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glupa4e 12-05-2012 02:28 PM

Suitable Laptop for Salckware 14

I am using now one old laptop ASUS M50VC (Intel Cored 2 Duo, NVIDIA GeForce, Atheros Wireless). I would like to change it with a new one. The problem is that i am not quite sure if the hardware that i will buy will be compliant with Linux. That is why i would like to ask you to share your experience about the hardware and its support by Linux. I would like to have everything working with as less additional installations as possible after the initial installation of Slackware 14 - Video, Wireless, Audio. Please let me know what kind of hardware should i look for in order to have everything "out of box"? For Example:
Intel - OK
Video Card - NVIDIA / Intel HD Graphics or ?
Wireless Card - Atheros or ... ?

Thank you!

a4z 12-05-2012 02:39 PM

no problems with
lenovo w500
lenovo T410s
lenovo x121e
an older fujitsu life book s7110
minor issues with lenovo edge e330 (broadcom wireless)
in short, in average the chance to have some problems with not so common or proprietary only hardware might be greater on consumer notebooks.
dual graphic, nvidia still a problem, some ATI work.
google for linux on notebooks might help

glupa4e 12-05-2012 02:59 PM


one more question, there are some laptops with a combination of SSD + HDD hard drive for a quicker loading of OS, reading and writing of the system partiotion. Do you know if this is also supportes or not or does it matter?


muahahaha9001 12-05-2012 03:01 PM

NewEgg has a good price on a refurbished Lenovo X61 Tablet that I've just gotten Slackware 14 running on. These are about the price, size, and power, as a netbook except they were made in 2008. Differentiators are the Wacom-powered touch screen, a PCMIA slot, and a higher-resolution screen which may or may not be an IPS screen depending on the model you find. Since they're ThinkPads, they are also very durable.

muahahaha9001 12-05-2012 03:10 PM

If you're looking at a SSD+HDD combination, you have a couple good options. Generally speaking, most laptops that offer this functionality do it at the software-level. Take for example Apple's new Core Fusion technology. All that stuff is proprietary so you probably won't be able to do something similar with linux.

Unless you buy one of the NCQ solid state hard drive hybrids that perform the same kind of thing at the hardware (well, firmware really) level. They are pretty nice actually. They're a 2.5 inch form factor and can be used in place of any SATA laptop hard drive.

The other good option is a laptop that can swap out the SSD and HDD independent from each other. The reason why is because MLC based SSDs have a limited lifespan so you can bet on the SSD portion of the storage failing one day. If you partition your drive so that your /home partition and maybe /usr/local and /var partitions are on the HDD while the rest of the system resides on the SSD, then when the SSD fails there is a chance that your data is still intact on the HDD. Simple replacing the SSD and reinstalling to it should be an easy fix for when it fails.

qweasd 12-05-2012 09:36 PM

I bought this laptop recently, and I am loving it. Hardware is certified for Linux, no M$-tax, and I got to support a vendor who cares about users' freedom. Everything looks and feels totally solid with Slackware 14 and 3.6.6 linux-libre kernel. I had to request a custom $13 Atheros wireless, but now I got 100% support with the deblobbed kernel.

The only complain I have so far I share with Linus Torvalds: the screen resolution is too small.

frankbell 12-05-2012 10:13 PM

I've had good luck with Dells. They do tend to have Broadcom wireless, which requires a couple of extra steps to get working, but all my Dells have performed very well with Slackware.

Grischuna 12-05-2012 10:19 PM


I bought 3 weeks ago a Lenovo T530 with an Intel i7 3520M processor and Intel HD 4000 graphic card including a 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) LED Backlit AntiGlare Display.

Installed Slackware64 14.0 in Dualboot with Windows7. Everything (bluetooth, wireless, camera, sound, micro, etc.) is working out of the box including the special keys except the fingerprint reader (147e:2020 Upek) that is not yet supported under Linux as of my knowledge. All I did 'special' is to upgrade to the latest kernel due to the graphic card.


00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Ivy Bridge DRAM Controller (rev 09)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Ivy Bridge Graphics Controller (rev 09)
00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation Panther Point USB xHCI Host Controller (rev 04)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation Panther Point MEI Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:16.3 Serial controller: Intel Corporation Panther Point KT Controller (rev 04)
00:19.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection (rev 04)
00:1a.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation Panther Point USB Enhanced Host Controller #2 (rev 04)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation Panther Point High Definition Audio Controller (rev 04)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Panther Point PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev c4)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Panther Point PCI Express Root Port 2 (rev c4)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Panther Point PCI Express Root Port 3 (rev c4)
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation Panther Point USB Enhanced Host Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Panther Point LPC Controller (rev 04)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation Panther Point 6 port SATA Controller [AHCI mode] (rev 04)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation Panther Point SMBus Controller (rev 04)
02:00.0 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd Device e823 (rev 07)
03:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 (rev 3e)


Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 147e:2020 Upek
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0a5c:21e6 Broadcom Corp.
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 5986:02d2 Acer, Inc

It is not the cheapest Laptop on the market but I am very happy with it.


glupa4e 12-06-2012 02:34 AM

thank you for your opinions so far. I do not want a touch screen or tablet or something that is very expensive. As far as i can understand until now i should be looking for Intel, NVIDIA for videocard, Atheros for wireless and hope that audio and everything else will work with kernel 3.2.29 because i still do not know how to upgrade or compile a linux kernel.

tomtomjkw 12-06-2012 03:24 PM


Modern laptops with discrete graphics are almost exclusively equipped with switchable graphics - be aware that it might cause some problems for you. There's a useful thread that might be good place to start with:

If I were you, I would reconsider whether you need a discrete graphics or not. Intel integrated graphics is pretty powerful nowadays, so there's no need for Nvidia if you do not intend to play more demanding games.

In my opinion, there's nothing like "laptop suitable for Slackware" nowadays; Slackware 14.0 runs out of the box on pretty much everything I've tried - even the infamous Broadcom wifi cards just work. So I think that you should find laptop that suits your needs in other areas and just install Slack on it.

onebuck 12-06-2012 04:46 PM

Member Response

I have a refurbished 'Dell XPS L702X' Optimus using Intel & Nvidia. To use both GPU 'Bumblebee' had to be installed & configured. Documented here on the Slackware forum, so a search can help you find that information. Bang for the buck is great when selecting a refurbished Dell.

Just be aware for any laptop with dual graphics chipsets you will need to set up things to use both. Some members think Optimus is a pain but not really that difficult.

The choice to do again, heck yes. I like having nice hardware at a far price. :)

croxen 12-07-2012 08:12 AM

I've run Slackware on a variety of older Thinkpads over the years, starting with an ancient 701c "Butterfly" back in the 90s. Currently my daily machine is a T43 (from 2005) with Slack 14.

I agree with nearly everything said here, but I personally would avoid Atheros wireless cards nowadays. I used them frequently (with this machine and others) on various 2.6.x kernels, and they were always stable and reliable on the ath9k driver on these kernels. However, I've never been able to get this driver and these cards working reliably (or sometimes at all) on any 3.x.x kernel whatever, from the 3.0 through the 3.4 series. Problems range from not finding the device at all to disconnecting every 15-30 seconds. Retired the Atheros cards to a box for the time being, and began using cheap Broadcom chipset cards, which do all seem stable once you get them working.

Just my $.02

sycamorex 12-07-2012 08:16 AM

A happy ThinkPad T410 user here.

qweasd 12-07-2012 09:02 AM


Atheros Communications Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)
works like magic with 3.6.6.

bimboleum 12-07-2012 12:32 PM

I too have run Slackware on many flavours of Thinkpad, from the old B&W to my latest (W530).
Slackware runs fine on all of them.

On the W530, I have disabled the NVidia GPU in the BIOS ... dont do games, cannot handle the hassle!
Everything works just about out of the box. The only thing I have not been able to get working is my
Bluetooth headset. It pairs up OK ... so the bluetooth chip is working OK ... but when you try and
play anything through it, the best that you get is some sort of white noise. I have tried everything
I know (which is not a lot) but to no avail.


pete hilton

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