linux friendly laptops

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linux friendly laptops

Duncan Lithgow
Having looked around on the net I couldn't really find much about
whether any manufacturers of laptops are more linux friendly than
others. I have to buy a new one, good specs, so I'm trying to do the
right thing and support good manufacturers. The only useful things I've
heard are that ATI have opensource drivers - good, and I can see that HP
have started selling laptops with linux on. Is that a few extra points
for HP?

Anything to make my laptop hunting mission easier would be appreciated.
At the moment I can't really narrow the field enough to start checking
specs of individual components.

Oh, and I'm not in the US, I'm in Denmark, so I want a major brand not a
US only one <http://www.linuxcertified.com/linux_laptops.html>.

Duncan


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Re: linux friendly laptops

Matthew East
On Wed, 2006-05-03 at 01:17 +0200, Duncan Lithgow wrote:
> Having looked around on the net I couldn't really find much about
> whether any manufacturers of laptops are more linux friendly than
> others.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LaptopTestingTeam

I can recommend my Thinkpad T43-1871, practically no issues on Dapper at
all.

Matt
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Re: linux friendly laptops

Senectus .
On 5/3/06, Matthew East <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Wed, 2006-05-03 at 01:17 +0200, Duncan Lithgow wrote:
> > Having looked around on the net I couldn't really find much about
> > whether any manufacturers of laptops are more linux friendly than
> > others.
>
> https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LaptopTestingTeam
>
> I can recommend my Thinkpad T43-1871, practically no issues on Dapper at
> all.

IBM used to certify all their "enterprise" laptops with SUSE Linux,
Not sure if that still happens now Novell own it though.

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Re: linux friendly laptops

Greg Taylor-5
In reply to this post by Duncan Lithgow
Duncan Lithgow wrote:
> The only useful things I've heard are that ATI have opensource drivers - good, and I can see that HP have started selling laptops with linux on. Is that a few extra points for HP?
>  
I would strongly recommend nVidia over ATI if you're wanting to run on a
laptop. The ATI drivers are pretty shoddy in comparison to nVidia's
Linux drivers and you're a lot more likely to be able to run things like
Compiz/XGL at this point. There is also a lot more documentation around
the net for Linux + nVidia because they have been traditionally more
compatible cards.

Take it as a grain of salt, but that's my opinion :)

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Re: linux friendly laptops

Jonathan Jesse-2
On Tuesday 02 May 2006 21:56, Greg Taylor wrote:

> Duncan Lithgow wrote:
> > The only useful things I've heard are that ATI have opensource drivers -
> > good, and I can see that HP have started selling laptops with linux on.
> > Is that a few extra points for HP?
>
> I would strongly recommend nVidia over ATI if you're wanting to run on a
> laptop. The ATI drivers are pretty shoddy in comparison to nVidia's
> Linux drivers and you're a lot more likely to be able to run things like
> Compiz/XGL at this point. There is also a lot more documentation around
> the net for Linux + nVidia because they have been traditionally more
> compatible cards.
>
> Take it as a grain of salt, but that's my opinion :)

I have had several Dell's, Latitudes and Inpsirons and they have all worked
well right out of the box.

Jonathan

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Re: linux friendly laptops

Hub Figuière
In reply to this post by Greg Taylor-5
Greg Taylor wrote:

> I would strongly recommend nVidia over ATI if you're wanting to run on a
> laptop. The ATI drivers are pretty shoddy in comparison to nVidia's
> Linux drivers and you're a lot more likely to be able to run things like
> Compiz/XGL at this point. There is also a lot more documentation around
> the net for Linux + nVidia because they have been traditionally more
> compatible cards.
>
> Take it as a grain of salt, but that's my opinion :)

I would strongly advise choosing one of these 2 vendors as none of them
provide open-source (hence fixable) drivers. Intel seems to be a better
choice (for laptop).


Hub

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Re: linux friendly laptops

Duncan Lithgow
On Wed, 2006-05-03 at 11:37 -0400, Hubert Figuiere wrote:
> > I would strongly recommend nVidia over ATI if you're wanting to run on a
> > laptop. The ATI drivers are pretty shoddy in comparison to nVidia's
> > Linux drivers and you're a lot more likely to be able to run things like
> > Compiz/XGL at this point. There is also a lot more documentation around
> > the net for Linux + nVidia because they have been traditionally more
> > compatible cards.
> >
> > Take it as a grain of salt, but that's my opinion :)

Do you mean
> I would strongly advise
not
>  choosing one of these 2 vendors as none of them
> provide open-source (hence fixable) drivers. Intel seems to be a better
> choice (for laptop).
?

Otherwise it doesn't seem to make sense.

Duncan


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Re: linux friendly laptops

Greg Taylor-5
Duncan Lithgow wrote:

> On Wed, 2006-05-03 at 11:37 -0400, Hubert Figuiere wrote:
>  
>>> I would strongly recommend nVidia over ATI if you're wanting to run on a
>>> laptop. The ATI drivers are pretty shoddy in comparison to nVidia's
>>> Linux drivers and you're a lot more likely to be able to run things like
>>> Compiz/XGL at this point. There is also a lot more documentation around
>>> the net for Linux + nVidia because they have been traditionally more
>>> compatible cards.
>>>
>>> Take it as a grain of salt, but that's my opinion :)
>>>      
>
> Do you mean
>  
>> I would strongly advise
>>    
> not
>  
>>  choosing one of these 2 vendors as none of them
>> provide open-source (hence fixable) drivers. Intel seems to be a better
>> choice (for laptop).
>>    
> ?
>
> Otherwise it doesn't seem to make sense.
>
> Duncan
>
>  
What I'm saying is that of the two (ATI or nVidia), you're going to have
better luck in terms of compatibility, performance, and stability under
Linux for the forseeable future. Of course ATI is working to improve
their drivers, they are not up to the point where they can rival that of
nVidia's in the Linux sector.

As far as Intel goes, that'd be great if you don't care too much about
performance. You could just as easily buy an nVidia and run it with the
'nv' driver (or an ATI an run the comparable cheesy driver) and get some
very limited acceleration. But generally, I'd just recommend going with
an nVidia and not gamble with the future of ATI drivers for Linux.
nVidia's work now and work very well for the most part. And if you're
into that kind of thing, XGL/Compiz is doable on an nVidia right now.

However, IBM seems to be a very ATI heavy company, but many of their
laptops work well with Linux. It just really depends on what you want to
do with your laptop. If you want to do some gaming on the side, I'd go
with something that has a nVidia card. If you're mostly doing work or
net surfing, it doesn't really matter, you just won't get all the bells
and whistles and your speed may suffer a little. But either way, as long
as you get a running install with minimal problems, you're probably in
good shape :)


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Re: linux friendly laptops

Steinar Bang
In reply to this post by Duncan Lithgow
Personal experience with dell:
 - Pick the ATI screen card instead of the Intel based on
 - Pick the Intel based WLAN instead of the Broadcom based one (though
   I've always gotten Broadcom based cards working with ndiswrapper
   and I believe there is a native broadcom driver in the Dapper Drake
   kernels.  Though with the latter there _may_ still be a hassle in
   having to find a Win32 driver to extract firmware from...?)


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Re: linux friendly laptops

Matthew Kuiken
In reply to this post by Duncan Lithgow
Duncan Lithgow wrote:

> Having looked around on the net I couldn't really find much about
> whether any manufacturers of laptops are more linux friendly than
> others. I have to buy a new one, good specs, so I'm trying to do the
> right thing and support good manufacturers. The only useful things I've
> heard are that ATI have opensource drivers - good, and I can see that HP
> have started selling laptops with linux on. Is that a few extra points
> for HP?
>
> Anything to make my laptop hunting mission easier would be appreciated.
> At the moment I can't really narrow the field enough to start checking
> specs of individual components.
>
> Oh, and I'm not in the US, I'm in Denmark, so I want a major brand not a
> US only one <http://www.linuxcertified.com/linux_laptops.html>.
>  
You asked more about manufacturers than about individual laptops, but I
only am familiar with the one that I bought.  I have a Sony Vaio TX650P,
and it is working very well under Dapper.  It was a bit harder to get
entirely working under breezy, but I attribute that to the relative
newness of the hardware.

FYI, it has:
Intel HDA sound
Intel i915 graphics
Intel IPW2200 wifi
Bluetooth,
Firewire,
PCMCIA

The only thing it has that I haven't gotten working is the Memory Stick
port, but I haven't really tried all that hard...  It also has a
cellular modem, but I don't feel like subscribing just to see if I can
get it to work.  I did see a forum post by someone who did so on Breezy,
though.

-Matt


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Re: linux friendly laptops

bradpitcher
Just please DON'T get a laptop with a SiS graphics card whatever you do.  If you do, I trust you will be upset with the results as I am. :(

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Re: linux friendly laptops

Borden Rhodes
In reply to this post by Duncan Lithgow
As an owner of an Acer laptop, I would recommend staying
away from them at all costs.  Although I have been able to
get Dapper to work on my Acer 4001 box, it's taken a lot of
command-line work and even still half of the stuff on the
system doesn't work like it did in Windows (OpenGL, for
example).  When I contacted them to get specs so I could
follow the How-tos, they were very unhelpful and made a
point of saying that they never intend to provide any Linux
support.

Live and learn!


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Re: linux friendly laptops

Loic Pefferkorn-2
Hello,

I have an IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad T43, I'm using Ubuntu and FreeBSD without any
major problem.

What works out of the box:
-wireless NIC = internal wifi card (intel 2200bg)
-wired NIC (gigabit )
-sounds (intel chipset)
-3D acceleration (chipset intel GMA 900, shared memory)
-bluetooth
-hibernation
-suspend to ram
-touchpoint
-trackpoint

Works with little work:
-1400x1050 resolution (need to install 915resolution package)
-infrared

Untested:
-internal modem (winmodem)
-external monitor
-hdaps (harddrive shock protection)
-cpu frequency scaling

This laptop looks like very solid (not 'plastic' like Dell Inpiron I had), and
not too heavy

Drawbacks:
-battery lifetime is not very long (~3hours with wireless on)
-I find fan noise annoying (just my opinion, so subjective)
-expensive ;)


For more info on thinkpad running Linux, see
http://thinkwiki.org/wiki/ThinkWiki

and for more informations on Ubuntu laptop support, go to
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LaptopTestingTeam/

I hope this can help you :)

Cheers,
Loic


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Re: linux friendly laptops

Christoph Bier
Loic Pefferkorn schrieb am 06.05.2006 08:03:

[...]

> Untested:
[...]
> -cpu frequency scaling

[...]

> Drawbacks:
> -battery lifetime is not very long (~3hours with wireless on)
> -I find fan noise annoying (just my opinion, so subjective)

Then it's worth to give frequency scaling a try ;-). No fan noise
and longer battery lifetime. I'm sure frequency scaling will run out
of the box! Just install one of the corresponding packages
(cpufreqd, cpudyn, powersaved, powernowd).

[...]

Best,
  Christoph
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Re: linux friendly laptops

LukMak
In reply to this post by Loic Pefferkorn-2
Hello,

I am happy user of Asus A6K.

Most of its features are supported, including 3D HW accel from nVidia on
WXGA - testing Wolfenstein:ET with great success ;)

Few things wont work for sure (embedded camera and SD/MMC card reader -
avoid Ricoh stuff - they act openly anti-Linux IMO).

I did not tested WiFi (because I use 64-bit version of Breezy and
couldn't find 64-bit closed drivers for ndiswrapper and had no time to
try with 32-bit version, probably will work smoothly), Irda and
Firewire. Modem is probably win-modem but I am not interested using it.

More about this laptop I wrote here:
http://www.iem.pw.edu.pl/~lmakowsk/pliki/Laptop.txt
Please do not expect me native speaker ;^)

Lukasz Makowski

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Re: linux friendly laptops

Duncan Lithgow
In reply to this post by Duncan Lithgow
Thanks all for their advice so far, to summarize:
* Both ATI and Nvidia make linux drivers at various qualities. Nvidia
give better performance. ATI have a large quality drop in their linux
drivers compared to windows. Intel are just not that good.
* Wifi is always tricky, look it up.
* HP, Lenovo/IBM and other minor players have been cooperative with
linux. Both resell linux for servers.

My own observations are that Lenovo seems the safest bet with the best
linux support, especially if you buy a thinkpad.

I've really warmed to the HP Pavilion Dv8220ea which has the Nvidia
GeForce Go 7400 graphics card, which Nvidia supports under linux. The
other thing I was a bit wary of was wireless, this has an Intel®
PRO/Wireless 3945 which seems to be a bit touch and go under dapper, but
there is a whole sourceforge project dedicated to making it work. Good
enough for me.

So, that's what I'm going for, HP Pavilion Dv8220ea. I'll be back with
how it goes.

Duncan


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Re: linux friendly laptops

Nicholas Battaglia
Get a WidowPC :)

Sure it comes with Windows, but their customer service will help you install Linux if thats what you want...

http://www.widowpc.com/


On 5/11/06, Duncan Lithgow <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks all for their advice so far, to summarize:
* Both ATI and Nvidia make linux drivers at various qualities. Nvidia
give better performance. ATI have a large quality drop in their linux
drivers compared to windows. Intel are just not that good.
* Wifi is always tricky, look it up.
* HP, Lenovo/IBM and other minor players have been cooperative with
linux. Both resell linux for servers.

My own observations are that Lenovo seems the safest bet with the best
linux support, especially if you buy a thinkpad.

I've really warmed to the HP Pavilion Dv8220ea which has the Nvidia
GeForce Go 7400 graphics card, which Nvidia supports under linux. The
other thing I was a bit wary of was wireless, this has an Intel®
PRO/Wireless 3945 which seems to be a bit touch and go under dapper, but
there is a whole sourceforge project dedicated to making it work. Good
enough for me.

So, that's what I'm going for, HP Pavilion Dv8220ea. I'll be back with
how it goes.

Duncan


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RE: linux friendly laptops

William Cai

Dell N series is also a choice.

 


From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Nicholas Battaglia
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2006 2:57 AM
To: [hidden email]
Cc: Laptop-Testing-Team
Subject: Re: linux friendly laptops

 

Get a WidowPC :)

Sure it comes with Windows, but their customer service will help you install Linux if thats what you want...

http://www.widowpc.com/

On 5/11/06, Duncan Lithgow <[hidden email]> wrote:

Thanks all for their advice so far, to summarize:
* Both ATI and Nvidia make linux drivers at various qualities. Nvidia
give better performance. ATI have a large quality drop in their linux
drivers compared to windows. Intel are just not that good.
* Wifi is always tricky, look it up.
* HP, Lenovo/IBM and other minor players have been cooperative with
linux. Both resell linux for servers.

My own observations are that Lenovo seems the safest bet with the best
linux support, especially if you buy a thinkpad.

I've really warmed to the HP Pavilion Dv8220ea which has the Nvidia
GeForce Go 7400 graphics card, which Nvidia supports under linux. The
other thing I was a bit wary of was wireless, this has an Intel®
PRO/Wireless 3945 which seems to be a bit touch and go under dapper, but
there is a whole sourceforge project dedicated to making it work. Good
enough for me.

So, that's what I'm going for, HP Pavilion Dv8220ea. I'll be back with
how it goes.

Duncan


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