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out of the box linux supported laptop/netbook



linux newbie and not trying or wanting to be an expert

i currently have an hp pavillion POC (piece of crap) that i couldnt get a wireless broadcom 802.11 g card to work with a suse/novell 10 distro.

i read internet claims about some utility called ndiswrapper and tried it. it seemed to be a ridiculous amount of command line tweaking and crap and didnt work. i doubt it was ligitmate.

imo, it shouldnt be that difficult to get a global wireless standard to work with s globally used operating system.

are there any out of the box netbooks/laptops currently operating that are fully supported by a linux distribution?

i plan to ditch the hp pavillion i have now

i dont want asus or ubuntu.

i have my reasons.

iow, what netbooks/laptops w/wireless are fully supported by the current kernel? if any?

not some high priced custom - approx 400 bucks

any help appreciated



  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    Your current laptop may work better with another distirbution. Each distribution decides exactly what drivers to include in their default installation, I personally have had no problems with ubuntu recongizing and pre-configuring any built in wireless card.

    Give ubuntu a try on that laptop, if the laptop is old and cannot handle KDE or GNOME you can try xbuntu which uses the xfce window manager.

    I personally avoid broadcom and other wireleess card chipsets because I want to avoid the ndiswrapper troubles. If you are looking for a new latop I recommend looking for one that is using a atheros based wireless networking card.

    The kernel is not necessarily the issue when it comes to support, some vendors, such as the makers of your wireless card, choose not to conttrib to the linux kernel and instead only release their drivers in only a windows format, ndiswrapper is used to translate the windows wireless drivers to work under linux.

    Start with an Ubuntu installtion/live CD to see if your wireless works out of the box.
  • STiAT
    I'll write two parts. The first is short, so I'll start out with it. Consider buying another just another wireless card (as an Intel Wireless card, or one with an atheros chipset) to replace the Broadcom in your Laptop. This will probably be the cheapest solution, and should work.

    As you wrote you're not an expert, I won't hassle you with technical details about why not to buy broadcom devices, but I can ensure you, that broadcom does a great job making the kernel developers life harder than it must and should be.

    Secondly, if you're really thinking about a new laptop. I can suggest Dell Latitude (I personally call a latitude e5500 my own, and i'm really happy with that piece, my girlfriend uses a Dell Vostro 1500 on Ubuntu, which worked great out of the box as well). It runs all hardware out of the box, means no hassles, no configuring at all.
    Probably some people will disagree with the vendor (Dell), but I'm perfectly satisfied.

    If you buy a laptop, make two things sure:
    Get a video card which has a good support, which nowdays means NVidia (i don't like them, and don't have one, but they're currently the best ones).
    A valid choice for cards which work is Intel (4500 HD in example). I have a 4500 HD, but I want to say a few words of warning: It's not fast, not thought for a lot of 3D and the drivers arn't that good at the moment, but they do the job. If I was just a user, I'd pick NVidida (for sure). But it's perfectly fine for systems which you'd like to work with, where you don't need a lot of 3D (and it's the cheaper choice).
    No ATI graphics card if you want to make your life easier!

    For your wireless device, you should pick either Intel or a card with an atheros chipset (as my former speaker already mentioned). That's the way to go in Linux at the moment, if you want stable and good drivers.


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