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Old 08-12-2008, 10:21 PM   #1
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Help me build a Linux-ready laptop

Greetings all! Apologies if this belongs in the "Laptops" forum, but I'm a total newcomer to Linux so this seemed like the right place.

No Linux yet but I'm hoping you all can help me start off on the right foot. I want to purchase a used or refurbed laptop and run a Linux desktop, primary to be used for web browsing, word processing, basic image editing and web design.

Here are the kinds of programs the new machine needs to be able to run:

- Text editor a la Notepad++ or TextMate
- Basic FTP program like Fetch or FileZilla
- Multiple browsers
- Web server like Mongrel
- Version control software like Subversion
- Basic graphics program like GIMP. I don't need 500 filters but I do need to be able to crop, resize and optimize images (for making buttons, banners and backgrounds, etc).

Hardware wish list:

- CD burner
- Multiple USB ports
- VGA/DVI output if possible
- Reliable
- ~12" screen is fine

I'll use it for web design work (HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL and RoR) and my wife will probably want to use it for the browsing and/or word processing.

No games. Most websites are pretty small and I'll back up frequently, so the memory/hard drive size requirements shouldn't be exorbitant.

So. If you had my requirements and were going to get a relatively lightweight, basic, reasonably secure, nothing-on-it-that-doesn't-need-to-be-there Linux-running laptop, what would be some minimums/desirable pieces of equipment?

Thanks for any and all advice!
Old 08-12-2008, 10:45 PM   #2
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Distribution: debian, ubuntu, sidux
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The dell vostro line is a good fit and reasonably priced especially if you aren't gaming on it, don't go with the nvidia chipset in the laptop as they've been having lots of issues with them.


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