Welcome to the new Linux Foundation Forum!

Linux on laptops???

Ok, so I've decided to buy a laptop with Linux pre-installed and have been searching the net for a few weeks now. I'm in Ireland - this generally means that if you want anything out of the ordinary you'd search UK vendors. Buying from the US usually means a heavy 'duty' tax bill arriving in the post soon after you take delivery so going outside Europe isn't really an option.

Anyway, I'm having real difficulty getting what I want. I've a budget of around €600 and I don't want something with a crappy little 10" screen. It seems that any linux based system with a 15.6" screen is €100's more than the exact same spec with windows.

I've read this might be down to 'extra support costs' and a 'smaller market demand' making Linux less attractive discouraging vendors from making them available but I know they do make them. It just seems impossible to find out about them. I'm super frustrated right now :angry:

I'm not asking for someone to recommend a particular model or vendor. Am I just looking in the wrong places? Where can I find reliable and UP TO DATE information laptops (not netbooks) with linux preinstalled? This is a 'getting started with Linux' forum - I can't even get that far if I don't have the right tools right?

Please help!

Barry

Comments

  • woboylewoboyle Posts: 501
    Barry,

    Although you can find a laptop with Linux pre-installed on it for the price you mention, most laptops will run Linux just fine even if they don't come with it by default. For example, I run Ubuntu on my 2 Dell laptops (a D630 and Inspirion 9300) very happily and Ubuntu has absolutely zero problems with the WiFi, Bluetooth, and broadband wireless devices I use. Anyway, for your 600 Euros you should be able to find a decent laptop that if it doesn't come with Linux pre-installed, will be able to run Linux in any case.
  • Goineasy9Goineasy9 Posts: 1,116
    I concur about the Dell computers. I have a Studio 17 and a Studio XPS 13 running Fedora 11 perfectly. I purchased them with Vista installed (I really hated to but....I needed to dual boot so I could show others the difference and how one works as well as the other on the same hardware), but since they sell them with Ubuntu pre-installed most of their hardware (if not all) works with Linux. And there is a Dell Ireland you can buy from. I guess without the extra tax problem. See Link:

    http://ireland.dell.com/ie/en/gen/df.aspx?refid=df&s=gen

    Hope that helped.
  • BarryMBarryM Posts: 23
    Hi lads, thanks for getting back to me so soon. I've downloaded the linux live CD and used it on my current laptop (a tatty 4 y/o Acer) and it seems damn nice, however, I'm just a little unsure about trying to install it myself especially as I'm looking for dual booting. I wanna move over to Linux (Ubuntu) but I think it might be a little difficult (at first at least) to get some of my other hardware & specific software to work properly with Linux e.g. my mobile phone etc... so I'll sit on the fence and use windows whenever I've no choice!
    I think that my gripe is more about how difficult it is to find out about these laptops and find them on the vendor's / OEM's sites. I can't count the amount of sites I've gone to and searched for laptop+Linux only to see no matches, something with a 9" screen or a bunch of windows laptops popping up as the result.
    For years I've been telling people to use open office and Firefox etc... but most people just wanna egt results in a couple of clicks (me included!) but there seems a lot of barriers. I suppose I might find out where I can suggest to linux.com that they have a dedicated section that gives direct links to machines running linux. Something that members can submit links to subject to voluntary moderators approval. It could even be a place where owners could post reviews etc... Any thoughts on this?
  • Goineasy9Goineasy9 Posts: 1,116
    Manufacturers sign contracts with Microsoft that prevent them from advertising Linux on their front page. I'm sure behind the scenes wheeling and dealing have also been the reason Asus and Lenovo have also stopped their positive bent for Linux. So, for mainstream manufacturers, one must dig into their websites to find the Linux pre-installed versions of their computers.
    I must say that Dell has made it easier in recent months. When looking at their laptops/netbooks, the OS choice has now become front and center when choosing models. But, that's the exception to the rule.

    Sites like:
    http://www.emperorlinux.com/
    http://www.system76.com/?gclid=CKTC7MvkoZ0CFdZM5QodWHfD7Q
    http://www.linux-laptop.net/
    http://www.linuxcertified.com/linux_laptops.html
    http://www.thelinuxlaptop.com/
    and the many other sites that come up when you google "linux laptop" "linux desktop" etc are what we have for now.
  • I'm in Ireland - this generally means that if you want anything out of the ordinary you'd search UK vendors.

    I'd been through the same......

    TuxMobil is worth a look for Linux on Laptops and other devices..
    http://tuxmobil.org/laptop_manufacturer.html
    http://tuxmobil.org/mylaptops.html

    The starred manufacturers in the second link above sell Laptops with Linux according to the site..

    Other places to check would be
    www.pcsystems.ie
    www.expansys.ie
    www.pixmania.ie

    There are others like dabs, elara etc.,

    I purchased a Toshiba satellite pro recently for under 600 (ex VAT) but that was with XP..
    Would be nice if somebody offered PCs, Notebooks with something like Freedos, so we could choose what to install and avoid OS costs :)

    On your Ubuntu installation, why not check out Wubi/. Other possibility would be to just install VirtualBox. That way you can check out if most of your hardware is recognized..

    Hope this helps!
  • Goineasy9 wrote:
    Manufacturers sign contracts with Microsoft that prevent them from advertising Linux on their front page. I'm sure behind the scenes wheeling and dealing have also been the reason Asus and Lenovo have also stopped their positive bent for Linux. So, for mainstream manufacturers, one must dig into their websites to find the Linux pre-installed versions of their computers.
    I agree with that. Fortunately all the big hardware manufacturers are now shipping splashtop with their bios'.) :)

    Honestly, no one is shipping Linux laptops because the laptop market has dropped and people seem to think that these netbook things are a good idea. I honestly wouldn't go for a netbook either, it's not only about the screen. The intel atom really isn't up to much from what I've seen.

    I think you'll need to buy a laptop and install Linux yourself like everyone else that doesn't own a nettop or a netbook.
    It's not hard. :)
  • Goineasy9Goineasy9 Posts: 1,116
    Heh, it's called Express Gate on my new Asus board. Still haven't played with it. Fedora boots really fast, haven't found use for it. I agree with the netbooks and the Atom processors though. Wanted a light small laptop, looked at the netbooks but wound up with a Dell XPS 13. Intel Dual Core, nvidia graphics, 1280X800, 500gb HD and only 4 lbs. Full powered laptop but small and light. An Atom based netbook can't compare, especially when you need to do real work when away.
  • BarryMBarryM Posts: 23
    I got fed up trying to buy it preinstalled so I got myself a ASUS K501N and installed it myself. Now all I got to do is figure out how to get all the hardware working - wireless, web cam, video card, etc... I reckon there's a steep learning curve ahead of me!
    I'm posting this while logged in on vista right now :( Hopefully it won't take too long before I figure out how to get all my hardware up and running and I'll be online using Linux...
  • mfillpotmfillpot Posts: 2,180
    BarryM wrote:
    I got fed up trying to buy it preinstalled so I got myself a ASUS K501N and installed it myself. Now all I got to do is figure out how to get all the hardware working - wireless, web cam, video card, etc... I reckon there's a steep learning curve ahead of me!
    I'm posting this while logged in on vista right now :( Hopefully it won't take too long before I figure out how to get all my hardware up and running and I'll be online using Linux...

    If you post your hardware model info and your distro then we can try to help guide you in the right direction to get everything working.
  • BarryMBarryM Posts: 23
    Hey Karma, that's really nice of you. OK, here's the rundown:
    Model: ASUS K50IN-SX025E

    ASUS K50IN C2D T6500 (2.1GHz)
    4Gb (2x2GB)
    320GB
    15.6" HD TFT (1366x768, Color-Shine)
    VHP DVDSM NVIDIA® GeForce® G102M, with 512MB dedicated
    802.11 BGN,
    Numeric Keypad
    USB 2.0 1.3mp UVC Webcam
    Realtek High Defination Audio
    Atheros AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter

    Let me know if you wanna know anything else.

    I've also been given this advice:
    You should be able to grab the .inf file from the windows xp version of the drivers for you card and use ndiswrapper to make it work. the commands would be:

    sudo ndiswrapper -i {driver file}.inf
    sudo ndiswrapper -m

    After a reboot it will be detected and functional.
    Does this sound right? 'ndiswrapper' is this a program I need or a comand prompt I enter somewhere in Linux?

    Thanks millions again. It's great to be getting this kind of help :)
Sign In or Register to comment.