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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 08-03-2009, 09:37 AM   #1
Changes
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What brands/models for best Linux compatibility?


My old notebook is showing signs of failure (can't blame it, been running almost 24/7 for more than five years), so it's time I start thinking about a replacement.
Problem is, as my main work computer my notebook must be linux-only, and I remember having lots of trouble installing Linux on my current Toshiba (model M30X, functionally equivalent to the more widespread M35X). Up until relatively recently enabling PCMCIA during boot would freeze everything in any distro, including Live-CDs, so I'd given up on Linux completely. Then, after two years or so of waiting, new drivers or something fixed the problem, and I was able to install and use Kubuntu. Some not-very-important-but-still-handy hardware still won't work though, such as the IRDA port or integrated SD-card reader.

In short, what I need is something of a brand and model that's been proven to work well - not only decently, not "you can use 90% of your hardware" - with Linux.

My requirements: must be dualcore, must be cheap, must be as reliable as possible for the price. I don't need 3D power as I have a dedicated winbox for that, so one of those hideous Intel GMA "gaming? what gaming?" video cards will do just fine.

Maximum expense is about 400 (I'm in Italy, US prices mean very little here).

Any help is appreciated
 
Old 08-03-2009, 12:38 PM   #2
pusrob
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Well, don't look to any specific brand when buying laptops, but look what's inside. I mean look at brands of the inner components. The more intel you have inside, the less trouble you'll have. That's for sure. My laptop is quite noname (its brand cannot be compared to HP, lenovo, Fujitsu-Siemens, etc.), but I can use every piece of component, because almost everything is intel inside (these last two words sound like the intel commercial ). My modem and NIC is not intel, they're SmartLink and VIA, but fortunately they're also quite nicely supported.
If something is not intel, than look for them in any hardware compatibility list you can find on the internet (LQ's HCL is a good start), to find out if they're supported or not.
The conclusion: don't stick to laptop brands, stick to inner component brands!

Last edited by pusrob; 08-03-2009 at 12:42 PM.
 
Old 08-03-2009, 01:54 PM   #3
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Changes View Post

My requirements: must be dualcore, must be cheap, must be as reliable as possible for the price. I don't need 3D power as I have a dedicated winbox for that, so one of those hideous Intel GMA "gaming? what gaming?" video cards will do just fine.
...in that case, I'd get "one of those hideous Intel GMA "gaming? what gaming?" video cards". I'm typing from one now, and for non-fps-gaming purposes they are absolutely fine and support from distros (AFAIK) seems less issue-ridden than some of the better-performing solutions. You can probably get less of the 'gee-whizz-eye candy' effects in KDE 4, but I suspect you won't miss the more extreme ones.

The things that are 'wrong' with my Lenovo 3000 N 200 are that the fingerprint reader doesn't work (...I don't much care, but SuSE seems to support the fingerprint reader on the Thinkpads, but this is a different one, apparently) and the webcam stuff may or may not work, I've never felt that having a webcam was something other than a disadvantage.

When I bought this, I had the choice of buying an end-of-line thinkpad or this 3000 N 200 at roughly the same price (the thinkpad having a higher list but had just been discontinued) and my only regret is that I didn't go for the 'real' thinkpad. They are better built, and support from distros is better.

BTW, in general I agree with what pusrob says; if you go for an Intel cpu machine, go for an intel chipset with Intel wireless. That should all just work. If you go for an AMD cpu, go for an AMD chipset, with AMD/ATI graphics; that should work, but might take a bit more work; if you go this route, be careful about wireless, I'm not sure that any single chipset is as well standardised as the Intel is on the Intel platform, and the better standardised it is, the more chance that it will work out of the box.

Last edited by salasi; 08-03-2009 at 01:56 PM. Reason: fniger tourble
 
Old 08-03-2009, 10:49 PM   #4
rob.rice
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I can only tell you what has worked for me
I have a toshiba satellite A205-S5000 I just installed slackware64-current on it and every thing except the volume control nob worked on first boot
it even found an open wifi access point and connected up to it

on the first boot up
 
Old 08-03-2009, 11:09 PM   #5
MBybee
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Surprised nobody has linked to TuxMobile yet: http://tuxmobil.org/mylaptops.html
Or even Linux on Laptops: http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/new.html
Lots of good Linux Laptop info.

I've gone with Acer and Lenovo mostly and had pretty good luck. I'm typing this currently from my main laptop which is an Acer Aspire. Only issues I had were with the B43 driver (which just requires some small tweaks, depending on distro).
The thumbprint readers tend to be non-functional, but then they don't tend to work in Windows either

Would I be right in assuming that you don't want to buy Linux pre-installed?
Dell does Ubuntu: http://www.dell.com/content/topics/s...=us&l=en&cs=19
System 76 are probably out of your price range: http://system76.com/index.php?cPath=28

On your price range the Netbooks can be gotten with Linux. My wife loves her Acer Aspire One 110, currently running Mint quite nicely. She paid about $300 and scrapped the Windows XP for Mint with no issues to speak of.
 
Old 08-04-2009, 09:14 AM   #6
pusrob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBybee
Surprised nobody has linked to...
We were waiting for you to link them
 
Old 08-04-2009, 11:04 AM   #7
MBybee
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by pusrob View Post
We were waiting for you to link them
Then I'm glad to oblige
 
  


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