however, I was not at all satisfied with that OS, so I tried a couple Linux distributions. I settled on PCLinuxOS 2009.2. It installed in less than 20 minutes. There was no problem with having to copy the CD to the hard drive before installing (SATA 250gb), and every piece of hardware was detected and works. Both wireless and wired network connections worked without error or problem. I now have PCLinuxOS installed on my three other desktops. YMMV...
 
Old 09-30-2009, 09:25 AM   #55
GrapefruiTgirl
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I don't personally use a laptop much, but we do have here a Toshiba 4090-XDVD circa 1998 or so. It has a 399MHz Celeron and a 6.0Gib hard drive. It also uses some sort of shared memory scenario for its trident video device. It's got one USB port, no ethernet, and a onboard modem that needs the martian driver.

My roommate likes to take this old laptop with her when she goes out of town for work; she uses it to connect to the internet mainly, for IM and email, and to keep in touch. Also she would watch DVD's on it, if/when that functionality works.

I can attest to how bloody difficult it is to get a Linux installed on that freaking crummy old laptop. Almost nothing will boot up fully. Most distros go haywire when approaching the hardware probing section of the boot; some will quit earlier than that, spewing out a load of kernel oopses or segfaults. Others can't seem to get X working.

In the past, I've gotten an older release of Knoppix to boot live, and I managed to get DSL installed on it, but the thing would not boot after the install, because the GRUB or LILO was screwed and I couldn't fix it. I'm not great with GRUB, and not great with Debian-esque distros, so I became frustrated trying to sort out these distros. The roommate is basically new to Linux, but she finally switched to Ubuntu on her desktop machine, and is liking that.

Anyhow, we were about to declare this machine a 'paperweight' when the roommate downloaded Puppy and burned the ISO, to try one last time. To my pleasant surprise, puppy not only booted, but I managed to install it with little trouble (like NO trouble!) and it installed GRUB successfully, and detected the old DOS partition (roommate like fiddling with DOS) and automatically added that to GRUB too. The machine rebooted from GRUB. Also, on Puppy, using its "Setup --> Connect to Internet" GUI tools, I got it to install NDISwrapper driver for a Marvel Netcore USB wireless thingy we have here, which I have not managed to get working on any other Linux with ndiswrapper or otherwise. It was simple, just pointing + clicking. Puppy even comes with a working martian driver for that crazy win-modem!

I voted "Other" in this poll, because of Puppy. Kudos to the Puppy team for creating a VERY easy-to-use distro that is small, light, and includes loads of NIC + video drivers, and a good amount of applications, considering its size. It's got great GUI tools that can be used by pretty much anyone (and they really work!), and even when something fails (like X) and it puts you in a console to fix it, there are good instructions right there in the console for what you're there for and how to proceed.

Nice job, Puppy!

Sasha
 
Old 09-30-2009, 10:23 AM   #56
Erik_FL
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Location: Boynton Beach, FL
Distribution: Slackware
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrapefruiTgirl View Post

Anyhow, we were about to declare this machine a 'paperweight' when the roommate downloaded Puppy and burned the ISO, to try one last time. To my pleasant surprise, puppy not only booted, but I managed to install it with little trouble (like NO trouble!) and it installed GRUB successfully, and detected the old DOS partition (roommate like fiddling with DOS) and automatically added that to GRUB too. The machine rebooted from GRUB. Also, on Puppy, using its "Setup --> Connect to Internet" GUI tools, I got it to install NDISwrapper driver for a Marvel Netcore USB wireless thingy we have here, which I have not managed to get working on any other Linux with ndiswrapper or otherwise. It was simple, just pointing + clicking. Puppy even comes with a working martian driver for that crazy win-modem!

I voted "Other" in this poll, because of Puppy. Kudos to the Puppy team for creating a VERY easy-to-use distro that is small, light, and includes loads of NIC + video drivers, and a good amount of applications, considering its size. It's got great GUI tools that can be used by pretty much anyone (and they really work!), and even when something fails (like X) and it puts you in a console to fix it, there are good instructions right there in the console for what you're there for and how to proceed.

Nice job, Puppy!

Sasha
I agree with you about Puppy. It's a great little distro for situations that require booting from optical drives or running on less powerful hardware. And it is easy to use with lots of useful applications.
 
Old 10-02-2009, 11:17 PM   #57
freelinuxtutorials
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Registered: Oct 2009
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slackware, opensuse, centos and FC worked for me. But with ubuntu, I'm facing a looping sound, not sure though, still no time to check that out.
 
  


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