New laptop derecommendations

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New laptop derecommendations

Peter Flynn
I'm looking for a new laptop.

I am NOT looking for recommendations (but if you have them, by all means
send them directly to my email address) because I suspect one or other
variant of Ubuntu will run on pretty much all modern laptops.

What I am looking for is warnings: DON'T use XYZ laptops because...

Knowing what to avoid is probably more useful than knowing what to
choose from, and I already have a checklist of things it MUST have.

I have been using an ancient but reliable Dell Latitude D810 through
many versions and distros of Ubuntu. I've been using Dell for many years
but recently got a loan of an XPS 15 which should have been wonderful
but which has been a disaster: the keyboard is horrible and the only
distro which would install on it was Mint 18 — everything else hung at
the installer's splash screen. Weird for a machine whose smaller brother
(XPS 13) is actually sold with Linux preinstalled). So Dell is out.

///Peter

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Re: New laptop derecommendations

Ken D'Ambrosio
Before giving up on something that dies at the splash screen, I'd kill
the splash screen, and see what's really going on.  So, for example,
edit your GRUB line, and remove... well, darn.  I've already removed it,
or I'd share.  But, for me at least, it's everything after (and
including) "quiet".  That's one of the first things I get rid of,
because I *hate* splash screens: I don't want to see pretty graphics at
boot, I want to see why stuff doesn't work.

$.02,

-Ken


On 2018-10-18 14:41, Peter Flynn wrote:

> I'm looking for a new laptop.
>
> I am NOT looking for recommendations (but if you have them, by all
> means
> send them directly to my email address) because I suspect one or other
> variant of Ubuntu will run on pretty much all modern laptops.
>
> What I am looking for is warnings: DON'T use XYZ laptops because...
>
> Knowing what to avoid is probably more useful than knowing what to
> choose from, and I already have a checklist of things it MUST have.
>
> I have been using an ancient but reliable Dell Latitude D810 through
> many versions and distros of Ubuntu. I've been using Dell for many
> years
> but recently got a loan of an XPS 15 which should have been wonderful
> but which has been a disaster: the keyboard is horrible and the only
> distro which would install on it was Mint 18 — everything else hung at
> the installer's splash screen. Weird for a machine whose smaller
> brother
> (XPS 13) is actually sold with Linux preinstalled). So Dell is out.
>
> ///Peter

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Re: New laptop derecommendations

Wade Smart-2
In reply to this post by Peter Flynn
A company I was contract to do work for ordered 15 new ThinkPads.
They have used them for a long time. This last order came with
broadcom chips. Ive never had a ThinkPad with broadcom so I dont
know if it was a special order thing or a pricing thing. We are in the
process of sending them all back.
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On Thu, Oct 18, 2018 at 1:43 PM Peter Flynn <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> I'm looking for a new laptop.
>
> I am NOT looking for recommendations (but if you have them, by all means
> send them directly to my email address) because I suspect one or other
> variant of Ubuntu will run on pretty much all modern laptops.
>
> What I am looking for is warnings: DON'T use XYZ laptops because...
>
> Knowing what to avoid is probably more useful than knowing what to
> choose from, and I already have a checklist of things it MUST have.
>
> I have been using an ancient but reliable Dell Latitude D810 through
> many versions and distros of Ubuntu. I've been using Dell for many years
> but recently got a loan of an XPS 15 which should have been wonderful
> but which has been a disaster: the keyboard is horrible and the only
> distro which would install on it was Mint 18 — everything else hung at
> the installer's splash screen. Weird for a machine whose smaller brother
> (XPS 13) is actually sold with Linux preinstalled). So Dell is out.
>
> ///Peter
>
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> Modify settings or unsubscribe at: https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-users

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Re: New laptop derecommendations

Ian Bruntlett
Hi Wade,

On Thu, 18 Oct 2018 at 19:50, Wade Smart <[hidden email]> wrote:
A company I was contract to do work for ordered 15 new ThinkPads.
They have used them for a long time. This last order came with
broadcom chips. Ive never had a ThinkPad with broadcom so I dont
know if it was a special order thing or a pricing thing. We are in the
process of sending them all back.

I once worked old Dell laptop with a broadcom chip in it. I installed Linux using an Ethernet connection and I had to install the package "firmware-b43-installer" to get WiFi networking.

I think I found that out from a combination of pouring through the output of dmesg and searching for potential pacakges via Synaptic Package Manager.

HTH,


Ian

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Re: New laptop derecommendations

Wade Smart-2
Ive already gone down that road several times on several machines.
I got it to work on a older machine but not on any of the newer ones.
I followed many different "do this for broadcom" and none worked.
Its just smarter to get machines you dont have to spend that time on
and put them into the users hands and go on with your work.
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Re: New laptop derecommendations

Ian Bruntlett
Hi Wade,

On Thu, 18 Oct 2018 at 20:05, Wade Smart <[hidden email]> wrote:
Ive already gone down that road several times on several machines.
I got it to work on a older machine but not on any of the newer ones.
I followed many different "do this for broadcom" and none worked.
Its just smarter to get machines you dont have to spend that time on
and put them into the users hands and go on with your work.

Agreed, 100%

BW,


Ian

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Re: New laptop derecommendations

Robert Heller
In reply to this post by Wade Smart-2
At Thu, 18 Oct 2018 13:48:40 -0500 "Ubuntu user technical support,  not for general discussions" <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> A company I was contract to do work for ordered 15 new ThinkPads.
> They have used them for a long time. This last order came with
> broadcom chips. Ive never had a ThinkPad with broadcom so I dont
> know if it was a special order thing or a pricing thing. We are in the
> process of sending them all back.

These are broadcom wireless?  You really don't want these.  Insist on Intel
wireless.

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Re: New laptop derecommendations

Wade Smart-2
> These are broadcom wireless?  You really don't want these.  Insist on Intel
> wireless.

Robert - no they are not usually bc. They have always been intel as far as Im
aware and Ive never had a single one come without intel so it was def a concern.

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Re: New laptop derecommendations

ubuntu-users mailing list
In reply to this post by Ian Bruntlett
18 October 2018  at 19:59, Ian Bruntlett wrote:
Re: New laptop derecommendations (at least in part)

>Hi Wade,
>
>On Thu, 18 Oct 2018 at 19:50, Wade Smart <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> A company I was contract to do work for ordered 15 new ThinkPads.
>> They have used them for a long time. This last order came with
>> broadcom chips. Ive never had a ThinkPad with broadcom so I dont
>> know if it was a special order thing or a pricing thing. We are in the
>> process of sending them all back.
>>
>
>I once worked old Dell laptop with a broadcom chip in it. I installed Linux
>using an Ethernet connection and I had to install the package
>"firmware-b43-installer" to get WiFi networking.

Once that is dine the BC chips work well

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Re: New laptop derecommendations

Robert Heller
In reply to this post by Wade Smart-2
At Thu, 18 Oct 2018 14:23:12 -0500 "Ubuntu user technical support,  not for general discussions" <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> > These are broadcom wireless?  You really don't want these.  Insist on Intel
> > wireless.
>
> Robert - no they are not usually bc. They have always been intel as far as Im
> aware and Ive never had a single one come without intel so it was def a concern.
>

Not all Thinkpads come with Intel NICs. *Some* come with Realtek Wireless. And
*some* have Broadcom (hard wired NICs):

On my Thickpad R500:

03:00.0 Network controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8191SEvB
Wireless LAN Controller (rev 10)
04:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Limited NetLink BCM5787M Gigabit
Ethernet PCI Express (rev 02)

(The Broadcom hard Ethernet works OK.  The Realtek wireless sometime goes off
into nowhere land and the driver needs to be unloaded and reloaded.  This is
with kernel 2.6.32-754.3.5.el6.centos.plus.x86_64 under CentOS 6.)

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Re: New laptop derecommendations

Gene Heskett-2
In reply to this post by Robert Heller
On Thursday 18 October 2018 15:19:50 Robert Heller wrote:

> At Thu, 18 Oct 2018 13:48:40 -0500 "Ubuntu user technical support,  not
for general discussions" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > A company I was contract to do work for ordered 15 new ThinkPads.
> > They have used them for a long time. This last order came with
> > broadcom chips. Ive never had a ThinkPad with broadcom so I dont
> > know if it was a special order thing or a pricing thing. We are in
> > the process of sending them all back.
>
> These are broadcom wireless?  You really don't want these.  Insist on
> Intel wireless.
>
Hear hear! So far, the only bcm stuff that just works here is their gpio
for the pi3b. You can setup an SPI that writes at 42 megabaud, and reads
the response at 25 megabaud. I'm running a 70 yo 1500 lb Sheldon metal
lathe thru that 1 bit at a time serial porthole, works well.

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Re: New laptop derecommendations

Peter Flynn
In reply to this post by Ken D'Ambrosio
On 18/10/18 19:47, Ken D'Ambrosio wrote:
> Before giving up on something that dies at the splash screen, I'd kill
> the splash screen, and see what's really going on.

Sorry, I should have added that...did it, never found the cause. I spent
a couple of weeks trying to get many Linuces installed on it, and
finally Mint worked. At the time I didn't have the time to investigate
further; I just made a note never to buy that particular lapdog.

///Peter

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Re: New laptop derecommendations

Liam Proven
In reply to this post by Ken D'Ambrosio
On Thu, 18 Oct 2018 at 20:49, Ken D'Ambrosio <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Before giving up on something that dies at the splash screen, I'd kill
> the splash screen, and see what's really going on.  So, for example,
> edit your GRUB line, and remove... well, darn.  I've already removed it,
> or I'd share.  But, for me at least, it's everything after (and
> including) "quiet".  That's one of the first things I get rid of,
> because I *hate* splash screens: I don't want to see pretty graphics at
> boot, I want to see why stuff doesn't work.

Add "nosplash" to block Plymouth.
Remove "quiet" to see kernel messages.
Add "nomodeset" to block kernel mode setting (KMS) which causes
problems on many machines and can stop installs from working at all.

When installing:

Put them _after_ the ``---''  if you want them to be added to the boot
parameters for the installed system. If they go before, they will not
be remembered.

Citation:
https://help.ubuntu.com/lts/installation-guide/i386/ch05s03.html

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Re: New laptop derecommendations

Liam Proven
In reply to this post by Peter Flynn
On Thu, 18 Oct 2018 at 20:43, Peter Flynn <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I'm looking for a new laptop.

My last few have been used Thinkpads. Recommended sources:

https://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/c/512/IBM-Lenovo/

https://www.tier1online.com/

Since they're so tough, refurbished machines are very good value. My
refurb X220 replaced a refurb X200 which replaced a refurb X32...

Zoostorm and Clevo as sold by Novatech, are the same OEM machines sold
by System76 in the USA. My little startup used to sell Zoostorm
laptops as we found Linux compatibility was excellent and built
quality was acceptable for inexpensive machines.


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Re: New laptop derecommendations

Gilles Gravier-2
I've been using Dell and HP machines with Ubuntu with no problems at all. My latest (it's a work machine) is an HP elitebook. SSD, lots of RAM. It runs fine. Boots off of UEFI. But you have to disable secureboot or most drivers won't update because of code signing issues. Appart from that it works spotlessly...

Same experience with my old Dell Latitude E7240.

Gilles

Le ven. 19 oct. 2018 à 11:45, Liam Proven <[hidden email]> a écrit :
On Thu, 18 Oct 2018 at 20:43, Peter Flynn <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I'm looking for a new laptop.

My last few have been used Thinkpads. Recommended sources:

https://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/c/512/IBM-Lenovo/

https://www.tier1online.com/

Since they're so tough, refurbished machines are very good value. My
refurb X220 replaced a refurb X200 which replaced a refurb X32...

Zoostorm and Clevo as sold by Novatech, are the same OEM machines sold
by System76 in the USA. My little startup used to sell Zoostorm
laptops as we found Linux compatibility was excellent and built
quality was acceptable for inexpensive machines.


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Re: New laptop derecommendations

Robert-164
I use a HP Probook 6450b laptop. It has 128gb SSD and 6gb ram. I'm running Xubuntu 18.04 Runs great.

On Fri, Oct 19, 2018 at 6:33 AM Gilles Gravier <[hidden email]> wrote:
I've been using Dell and HP machines with Ubuntu with no problems at all. My latest (it's a work machine) is an HP elitebook. SSD, lots of RAM. It runs fine. Boots off of UEFI. But you have to disable secureboot or most drivers won't update because of code signing issues. Appart from that it works spotlessly...

Same experience with my old Dell Latitude E7240.

Gilles

Le ven. 19 oct. 2018 à 11:45, Liam Proven <[hidden email]> a écrit :
On Thu, 18 Oct 2018 at 20:43, Peter Flynn <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I'm looking for a new laptop.

My last few have been used Thinkpads. Recommended sources:

https://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/c/512/IBM-Lenovo/

https://www.tier1online.com/

Since they're so tough, refurbished machines are very good value. My
refurb X220 replaced a refurb X200 which replaced a refurb X32...

Zoostorm and Clevo as sold by Novatech, are the same OEM machines sold
by System76 in the USA. My little startup used to sell Zoostorm
laptops as we found Linux compatibility was excellent and built
quality was acceptable for inexpensive machines.


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