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Old 01-18-2008, 12:20 PM   #1
senzmail
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What is the best distribution for laptop?


Any distribution suitable for desktops should be good for laptops too. But then laptops have all those nifty gadgets like touchpad, wi-fi, bluetooth, card reader which many Linux distributions do not support natively.

I have tried Mint and Fedora. Hardware support for laptops is still a pain. Is there any distribution which is specifically designed for laptops?
 
Old 01-18-2008, 12:43 PM   #2
slackhack
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I don't know about distros that might be designed specifically for laptops, but arch linux is a great laptop distro. very lightweight, easy to configure, install only what you need, good wiki doc and forum, and very fast. i would definitely take that over fedora, because i also manage a fedora machine for someone, and the upgrades are slow and take forever compared to arch. I also used to use slackware on my laptop, but I didn't want to heat up my processor with all that compiling all the time. debian might be a good choice, too, but i've found arch easier to manage. both seem very fast, and subjectively faster even than slack. that's been my experience, at least.
 
Old 01-18-2008, 12:57 PM   #3
pixellany
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I'm mucking around in this issue at the moment. I'm looking for two things: 1) Ease of wireless setup, including selecting from multiple access points. 2) Power management, including the action when the lid is closed.

Fedora was the only distro I have ever seen where the power actions on lid closing worked out of the box. Don't remember what I noted about wireless.

Ubuntu (stock--with Gnome) is VERY good for wireless.
 
Old 01-18-2008, 01:02 PM   #4
dv502
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I also use arch linux for a desktop. It is fast and you can install only what you need. Here is the wireless setup, just select the driver/chipset you think your wireless card is and read the information before you consider installing arch.


http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Wireless_Setup

If you decide not to use arch. Then read the first Steps in the wiki page. This will give you a starting point on the proper driver to use.

Last edited by dv502; 01-18-2008 at 01:24 PM.
 
Old 01-18-2008, 01:46 PM   #5
custangro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
I'm mucking around in this issue at the moment. I'm looking for two things: 1) Ease of wireless setup, including selecting from multiple access points. 2) Power management, including the action when the lid is closed.

Fedora was the only distro I have ever seen where the power actions on lid closing worked out of the box. Don't remember what I noted about wireless.

Ubuntu (stock--with Gnome) is VERY good for wireless.
I agree...Ubuntu is really good for wireless...all the installations I've done worked "out of the box"

-C
 
Old 01-18-2008, 02:36 PM   #6
logicalfuzz
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Count my vote for Ubuntu...
 
Old 01-18-2008, 03:26 PM   #7
slackhack
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"out of the box," arch will run circles around ubuntu speed wise. just something to keep in mind when considering what distro for a laptop, where there's often more limited resources than desktop.
 
Old 01-18-2008, 03:40 PM   #8
crazy8
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I dont know if your looking for a security based distro or not, but I thought I would add my two cents and say that Backtrack is awesome and is easy to connect to wifi. I run Backtrack 3 Beta off my USB thumbdrive. However I am looking into trying ubuntu on my external drive.
 
Old 01-18-2008, 03:57 PM   #9
farslayer
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I'm a Debian user, so the best laptop distribution for me would be Debian..

Regardless of the hardware (unless it's really old or low spec) the best distribution is the one you are familiar with imho..
 
Old 01-19-2008, 11:43 AM   #10
senzmail
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Ubuntu

Thanks to all of you who have replied to my query. I think this fantastic spirit of collaboration will make Linux much more popular.

I have heard a lot about Ubuntu. But my experience with that has not been great. My first installation was Mint, a Ubuntu based system. The install was flawless, but it just failed to detect the keyboard. After lot of struggle and BIOS changes I gave up. By the way, I use a Lenovo Y series laptop.
 
Old 01-19-2008, 12:28 PM   #11
elliott678
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I'm running Arch on 4 laptops of varying ages, the oldest is 6 years old and the newest is 6 months old. I have yet to have any issues that are unsolvable that wouldn't be unsolvable in any other Linux distro. The only things I don't have working are the 56k modems, I probably could, I just don't care enough.

It does take work, it isn't an out of the box thing, but that is what I prefer. When you get everything working piece by piece, it is easier to get everything working exactly how you want it.
 
Old 01-19-2008, 12:35 PM   #12
b0uncer
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Quote:
"out of the box," arch will run circles around ubuntu speed wise. just something to keep in mind when considering what distro for a laptop, where there's often more limited resources than desktop.
Does this mean I'm having a magical laptop, where Ubuntu runs equally fast as Arch with similar desktop? Nice..

I'd vote for Ubuntu too, but you should really try out a few distributions yourself and see how they work in you case. Nowadays live-cds are available for most mainstream distributions, so it's fairly easy to try them. If you want ease of use, you probably need to forget Slackware-like distributions, because they always need you to set some things up before they work nicely/automatically, and if you're inexperienced it could take some time. Some of them are speed demons, but mostly it depends on the desktop environment and not the distribution itself, and for "easiness and user-friendliness" you are probably going to pick up KDE or Gnome anyway, which means the speed differences are meaningless. If you are somewhat experienced and are ok with setting up a few configuration files to get things done the way you want, then I do recommend trying out Slackware, Arch or such ones..

The older Ubuntu versions had some minor problems on my laptop. Maybe it was because I had bought a cheap laptop with hostile hardware or something..but this latest Ubuntu is running quite nicely, even the dreadful bcm43xx card started working without any manual tweaking - just a visit to the restricted drivers manager front-end, and in a moment I could click to get a list of wireless networks. Power management is another thing that started working smoothly with this newest version. I don't really find any trouble here, except that the battery doesn't last long, but that's because it's cheap - it's been that way on every single distribution and desktop I've used
 
Old 01-19-2008, 12:47 PM   #13
ehawk
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http://www.mepis.org/

BEST HARDWARE RECOGNITION/CONFIGURATION. Debian-base allows use of huge debian package repositories. Known for stability. Proprietary codecs and apps pre-installed and configured. Good help forums. Touchpad, wi-fi, bluetooth, power managment. Live-evaluation CD. Easiest installation of any distribution. NTFS no problem. Like mint but better hardware recognition.
 
Old 01-20-2008, 04:02 PM   #14
slackhack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b0uncer View Post
Does this mean I'm having a magical laptop, where Ubuntu runs equally fast as Arch with similar desktop? Nice..
magical laptop

you might have things tweaked to your liking, all I know is that ubuntu was much slower as a stock install on my laptop than arch, but that was a few versions ago. maybe it's faster now. agree with the slackware points, but arch is much easier to configure, in my experience. good point about trying a few different ones to see what works best for you.
 
Old 01-20-2008, 08:14 PM   #15
fair_is_fair
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I have three different laptops on the go. A distro that works good on one may not boot up on the others.

Backtrack is the only distro that will, out of the box, produce a working wifi connection with no configuration. This is with the Broadcom 4318 and an usb ralink card both on the same laptop. I find this interesting as most Slackware based distros fail miserably at wireless.

Mepis does not have any trouble with my Broadcom and three different Ralink cards either.

Mandriva and its offspring (Pclos, Sam, Granular, etc) all offer excellent hardware support with good wireless.

Sabayon is impressive as well.

I've had no luck with the buntus at all. Tried again today with Mint 4.0 and it refuses to give me a working wireless connection on my desktop where so many others will with little or no effort.
 
  


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