[nSLUG] List of laptops known to support Linux?

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Sun Dec 8 21:53:41 AST 2013

In my experience, the best information comes from searching for linux
install reports for a specific model (keeping in mind that hardware specs
for a given model often change).  Even then you may find reports that say
"linux runs great" but neglect to point out that linux lacks drivers for
some hardware bits (sound, 3-D video, network, power management, special
keys such as quick switching between onboard video and a projector).  Some
vendors (Lenovo, Dell) have lists of systems certified for particular linux
distros -- extra diligence is needed for models that were certified using
vendor-supplied drivers as those may not be available for newer distros.

I have also noticed that many low-end laptops built in the past 5 years
tend to
have early failures in subsystems such as audio or networking. Owners
either do without or use USB dongles to supply missing functions.

Many large organizations replace laptops after three years.  They tend to
buy more robust speced models (e.g., Thinkpads) that are more likely to
continue working and have parts available beyond 3 years, so are often a
good alternative for used gear.   I've been able to download service
manuals for Thinkpads -- Dell also has downloadable manuals for odler
gear.   It is worth looking for a hardware takedown report so you know if
there are major problems if you need to do things like clear dust from CPU
cooling fins are steal parts from a donor machine -- lightly used systems
with broken screens are sometimes available for parts.

On Sun, Dec 8, 2013 at 4:35 PM, Mike Spencer <mspencer at tallships.ca> wrote:

> Does anybody maintain a list of laptop models known to work well with
> recent versions of Linux?  Or anything resembling that?
> I can't think of any unique key words to hand to Google, don't want to
> see everything that's ever been written about "Linux" & "laptop".
> And I don't want to buy a used laptop that turns out to need hours of
> searching for video or datacom chipset drivers, possible download of
> newer distro, hardcore tweaking etc.
> - 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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