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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 04-14-2014, 11:58 PM   #1
aal
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Replace Chrome with Linux???


Hi all,

I am looking for a new low-cost mini laptop (or tablet PC?):

*10 - 11" screen. 1080 * 800 pixels ISP and up.
*32 or 64 GB SSD on board, with SD slot.
*Probably 2 GB RAM.
*If possible a hybrid, that can run as tablet with GPS, would be a nice bonus.
*Long battery life >8hrs.
*Decent keyboard.

I have two questions.

1. It seems to me that many of the most cost effective machines in this area are shipping with chrome OS, but I want linux, (eg: OpenSUSE 13.x.)

Is it the case that virtually any machine that is loaded with Chrome OS "easily" be converted to run whatever linux distro the user likes?

2. The best value I am finding is from brands like ACER, Samsung, Lenovo, HP.

Where else should I be looking??

Many thanks in advance.

Andrew.
 
Old 04-15-2014, 02:55 AM   #2
John VV
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Chrome OS is a linux based Operating System

also SUSE and low end hardware DO NOT MIX
suse is VERY bloated and dose require a LOT of system resources
13.1
4 gig ram is a good Minimum
and a rather good 3d card
though a "tablet " ??? might be able to use xfce

but suse will be a bit SLOW on it

http://activedoc.opensuse.org/book/o...on-quick-start

section 1.2
http://activedoc.opensuse.org/book/o...lquick.sysreqs


but that dose not include the need for a GUI
 
Old 04-15-2014, 03:28 AM   #3
aal
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Hi John VV,

Thanks for that. Although I did read a good report on opensuse's support for touchscreens and have used it a lot in the past, I agree that it may be too much for small machine and I would need more RAM, or a different distro. This is not my major concern at the moment. I will sort out the details after selecting hardware, but before buying it.

Of course, chrome is linux based, but a concern was that it is said to a very limited OS?

So my main question was about the issues in changing from chrome to other linux distros in general. Are there major issues, or is it generally speaking straightforward for many distros?

And could you advise what distro may be more suitable?

Cheers...

Andrew.
 
Old 04-15-2014, 08:02 AM   #4
sgosnell
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A chromebook with an Intel Haswell CPU will run any Linux distro fine. An ARM device might have problems, since many distros don't provide much ARM support. Debian does, but I don't know about OpenSUSE. But if you get one of the newer models with a Haswell CPU it will work fine. I would recommend one of the models with 4GB RAM, since 2GB might be a little limiting. The other limiting factor is the storage, but you can use external storage. The reasons the chromebooks are cheap are that there is that the OS is free, and the internal storage is small, thus cheap. A 16GB SSD doesn't cost a lot. I kept ChromeOS on my Acer C720, and run full Debian Sid on a USB flash drive, with no issues at all. You can upgrade the internal SSD if you want, it's easy enough to do on this model, but not on every device. Do some research on the model you decide on.
 
Old 04-15-2014, 08:40 AM   #5
aal
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Thanks sgosnell,

That is very interesting, as I am looking at the Acer C720 models as one of the top two choices (the other being samsung chromebook 2 or 3).

If I get a c720, I would probably not take any of the touchscreen versions.

I don't see any 4GB C720 models, only 2GB, so how much RAM have you got on yours? Also, I have only seen celeron CPU options. Are there also Haswell C720s?

Running linux from a flash drive (or the SD slot, assuming that's doable?) may be the ideal approach, leaving more of the tiny internal SDD. I recall there are also 32GB c720 models in the US, but can't seem to find one here (I am in New Delhi at the moment).

Cheers.....

Andrew.
 
Old 04-15-2014, 09:25 AM   #6
sgosnell
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All the C720s have Haswell CPUs. Haswell and Celeron are not mutually exclusive. You can have a Haswell Celeron, or a plain Celeron.

The 4GB models can be hard to find, but they're available. You have to search for them. I haven't heard of 32GB SSDs in C720s, but they may exist. I use this drive to hold Linux. Other sizes are available. You can use the SD slot, but it's not optimal. Every chromebook I know of uses an SD slot which makes the SD card stick out of the slot, at least 2/3 of the length. The SanDisk protrudes far less, and is more secure. You can also get a microSD card reader that doesn't stick out as far as the SD card does from its slot. IMO, using the USB3.0 slot is the better choice.

The Samsung chromebooks use ARM CPUs, and running Linux on them is more difficult. I wouldn't recommend them unless you plan to only run ChromeOS. ARM support is getting better, but it's still not on a par with Intel x86 or AMD64. I'm very happy with my C720, and recommend it for whatever one might plan to use it for. The price, battery life, and flexibility are hard to beat, if they can be at all.
 
Old 04-15-2014, 10:37 AM   #7
aal
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Thanks sgosnell,

That clarifies a lot.

Just one more (little) thing. I recall a couple of years ago putting opensuse 12 on an old Pentium IV machine with only 600 MB of RAM. As expected, with KDE4 the machine was SLOW, SLOW. SLOW. But after replacing it with KDE3, all was good. The KDE4 to KDE3 transition was well supported, because so many people wanted it.

However, that was 12 and I never used opensuse 13 yet. Still, I see no problem switching to Debian or Ubuntu or mint. Don't much like recent gnomes.

Whatever. I'd be thinking that the important thing is to get a KDE3 or similar level desktop, regardless of distribution. Is that vaguely reasonable?

Cheers...

Andrew.
 
Old 04-15-2014, 11:36 AM   #8
sgosnell
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You can install any desktop environment on any distro, AFAIK. Certainly you can on Debian and its derivatives. My personal preference is Xfce, but it's personal, and everyone has their own preferred DE. Xfce runs well on almost any hardware, and I use it on ARM boxes, an old Asus eee-pc, and my C720. It's the current Debian default, and it's a good starting point. If you want, you can install other DEs. I'm not that familiar with KDE, nor which versions are available. Other possibilities are Mate and Cinnamon, but I've never used them.
 
Old 04-15-2014, 09:37 PM   #9
aal
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Hi,

The low profile flash drive looks pretty cool. Do you find that USB2 is really fast enough to run your OS on a daily basis?
 
Old 04-15-2014, 10:46 PM   #10
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usb2
NO, it will be almost not usable
get used to waiting a few seconds for a mouse click to do something

now usb3 is fast
 
Old 04-15-2014, 11:00 PM   #11
sgosnell
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BS. Debian runs well from the USB drive. No delays at all.
 
Old 04-15-2014, 11:10 PM   #12
aal
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Okay,

Thanks. Thanks to both for conflicting views. Depending on local usb 3 pricing, I shall suck and see with usb2, and shell out for 3 if I find that I am in mouse click pain.

Good to go now. Many thanks for such focused help.

Andrew.
 
  


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