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Old 01-26-2012, 08:49 PM   #1
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New to Linux and want to buy a Laptop needing very little work to run Linux.

Would like to get started without knowing the very inner details of tweaking my new system's graphic card drivers and needing to re-compile code to get up and running the first time. Any suggestions/guidance would be very appreciated!

Need time to RTFM and come up to speed in many different areas.
Old 01-26-2012, 09:02 PM   #2
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Purchase a laptop with Linux preinstalled, problem solved!

For example (no commercial affiliation):

Alternately, choose a distro (Mint, Ubuntu, Debian, Slackware, Fedora, etc) and see if they have a certified hardware list.

For example:
Old 01-26-2012, 09:13 PM   #3
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The simplest thing to do would be the get one with Linux installed; they aren't exorbitant, but you won't find one for bargain-basement prices.

Two US vendors offer them: System 76 and Zareason.

Dell USA has a few with native Linux (always Ubuntu and usually a version or two behind Ubuntu's release schedule); they're kind of hidden on the website. You can search for Linux, then look at the computers and click the "Tech Specs" tab to see whether Linux is an option; as near as I can tell, Linux availability won't be on the front page for the computers, just in the Tech Specs listing.

If you're not on the US, you might need to search your local suppliers or, for a company like Dell, the Dell site for your company.

If you want to get something else, you can start with the HCL (Hardware Compatibility List) list here at LQ.

Wireless is the most frequent problem. Broadcom wireless can be a little problematic to set up on some distros.
Old 01-27-2012, 01:19 PM   #4
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I'd recommend looking at available laptops and drawing up a shortlist of ones you like. Then, for each one, search the web for for "linux" and the name of the model. If you find a lot of cries for help on the various forums, cross that one off the list!
Old 01-27-2012, 03:31 PM   #5
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well, the easiest would most definitely be buying a new linux PC. The cheapest would be to install linux.
If you choose the latter, here are some suggestions of mine:

Good Newbie OSes are Linux Mint and Ubuntu Linux, imo. They are very user-friendly, have a HUGE selection on drivers by default, so your card has a high chance of working out-of-the-box. SUSE with KDE has a reputation for being the most office and windows-like.
Most popular Linux distros come with a you can check if it works or not.

In case you do choose to use an Ubuntu-based distribution, check out WUBI, it'll allow you to run Linux as a start-up Windows program, and can be installed and removed like any other Windows Program. Quite nifty, eh?

hope this helps!
Old 01-27-2012, 08:09 PM   #6
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In the UK, try Linux Emporium.
Old 01-27-2012, 10:03 PM   #7
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In my personal opinion, Linux has made huge strides in the last several years in the category of hardware compatibility. With that in mind I really don't think it is necessary to buy a pre-installed Linux machine. The one waring I will give you, I've always had trouble with non Intel graphics. If you don't mind integrated graphics just go with the integrated Intel option. That is what I did with my last computer purchase and I'm so happy that I did. Everything simply runs smoother.
Old 01-30-2012, 02:46 AM   #8
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If you can get a ThinkPad (old IBM, now Lenovo) you will not have any hardware issues. Linux runs perfect on these machines. Get some Ubuntu or Mint distribution.
Old 01-30-2012, 02:54 AM   #9
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