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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 03-17-2007, 02:33 PM   #1
Radiolarian
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HP Laptop with dual boot Linux & Vista


Hello all,

I've been interested in Linux for quite some time, but defaulted to Windows mainly for faxes at work and ease of printing. I am fully moved over to OpenOffice, Firefox and Thunderbird. So in an effort to continue my move to Open Source, I want to experiment with Linux again. So I have a couple of questions.

My last distro usage was Suse10.0 and Mandrake 9.0. I am interested in FC6 and Sabayon 3.3. I now have an HP dv6000 laptop and am getting the free Vista upgrade soon. Should I wait for the upgrade and then load a distro?

Regarding distros, which ones work out of the box for wireless and fax? Or is it easier to configure for these items. Really, at work the fax is make or break for me, but I have noticed that HP is offering drivers for their printers and I am hoping the 7210 will work for any distro.

Thanks if you can help!
 
Old 03-17-2007, 05:53 PM   #2
ORBiTrus
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Don't worry about which comes first. All you have to do after an Windows install is re-run grub. That is, boot a rescue CD, mount {root; proc; dev} & chroot, run grub, enter the three magic commands {root (hd0,0); setup (hd0); quit} and the boot menu is back.

Regarding what works "out-of-the-box", none would be the answer. The dv6000 uses the ipw3945 wireless chipset which requires firmware to run. Real easy to get though.

Faxes can be... difficult. What type are you referring to? [Does work have a fax server you print too? Or are you wanting to use the softmodem on the laptop for faxing?]

P.S. Not that it matters, but I'm not fond of Vista on Laptops. It just doesn't make sense - my laptop gets ~4.5h on a 8 cell, a guy who runs Vista gets ~3h on a 12 cell [equal mAh per cell]. Everything I've seen, Vista sucks battery juice. And given the cost of batteries, and the recharge limit on them, why use batteries more than needed?

P.P.S. Being a personal fan of rolling updates, I vote for Sabayon over FC/Mandriva/SuSE. But the compile-everything nature of Sabayon/Gentoo soaks up valuable Laptop CPU cycles when you really need the program "now."
 
Old 03-17-2007, 09:12 PM   #3
Radiolarian
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rerun grub

Thanks for the grub tip. It'll come in handy when I get that far.

As for Vista and power consumption, that's a new one on me. I am not only new to Vista but also laptops. That may make me pause a little before installing Vista. I was under the impression that Vista could be dialed back if needed.

Faxing at work will be either through the modem making it paperless or through the HP all-in-one we have at work. I'm using an ancient 500mhz desktop and would like to consolidate onto the laptop if possible. Or maybe load Linux on that machine again if I can get fax working on that one.

Well Sabayon doesn't seem to want to download for me, but I have FC6 from a magazine and may give that a try tomorrow.

Thanks for responding!
 
Old 03-17-2007, 10:45 PM   #4
ORBiTrus
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Yes, Vista can be dialed back. But the footprint of 512MB just off of load will burn the hard disk a bit if it's ever turned on. Software suspend without compression burns more...

Hard disk activity is one of the big power consumption things out there, along with the display and CPU. I'll admit my comparison is Apples to Oranges, with my system being a P4-M 1.8GHz on a 15.4" LCD and his being a Core 2 Duo on a 17" LCD, but the difference just seemed too great. The 12 cell battery should have compensated for his larger LCD. But, really, who cares? You're getting it free - test it out yourself to decide.

With regards to fax, the chipset in your laptop is a Conexant model, which I believe means you'll have to try the non-free drivers from Linuxant [unless things have changed in the world lately]. If you can get fax mode working from them [and they can be notoriously unstable, so Debian/Gentoo would not be good choices], then you shouldn't have any problems. Now, of course, getting fax mode working is tricky.

Personally, my experiences with Fax support is my Hylafax server. I failed to see the advantage of sending a fax from a laptop when I could just email a PDF to my home server [original Pentium with a Courier modem]. But, that's a very difficult configuration to attempt, and one I've gladly forgotten.

So, basically, if you can get a connection from the modem with some terminal communication program (minicom is good), and you have the correct Class support (1.0, 2.0, or 2.1) from the driver, then try sending a fax with, say, sendfax+mgetty. And if that works, great! But this is DEFINITELY NOT something for faint of heart - getting these programs working can be difficult. If in doubt of the command line, get the local LUG to handle it.
 
Old 03-18-2007, 12:51 AM   #5
HunterLoftis
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Radiolarian - I'm in a similar position. New to laptops and also got the HP dv6000. Currently running Ubuntu 6.10 (don't really know anything about Linux yet).

The reason I decided to go with Linux now is because my HP came with Vista, and it was awful. Idling with nothing open it would hog 1GB of my 2GB memory *while* using swap space. It's buggy (especially the visual effects/transparent menus/etc ... sometimes they get "forgotten" and you'll have them stuck on your screen for a bit) and the security is more effective than XPs but intensely annoying (for example, try to add a single folder to your program files directory and you will be asked for permission 4 times ("are you sure?" "yes" "this is the program files folder" "continue" "a process is trying to make changes to a system folder" "that's ok" "are you really sure about this" "YES").

I haven't had a chance to test the difference in battery life... I got about 2.5 hours with Vista so I'm not sure with Linux yet. So far I have been pretty impressed, except getting some of the hardware to work without glitches is a pain.
 
Old 03-19-2007, 07:31 AM   #6
Radiolarian
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Thanks for the feedback. I may really have to rethink the Vista thing. As an upgrade for my laptop, I wonder if I can just put it on my home desktop instead? Oh well, Maybe I'll only use Vista when I am plugged on AC power and boot to Linux if the power management works well.

I guess everyone is downloading Sabayon - even on dsl it took 2hours just to get 100mb. I'll be patient.

Thanks again for your help.
 
Old 03-19-2007, 08:15 PM   #7
R3v3n
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Don't know if this will help.

Don't know if this will help or not.
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...d.php?t=534268

I hear Ubuntu works out of the box on our laptops, FC6 requires a bit of tweaking to get the wireless to work. Other than that FC6 works great on an HP. Better than Windows actually.
 
Old 03-24-2007, 10:04 PM   #8
Radiolarian
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Vista upgrade

OK, the Vista upgrade went well so far and now I've decided on possibly SAM Linux, or Xubuntu, to dual boot. I actually loaded SAM on an older desktop and it worked with almost everything.

I'll keep you up to date.

Thanks.
 
Old 03-27-2007, 12:47 PM   #9
andrew.shalin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HunterLoftis
The reason I decided to go with Linux now is because my HP came with Vista, and it was awful. Idling with nothing open it would hog 1GB of my 2GB memory *while* using swap space. It's buggy (especially the visual effects/transparent menus/etc ... sometimes they get "forgotten" and you'll have them stuck on your screen for a bit) and the security is more effective than XPs but intensely annoying (for example, try to add a single folder to your program files directory and you will be asked for permission 4 times ("are you sure?" "yes" "this is the program files folder" "continue" "a process is trying to make changes to a system folder" "that's ok" "are you really sure about this" "YES").
You have to realize that Vista uses memory in a different way. I have 2GBs of DDR2 RAM and Vista shows only 6 (!) MBs as free. Although it shows that, it works amazingly fast. The reason for that is that Vista uses application caching to RAM. It caches your most used applications to RAM so that they can start faster - it does not decrease the performance of the computer, unless there is something wrong with your setup.

As far as the 'forgotten' visual effects go, it sounds like there is a problem with your video card driver. I have a HP Pavilion dv6115ca laptop with nVidia GeForce Go6150 card and anything video related works flawlessly.

For the annoyance of Vista asking you security related questions, you can turn the User Account Control feature off and it won't ask you for anything again. It's a matter of a few clicks.

Do not jump to quick conclusions about things you're not completely familiar with. I'm not 'flaming' or anything, but just saying that Vista is not as bad as every linux lover (inluding myself) says it is.

Cheers.
 
Old 03-28-2007, 04:22 AM   #10
hdragun
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Vista is a lot heavier on the power than linux (or XP). My laptop gets around 1hour 20 under XP, 2hours 30 under linux and 56 minutes under Vista. The hard drive seems to be the biggest user of power, it always seems to be active when using vista. Driver suppport for the most part is better under linux than vista (It is best under XP). Vista does strange things with RAM, it runs fine with only 446Mb of RAM (full aero). I recommend Ubuntu 6.10 as a good distro (auto-detected most of my hardware). It doesn't really mater weather you install linux or vista first, you still have to go through the vista boot manager.
 
Old 03-29-2007, 07:14 AM   #11
Radiolarian
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Quote:
It doesn't really mater weather you install linux or vista first, you still have to go through the vista boot manager.
What exactly does this entail? Does this mean GRUB won't work?

I also have noticed a lot of hard drive access with Vista, but the memory gauge and CPU meter stay around 30 to 50%.
 
Old 03-29-2007, 09:31 AM   #12
rje_NC
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I have set up dual boot Vista and Linux on a couple of systems using Ubuntu and Slackware, and I have not really found anything different in setting them up with Vista compared to WinXP. You still want to set up Vista first and then you Linux distro should take care of the dual boot issues using Grub or Lilo without any real problems.

Bob
 
Old 03-29-2007, 03:45 PM   #13
andrew.shalin
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Vista will use more hard drive space right after you install it (a few days, a week in some cases) for indexing your data. It will depend on how much data you have on your hard drives. That is why it's using the hard drive that much. on my system it used it for about 2 days almost non-stop - and then it worked the same as XP. I now get about 2.5 hours of battery life with Vista installed.
 
Old 04-03-2007, 09:45 PM   #14
Redwater
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Vista

I too have the dv6000 HP laptop, with vista upgrade installed. (After a minior conflict of bios installations and the recovery cd set program failing I've come to peace with loosing over 20gb of data from my XP install.) The idea of installing Gentoo is still heavy, it would be nice if someone gave a list of the different distros and their unique traits in regards to laptops. I'll look on google.
If I find any distro I like I'll share with you Radiolarian my expeirence with the install. As for my time spent with vista, use a SanDisk card in the 5in1 slot on the side, with ready boost I have so much freed up memory... (I've found SD cards for 40$ online, an easy price to cope with for the benifet of memory.)
 
Old 04-04-2007, 12:13 AM   #15
andrew.shalin
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For Pavilion dv6000 series Ubuntu works rather well when installed and set up correctly. The only minor issues you might have out of the box is video, sound (buttons and headphones jack), wireless. It's all fixable through a couple of really easy guides. You can search for "Pavilion dv6000" on www.ubuntuforums.com .
Good luck.
 
  


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