Linux-compatible laptop suggestions

Linux-compatible laptop suggestions

Post by roodwri.. » Fri, 09 Sep 2005 02:53:13



I'm looking for recommendations for a 100 percent Linux-compatible laptop.
My needs are changing and I need a laptop as an adjunct to my desktop Linux
box. Since I'm not a geek, I need something that I can just slam my SuSE
disks into and the thing just work.

I need something reliable with at least 512 meg RAM and a CD or DVD burner,
preferably, of course a DVD burner, but a CD will work. Of course, it needs
a Linux-compatible modem since I'll be on the road more.

I was lucky enough to talk the people at Wal-Mart, Circuit City and Best Buy
into letting me try a Knoppix disk on some of their machines, but none of
them (It was tedious--I didn't try all of them) had a compatible modem.

I spent some hours Googling, but everything that had a useful review always
said something like: Everything works except...

I don't want any exceptions or something I'm going to have to spend weeks
searching for drivers for.

All suggestions and experiences welcome.

Thanks.

Rod

--

Author of "Linux for Non-Geeks" and "Boring Stories From Uncle Rod."

To reply take the extra "o" from "roodwriter."

 
 
 

Linux-compatible laptop suggestions

Post by General Schvantzkop » Fri, 09 Sep 2005 03:23:53



> I'm looking for recommendations for a 100 percent Linux-compatible laptop.
> My needs are changing and I need a laptop as an adjunct to my desktop Linux
> box. Since I'm not a geek, I need something that I can just slam my SuSE
> disks into and the thing just work.

> I need something reliable with at least 512 meg RAM and a CD or DVD burner,
> preferably, of course a DVD burner, but a CD will work. Of course, it needs
> a Linux-compatible modem since I'll be on the road more.

> I was lucky enough to talk the people at Wal-Mart, Circuit City and Best Buy
> into letting me try a Knoppix disk on some of their machines, but none of
> them (It was tedious--I didn't try all of them) had a compatible modem.

> I spent some hours Googling, but everything that had a useful review always
> said something like: Everything works except...

> I don't want any exceptions or something I'm going to have to spend weeks
> searching for drivers for.

> All suggestions and experiences welcome.

> Thanks.

> Rod

Forget about finding a compatible internal modem, if you need to use a
modem then get an external one. The more important area of Linux
incompatibility are 802.11G chips, although there is a work around for
this. There are compatible wireless chips out there and using the Knoppix
disk method like you are is probably a pretty good way to find out if the
built in chip has native Linux support. However if there is a laptop that
you other wise like but the wireless chip lacks native Linux support you
should Google that chip + ndiswrapper to see if it can be made to work
that way. Ndiswrapper uses the XP driver. I'm using it on my Compaq R3000Z
with a Broadcom 802.11G chip. It does work but it's less convenient then
having a native driver.

Nvidia graphics chips are well supported and they provide binary drivers
so you can be pretty well assured that any laptop with Nvidia graphics
will work. ATI is pretty well supported also, but I don't know if I can
make the same blanket statement about ATI always working. In any event if
the display works with the Knoppix disk that's absolute proof that the
laptop's graphics are Linux compatible.

I'm running FC3 on a Compaq R3000Z with an AMD64 3400+. It's last year's
model but I suspect that this year's Compaq/HP A64 laptops will work fine.
The only thing that absolutely doesn't work is the winmodem, on those very
rare occasions when I've needed a modem I just hooked up an external modem
using a Keyspan USB to Serial port adapter (Keyspan adapters are
completely Linux compatible). The trackpad also doesn't work, but I
don't care about because I hate those things, I use a mouse. However I've
read that they can be made to work but I've never thought it worthwhile
to try and configure it. All Compaq/HP laptops use the same track pad.

 
 
 

Linux-compatible laptop suggestions

Post by Dances With Crow » Fri, 09 Sep 2005 04:25:49


On Wed, 07 Sep 2005 14:23:53 -0400, General Schvantzkoph staggered into
the Black Sun and said:


>> I'm looking for recommendations for a 100 percent Linux-compatible
>> laptop.  I need something that I can just slam my SuSE disks into and
>> [have] the thing just work.

The quality of SuSE has taken a serious nosedive from what I hear.

Quote:>> at least 512 meg RAM and a CD or DVD burner.  Of course, it needs a
>> Linux-compatible modem

No x86 laptop made in the last 6 years has had a built-in Real Modem.
They're all LoseModems.  You need to look for a laptop with a supported
LoseModem, or you need to buy a PCMCIA Real Modem.

Quote:>> I spent some hours Googling, but everything that had a useful review
>> always said something like: Everything works except...  I don't want
>> any exceptions or something I'm going to have to spend weeks
>> searching for drivers for.

Pick 5 or 6 models that meet your specs.  Search http://tuxmobil.org/
and http://linux-on-laptops.com/ for those models.  Pick the one that
works the best from the installation reports.  If someone reports
"Everything works except the Integrated Yak Shaver 3000", and you don't
need that peripheral, does that mean you won't consider the machine?
Everything works on my A22p except for IRDA, and I don't need that.
Problem is, the A22p is heavy, only has a PIII-900, and the Ultrabay
DVD-RWs are expensive.

Quote:> Forget about finding a compatible internal modem, if you need to use a
> modem then get an external one.

?  The last two laptops I've owned (Thinkpad 600X, Thinkpad A22p) have
had Lucent LoseModems.  Install the evil binary-only lt_modem and
lt_serial modules, and they work just fine.  Most of the places I travel
to have decent connectivity, so I don't need the thing often, but it's
there when I do need it.  Then again, having Gentoo and a working
Ethernet port means it's easy for me to install anything.  If you're
stuck on dialup and you're using something RPM-based, you may have
additional stupid problems.  Most distros don't include the binary-only
LoseModem modules available because of licensing problems, so you'll
have to download those separately.

Quote:> However if there is a laptop that you other wise like but the wireless
> chip lacks native Linux support you should Google that chip +
> ndiswrapper to see if it can be made to work that way.

True.

Quote:> I'm running FC3 on a Compaq R3000Z with an AMD64 3400+. It's last
> year's model

?  Figure out what you absolutely must have in terms of CPU and get
that.  *Don't* get the latest and greatest of anything; the price
premium you pay is usually not worth it.  If you buy something that's
about 6 months old, it's highly probable that all of its quirks will
have been documented and/or worked around.  If you can, buy refurbished,
because you get a lot more laptop for your money that way.

Most of IBM's Thinkpads work really well with Linux.  There's a
searchable mailing list at
http://mailman.linux-thinkpad.org/mailman/listinfo/linux-thinkpad where
people talk about Thinkpads and solve problems and stuff.  

--
Matt G|There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see
Brainbench MVP for Linux Admin /    mail: TRAP + SPAN don't belong
http://www.brainbench.com     /    "He is a rhythmic movement of the
-----------------------------/      penguins, is Tux." --MegaHAL

 
 
 

Linux-compatible laptop suggestions

Post by Madhusudan Sing » Fri, 09 Sep 2005 04:59:46



> I'm looking for recommendations for a 100 percent Linux-compatible laptop.
> My needs are changing and I need a laptop as an adjunct to my desktop
> Linux box. Since I'm not a geek, I need something that I can just slam my
> SuSE disks into and the thing just work.

> I need something reliable with at least 512 meg RAM and a CD or DVD
> burner, preferably, of course a DVD burner, but a CD will work. Of course,
> it needs a Linux-compatible modem since I'll be on the road more.

> I was lucky enough to talk the people at Wal-Mart, Circuit City and Best
> Buy into letting me try a Knoppix disk on some of their machines, but none
> of them (It was tedious--I didn't try all of them) had a compatible modem.

> I spent some hours Googling, but everything that had a useful review
> always said something like: Everything works except...

> I don't want any exceptions or something I'm going to have to spend weeks
> searching for drivers for.

> All suggestions and experiences welcome.

> Thanks.

> Rod

> --

> Author of "Linux for Non-Geeks" and "Boring Stories From Uncle Rod."

> To reply take the extra "o" from "roodwriter."

I would recommend offerings by LinuxCertified. I have had an LC2210 since
last year, and barring the battery which died some 10 months later, I have
found it to be nearly 100% compatible with Linux (can't get software
suspend to work though - thanks to a buggy bios).
 
 
 

Linux-compatible laptop suggestions

Post by Chris Co » Sat, 10 Sep 2005 04:04:21



> On Wed, 07 Sep 2005 14:23:53 -0400, General Schvantzkoph staggered into
> the Black Sun and said:

>>>I'm looking for recommendations for a 100 percent Linux-compatible
>>>laptop.  I need something that I can just slam my SuSE disks into and
>>>[have] the thing just work.

> The quality of SuSE has taken a serious nosedive from what I hear.

False.  Still one of the best if not THE best distribution for
laptops.

SUSE 9.3 works flawlessly on a Dell Lat D600 (Inspiron 600m) and
works quite well on a Dell M70 (Dell Lat D810).  I have friends running
on Insp 8600's... the Compaq n610c works flawlessly (but will melt your
harddrive over time... should have been a recall).  The Insp 600m, M70/D810's
are current models.  I believe that the D610 would work... and I'm pretty
sure the 9300 and other Insp. models would work.

Most have a conextant modem.  Without paying the $20-30 fee, the
most you'll get out of it is 14.4K (for free).  Doesn't matter to
me anymore, I just use my digital cell phone.  I get better than
56K with it... so why use a modem??

Quote:

>>>at least 512 meg RAM and a CD or DVD burner.  Of course, it needs a
>>>Linux-compatible modem

> No x86 laptop made in the last 6 years has had a built-in Real Modem.
> They're all LoseModems.  You need to look for a laptop with a supported
> LoseModem, or you need to buy a PCMCIA Real Modem.

Most are the contextant variety too.  There are a few supported
ones still out there (linmodems).

If somebody asked me to put a Linux distribution on a laptop, I'd
probably try SUSE first.  And if SUSE had difficulties, it's likely
that not much else will work either.

 
 
 

Linux-compatible laptop suggestions

Post by phil-news-nos.. » Sun, 11 Sep 2005 05:31:48




|> On Wed, 07 Sep 2005 14:23:53 -0400, General Schvantzkoph staggered into
|> the Black Sun and said:

|>>>I'm looking for recommendations for a 100 percent Linux-compatible
|>>>laptop.  I need something that I can just slam my SuSE disks into and
|>>>[have] the thing just work.
|>
|> The quality of SuSE has taken a serious nosedive from what I hear.
|
| False.  Still one of the best if not THE best distribution for
| laptops.

Once you get past getting all the devices recognized and working with
appropriate drivers, the distribution shouldn't be much of a matter.
What makes one distribution perhaps better is the tools they provide
to help detect hardware and configure what drivers get loaded.  But
once you know exactly what, you can build an integrated kernel (for
most drivers ... dynamically load the rest) and use it with just about
any distribution.

| If somebody asked me to put a Linux distribution on a laptop, I'd
| probably try SUSE first.  And if SUSE had difficulties, it's likely
| that not much else will work either.

I'd still try Knoppix, then hand configure Debian or Slackware.

--
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Phil Howard KA9WGN       | http://linuxhomepage.com/      http://ham.org/ |
| (first name) at ipal.net | http://phil.ipal.org/   http://ka9wgn.ham.org/ |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

Linux-compatible laptop suggestions

Post by Luca Piredd » Wed, 14 Sep 2005 15:08:03



> I'm looking for recommendations for a 100 percent Linux-compatible laptop.
> My needs are changing and I need a laptop as an adjunct to my desktop Linux
> box. Since I'm not a geek, I need something that I can just slam my SuSE
> disks into and the thing just work.

> I need something reliable with at least 512 meg RAM and a CD or DVD burner,
> preferably, of course a DVD burner, but a CD will work. Of course, it needs
> a Linux-compatible modem since I'll be on the road more.

> I was lucky enough to talk the people at Wal-Mart, Circuit City and Best Buy
> into letting me try a Knoppix disk on some of their machines, but none of
> them (It was tedious--I didn't try all of them) had a compatible modem.

> I spent some hours Googling, but everything that had a useful review always
> said something like: Everything works except...

> I don't want any exceptions or something I'm going to have to spend weeks
> searching for drivers for.

> All suggestions and experiences welcome.

> Thanks.

> Rod

> --

> Author of "Linux for Non-Geeks" and "Boring Stories From Uncle Rod."

> To reply take the extra "o" from "roodwriter."

I'm enjoying a sony vaio vgn-s360.  Haven't tried the modem, but everything
else works.  Regarding the wireless chip compatibility issues that are
brought up elsewhere in this thread, the centrino stuff from Intel is
well-supported by Linux and quite popular in laptops.

Luca

 
 
 

Linux-compatible laptop suggestions

Post by jamescgar.. » Tue, 20 Sep 2005 10:32:19


My suggestion is LinuxCertified LC2210D laptop. I think another poster
recommended a similar model. I have this one with Ubuntu, and
*everything* works, including suspend-to-disk and suspend-to-ram.

http://linuxcertified.com/linux-laptop-lc2210d.html

You will have to live with some mods on top of the standard distro
install like SuSE - because these are not optimized to have things like
Modem driver.


> I'm looking for recommendations for a 100 percent Linux-compatible laptop.
> My needs are changing and I need a laptop as an adjunct to my desktop Linux
> box. Since I'm not a geek, I need something that I can just slam my SuSE
> disks into and the thing just work.

> I need something reliable with at least 512 meg RAM and a CD or DVD burner,
> preferably, of course a DVD burner, but a CD will work. Of course, it needs
> a Linux-compatible modem since I'll be on the road more.

> I was lucky enough to talk the people at Wal-Mart, Circuit City and Best Buy
> into letting me try a Knoppix disk on some of their machines, but none of
> them (It was tedious--I didn't try all of them) had a compatible modem.

> I spent some hours Googling, but everything that had a useful review always
> said something like: Everything works except...

> I don't want any exceptions or something I'm going to have to spend weeks
> searching for drivers for.

> All suggestions and experiences welcome.

> Thanks.

> Rod

> --

> Author of "Linux for Non-Geeks" and "Boring Stories From Uncle Rod."

> To reply take the extra "o" from "roodwriter."

 
 
 

Linux-compatible laptop suggestions

Post by JosephK » Fri, 07 Oct 2005 13:19:47



> I'm looking for recommendations for a 100 percent Linux-compatible laptop.
> My needs are changing and I need a laptop as an adjunct to my desktop
> Linux box. Since I'm not a geek, I need something that I can just slam my
> SuSE disks into and the thing just work.

> I need something reliable with at least 512 meg RAM and a CD or DVD
> burner, preferably, of course a DVD burner, but a CD will work. Of course,
> it needs a Linux-compatible modem since I'll be on the road more.

> I was lucky enough to talk the people at Wal-Mart, Circuit City and Best
> Buy into letting me try a Knoppix disk on some of their machines, but none
> of them (It was tedious--I didn't try all of them) had a compatible modem.

> I spent some hours Googling, but everything that had a useful review
> always said something like: Everything works except...

> I don't want any exceptions or something I'm going to have to spend weeks
> searching for drivers for.

> All suggestions and experiences welcome.

> Thanks.

> Rod

> --

> Author of "Linux for Non-Geeks" and "Boring Stories From Uncle Rod."

> To reply take the extra "o" from "roodwriter."

There is always the option of going to EmperorLinux, they sell laptops with
linux pre-installed and everything working, at a premium.
--
JosephKK