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Old 01-19-2011, 07:58 PM   #1
nine9nine
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Best distro for a laptop


I currently have a Toshiba Satellite C655 laptop running windows 7. What would be the best distro for a laptop? I would prefer that it installs with a windows installer, because I don't want to try repartioning to be able to keep windows. I've tried Ubuntu's "wubi" and Mint's "mint4win". However, I wasn't able to connect to wifi on either of them.
 
Old 01-19-2011, 08:13 PM   #2
corp769
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Are you completely new to linux? If so, Ubuntu has an edition made just for laptops and netbooks. Besides that, you can use practically any distro for laptops, just depends on your taste. I use Fedora 13 on my dell studio 1537, and it runs great.

As far as a windows installer and what not, you need to repartition your hard drive for linux use because it needs a completely different file system to run on. If anything, you can run a live version of ubuntu to suit your likings.
 
Old 01-20-2011, 01:44 AM   #3
appilu
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If you want to keep linux permanently on your hard drive,then you must repartition HDD,since linux works on filesystems like ext3,4..
My suggestion for your lap os
for programming Fedora flavour seems to be suitable.
For a new user select ubuntu.
great multimedia support in mandrivia.

Choice actually based on you need
 
Old 01-20-2011, 05:39 AM   #4
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corp769 View Post
As far as a windows installer and what not, you need to repartition your hard drive for linux use because it needs a completely different file system to run on. If anything, you can run a live version of ubuntu to suit your likings.
@appilu
Quote:
...then you must repartition HDD...
As the OP seems to already know, the cleverness of something like Wubi (I assume that mint4win is similar, but don't know anything about that) is that it allows you to install a version of Linux without any of this messing around with partitions, which is often slightly scary for newbies. See here or here for details.

That said, the 'traditional' dual boot installation is probably slightly better, in terms of efficiency (of speed of access to the hard disk), but if that isn't a problem for the OP, it isn't a problem for the OP.

So, it seems that the real point of this post is:
"I haven't been able to get WiFi working (with a couple of otherwise satisfactory distros)"
(but there is no point in suggesting a distro without something like Wubi, at this stage unless all else fails, because it is not what the OP wants).

It would probably be helpful if the OP could confirm my presumption about the two that he has tried being otherwise satisfactory, because if those two are not otherwise satisfactory, there would probably not be much point in spending too much time on problems that were specific to those distros.

A word of warning about wireless: It is not massively difficult to set up (usually) these days, but there are a number of stages and any one of these little stages could be problematic if badly configured, so it is usually a matter of being fairly systematic about what you do, and attend to all of the potential pitfalls.
  • Can you confirm that if you plugged in a cable (ethernet) between your laptop and your router (I assume that you have a router of some kind and that it has an ethernet port and some kind of of WiFi (a/b/g/n))?
  • Do you know anything about the WiFi adaptor that you have (on board, rather than USB-dongle, presumably) The command
    'lspci' (you may have to try something like sudo lspci, or sudo /sbin/lspci to get correct permissions) should give you various strings describing USB controllers, etec, etc, but one of those should concern your wireless chipset.
  • Does your current distro detect and select a suitable driver for your wireless chipset? With an idea of the chipset name, you should be able to find all the running processes with 'ps -ef > proc.txt' and find it in there with either a manual search or using grep.
  • (Alternatively, the command 'dmesg' may give you an interesting message depending on what happened when your distro tried to initialise the wireless card. This may be even more helpful if it tells you why something didn't happen.)
  • At this point, this should reduce wireless networking to a very similar problem to wired networking, plus or minus whatever encryption you use. So your Linux system ought to be being assigned an IP address in the same way that is happening with wired networking (...assuming that this is happening with wired networking...) and you to be able to 'ping' your router's IP address. It is probably easier to get working with 'networkmanager' (or wicd, depending on the default for your distro) although these are really strictly necessary, unless you wander from your base network to, eg wireless hotspots, or change from wireless to wired networking. 'networkmanager' should give you the chance to enter encryption details and scan for wireless networks within range; if not, something has probably gone wrong at an earlier stage.

Please give further details about any stage at which you get stuck.
 
Old 01-20-2011, 05:43 AM   #5
Sayan Acharjee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nine9nine View Post
I currently have a Toshiba Satellite C655 laptop running windows 7. What would be the best distro for a laptop? I would prefer that it installs with a windows installer, because I don't want to try repartioning to be able to keep windows. I've tried Ubuntu's "wubi" and Mint's "mint4win". However, I wasn't able to connect to wifi on either of them.
I use Mint 10 on my Dell Inspiron 15R and I am happy with its performance, Wifi is working fine as well.
 
Old 01-20-2011, 06:37 AM   #6
darkduck
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http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1554604
Have you tried this?
 
Old 01-20-2011, 01:22 PM   #7
szboardstretcher
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http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/
 
Old 01-20-2011, 01:51 PM   #8
silvyus_06
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as far as i know , ubuntu and mint can install to the ntfs partition in a big file that contains a filesystem..

only them.
if you want , you can go to the ubuntuforums.org or something like that and ask there for example : I got a "insert model here" laptop and my "insert model" wifi doesn't work.

*(open a new thread for that)*

or , ofcourse , you can tell us here the model of your wifi and we'll try to help you...
 
Old 01-20-2011, 02:07 PM   #9
theNbomr
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I have a Toshiba Satellite something-something, about 1.5 years old, and when I bought it, I tried a number of distros. I stopped trying as soon as I got to one that installed cleanly, got everything right without fiddling and extra work (especailly including WiFi and dual-boot Windows Vista). The one I ended up using was Open Suse 11.1 The ones that failed to work fully were Debian 5.02, Ubuntu (9, I think), Fedora (11, I think), CentOS 5.x, and Slackware (I forget version number).

I did, before installing Linux, re-install Windows using a much smaller portion of the drive. I let each of the Linux installers do its best to use what was left.

I'm happy with the result, and at the very least, it was informative. Your mileage may vary, of course.

--- rod.
 
Old 01-20-2011, 08:45 PM   #10
nine9nine
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I think that I'll try to partition and install Mint 10. I'm not sure if I was having problems because I used a windows installer. I was able to connect to internet using a cable, however, I had trouble connecting to wifi, and my wireless drivers kept uninstalling every time I turned it off. If I encounter the drivers uninstalling, what should I do. Oh, and the driver was the ath9k. If something happens and I need to uninstall Linux, would I be able to easily uninstall Linux, and go back to just having Windows?
 
Old 01-20-2011, 09:50 PM   #11
tronayne
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With Win7 you can shrink the size of the Win7 installation (down to about 20- 30G ought to be good, depending upon how much stuff you have in Windows and how much you intend to keep using it); that will leave the rest of your drive available for a Linux installation. When you install Linux on an existing Win7 installation (as a dual-boot machine), you will be partitioning the disk space you left after "shrinking" Win7 and formatting it for use with Linux. When you get down to the end of the Linux installation, you should have an opportunity to choose to write to the MBR (master boot record) so that you can dual-boot; the details will vary with the distribution.

As to distribution, I can only recommend Slackware. I do so because Slackware is the most un-fooled-around-with distribution; i.e., it does not do things for (or, more properly, to) you and, if you want to learn Linux, Slackware is probably your best bet for that purpose (and Slackware comes in two flavors: "pure" 32-bit and "pure" 64-bit -- there are advantages and disadvantages (although not many) to both). I run both Slackware 32-bit and 64-bit on three separate machines (all Dell, one desk top and two lap tops) and have zero problems (that I haven't created for myself, that is). Fast, clean and efficient.

Be aware that a stock Win7 install eats three primary disk partitions (leaving you with only one primary). You can add as many logical partitions as you need.

Hope this helps some.
 
Old 01-20-2011, 10:30 PM   #12
wile_coyote
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nine9nine, sounds like you have a good plan. I would say pick the one you think you will like and try it, in this case Mint.

I have never run Mint, but have run Redhat, Mandrake, Suse, Fedora, CentOS, Slackware and Gentoo. I have installed Ubuntu on a friends laptop as this is what she wanted to run. Ubuntu installed without a hitch on a Dell D600 and picked the wireless up no problem. Installing Slack and Gentoo on the same D600 took some work to get the wireless going, but that was a broadcom wireless.

Currently my favorite distro and the one I will stick with for quite a while is Gentoo. It is work to get installed, but after the first time it is easier. If I was not going to run Gentoo, I would go to Slack.

If you end up not liking Linux, you can simply get rid of the Linux partition and you will be back to Windows with the partition used by Linux available to be reused. If you need to get rid of the bootloader from Linux (LILO or Grub) there are numerous articles posted to do so to be back at Microsoft only even though it is not necessary.

Every person I know (including myself) that has a multiboot box has ended up using Linux and only booting into Windows if/when necessary (if ever). Stick with your plan, don't give up and enjoy.
 
Old 01-20-2011, 11:13 PM   #13
savotije
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I have Toshiba Satellite Pro 22P and Slackware 13.1.
They work in perfect symbiosis.
 
Old 01-22-2011, 11:11 AM   #14
nine9nine
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I have successfully installed Mint alongside Windows. When I click the internet connections, it says "Wireless Networks", but my wifi network doesn't come up. Is there a piece of software that I need to install, or is there a way I can do it with out having to install anything?
 
Old 01-22-2011, 11:35 AM   #15
wile_coyote
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Is your wifi card being detected? Check lspci and ifconfig to see if your wifi is detected and up.


There are a few programs you can use, wpa_supplicant, wicd etc...
 
  


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