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Author: TMFCogitarius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Home Fool Global Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 6641  
Subject: What's the most Linux-ready laptop? Date: 9/21/2012 6:31 AM
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I've been using Dell for years, the latest being my nearly 4-year old Inspiron 1420, and have switched from Ubuntu to Linux Mint about two years back.

Even with the latest versions of Ubuntu / Mint, basic stuff like Bluetooth and the built in camera still don't work. I'd hoped they'd catch up on such simple things by now.

Since I'm looking at replacing my laptop, do you folks know of any laptop brands which are more Linux-ready out of the box? Is Lenovo one of them by any chance?

In printers, at least, HP seems to be relatively more Linux-ready out of the box than, say, Canon, with which I suffered for two years until Ubuntu caught up with its MX-318 model.

TIA for your help :)
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Author: platykurtic Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6581 of 6641
Subject: Re: What's the most Linux-ready laptop? Date: 9/21/2012 8:10 AM
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I've read in a couple of places that Canonical use a lot of Lenovo x220's for their own laptops. And typically I've heard a lot of good things about using Lenovo laptops with Ubuntu.

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Author: TMFCogitarius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Home Fool Global Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6582 of 6641
Subject: Re: What's the most Linux-ready laptop? Date: 9/21/2012 10:32 AM
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Thanks a lot! I know one Ubuntu fan on a Lenovo who's been having a laugh at my expense every time I complain about my Linux/Dell travails :)
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Author: pleached Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Global Fool Motley Fool One Everlasting Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6583 of 6641
Subject: Re: What's the most Linux-ready laptop? Date: 9/25/2012 2:58 PM
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I've got Fedora running on dell, toshiba, compaq, and HP all without problems. Historically the pain points were graphics cards and wireless, but over the past several years vendors have become more open and I've gotten to the point where I feel comfortable picking up whatever is for sale. The two really big wins over the past few years have been the opening of broadcom wireless drivers and better open nvidia drivers.

how is dell burning you? I seem to recall at some point needing to pull down an extra kernel driver from rpmfusion for a wireless chipset dell was using but other wise ( and more recently ) my dell laptops have been pretty friendly.

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Author: TMFCogitarius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Home Fool Global Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6584 of 6641
Subject: Re: What's the most Linux-ready laptop? Date: 9/26/2012 2:51 AM
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'how is dell burning you?'

It's a 4 yr old Inspiron 1420, yet, even with the latest versions of Ubuntu / Mint, basic stuff like Bluetooth and the webcam still don't work. I'd hoped they'd catch up on such simple things by now.

Also, CDs will either skip or not burn on my machine, but work seamlessly on an identical one bought at the same time as mine, but running Vista!!

Yes, it does need both Broadcom and Nvidia drivers to be downloaded, but, to your point, that's offered on install, so no big deal there.

Here's the joke: "Canonical and Dell have teamed up to offer an extensive range of Dell desktop and notebook configurations, certified and suitable for home use, business use or software development. Dell and Canonical engineers collaborate every day to certify Dell hardware on Ubuntu, to a level that customers can rely on."!!
http://www.ubuntu.com/partners/dell

I've had a number of interesting conversations with Dell techs over the years on this problem. Ten times out of ten they don't even know what Ubuntu is or does, let alone be of any help. In fact, on their tech support website, they have only two options for OS: Vista/ XP/ BIOS, and some of its menus won't work on anything but IE!

(Plus, it has the worst, most jumpy keyboard I've ever used :(
Probably something they carefully design into their systems to differentiate themselves from Thinkpads/ Macs!)
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Author: horacekgl Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6585 of 6641
Subject: Re: What's the most Linux-ready laptop? Date: 9/26/2012 3:24 PM
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Dell wireless adapters are far from standard and have caused me many hours of frustration.

I have a 4 year old Dell laptop that came with WinXP Media Edition, 17 inch screen that works flawlessly with XP and Ubuntu Versions before 10.10. I have a dual boot set up.

Basically after numerous attempts, I can't 'use' any version of Ubuntu (Mint, Lubuntu, Kubuntu, etc) newer than Version 10.04 (Ubuntu and variants are on Version 12.04 about ready to go to 12.10). This is because the wireless adapter driver installed by the newer versions 'breaks' wireless connectivity. So I'm stuck with Version 10 (which is not a bad version), but time does move on. I've tried many times to download and install the old wireless driver from older versions of Ubuntu, but haven't got it to work. So I've basically retired this laptop from daily use.

Puppy Linux, SUSE, and Knoppix install flawlessly; its the Ubuntu implementation of the Broadcom driver that breaks my machine.

BTW Knoppix is the absolute best Linux distro out there (best looking, everything just works even on some very old machines I have), but I'm unsure of how well it is supported compared to Ubuntu. Might remove Mint 10 from the laptop and try using Knoppix on a daily basis to see how it holds up.

YMMV
glh

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Author: TMFCogitarius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Home Fool Global Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6586 of 6641
Subject: Re: What's the most Linux-ready laptop? Date: 9/27/2012 1:41 AM
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'Basically after numerous attempts, I can't 'use' any version of Ubuntu (Mint, Lubuntu, Kubuntu, etc) newer than Version 10.04 '

My experience too! Had to roll back just to get online :(
On top of which their Updates weren't working, so after wasting far too much time on Launchpad I switched to Mint. Even though it's built on the Ubuntu platform, at least it doesn't mess around with WiFi and LAN connections!!

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Author: horacekgl Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6587 of 6641
Subject: Re: What's the most Linux-ready laptop? Date: 9/27/2012 7:12 AM
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Yep. A perfectly good laptop I can't use with the latest OS from Ubuntu. BTW, Mint versions higher than 10.04 also break my wireless -- hence I stay there. Are you saying that you have gotten a Mint version newer than that to work?

glh

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Author: TMFCogitarius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Home Fool Global Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6588 of 6641
Subject: Re: What's the most Linux-ready laptop? Date: 9/27/2012 8:35 AM
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Yup - I'm on Mint LM12 now, looking at upgrading to LM13 once they get its wrinkles ironed out.

On install, it offers drivers for Broadcom STA wireless (and NVIDIA accelerated graphics cards)
"This package contains Broadcom 802.11 Linux STA wireless driverfor use with Broadcom's BCM4311-, BCM4312-, BCM4313-, BCM4321-,BCM4322-, BCM43224-, and BCM43225-, BCM43227- and BCM43228-basedhardware."
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Author: horacekgl Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6589 of 6641
Subject: Re: What's the most Linux-ready laptop? Date: 9/27/2012 2:00 PM
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Yep, that's the driver that 'breaks' my adapter. The one that works is the previous one, perhaps it was the BCM13 (really guessing as I forget and I don't have that machine here; but it is definitely the STA driver that kills me). I found a web link on how to remove the STA driver and install the old driver (and then make it permanent so the next upgrade doesn't wipe it out), but I just never got that to work. So once the various versions of Ubuntu started using the STA driver, I was done; I have to uninstall that version of Ubuntu and install an older version.

Ces't la Vie

glh

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Author: pleached Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Global Fool Motley Fool One Everlasting Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6590 of 6641
Subject: Re: What's the most Linux-ready laptop? Date: 9/27/2012 11:38 PM
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weird that USB does not work. maybe change grub boot params to turn off ACPI? some hardware, especially if you go back a few years but even now, has buggy bios-es that don't do that right thing, which screws interrupts. you can try apci=off on the boot param list in grub and see if that doesn't help

webcams are harder. webcam vendors have been bad about opening drivers or even for tolerating people writing open drivers in some cases. I don't know why shops think that it is a win to make it hard for people to buy your product, but they do.

side note in the no-joke department: if you run linux and want to buy an album in mp3 format on Amazon, you can't just download all of the tracks at once. Rather you have to download them one by one. Amazon actively defeated workaround tools so to really enforce this ( I had been using clamz happily for a bit but no longer). the other day I wanted to spend over a $100 to buy all of Ryan Adams _Live after Deaf_ only to find that I'd have to download the 174 tracks one by one. Just because I use linux? I cancelled the order. I really don't get why vendors of any sort think it is a win to shrink their market. Doubly so when the market is predicated on open internet protocols creating the market in the first place ( as is the case for things like webcams and cloud retailing music ).

bluh...

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Author: pleached Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Global Fool Motley Fool One Everlasting Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6591 of 6641
Subject: Re: What's the most Linux-ready laptop? Date: 9/27/2012 11:40 PM
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if you think the problem might be Distro specific, you can try Live CDs and see if things are happier using other distros ( without having to go through the pain of installing things ). You've probably tried this but on the off chance that you haven't...

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Author: TMFCogitarius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Home Fool Global Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6592 of 6641
Subject: Re: What's the most Linux-ready laptop? Date: 9/28/2012 9:48 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions :)

No problem with USB - only with Bluetooth, on which I've wasted far too much time trying out ideas on both Ubuntu and Mint forums :(

As for the webcam, I guess the guys on those forums have just resigned themselves to their fate

BTW, one of the reasons I abandoned Ubuntu was that every other update resulted in this message: "Requires installation of untrusted packages".

Ubuntu forum posts insisted it would be solved by redirecting to the Main Server - that's where I was getting it from to start with!

Now I'm getting similar messages from Mint "Requires installation of unauthorized packages"!

My Software Sources settings are:
Download from Main Server
Downloadable from internet:
Main packages (main)
Upstream packages (upstream)
Imported packages (import)


Any idea what's going on?
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Author: pleached Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Global Fool Motley Fool One Everlasting Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6593 of 6641
Subject: Re: What's the most Linux-ready laptop? Date: 9/28/2012 4:40 PM
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I can only guess because I've been a redhat/fedora person since 1998(?) but likely an Upstream or Imported package isn't signed. Or possibly the distro maintainers at mint don't do a good job and some of the main packages in their repository are not signed ( which would be a deal-breaker for me, honestly ).

If you can track down the root of the problem it would be a win. Signed packages are a big deal to me. IMHO a distro that provides a working/usable/requires-no-headaches SELinux base config is also a big deal ( because when SELinux breaks things most people just disable it -- which i totally get ).

does it log which particular packages were unsigned? you might be able to see origin in package metainfo....

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Author: TMFCogitarius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Home Fool Global Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6594 of 6641
Subject: Re: What's the most Linux-ready laptop? Date: 9/30/2012 10:55 AM
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'does it log which particular packages were unsigned? you might be able to see origin in package metainfo.... '

Thanks again. Shall check on the next update
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