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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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Old 11-01-2012, 10:45 PM   #1
graceph
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Question Help With Laptop Selection - Ubuntu


Hey LQ,

Hopefully this is the appropriate area to ask for this advice, please excuse my ignorance on subject, I'm fairly new to Linux and I've been working with Ubuntu lately and have been loving the move away from Windows.

I'm in need of a new laptop to do work on but I'm not familiar with what's required when sourcing the right hardware and was hoping I could get some advice? I'll be using Ubuntu and I'll mostly be needing it for spreadsheet and Python work.

One catch is as it's being purchased for work use it needs to be from the following website:
http://umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=6 (the notebooks/laptops are on the left-hand side, 4th category down "Notebook Computers")

What should I be looking towards in your opinion? If you could give me some advice I would really appreciate the help.


Kind Regards,
Graceph
 
Old 11-02-2012, 03:46 PM   #2
snowpine
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You might find this site helpful: http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/desktop/

If the model you're considering isn't on the list, then compare it with models that are on the list with similar CPU, GPU, wireless, etc.
 
Old 11-03-2012, 07:23 PM   #3
markush
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Hello,

I would in general recommend to purchase a "not too modern" laptop. As you know there's often a problem with very recent wireless-adapters or graphics-adapters. Function-keys often are not supported by Linux.

I have a subnotebook Lenovo x100e which is very well supported by Linux, all function-keys work with Linux. Otherwise I have a Samsung laptop where the function-keys are not all supported.

It would be good to take a live-DVD with you when purchasing the laptop, boot the laptop with the live-DVD and check if erverything works. The hardware-support depends on the kernel, not the distribution! So take a live-DVD with a recent kernel-version, definitely higher than 3.0.

Markus
 
Old 11-04-2012, 06:14 PM   #4
graceph
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Hey snowpine/markush,

Thanks very much for the taking the time to help I've got a better picture of what I need to look for now. I can't find any of the Ubuntu certified laptops on that website, which isn't necessarily a bad thing it just means I need to take more time and be more careful about the choice I'm making.

The advice in regards to testing it out with the live-DVD was a great idea, obvious but somehow I hadn't even thought of it. I'm going to do some research and come back and run my choice by you two and see what you think.(I might even try sweet-talk the boss into letting me shop elsewhere)

Thanks again!
 
Old 11-05-2012, 11:25 PM   #5
mreff555
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I'd avoid anything with external graphics. Probably not an issue if it's a work laptop.
AMD, and Intel, in my opinion are both equally supported
It may be difficult to determine what the internals are but if it's not too bleeding edge, you should be ok.
 
Old 11-07-2012, 02:52 AM   #6
dragonix
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Sorry for hijacking this thread, but I'm also looking for one.
I would use it for getting used to the environment (installing Ubuntu or Linux mint or whatever), but then create another HDD partition and on the second one I would use it to install Arch Linux.

What is important for that? Lot's of HDD and RAM? Or a fast processor or ...?
Any advice is much appreciated.

Thanks!
 
Old 11-07-2012, 04:03 AM   #7
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graceph View Post
One catch is as it's being purchased for work use it needs to be from the following website:
http://umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=6 (the notebooks/laptops are on the left-hand side, 4th category down "Notebook Computers")

What should I be looking towards in your opinion? If you could give me some advice I would really appreciate the help.
Use someones elses experience. Nice list of 'Notebooks/Laptops with excellent Linux compatibility'-

http://www.linuxnow.com.au/nsintro.html

Thankfully both that site and umart list the exactly model number (e.g. 'HP ProBook 4740s (B7C23PA)' rather than just the fairly useless 'HP ProBook 4740s')

Quote:
Originally Posted by graceph View Post
The advice in regards to testing it out with the live-DVD was a great idea, obvious but somehow I hadn't even thought of it. I'm going to do some research and come back and run my choice by you two and see what you think.(I might even try sweet-talk the boss into letting me shop elsewhere)
Trying a liveCD is fine, if you can get the umart guys (or whoever else) to crack open the laptop box and try it. I've never aksed umart to do that, but if its in stock and they have a demo model it shouldnt be that hard to do. But umart has a lot of laptops on preorder, you probably wont be able to try a liveCD with them.

If you do go somewhere else, I'd go to vg compuers/linux now, mainly because they haev bothered to put up that great list.

Most of the other computer shops in brissy are either more expensive (concorde, computer alliance, global computers, etc.) and/or have customer service issues (game dude, msy).

*edit an dI just noticed that yuo had linked to the sunshien coast store...that explains all the 'preorder' laptops. I havent been the sunshine coast store, but I'd be very suprised if its anywhee near the size of the milton store.

Last edited by cascade9; 11-08-2012 at 06:28 AM.
 
Old 11-07-2012, 08:42 PM   #8
graceph
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Hey cascade,

Thank you for all the info and another great resource. Yeah I don't like my chances of having the sunshine coast guys booting up LiveCD, everything's on backorder and to be honest whenever I've gone in there....not the most helpful bunch.

I currently looking at the HP ProBook 4740s (B7C23PA) that you've pointed out which seems great. I've also come across the following Lenovo laptop:
http://shopap.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary...1#.UJsLsIfqmn-

The Lenovo Edge E530 isn't on the Ubuntu Certified list but the E520 is how do you think this model will hold up?
 
Old 11-08-2012, 02:16 AM   #9
markush
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Hi,

Lenovo Thinkpad are made for business, they don't have the most recent hardware and therefore most likely work very well with Linux. There's a kernel-module for Thinkpad and at Least on my Thinkpad all the function-keys are supported.

Markus
 
Old 11-08-2012, 02:48 AM   #10
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graceph View Post
Hey cascade,

Thank you for all the info and another great resource. Yeah I don't like my chances of having the sunshine coast guys booting up LiveCD, everything's on backorder and to be honest whenever I've gone in there....not the most helpful bunch.
You can get that impression from the umarts I've been into. The milton store, which is the main one I deal with, can be more understanding then they seem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by graceph View Post
I currently looking at the HP ProBook 4740s (B7C23PA) that you've pointed out which seems great. I've also come across the following Lenovo laptop:
http://shopap.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary...1#.UJsLsIfqmn-

The Lenovo Edge E530 isn't on the Ubuntu Certified list but the E520 is how do you think this model will hold up?
The 'ubuntu certified list' exists in part to make money for canonical. They charge manufacturers for 'ubuntu certification'. Many manufacturers dont get all the computers that would with with ubuntu certified, just 'select models'. So something not being on the ubuntu certified list doesnt mean that much.

However, the E530/i7-3632QM setup seems to only be avaible with an nVidia GPU in an 'optimus' setup. While it is quite often possible to get 'optimus' setups going, its a pain. Its requires more software ('bumblebee') and to get anything to use the nVidia GPU requires launching from comand line with "optirun [options] <application> [application-parameters]", e.g. "optirun glxgears"

When the nVidia GPU is not in use, it just sits there eating power and creating heat.

I'd try to find a lenovo without the nVidia GPU if you want a lenovo.

Last edited by cascade9; 11-08-2012 at 02:49 AM.
 
Old 11-09-2012, 09:11 PM   #11
mreff555
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonix View Post
Sorry for hijacking this thread, but I'm also looking for one.
I would use it for getting used to the environment (installing Ubuntu or Linux mint or whatever), but then create another HDD partition and on the second one I would use it to install Arch Linux.

What is important for that? Lot's of HDD and RAM? Or a fast processor or ...?
Any advice is much appreciated.

Thanks!
I would concentrate on one os to start. It's great that you want to dive in to linux. Ignore everyone who says Ubuntu is strictly for noobs. It's a powerful debian based OS which can pretty much do anything that any other distro can. The difference is that it's user friendly out of the box. Also, certain non-free third party software is compiled specifically for it, and tends to run better on it. My suggestion is that you play with Ubuntu for a while. After you are pretty comfortable you can start playing with other os's. I would not recommend arch. Arch, slack, and gentoo are amazing os's but they are not very pretty out of the box. It will require a lot of time to get them right. For a second choice, if you like ubuntu, try debian, crunchbang or one of the other debian derivative. if not there is fedora or cent os.
 
  


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