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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 05-10-2008, 12:44 AM   #1
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Question Is building a Linux laptop really a crazy idea?

I'm told by some one person that this is actually better than buying a store brand laptop. I am told by many others that this is a stupid idea. So...which side should I trust, and why?
Old 05-10-2008, 02:23 AM   #2
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Laptop motherboards aren't readily avaliable in the shops and moulding your own case is going to be tricky.....sorry, I'm being silly.

Linux on laptops is just a case of a bit of research. My GF has a shop bought Acer and it runs Ubuntu 8.04 without a problem. is a good starting point

Last edited by okmyx; 05-10-2008 at 02:24 AM.
Old 05-10-2008, 02:23 AM   #3
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Well, I have never seen all the part necessary to build a laptop. What I do is buy a cheap new laptop at some store so I can get the extended warranty. I personally shop at Micro Center because they sell cheap hardware only warranties. Then I get on line and find extra RAM and maybe a bigger hard drive. Of course I finish off by installing Fedora. Ubuntu is also a good choice for laptops. Good luck.
Old 05-10-2008, 03:32 AM   #4
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If you really want to do it :
353000 hits on Google for 'build own labtop'
(also advises why you shouldn't do it)

PS.: All parts are available.
Old 05-10-2008, 03:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by okmyx View Post
Laptop motherboards aren't readily avaliable in the shops and moulding your own case is going to be tricky.....sorry, I'm being silly.
Well, you can get laptop motherboards and you can get the cases already moulded, although they are substabtially harder to source than the equivalent desktop parts. In fact, if you are going to do this, you usually buy the motherboard and case as combined deal and select from a shortlist of optical/hard disk options.

Whether, in the end, this amounts to a great deal more than buying from a big supplier (Dell/HP/Lenovo/Toshiba...) with whom you can go down a list of options for one particular chassis (disk drives, ram size, wireless) apart from the fact that in one case you get to do the Ikea thing, including the bit where you try holding the instructions upside down or reading the German version, just to see if that helps, where in the other case someone does it, I don't know.

More seriously, I fail to see the advantage of the complete DIY approach to laptops. By the time you've added up all the costs, they are surprisingly close. Now there is the advantage that exactly none of your money goes to fund the world domination ambitions of inadequate megacorps, but you would expect that to be one of the factors that makes the 'home build' cheaper. And you have to factor in to your calculations the less good warranty situation.

So where, with a desktop, you are in a better position to 'janitor's broom' your kit to a long and productive life as you incrementally upgrade and that is a large part of the justification for taking that appraoch, with a Laptop, those kind of incremental upgrades are probably not on the cards anyway, which, to me, kind of defeats any point it might have had.
Old 05-10-2008, 03:50 AM   #6
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With the prices you can nowadays get if you look for them, I find it just a waste of time building a computer most of the time - unless it's for some special need, like supercomputing or something. And laptops..nah, I don't think you'll save too much. The shop-bought ready models work well with Linux on board if you just take a look of the hardware and make sure there are no known bombs inside. Even the notorious Broadcom wireless chips work under Linux well nowadays, so it's hardly worth it to start collecting "good hardware for Linux". I doubt if it's any cheaper either.

For me a "Linux laptop" is a laptop running Linux, and those are easy to get, either preinstalled or self-installed.

EDIT: but if I had the money and had the time, of course I'd try building my own laptop for fun.


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