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Old 09-24-2012, 12:41 PM   #1
JK-2503
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Smile Which laptop buy for linux?


Hi, i have these questions:
1. Which Graphic card is better for linux dist. in a laptop?
ATI or Nvidia?
2. Basically, i want to know which gamma (or if someone have specific model) is better to use in linux from Toshiba and asus Laptops.
3. I will install or test Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and Sabayon and RHEL(Red hat).

Thanks!
 
Old 09-24-2012, 02:17 PM   #2
JaseP
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If you are leaving the machine's default Windows install on the hard drive,... I would avoid HP or Toshiba... Drives are usually formatted with things like overlapping/hidden partitions and/or GPT/MBR hybrid partitions, making them a P.I.T.A. to install Linux as a dual-boot... Asus? don't know... but an OK rep.

As far as chipsets are concerned, many laptops will have dual chipsets (Intel/Nvidia switching, for example). Those don't work too well in Linux... If you want easy, and are unconcerned with performance, go with an Intel graphics chipset... Open source drivers... Reasonably up-to-date support from Intel too... Performance is... adequate,... for casual use (2D & 3D, both).

ATI is supposed to be Open Source with their drivers, but they aren't great,... Nvidia has reverse engineered open source drivers or proprietary drivers available. However Nvidia kind of thumbs their noses at the Linux world, providing lackluster support for their products in Linux (although, when they work, they usually work well). Some chipsets are just a bust...

Also important is the wireless chipset in the machine... You want something standard, and known to work well out-of-the-box, including the Bluetooth part. Looks at models in your price range and Google them. Those with a big support section in that Distro's forums, and no solutions = bad. A decent processor,and amount of RAM is important, depending on how you'll use it (Virtual machines?! Minimum is an i3 chipset that has hardware VM support,... not all i3 or i5 chips do).

Note,... the failure rate of hardware is historically about 20%,... Make sure you buy from a dealer that doesn't claim you void your warranty if you install Linux... Believe it or not, Walmart is actually OK there,... no questions asked return policy for the first few days, I believe...

Last edited by JaseP; 09-24-2012 at 02:18 PM.
 
Old 09-24-2012, 02:32 PM   #3
sag47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JK-2503 View Post
Hi, i have these questions:
1. Which Graphic card is better for linux dist. in a laptop?
ATI or Nvidia?
2. Basically, i want to know which gamma (or if someone have specific model) is better to use in linux from Toshiba and asus Laptops.
3. I will install or test Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and Sabayon and RHEL(Red hat).

Thanks!
For testing, why not just use a virtual machine like virtualbox? This way you can explore different distros without the hassle of partitioning your drive. Then when you find one you like you can replace your OS with the desired one.

I generally don't recommend RHEL or CentOS unless you plan on running a headless server. I don't even know why they include a GUI with it. For a regularly used desktop environment, I would recommend Fedora or Ubuntu. Though with Fedora you'll usually run into SELinux issues which isn't a problem if you plan on learning it; It's not so bad once you do (search selinux on my LQ blog). If you plan on using Ubuntu might I recommend KUbuntu?

The Linux Kernel 3.0 supports modern hardware very well so at this point in time choosing laptops is more of a preference rather than a hardware support game of roulette. Both ATI and nVidia have greatly improved their Linux support over the years. Like JaseP said, your biggest problem might be finding a supported wireless chipset so when you find a laptop you like research the Wireless chipset to see if it's supported under Linux.

If you're really looking to learn the grit of Linux then I would recommend LinuxFromScratch, ArchLinux, or Gentoo (all source based distros). Try taking this quiz to see what might best suit you.

Last edited by sag47; 09-24-2012 at 02:35 PM.
 
Old 09-25-2012, 11:19 AM   #4
snowpine
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Ubuntu certified hardware:
http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/

Red Hat certified hardware:
http://www.redhat.com/rhel/compatibility/hardware/

etc.
 
Old 10-03-2012, 12:06 PM   #5
JK-2503
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Hi,thanks for your answers.
Quote:
ATI is supposed to be Open Source with their drivers, but they aren't great,... Nvidia has reverse engineered open source drivers or proprietary drivers available. However Nvidia kind of thumbs their noses at the Linux world, providing lackluster support for their products in Linux (although, when they work, they usually work well). Some chipsets are just a bust...
It's completely sure that the video hardware drivers downloaded for linux works perfectly?.
One i saw was, nvidia gf 610m, i found it for linux at nvidia webpage,but i dont know if it works perfectly
Quote:
If you are leaving the machine's default Windows install on the hard drive,... I would avoid HP or Toshiba... Drives are usually formatted with things like overlapping/hidden partitions and/or GPT/MBR hybrid partitions, making them a P.I.T.A. to install Linux as a dual-boot... Asus? don't know... but an OK rep.
So, what brand is better for installing linux?, i'm considering Dell, too.
Quote:
Also important is the wireless chipset in the machine... You want something standard, and
known to work well out-of-the-box, including the Bluetooth part...
Like JaseP said, your biggest problem might be finding a supported wireless chipset so when you find a laptop you like research the Wireless chipset to see if it's supported under Linux.
Sure, but, how do i know the wireless driver of the model? They always say 802.11, or 802.11 g driver.
Sorry for newbie questions.
Thanks!

Last edited by JK-2503; 10-03-2012 at 12:07 PM.
 
Old 10-03-2012, 12:46 PM   #6
TroN-0074
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system76 is a good brand for Ubuntu, these computer are made so everything works with the software. I am not associated with them but if you are looking for a new laptop you should check them out.
Here is the link ---------> https://www.system76.com/

Last edited by TroN-0074; 10-03-2012 at 12:52 PM.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 10-03-2012, 01:00 PM   #7
EODSteven
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Nvidia 173 (tested)

The Nvidia 173 tested version in Ubuntu lts does not work. I had to install the most recent one. But the monitor and graphic card on that computer is 6 years old.
 
Old 10-03-2012, 01:38 PM   #8
NyteOwl
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Both Debian and Slackware have worked on the several Thinkpads I've tried them on. Slack works on Alienware as well. Other distros likely will too.

I have to agree than RHEL and CentOS are targeted mostly for server use, and while they can be used as desktop systems it is not their forte.
 
Old 10-03-2012, 01:53 PM   #9
suicidaleggroll
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My thinkpad has worked out of the box with every distro I've tried, including video and wireless, with no driver hoops to jump through.

It's a T420S with the integrated intel video and intel wifi. This one actually:
http://www.antonline.com/p_Lenovo--4...Hz-_887331.htm

But I swapped in 8GB of RAM and a Crucial M4 256GB SSD

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 10-03-2012 at 01:55 PM.
 
Old 10-03-2012, 03:04 PM   #10
JaseP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JK-2503 View Post
Sure, but, how do i know the wireless driver of the model? They always say 802.11, or 802.11 g driver.
Sorry for newbie questions.
Thanks!
Search the model in your favorite search engine along with the name of the distro that you intend to use...

If someone's tried it with that distro, you'll likely get the entire rundown, including steps needed to get things running correctly. Be aware that, sometimes, vendors switch out parts (particularly true of mini/micro-pcie wireless cards). So, it's possible to have several versions of a model number, some known to work well, others less so.
 
Old 10-04-2012, 07:06 AM   #11
dushyantgohil
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I am using ubuntu with Nvidia Graphic Card and its running great.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 10-04-2012, 07:18 AM   #12
EODSteven
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Fantastic!

I used the recommended version, (keep in mind the computer is 6 years old) and it crashed on me. I switched to the latest version (173) with all the updates and now it's running fine! I'm glad you didn't go thru what I did...I had to do a total reinstall so I could tweak the settings.
 
Old 10-04-2012, 08:29 AM   #13
aristocratic
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Hello JK. I'm a fellow newbie. I found the following site while reading through the openSuSE 12.1 documentation. It details the issues people have had putting specific Linux distros on specific laptops. Pretty eye-opening and educational. I am thinking about buying another laptop, so the information folks have posted in your thread is helpful to me. Thanks.

http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/
 
Old 10-04-2012, 08:54 AM   #14
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaseP View Post
As far as chipsets are concerned, many laptops will have dual chipsets (Intel/Nvidia switching, for example). Those don't work too well in Linux... If you want easy, and are unconcerned with performance, go with an Intel graphics chipset...
+1. I'm no Intel fanboi, but for laptops, I'd probably go for an intel system now. If not intel, then an AMD without 'switchable graphics'.

Besides 'switchable graphics', which is a pain, the newer nVidia GPU laptops are almost all 'optimus' models. Optimus has no offical support with linux, and while there are projects around that can let you use the nVidia GPU in optimus systems, they are not fun to setup, may or may not work depeing on your laptop, and in general optimus is pretty lame with linux (with windows it makes far more sense).

Quote:
Originally Posted by JK-2503 View Post
One i saw was, nvidia gf 610m, i found it for linux at nvidia webpage,but i dont know if it works perfectly
Most (all that I have seen anyway) of the laptops with 610Ms are optimus models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TroN-0074 View Post
system76 is a good brand for Ubuntu, these computer are made so everything works with the software. I am not associated with them but if you are looking for a new laptop you should check them out.
Here is the link ---------> https://www.system76.com/
system76, AKA 'we rebrand other poples laptops and sell them for a fairly large markup'. Fine for the ubuntu fanbois, those that feel unable to install ubuntu and/or people that cant be bothered finding a better deal....
 
  


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