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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).


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Old 04-20-2006, 12:25 PM   #1
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Best Linux Distro in laptops

Hi all

I am new to this site and I would like to know which distro of Linux is best suited for Laptops . .

Moreover I am planning to buy a new laptop ..

Which Brand and company has less problems with Linux ..

I would like to use the Laptop for Development USE .. So which hardware configuration ( Processor ) is best suited ..

Thanks and Regards

R.Pranesh Krishnan
Old 04-20-2006, 12:32 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2006
Location: holland
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I don't think there is a BEST distro for laptops.. You just need to check the HCL of all distro's .. to see what they support.

My advice would be to just first make a choice in what laptop you want to buy, and then see what distro supports the hardware in it. But you should take a look at the LQ HCL laptop section.

here is the link:

Last edited by puntjuh; 04-20-2006 at 12:35 PM.
Old 04-20-2006, 01:01 PM   #3
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Distribution: Debian-Lenny/Sid 32/64 Desktop: Generic AMD64-EVGA 680i Laptop: Generic Intel SIS-AC97
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Here's a tip. Buy a generic type laptop rather than a brand name. The hardware will be slightly less than cutting edge, but it's very likely to work with any modern distro out-of-the-box. Buy it from a local computer store (not a national chain), and tell them not to install any OS. Assuming you want Windows and Linux both installed, just tell them to give you the disk. You won't save very much money, but you'll have good hardware support, and way less grief all around.
Old 04-20-2006, 07:54 PM   #4
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Ubuntu Dapper Drake (this is the beta one) is a good bet because the wireless for ipw2200, ipw2100 and Atheros is built right into the kernel. I can get wireless working 5 minutes into the install.

I can say that I have FC5 working perfectly on a Dell D600 (with a Orinoco Silver card) and Ubuntu Dapper Drake working perfectly on an HP NC6000 (with Atheros AR5212). Both with no tinkering. Working perfectly to me means suspend to RAM works and has no issues. FC5 didn't work well on the HP at all, that's why I tried Ubuntu.

I'd recommend getting a used one that's known to work over a new one (unless it's known to work) and a Business laptop over a Home laptop.
Old 04-23-2006, 10:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ktaylo58
FC5 didn't work well on the HP at all, that's why I tried Ubuntu.

I'd recommend getting a used one that's known to work over a new one (unless it's known to work) and a Business laptop over a Home laptop.
I disagree. I have a DV8000 and have installed FC5 on it with minimal hassle. Even the suspend seems to work well. I would say, if you can let us know what issues you had with installing FC5 on an HP, I would be glad to help. I have documented my experience with FC5 on my 64 bit laptop at my website which cannot publish here it seems. . Drop me a line and I will let you know the URL. It is also at the linux on laptop website. Or google "DV8000 Fedora".

Old 02-08-2008, 11:39 AM   #6
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Best Distribution/Laptop

The two primary Linux distributions I work with include OpenSUSE and Ubuntu. I have had no problems with these distributions on desktop systems, and I have had few problems on laptops.

The best laptops I have used Linux on:

Nexlink 15.4CV (Seneca Data) Generic Build (Core 2 Duo, 2GB DDR2) (Best Linux laptop I have ever used to date! Also runs Leopard, Vista, XP)
Dell Latitude C640 (Pentium IV Mobile, 256MB RAM) (Slow, mind you it does not have much RAM at all)
IBM ThinkPad T22 (Pentium III, 256MB RAM) (Slowest of them all, but always compatible)

Worst Laptops:
HP Pavilion DV6000 (AMD Turion X2, 512MB RAM) (Freezes, small glitches, too propriety)

All in all, Linux is flexible, however, it seems not to adapt very well to the propriety hardware HP throws at it. IBM and Dell remain my top picks for compatibility with Linux (I prefer IBM for its build quality). I give Dell credit for selling laptops with Ubuntu already installed.

Ubuntu, Kubuntu, OpenSUSE remain my top picks for Linux Distributions requiring little configuration on mobile devices. They allow most beginners the ability to configure Linux on their laptops without hours of terminal use.

Last edited by lupodellalfa; 02-08-2008 at 11:42 AM.
Old 02-24-2008, 10:41 AM   #7
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Hi all,

I am planning to get a laptop, been googling and asking people, and Aspire 2920-5A1G16Mi caught my eyes, because it is within my budget and it has Linux BE (Basic Edition) inside, Linux BE is made by Acer.

So anyone ever use this laptop? any review about it? The most important thing for me having a laptop and linux are the soundcard and wifi, they have to be working perfectly. I am not really into computer games, then i wont need 3D support.
Old 02-26-2008, 07:43 AM   #8
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: China
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Here are some useful tips about linux on laptops:

You may pay attention to the sections about wifi and sound card, or what you are interested in. Usually most of the problems can be solved, but sometimes it takes time of searching the Internet.
Old 02-26-2008, 07:47 AM   #9
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: 'Ol Blighty
Distribution: SLED 10, SUSE 10.3
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"Generic" type might be a bit difficult to describe - however OPEN SUSE 10.3 both 32 bit and 64 bit ran straight out of the box on 2 Phillips laptops I have -- one the older X59 Freevents and the newer 2 GB one called "Freevents streaming" with 2GB RAM (including Sound working perfectly - both laptops and in 32 / 64 bit modes).)

The Internal Intel wireless card worked straight away (both machines), video drivers + intel video acceleration (3d) enabled worked at correct resolution (1200 X 800) and EVEN THE BUILT IN SD / MMC CARD READER.

I put the last in caps since until now I've never been able to get built in card readers to work in Linux.

So Thumbs up to both OPENSUSE 10.3 AND PHILLIPS FREEVENTS computers ( you can buy 2 of these compared with 1 SONY or TOSHIBA).

OPENSUSE both 32 bit and 64 bit would be my choice -- and for the dual core intel processors there's no reason NOT to choose the 64 bit version.

Dual booting with 32 bit Windows XP is also no problem either -- nor running Virtual machines (both 32 and 64 bit guests) either.

This is the FIRST distro I've been able to use STRAIGHT FROM THE BOX with either 32 or 64 bit versions on a laptop ( 2 laptops !!) without actaually having to do ANYTHING.

Another little nicety is that it also has (if you choose the KDE desktop) a few KDE 4 apps which work in the current 3.X version of KDE --such as RDP and VNC both of which connected to remote Windows / Linux machines ON THE FIRST GO.

OK I add a little caveat here -- as is common with pretty well all Linux Distros you have to change XINE and and LIBDVDCSS to get full DVD playback to work -- software installed perfectly from the pacman / videolan sites. DVD playback 100% both in 32 and 64 bit versions.

Well done SUSE this time around -- now Windows in my environment is not going to be there much longer --and I have NO intention of using VISTA.

SUSE 11 is in alpha currently -- I may or may not choose it - main advantage would be KDE4 but ÓpenSUSE 10.3 is near enough a "Mom and Pop" Linux distro as I've ever seen - no Windows user would feel lost in it, and it's as stable as a rock.

If you like tinkering as well there's no problem either.

If you've EVER had the misfortune to try and connect a VISTA 64 bit machine to anything other than another 64 bit Windows server - well that will put you off VISTA 64 bit for life. You can't connect to even a Windows 32 bit server for printing etc as you can ONLY load Microsoft approved digitally signed drivers. Also 32 Bit drivers won't work so if you want connection to 32 bit Printer servers --you are stymied.

Microsoft you've just given people the BEST opportuinity know to try Linux --and Open SUSE 10.3 IMO is THE BEST YET (either in 64 or 32 bit mode).



Last edited by 1kyle; 02-26-2008 at 08:13 AM.
Old 02-26-2008, 08:16 AM   #10
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If course a Beyond Linux From Scratch, compiled by me, with a selection of software by my choice; why bother asking, when the answer is crystal clear?

Really, there is no "best distribution" - if there was, all the laptops in the world would ship with it preinstalled. It's just the distribution that suits you best, and to know which one it is, you have to try a number of them. Yourself. With the specific laptop you want it on.
Old 02-26-2008, 08:38 AM   #11
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This is a bit of an unconventional answer: Arch Linux

I have been struggling with a new HP Compaq 8510w. Different distros would have things that worked --or **almost** worked--out of the box. I was getting caught in an endless loop trying to figure out why distro A worked for something, and then apply that info to distro B.

Finally, I decided to go back to basics. Arch is one of the easiest of the "bottoms up" distros. I very quickly learned to bring up the wireless completely from the terminal. In the process, I think I learned that my particular wireless card (Intel 4965) works more consistently on kernel 2.6.24**. Arch is the only distro I found that provides this thru the package manager.

I also made progress in getting the basic suspend and hibernate functions working---also strictly using the terminal.

The whole adventure confirms my earlier conclusion that Arch is an ideal route for anyone who wants things exactly their way and does not want any "fluff". I am considering making it my new default (although re-configuring the main family machine is not making my list of fun things to do.)

**The relevant thing in this kernel is that some of the Intel "iwl" code--and the 4965 driver now are built in to the kernel. I'm not smart enough to understand how this might relate to my issues. All I know so far is that --with Arch and the CLI utilities--wireless now works consistently.
Old 02-26-2008, 12:30 PM   #12
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Arch gets my vote too, I have yet to find ANYTHING that is i686 or higher that I can't install it on, including 4 totally different laptops. It's packages don't have many customizations, so you won't run into many distribution specific problems. It also helps that everything is generally up to date, the latest kernels and drivers really help with compatibility.
Old 02-26-2008, 04:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by praneshkrishnan View Post
Hi all

I am new to this site and I would like to know which distro of Linux is best suited for Laptops . .

Moreover I am planning to buy a new laptop ..

Which Brand and company has less problems with Linux ..

I would like to use the Laptop for Development USE .. So which hardware configuration ( Processor ) is best suited ..

Thanks and Regards

R.Pranesh Krishnan
If you don't know what you're doing then you're best of buying a laptop from somewhere like Dell which offer linux preinstalled.

Failing that - I've got an Asus laptop which has a custom wifi and GFX chip. The only distro which I've found detects everything (al beit with some tweaking) is Arch. Every other distro either wouldn't pick up the GFX and/or the wifi despite hours, days and sometimes even weeks of trying.
Old 02-26-2008, 06:00 PM   #14
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:45 PM   #15
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I have just thrown Ubuntu 7.10 into my toshiba satelite A200 and i picked every thing up straight away, only had to enable the wireless utility and i was away.

Would recommend this to a beginner. however stay away from fedora 7 on toshiba laptops they just dont like it for some reason.


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