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Author Topic: How to Get the Most Out of Your Laptop with Linux  (Read 1332 times)

zridling

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Laptop with Linux
« on: January 19, 2011, 04:12:34 AM »
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Linux.com's Jack Wallen provides a guide for getting the most out of your Linux laptop.

The reason Linux has had such a challenge with laptops is simple — most hardware vendors choose devices based on price, not how open the hardware is. The sad fact is, many chipset vendors tend not to release open source drivers or even the specifications so that kernel developers can create drivers for them. On top of that, vendors sometimes change chipsets during a run of the same model — and the pace sometimes means that the current releases of Linux distributions don't yet have drivers for new hardware.

In addition, the seemingly endless number of possible combinations of hardware that come together to make up the laptop landscape and you can see how difficult it would be for a Linux distribution to be able to work "out of the box" with every possible laptop. Until companies that produce the laptops (and other devices) standardize on chipsets with open drivers, this will always be a challenge. That doesn't mean the situation is hopeless, though! Let's start from the top down.

Renegade

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Re: How to Get the Most Out of Your Laptop with Linux
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2011, 05:40:08 AM »
Timely!

I've been thinking about doing something with my laptop as I use it rarely now.
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40hz

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Re: How to Get the Most Out of Your Laptop with Linux
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2011, 06:06:08 AM »
The article recaps my recent experiences running Linux on a laptop: start with the live CD and go from there. Ubuntu 10.04 and 10.10 seem to have it down best for what I've tried it on. This is the first distro that got all the hardware working (including wifi right out of the box) on an aging Toshiba I was about to send to recycling. It's since been passed over to a very creative but cash-strapped young writer who is now producing some remarkable work with it. I'd call that a win.

Also nice to read an article where somebody is basing their opinions and conclusions on an actual installation. I'm constantly amazed by the number of articles that are doing reviews where NIX is installed on a virtual machine. That wouldn't be considered a valid test/eval environment for a Windows release. So why is it acceptable when reviewing Linux? (This is a pet peeve of mine in case you couldn't tell. ::) ::) ::) )

Excellent article! :Thmbsup:

@z - thx for sharing.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 06:08:05 AM by 40hz »

nudone

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Re: How to Get the Most Out of Your Laptop with Linux
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2011, 07:03:28 AM »
I've an old Gericom Laptop (Pentium 4) with a Nvidia graphics card inside and a pcmia wi-fi card. Ubuntu doesn't seem to like the hardware BUT Linux Mint works fine.

So, Mint is worth a look too.

(Maybe I've not tried hard enough with Ubuntu to find the right drivers.)

sword

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Re: How to Get the Most Out of Your Laptop with Linux
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2011, 05:27:35 PM »
Title:Linux-drivers.org - Linux Hardware Compatibility Lists & Linux Drivers
Source:http://www[dot]linux-drivers[dot]org/  (last update: 2011-01-18)

Title: Linux on laptops
Source:http://www[dot]linux-on-laptops[dot]com/
Source: item on above source

Linux forums are *full* of hardware problems, particularly wi-fi. Wired (ethernet)
modems often work better. 'Live' installs of earlier versions, Puppy v412, Knoppix
v511 and Ubuntu v8.04 often work better on older hardware.

zridling

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Re: How to Get the Most Out of Your Laptop with Linux
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2011, 05:53:34 PM »
...an aging Toshiba I was about to send to recycling. It's since been passed over to a very creative but cash-strapped young writer who is now producing some remarkable work with it. I'd call that a win.

Love to see people do this. I try not to recycle and sometimes go out of my way to find someone who can use my old computers rather than merely dumping them at a school, church, or nonprofit. I leave Linux on them so they won't feel the need to pirate Windows and MSOffice. If an old machine has a decent amount of memory and a good videocard, at the very least it makes a good internet machine.