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Old 07-29-2014, 01:56 PM   #1
dtewers
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Thinkpad L440 Hardware Compatibility


Hi, I am purchasing a new laptop for school and I want the Lenovo Thinkpad L440. However I am a CS major and will need to be able to install Linux on it. Can you let me know if the following hardware will be compatible?
  • Intel Core i7-4702MQ Processor (6MB Cache, up to 3.20GHz)
  • Intel HD Graphics 4600 with HM86(non-vPro), with TPM, with Express Card
  • 8GB PC3-12800 DDR3L SDRAM 1600MHz SODIMM
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless 7260AC with Bluetooth 4.0

If you need anymore details let me know. Also if this is the wrong forum for this question please direct me to the correct place to post (it's my first time posting).

Thanks
 
Old 07-29-2014, 02:27 PM   #2
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Excellent Linux Compatibility


Yours has an i7, but I reckon everything else is the same. See here and here.

As a rule of thumb, generic hardware always works. One might have issues with wifi or graphics cards, but they can be almost always solved with proprietary (!) drivers from the manufacturer. You are good to go, though
 
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:30 PM   #3
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Intel graphics and Intel wifi means you shouldn't have any driver problems with pretty much any modern Linux distro.
 
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:33 PM   #4
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Okay, I wasn't sure since I found that site that says the i5 processor is compatible. I couldn't find any information on i7. Never had to install Linux and I don't know much about it, so I just wanted to make sure the processor wouldn't affect anything. Thanks for the help
 
Old 07-29-2014, 02:35 PM   #5
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You should never have to worry about the processor as long as it's a typical x86/x86_64 (aka: not arm).
 
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Old 07-29-2014, 03:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by suicidaleggroll View Post
You should never have to worry about the processor as long as it's a typical x86/x86_64 (aka: not arm).
though linux is supported on arm too
 
Old 07-29-2014, 04:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Shaji View Post
though linux is supported on arm too
Yes, but in that case you do need to start paying attention to which OS build you're using, and there aren't a whole lot of distros (at least compared to x86) that have an arm build in the first place.
 
Old 07-29-2014, 11:32 PM   #8
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Yes, but in that case you do need to start paying attention to which OS build you're using, and there aren't a whole lot of distros (at least compared to x86) that have an arm build in the first place.
But hardware support is distro independent since all of them use the same kernel. All linux is exactly that,linux . If it works on one distro, it would work on them all.
 
Old 07-30-2014, 11:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Shaji View Post
But hardware support is distro independent since all of them use the same kernel. All linux is exactly that,linux . If it works on one distro, it would work on them all.
The hardware independence of the Linux kernel source code is irrelevant once it's built into a pre-compiled pre-packaged ISO file for installation by an end-user. Once the source is compiled into object code, it ceases to be hardware independent, which is why every distro has separate 32 and 64-bit versions available for download. Arm is the same way, unless you want to cross-compile your own kernel and supporting programs from scratch, you need to choose a distro that offers an arm build. Very few do, which is why you need to pay attention.

As cool as it would be to have a Linux distro that only provides source code, and an installer that compiles all of it for your specific architecture during the installation process, nobody does that (that I'm aware of). Probably because the installation process would go from a 20-30 minute jaunt to a 10+ hour ordeal.

This also says nothing of third party driver inclusion, for hardware that is not supported by the Linux kernel itself. Different distros provide access to and automatic inclusion of different third party drivers, which means the peripherals on the machine may work out of the box on one distro and may require a significant amount of effort to get working in another.

And of course ALL of this is irrelevant to the OP, who is using an x86_64 processor with Intel graphics and wireless, which means he shouldn't have any issues with just about any distro (as long as he chooses the x86_64 build of whatever distro he selects, or x86 PAE if he doesn't mind the 3-4GB per-process memory limit).

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 07-30-2014 at 11:29 AM.
 
Old 07-30-2014, 04:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by suicidaleggroll View Post
The hardware independence of the Linux kernel source code is irrelevant once it's built into a pre-compiled pre-packaged ISO file for installation by an end-user.
What I said was that hardware support is distro independent. It is the kernel that actually supports the hardware. The kernel in all distros is the same. All vendors ship all available modules. kernel source isn't hardware independent - it is what actually supports the hardware. The kernel runs on the hardware, and the distro runs on the kernel.

Quote:
Once the source is compiled into object code, it ceases to be hardware independent, which is why every distro has separate 32 and 64-bit versions available for download.
Carrot.

Quote:
Arm is the same way, unless you want to cross-compile your own kernel and supporting programs from scratch, you need to choose a distro that offers an arm build. Very few do, which is why you need to pay attention.
But that has nothing to do with what I was saying. All I said was that driver support is distro (and architecture too, AFAIK) agnostic.

Quote:
As cool as it would be to have a Linux distro that only provides source code, and an installer that compiles all of it for your specific architecture during the installation process, nobody does that (that I'm aware of). Probably because the installation process would go from a 20-30 minute jaunt to a 10+ hour ordeal.
Again that has nothing to do with what I was saying. Gentoo is one example of a source based distro, and people use it for many reasons. There's LFS too.

Quote:
This also says nothing of third party driver inclusion, for hardware that is not supported by the Linux kernel itself. Different distros provide access to and automatic inclusion of different third party drivers, which means the peripherals on the machine may work out of the box on one distro and may require a significant amount of effort to get working in another.
No. All that differs is maybe a yum install vs an apt-get install. Apart from certain niche distros, I don't think any vendor would purposely remove support from the kernel or make it difficult for the user to install proprietary drivers. The latter does taint the kernel though.

Quote:
And of course ALL of this is irrelevant to the OP, who is using an x86_64 processor with Intel graphics and wireless, which means he shouldn't have any issues with just about any distro (as long as he chooses the x86_64 build of whatever distro he selects, or x86 PAE if he doesn't mind the 3-4GB per-process memory limit).
Carrot. This is what I was saying all along.

Last edited by DJ Shaji; 07-30-2014 at 04:42 PM. Reason: miss coat
 
Old 07-30-2014, 06:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Shaji View Post
What I said was that hardware support is distro independent. It is the kernel that actually supports the hardware. The kernel in all distros is the same. All vendors ship all available modules. kernel source isn't hardware independent - it is what actually supports the hardware. The kernel runs on the hardware, and the distro runs on the kernel.
1 - Only some (most) hardware is supported directly by the kernel. A lot of hardware has absolutely no support in the Linux kernel and requires third party drivers. Some of these third party drivers are source-only, some are closed-source proprietary drivers, some are found in Debian repositories but not RH, some are in Ubuntu's repositories but not SUSE's, etc.

2 - The kernel in all distros is not the same. Some run bleeding edge kernels, some run old-school kernels, and hardware support varies DRASTICALLY between them. I'm looking at two systems right now that are both running modern distros, latest release, latest updates. One is running 3.11.10, the other is running 2.6.32. That's a FOUR YEAR gap between initial kernel releases in two modern, up-to-date distros.

3 - Some distros enable/disable certain modules depending on their priorities, they most certainly do not all ship with all possible modules enabled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Shaji View Post
But that has nothing to do with what I was saying. All I said was that driver support is distro (and architecture too, AFAIK) agnostic.
Since up to that point we had been talking exclusively about processor architecture, and you even quoted my comment about arm in your response, I naturally assumed that by "hardware" you meant "processor architecture", not peripherals, and my interpretation of your comment was "if one distro works on a given architecture, then all distros will work on that architecture, since they all use the same kernel", hence my response. When did the conversation switch from processor architecture to peripheral support?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Shaji View Post
No. All that differs is maybe a yum install vs an apt-get install.
That is absolutely not true. Depending on the hardware used in a system, it is entirely likely that with one distro the user will need to go scour the web in search of a source-only driver, and do all of the dependency resolution, compilation, and loading themselves, while with another distro they could just do a yum install. Some distros provide closed-source proprietary drivers in their repositories, some don't, and the resulting steps required to get that hardware working are completely different. One could work out-of-the-box, while another takes days to get running.

If you want examples, just search this site for the billion or so threads asking how to get X hardware working in Y distro. The OP follows a few 10+ page walkthroughs, they fail, and then somebody recommends they try Z distro instead, they do, and everything works out of the box. A new one of those threads is posted just about every day...and each one is CLEAR evidence that all distros do NOT have the same level of out of the box hardware support that you're claiming.

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 07-30-2014 at 06:53 PM.
 
Old 08-02-2014, 05:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidaleggroll View Post
1 - Only some (most) hardware is supported directly by the kernel.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monolithic_kernel

Quote:
A lot of hardware has absolutely no support in the Linux kernel and requires third party drivers. Some of these third party drivers are source-only, some are closed-source proprietary drivers, some are found in Debian repositories but not RH, some are in Ubuntu's repositories but not SUSE's, etc.
"Linux, the kernel, supports more devices than any other operating system ever."

from here http://broadcast.oreilly.com/2008/10...re-device.html

Quote:
2 - The kernel in all distros is not the same. Some run bleeding edge kernels, some run old-school kernels, and hardware support varies DRASTICALLY between them. I'm looking at two systems right now that are both running modern distros, latest release, latest updates. One is running 3.11.10, the other is running 2.6.32. That's a FOUR YEAR gap between initial kernel releases in two modern, up-to-date distros.
The kernel version a distro provides is of course subject to many considerations. There are a lot many distros out there, and some built for very specific purposes. But I cannot think of any generic distro which does not provide a 3.x series kernel. What you choose to run is of course your personal preference. I run Squeeze on a fourteen year old box, and when I heard that support was being extended for it, I ran apt-get dist-upgrade, and it upgraded my kernel to version 3.2.0-4. I didn't even realize it (it's a headless machine) until I put in another disk and had to attach a display. It even fixed support for my SoundBlaster 5.1 Live! VX (CA0106), which works perfectly now. I found that too by accident, which turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I refuse to believe a distro would provide (only) an older version of the kernel without some arrangement for backporting new drivers.

Quote:
3 - Some distros enable/disable certain modules depending on their priorities, they most certainly do not all ship with all possible modules enabled.
Yes they do. Of course unless you are suggesting that OP installed tiny core on his system and now wonders why his devices won't work. Niche distros aside, no distro attempting to provide a general purpose operating system would purposely ship a release with crippled hardware support.

Quote:
Since up to that point we had been talking exclusively about processor architecture, and you even quoted my comment about arm in your response, I naturally assumed that by "hardware" you meant "processor architecture", not peripherals, and my interpretation of your comment was "if one distro works on a given architecture, then all distros will work on that architecture, since they all use the same kernel", hence my response. When did the conversation switch from processor architecture to peripheral support?
This is what I had said:
Quote:
But hardware support is distro independent since all of them use the same kernel. All linux is exactly that,linux . If it works on one distro, it would work on them all.
I had said that all peripherals would work with all distros, if they work with any one of them, since they all use the Linux kernel. It's really simple. It does. In fact, most drivers ought to work on any architecture the kernel can run on.

Quote:
That is absolutely not true. Depending on the hardware used in a system, it is entirely likely that with one distro the user will need to go scour the web in search of a source-only driver, and do all of the dependency resolution, compilation, and loading themselves, while with another distro they could just do a yum install. Some distros provide closed-source proprietary drivers in their repositories, some don't, and the resulting steps required to get that hardware working are completely different. One could work out-of-the-box, while another takes days to get running.
Any user friendly distro will provide a simple way to install drivers. Debian and Fedora both do. If they don't, there are unofficial repos which do, not to mention binaries available from hardware manufacturers themselves. These cover their derivatives as well. Apart from a certain difference of purpose, design and implementation, distros are all the same. It is essentially Linux. The first time I installed Linux, it took me quite some time to set up internet and sound (on Red Hat 8 - I simply couldn't understand at first why I couldn't play MP3s and why my softmodem wasn't working). Now it's been almost a decade, and not only do I know more now than I knew back then, hardware support has improved immensely. What required a custom kernel back in the day now works out of the box. It's basically this: what works, works. What doesn't, doesn't. How much time it takes to get it to work depends on your mojo. Obviously newbies are going to have to spend days figuring out these things. But it isn't the distro's fault. No one builds a distro and makes it harder to use on purpose.

Quote:
If you want examples, just search this site for the billion or so threads asking how to get X hardware working in Y distro. The OP follows a few 10+ page walkthroughs, they fail, and then somebody recommends they try Z distro instead, they do, and everything works out of the box. A new one of those threads is posted just about every day...and each one is CLEAR evidence that all distros do NOT have the same level of out of the box hardware support that you're claiming.
Your argument is very vague, and certainly not evidence for anything. You are essentially saying this: "One distro supports one device better than another distro, because one user couldn't get it to work easily." And I am saying this: "All distros support all devices, since it is the same kernel, and it is possible to get a device to work on one distro if it works on another." Of course something might be broken in one particular release, but it most certainly does not imply inferior "out of the box" hardware support, since they use the same kernel.
 
Old 08-02-2014, 06:22 PM   #13
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*bangs head against wall*

The kernel does not support all hardware! It supports a lot, yes, more than other operating systems, sure, but not everything. What it does not support has to be covered by third party drivers or ndiswrapper kluged windows drivers. Third party driver support varies immensely between distros.

Not only that, but not all distros run the same kernel! Yes, there are modern distros that still run 2.6 kernels, namely RHEL/CentOS/SL 6.5. Built-in kernel support in version 3.15 is completely different than in 2.6.32. A modern piece of hardware that works out of the box in say OpenSUSE or Mint may take days to get working in RHEL, if you're ever able to get it working correctly. I'd call that different levels of hardware support.

Want an example? A while back I bought a RAID card, plugged it in, booted it up, and nothing. After much searching, I found out that support for the card is built into the kernel, but not until version 2.6.x (don't remember the exact version, this was a while back). I was running CentOS, which was not at that point yet, and the card manufacturer did not provide separate drivers to compile/install. After fighting with it for a bit, I finally wiped the machine and installed OpenSUSE which was running a new enough kernel to support the card (just barely), and what do you know, it worked right out of the box. It was YEARS before RHEL/CentOS, Debian, and many other distros switched to a new enough kernel to support that card.

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 08-02-2014 at 06:39 PM.
 
Old 08-02-2014, 08:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidaleggroll View Post
*bangs head against wall*


See, I'm not saying that you're wrong. Maybe I'm a little bit more optimistic in this regard, perhaps. Apart from a softmodem, everything else I've come across has always worked under Linux. I've just been lucky I guess

Quote:
The kernel does not support all hardware! It supports a lot, yes, more than other operating systems, sure, but not everything. What it does not support has to be covered by third party drivers or ndiswrapper kluged windows drivers. Third party driver support varies immensely between distros.

Not only that, but not all distros run the same kernel! Yes, there are modern distros that still run 2.6 kernels, namely RHEL/CentOS/SL 6.5. Built-in kernel support in version 3.15 is completely different than in 2.6.32. A modern piece of hardware that works out of the box in say OpenSUSE or Mint may take days to get working in RHEL, if you're ever able to get it working correctly. I'd call that different levels of hardware support.

Want an example? A while back I bought a RAID card, plugged it in, booted it up, and nothing. After much searching, I found out that support for the card is built into the kernel, but not until version 2.6.x (don't remember the exact version, this was a while back). I was running CentOS, which was not at that point yet, and the card manufacturer did not provide separate drivers to compile/install. After fighting with it for a bit, I finally wiped the machine and installed OpenSUSE which was running a new enough kernel to support the card (just barely), and what do you know, it worked right out of the box. It was YEARS before RHEL/CentOS, Debian, and many other distros switched to a new enough kernel to support that card.
I'd try compiling my own kernel here. A sound card issue I had required me to do that, and that solved the problem. Plus on my old system custom kernels always ran faster for me.

Basically I was trying to say this - say someone builds an LFS system. It would be distro-less, and yet it could be made to run on any hardware supported under Linux. Yes kernel versions are important considerations, but they can be upgraded. That was all I was saying
 
Old 08-06-2014, 10:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Shaji View Post
I'd try compiling my own kernel here.
Not an option if the user intends to install the OS to the RAID. The chosen distro needs to support the RAID card out of the box in order for that to work.

And go figure, I ran into another distro(kernel)-specific hardware issue today. This time it was a high end PCI A/D card worth 5 times as much as the computer in which it was being installed (and this was no slouch of a machine either). Turns out the driver for this card has some closed-source portions which require pre-compiled binaries to use. It also turns out that these pre-compiled binaries are only supported by 32-bit kernels version 2.6.35 and under. Very few distros these days run <2.6.35 kernels, but luckily CentOS 6 is one of them, and is supported for the next 6 years, otherwise I would have been screwed. You can't exactly downgrade a 3.x-based distro to <2.6.35 without breaking a lot of functionality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Shaji View Post
Basically I was trying to say this - say someone builds an LFS system. It would be distro-less, and yet it could be made to run on any hardware supported under Linux. Yes kernel versions are important considerations, but they can be upgraded. That was all I was saying
So essentially your argument is that if one distro can support a given piece of hardware, then an LFS system with custom compiled everything can support it as well? Not exactly the "driver support is distro-agnostic" argument you came out with.

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 08-06-2014 at 10:14 PM.
 
  


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