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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 11-20-2004, 02:17 PM   #1
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Which distro has best laptop support

I am currently using Mandrake 10.1 community and have found that the laptop support for Mandrake has improved tremendously since 10.0. In the last version you had to rebuild the kernel to get the ACPI power functions to work. (So you got no battery monitor, power management, etc.) But even on the new 10.1 I am still having the following issues.

1) Touch pad driver sucks.
2) Suspend, Hibernate, etc never wake up.
3) Apparently no cpu power throttling
4) reduced battery life

Is there any distro that has more support for these problems than Mandrake?
Old 11-20-2004, 02:42 PM   #2
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I can't answer too technically, but,
I have a Dell Latitude P3/600 laptop and I had Ubuntu running on it and got about 90 mins - 2 hours or so battery life out of it. It seems to be accurate up to about "30% remaining" then decreases quite quickly. I didn't get as far as trying the Suspend mode and I think there's been posts on the Ubuntu forum about this issue. I say think because I didn't bother to look at that thread as I have no need of it.
Other than that everything on the laptop functioned perfectly.

My experience of Linux on laptops is extremely limited.
Hope it helps.
(Ubuntu is free.)
Old 11-20-2004, 07:28 PM   #3
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There's a review of SuSE Profesional 9.2 on OSnews laptops and it came out very good. Here's the link. The only problem is that the last time I checked SuSE Profesional 9.2 costs $90.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I use VectorLinux on my laptop, but as you can see from below, it's exceptionally old. I have tested everything except the mosem and the PCMCIA Slot and they it all works (even sound).

Last edited by Zuggy; 11-20-2004 at 07:32 PM.
Old 11-21-2004, 10:31 AM   #4
Registered: Apr 2004
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I have had two linux OS' on at different times, Fedora Core 1, and Mandrake 10.1 CE. My laptop is 4 years old (HP Pavilion 1.13Ghz, etc) I had very little problems with Fedora Core 1. I did not install FC1, I did it at a InstallFest. The only problem I had was that we installed FC1 on a 2 gig partition, and I needed more hard drive space.

After that I tried Mandrake 10.1 CE mainly because of its easy installation. The installation of Mandrake went fine, and everything looked great, yet my pcmcia modem didn't work in that OS and I couldn't find out why. They did have a driver for my winmodem, but something broke while I was attempting the install, and I haven't tried reinstalling Mandrake yet.

I have heard very good things about Fedora Core 3, and I think that is what I am going to try next. My personal favorite is Fedora, mainly because everything did work with no problems. Unfortunately, I'm stuck on dialup so I cannot conveniently download the FC3 isos immediately.
Old 11-21-2004, 10:45 AM   #5
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1) Touch pad driver sucks.
What kind of touchpad do you have? I have an ALPS touchpad and while it works right out of the box (so to speak) with a vanilla kernel it needs the alps.patch from the Synaptics Touchpad driver package to function correctly (with scroll pad working as expected and so on).
2) Suspend, Hibernate, etc never wake up.
Suspend and hibernate are really not working well in Linux, as much as I hate to say it. Hopefully the situation improves, and if you google around you will find a lot of kernel patches that intend to help the situation but these are mostly for specific laptop models. You haven't even told us what hardware you have so that doesn't make troubleshooting any easier.
3) Apparently no cpu power throttling
Apparently how? On my laptop cat /proc/acpi/processor/CPU0/info returns "throttling control : no" but with powernow-k8 loaded and running powernowd it works very well.
4) reduced battery life
That is to be expected when you're running at full CPU frequenzy all the time. Use hdparm to set a sensitive spindown time on your disk, this helps a lot as well.

Old 11-22-2004, 02:12 AM   #6
Registered: Sep 2003
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What sort of laptop do you have?

I have a Toshiba A15 S129 and ran Fedora on it for about a year with no issues. I'm currently using Ubuntu and everything works out of the box. Mepis also worked very well.
Old 11-22-2004, 11:21 AM   #7
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Here are my machine specs:

Fujitsu C2220 Lifebook

2.4 Ghz Pentium 4 M
512 MB Ram
Radion LGP340M Graphics Card
Broadcom BCM 4306 Wireless network card
-- I have it running under NDIS Wrapper

-Is ACPI Compliant
-The CPU does not appear to throttle when
I tell it to go to power save move (on the laptop
power Icon)
-I cant find information on the touchpad in the
Fujitsu website.


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