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Salix on notebooks / laptops

Posted: 9. Dec 2013, 17:25
by noob51
Was wondering, any recommendations on a notebook or laptop to install salix on, or just get a pre-loaded linux machine. waht should i look for in wifi or grahics.

Re: Salix on notebooks / laptops

Posted: 9. Dec 2013, 19:30
by mimosa
Most hardware will work, which means it's perhaps better to think about this the other way round, and check whether the hardware of a particular machine you are considering purchasing is supported by the linux kernel in question. There are sites for this - I think if you search this forum, you should find a link.

Salix 14.0 has the 3.2.29 kernel (not sure whether this is 14.0 or 14.0.1)

Salix 14.1, which is on its way, has the 3.10.17 kernel.

In general, nvidia graphics cards tend to cause trouble but it's not too hard to solve; there's plenty of information in old posts on this forum.

As for a machine with Linux pre-installed - well, that guarantees that it will work with that distribution and its kernel. However, you'd probably rather choose a distribution for yourself, in which case the same checks apply. The pre-installed system might make a good base for resolving any problems, though.

Re: Salix on notebooks / laptops

Posted: 9. Dec 2013, 23:50
by noob51
Thanks for replying,

I believe I should have posted this in Misc. Topics.

Re: Salix on notebooks / laptops

Posted: 10. Dec 2013, 00:09
by mimosa
You're quite right. I didn't notice ... maybe someone will move the thread.

Re: Salix on notebooks / laptops

Posted: 10. Dec 2013, 08:29
by gapan
With respect to compatibility, probably Intel graphics are the best, as long as you make sure it's not the GMA500 type. But Nvidia works OK too, either with the open source drivers or with the proprietary nvidia drivers. Not really sure about AMD as I have never used one.

For wifi, you might need to do some manual work to make a broadcom chip work (it needs proprietary firmware), but it works. Anything else should work out of the box.

Re: Salix on notebooks / laptops

Posted: 10. Dec 2013, 15:00
by GJones
AMD/ATI graphics work great on newer kernels. Only exception is libre distributions that don't include the necessary firmware; on those you can't use KMS, and may have stability problems.

Re graphics, I would also point out that the VESA driver works reasonably well for standard VGA (i.e. not widescreen) resolutions, which are common on older laptops.

For my recommendations, I have several laptops that work fine...

Asus EeePC 1005HAB
Very slow, but has great battery life. All hardware works out of the box. 32 bit only, limited to 2 GB RAM max.

HP dv6000 series
What I'm typing this on. :) Default battery life is terrible, but there are ways of extending it. Wireless requires Broadcom firmware via slapt-src, otherwise everything works out of the box except for the (useless) WinModem. Be warned that the screens on these laptops are a bit dubious, and may need repair after a while. Also the hard disk it comes with is cheap.

Compaq Presario CS7000 series(?)
Mostly identical to the HP laptop. Slightly faster processor, comes with half as much RAM and the usual cheap hard disk. Wireless doesn't require firmware but is of inferior quality. However, the clincher on this is the BIOS, which is utter garbage - it will fail to boot from external media about half the time, which updates will not fix, and of course coreboot isn't an option. Yay.

Acer Aspire 3680
Cheap but highly reliable. All hardware works out of the box. Hard disk is forced to IDE mode for some reason, but in practice this doesn't matter. Battery life is rubbish, but again there are ways to improve it. Faster than the other options due to the Celeron M520 processor, but single-core means it's not as good for multitasking.

Of these I would personally recommend the dv6000 series most; it's common, fairly easy to upgrade and repair, and very powerful for getting work done. The EeePC is more reliable but too slow for my liking, and the small screen and smaller keyboard are really annoying.

Re: Salix on notebooks / laptops

Posted: 29. Mar 2014, 03:01
by Sasquatch
I'm using a Compaq Presario CQ57 with no problems.

Re: Salix on notebooks / laptops

Posted: 4. Apr 2014, 05:56
by JWJones
I've always had good luck with ThinkPads. My T61 (Intel graphics) is a great Linux laptop, runs everything I throw at it (usually runs Slackware).