[nSLUG] List of laptops known to support Linux?

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Fri Dec 13 15:24:46 AST 2013


I've been involved in a number of workshops where relatively new (under 1
year old) name brand (e.g., Dell) Windows PC's or laptops were supplied by
the host organization.   Running native linux on consumer boxes without
having to find drivers outside the distro generally requires a very recent
release.  Ubuntu tends to have support for mainstream consumer gear (and
lots of users in the far corners of the world so participants often had
colleagues who could help with Ubuntu problems when they returned to their
home lab).  The "easy" route to get things going was to install linux as VM
guest, but some participants have projects that needed all the available
RAM so for them we had to find ways to provide native linux.   If you end
up with hardware that lacks native drivers, there are some workarounds:

1. USB dongles for ethernet or wireless

2. wireless network boxes with ethernet connections (Apple airport and
TEW-640 wireless media bridge are examples that have worked for me)

3. NDISwrapper allows linux to use Windows XP drivers (so these days
relevant mostly for older hardware).  Some crappy hardware also has crappy
drivers, but some combinations of hardware+driver perform well for typical
workloads.



On Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 3:27 AM, Mike Spencer <mspencer at tallships.ca> wrote:

>
> Thanks all for the various opinions and pointers.  I'll be reading
> over them as I pursue the replacement-laptop project.
>
> Presently I'm trying, off and on, to get a borrowed netbook to run
> Slackware.  The install was awkward and didn't work as expected,
> albeit with eventual success.  But neither ethernet nor wireless
> worked.  I spent a lot of time trying various driver packages and
> looking for information before, finally, finding someone who'd worked
> on writing the appropriate drivers, could name the relevant chip sets
> and let me know that there were no stand-alone drivers for it.  To
> make it work I have to get a newer release of Slackware with newer
> kernel than the most recent I have and begin the installation again.
>
> I may get there yet.  In the mean time I'm keeping my eye out for an
> inexpensive laptop.  But I'd really like to avoid the kind of hassle
> described above.
>
> Tnx,
> - Mike
>
> --
> Michael Spencer                  Nova Scotia, Canada       .~.
>                                                            /V\
> mspencer at tallships.ca                                     /( )\
> http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/                        ^^-^^
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-- 
George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia
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