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Ask Slashdot: GNU/Linux Laptops? 708

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the the-internet-tells-me-this-is-easier-today dept.
conner_bw writes "I'm an OS X user looking to switch to a Linux laptop. I like the Unix/BSD aspect of OS X. Simple things like when I close the lid the laptop goes to sleep, the sound card works out of the box, long battery life, minimum cooling fan noise, and a comprehensive but relatively straightforward backup system and 'AppleCare' package are important to me. What all-inclusive model of laptop and distro would you recommend?" He didn't mention it, but I am presuming that working Wifi should be on that list too.
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Ask Slashdot: GNU/Linux Laptops?

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  • by SultanCemil (722533) on Monday October 24, 2011 @06:09PM (#37825570)
    Honestly, wouldn't a MacBook of some description be the best choice? You "like the Unix/BSD aspect...", hardware working, good battery life, AppleCare-type support, etc. Why switch? Are you looking for cheaper hardware? Philosophical leaning towards Linux?
    • Exactly my sentiments.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by gknoy (899301)

      Perhaps he does not want the comparatively walled (though curated?) garden of a mac. I agree, though, almost all of the "just works" aspects that he want sounds like it would fit a macbook.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by MalleusEBHC (597600)

        OS X is not a walled garden like iOS. You can install apps and tweak the system to pretty much any reasonable degree. While there's always the fear that Apple is going to iOS-ize OS X, right now the Mac App store is purely optional.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by itsdapead (734413)

        Perhaps he does not want the comparatively walled (though curated?) garden of a mac. I agree, though, almost all of the "just works" aspects that he want sounds like it would fit a macbook.

        A Mac isn't an iPad - Apple would like you to you use the App Store, but you can still run what you like. The compilers and dev tools are free. If you install MacPorts you get access to a huge range of FOSS projects. Others (E.g. LibreOffice, Eclipse) have native ports that don't rely on X Windows.

      • by ThorGod (456163)

        Perhaps he does not want the comparatively walled (though curated?) garden of a mac.

        The "walled garden" phrase refers to how every application on an iPod/iPhone/iPad has to come from the App Store (same way with a BB Playbook, btw). *That's* a walled garden. Currently, I have htop, ipython, the KDE desktop (konquerer, kpat, etc etc), and much more installed on my OS 10.6 MacBook via macports. While iOS may be a "walled garden", Mac COMPUTERS are *not* a walled garden. Not any more than Windows is, at least.

    • by exomondo (1725132)
      That's what I was thinking too, perhaps if we knew exactly why an OSX Macbook was unsuitable this would be easier, based on all of the listed requirements that seems like the ideal choice. Like is there any specific reason for GNU/Linux?
    • by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross@ ... o.ca minus punct> on Monday October 24, 2011 @06:22PM (#37825744)

      I completely agree here. I have been looking at laptops to buy and quite frankly it is scary. The cheap notebooks are Windows proprietary s**t. And if you start to move to anything better quality with better hardware you get close to Apple hardware. I thought I was seeing things, but Apple hardware is not that much more expensive. And if you want to get anything without windows on it, well good luck with that!

      I am not saying that you can't find a laptop, but it is truly becoming like pulling teeth. The entire industry outside of Apple has decided to jump on the Windows bandwagon. It leads me to wonder what happened to the separation of OEM from Microsoft? Oh yeah went down the tubers when the legal restrictions expired.

      I am not impressed!!!

      • by PCM2 (4486) on Monday October 24, 2011 @06:40PM (#37825972) Homepage

        I am not saying that you can't find a laptop, but it is truly becoming like pulling teeth. The entire industry outside of Apple has decided to jump on the Windows bandwagon.

        I'm not sure what mythical age you're referring to when PCs didn't come pre-bundled with Windows.

        What does seem to have changed, though, is that laptops now seem almost completely homogeneous. You can pick from just a few screen sizes -- 14" and 15.6" seemingly being the two most popular. But guess what? Whichever size you pick, they all have the same resolution: 1366x768. For the majority of models, the graphics will be powered by Intel onboard graphics -- which, by the way, are now actually integrated into the CPU dies. You can pick from a few different hard drive sizes -- 320GB, 500GB, and now 640GB being typical. Those will be 5400rpm drives, BTW. And the drive sizes will be closely tied to the CPU speed for pricing reasons -- so you might find a Core i3 with a 500GB drive, but if you want a Core i5 for just $50 more or so, it will come with a smaller drive. If you want the whole shebang, you'll have to pay more, plus they'll throw in something extra you didn't want (like WiMax or something).

        Basically it's just an all-out price war, where all the manufacturers are producing virtually identical models while trying everything in their power to undersell the other guys. That means most of them are cutting a lot of corners. One reasonable shopping strategy is to find a configuration you like, list all the specific models that have those exact specs, and decide which brand you trust not to build a complete piece of shit -- but you can't even rely on brands these days, it seems.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          I'm not sure what mythical age you're referring to when PCs didn't come pre-bundled with Windows.

          Well, there was the time PCs came pre-bundled with DOS... You haven't lived until you've messed with Wyse's DOS

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by billcopc (196330)

        *dons troll-proof helmet*

        I'm a lifelong PC guy who bought a Macbook about six months ago. It still feels "wrong", in that my home rigs all run Windows or Linux, which I've been using since, well, ever, so switching to the Mac is often confusing as I instinctively use the wrong keyboard shortcuts and whatnot. That said, I have been extremely impressed with the hardware since day one. It's the software that annoys me, but the machine itself is superbly built, the display has great brightness/colour and vie

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by catmistake (814204)

          even the entry-level MBP is what, 1200 or so ? It costs as much as two similar-spec PC laptops

          Here are the specs [apple.com] of that $1200 13" MBP.
          Take a look. Now... show us all this $600 laptop with similar specs.

          This notion that Apple's hardware is outrageously overpriced has been shown to be false time and again. Yes, there are $600 laptops, and they may match proc and RAM of Apple's hw, maybe even more RAM or more HD... but the specifications will not even be close. As with other hw manufacturers, so it is even with Apple: the margins are pretty thin. Once you actually match the specifications (and not

      • Almost a year ago I bought an HP DV5-2134US from Staples. Tested the latest version of backtrack on it, and all of the hardware worked right out of the box, including the wifi adapter, which as luck turned out, also supported advanced features such as monitor mode and packet injection, neither of which are even usable in Windows.

        So clearly some OEM's are thinking outside of the box, even though their product runs windows.

        The specs are a 14" screen, 4GB of ram, 500GB HDD, AMD P340, and a bunch of nice things

      • by martin-boundary (547041) on Monday October 24, 2011 @07:25PM (#37826356)
        I always get refurbished Thinkpads. 1) you get cheap high end hardware that lasts and lasts and lasts,... and is actually designed to be opened up for maintenance. 2) there's good linux hardware support since you're not on the bleeding marketing edge. 3) The nipple rocks.
    • by hawguy (1600213)

      All of the above worked out of the box on my Thinkpad T520 with Ubuntu 10.04, 11.04, and 11.10. (depending on how you define "long battery life" -- my battery lasts about 20% longer with Win7 than on Ubuntu.)

      I don't know what all "Applecare" gives you, but you can buy a Desktop support contract from Canonical for around $100/year:

      http://shop.canonical.com/product_info.php?currency=USD&products_id=667 [canonical.com]

      You can do UbuntuOne cloud based backups (depending on how much data you want to back up), or something l

      • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Monday October 24, 2011 @06:58PM (#37826142) Homepage

        Applecare, as I understand it, is just an extended hardware warranty with limited software support ("How do I ____ with OSX?" type stuff).

        I didn't buy it for mine, because $379 seems a bit egregious. If a manufacturing defect doesn't manifest in the first year, I don't see the point in paying for 2 more years of coverage. I use my laptop every day on the go, if something's screwy on it, it's gonna die young.

        • by Culture20 (968837) on Monday October 24, 2011 @07:43PM (#37826480)

          I didn't buy it for mine, because $379 seems a bit egregious. If a manufacturing defect doesn't manifest in the first year, I don't see the point in paying for 2 more years of coverage. I use my laptop every day on the go, if something's screwy on it, it's gonna die young.

          Because Apple's bad cooling designs cause normal failure in 2-3 years even without manufacturing defects.

      • by Sepodati (746220)

        I have a newer Thinkpad Edge (year old, maybe...) that has some coming-out-of-sleep issues every once in a while. Other than that, it's been running Ubuntu perfectly since I got it. My Thinkpad T43p and Dell Mini have no issues with any of the mentioned concerns.

    • by drjones78 (961270)
      The other option is to run Linux ON a Mac laptop. Most Mac's work pretty well with Linux. Sometimes newer models have some issues, but they usually get ironed out pretty fast, because there's lots of demand for them too.

      While OSX is technically UNIX, it is much easier to do many Unixy things on Linux or traditional BSD's.
    • Why switch? Are you looking for cheaper hardware? Philosophical leaning towards Linux?

      While I can't speak for the OP, I recently bought a new laptop and chose (god help me!) an HP dv6-6135tx over a Macbook pro. Although I think the Mac hardware is exceptional, the fact that (in Australia, at least) it was 3x the price was a deciding factor. Another (less important) factor was the lack of a right (or middle) mouse button and a numeric keypad. And finally, there was an ethical decision to not support a company whose ideas on free and open don't match my own (but note that I'm not upholding

  • ThinkPads (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 24, 2011 @06:13PM (#37825616)

    ThinkPad + Ubuntu will probably work pretty well for you. ThinkPads have tended to have good linux support for a very long time. Check out ThinkWiki.org

    Of course, they still come with Windows (you used to be able to order them without, but I think they have done away with that now) but they still work pretty good with Ubuntu.

    • by mirix (1649853)

      Second this, I've had pretty good luck with various T-series Thinkpads and Debian in the past.

      I don't have much experience with the post-IBM models, though, so I can't claim things haven't changed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 24, 2011 @06:14PM (#37825632)

    http://www.system76.com/

    System76 is the closest your going to get to a Apple experience with Linux.
    Pre-installed so you don't have to muck around with drivers
    Comprehensive testing and configuration of the hardware by professionals.
    Support and documentation.
    Company officially supports Linux.
    Provides custom driver bundles to make upgrading effortless as possible.
    etc etc.

    You will get NONE of those things if you go with a Windows system from a large OEM and then try to install Linux on it yourself. You will be your only source for OS support and hardware configuration. You can have Ubuntu forums and mailing lists, but to be honest the chances of you getting useful answers is about 1 in 4.

    • by Rastor (8752) on Monday October 24, 2011 @06:30PM (#37825846)

      Yeah, it would be good to get it from a supplier who has actually heard of Linux. So System 76 [system76.com], or maybe Emperor Linux [emperorlinux.com] or The Linux Laptop [thelinuxlaptop.com] or Linux-Certified [linuxcertified.com] or ZaReason [zareason.com] etc.

    • Maybe it's time you checked out some other distros?

      Could be that I'm just lucky, but I've installed Linux (most often OpenSUSE) on about a dozen $random $laptops over the last few years, and I honestly can't remember the last time that hardware recognition and driver installation wasn't handled by the installer. No, I take that back--I do remember: the last time I had to install a driver manually was in 2008, when I needed to hack/build/install atheros drivers (as well as wpa_supplicant) for a Broadcom wifi

    • by seandiggity (992657) on Monday October 24, 2011 @08:46PM (#37826974) Homepage
      Typing this on a 4-year-old System76 now. Great hardware, and it's important to support GNU/Linux vendors.

      System76 has an update tool that will install anything specific to their hardware as a .deb package, so you shouldn't have any driver problems as long as you only upgrade your distro when System76 says they support it. For some time now, however, I haven't needed any updates directly from System76, as driver support for all my hardware is now available in the default repos.
  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Monday October 24, 2011 @06:16PM (#37825666)

    Ubuntu has a list of Certified Hardware [ubuntu.com] for ya. But I have yet to get a Thinkpad at least 90% running. I don't have the fingerprint reader on my X200s working with Fedora but everything else works, including the dock. The boss's Thinkpad T520 runs Ubuntu and has everything working except audio through the dock, but dual DVI displays on the dock do work.

    Of course once you get a laptop working expect updates to constantly break things until you just get tired of rolling back failed updates and just stop, only taking critical security updates you can't live without.

    It is worse with Linux because almost no OEMs are involved in keeping it working, most aren't even involved in initially getting it going so folks have to guess. But raise your hand if you haven't had to roll back a driver or update on that 'other' popular OS. Last week I had to roll back a mouse driver on a Dell laptop to get the pointer working.

    • Of course once you get a laptop working expect updates to constantly break things until you just get tired of rolling back failed updates and just stop, only taking critical security updates you can't live without.

      Is this really your current experience? I have to say that 4 years ago, I'd have to agree with you regarding Linux for even common hardware, though even then I only had that experience when upgrading major versions of distros, not everyday package updates. Even 18 months ago, I still encountered some issues installing a few standard distros on popular laptops. But I haven't had any support issues since then.

      I realize people have been saying that Linux is ready for the mainstream for over a decade, but

      • Most distros work on newer, UEFI-capable systems when in legacy/BIOS mode, though that's not always the case when trying to use native capabilities. UEFI has created some problems recently on x86 hardware, but they appear to be getting addressed. They were first really addressed with kernel 3.0 and have gotten better in 3.1. Matt Garrett was the developer to start figuring out what was going on, leading to a patch with an amusing description [lwn.net] and a few bits of sarcasm in in-line comments. It's improved s

      • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Monday October 24, 2011 @07:03PM (#37826178)

        > Is this really your current experience?

        Yup, take the two examples I noted. The Thinkpad 200s I'm typing this on was installed with Fedora 12. During it's errata stream the kernel broke undocking. So I had to roll back and hold.... all the way through the F13 and F14 cycles I got to stay midway in F12 and hope a remote exploit didn't force me to upgrade anyway and just shutdown and reboot instead of undocking. The bugzilla is now closed since things started working with F15. So I could chose stay with a totally unsupported OS or GNOME3. I'd much preferred F14 so now I run XFCE on F15.

        The Boss's Thinkpad can't update Ubuntu anymore unless great care is taken to ensiure Xorg doesn't update lest the second DVI port stop working and of course a distro update is out of the question because of the GNOME problem, so she will be stuck on 11.04 until that situation improves.

        I have a machine at home with a PATA RAID card that hasn't worked with new kernels for years. RHEL4/(clone of) is rock solid though. Stuff doesn't officially go depracted very often while examples are still in the wild, but most stuff will eventually stop working unless a lot of people use it or a key kernel dev uses it.

    • by mathfeel (937008)

      I agree. I have the tablet version of x201 and to my surprise, the touch screen also works almost out of box. I had to google something, but it was quick. Fingerprint reader also doesn't work, but quite frankly I don't trust fingerprint authentication anyway so.

      But I don't know where you go for support. I kept a small win7 partition just so that I don't run into the "we don't support linux" when CSR tries to blinding diagnose hardware issue over the phone. So far, never had to boot it.

    • I installed Ubuntu on my Gateway-branded Acer Apsire 1 Netbook and its like they built the thing for Ubuntu. Everything works out of the box, even the wifi. Even the sleep mode stuff appears to work correctly. The only drawback to this is the hardware, this particular Acer didn't come with a bluetooth chip. Again, this is a hardware thing, once I got a bluetooth dongle placed on the USB bus I had everything I wanted. So I busted the bluetooth chip loose from its form and soldered it directly on the netbook'
  • by Anonymous Coward

    You could also run Linux within a Virtual Machine on your Mac Laptop ... thereby you get the best of both worlds. If you want to run on bare metal, several Linux distributions are known to run on Mac hardware as well, so you could keep your laptop and just change the operating system.

    Now, having said that, generally speaking you can't go wrong with Dell or Lenovo. I've been to many Linux conferences put on by RedHat and Novell / SuSE/ Attachmate, and I've seem more of those laptops running Linux than anyt

    • by zerkon (838861)
      I just started doing this myself. I had stopped using my MacBook due to bootcamp issues (was taking a class that required MS Access so I needed Windows). The drivers (touchpad especially) just didn't work that well under Windows 7. I had switched to an old thinkpad dual booting windows and linux.

      Recently discovered VMware Fusion and now I have a virtualized Windows 7 on my MacBook which lets me run office and internet explorer (for the 1 stupid IE only website I need to use). $50 for fusion and now I can
  • My $0.02 (Score:4, Informative)

    by someSnarkyBastard (1521235) on Monday October 24, 2011 @06:18PM (#37825688)

    System76 [system76.com] and ZaReason [zareason.com] are both good dedicated Linux laptop companies. Personally, I have a Dell n-series [dell.com] laptop .

    • My experience with ZaReason was really, really poor. The laptop they sent me had some issues (with the mobo, I think) and after a few attempts and fixing it, they stopped responding to my e-mails.

      Weeks later, they told me they'd sent the laptop back to the manufacturer -- in other words ZaReason is a reseller and so you're stuck going through them for warranty repairs.

      Anyway, 6 weeks after I got the laptop, I just asked for my money back and bought a MacBook Air instead. Could not have been happier with t

  • by CannonballHead (842625) on Monday October 24, 2011 @06:19PM (#37825702)

    The biggest problem I typically run into with installing Linux, nowadays, is the GPU.

    The open source drivers are okay for most things. The proprietary drivers (currently, I have an nVidia based laptop for work and am running RHEL Workstation 6.1) tend to have issues.

    For example, my current laptop, a Lenovo W520, cannot boot RHEL 6.1 if I have full ACPI enabled as well as the discrete graphics card enabled (BIOS switch; has both integrated Intel GPU and a discrete nVidia GPU). With some kernel parameter and xorg.conf finesse, I have a workaround with little issues... sleep works, brightness controls, battery monitor, etc.

    Sound, integrated webcam, wifi, etc., all work fine.

    If you don't care about GPU power and are just going to get one with integrated graphics anyways and use the open source drivers (like nouveau), that may make it easier.

    There are a variety of online sites that have lists of laptops along with their various distro compatibility results. In general, I've had good results with Dell computers... and I actually haven't really experienced a wireless card issue in a while, nor a sleep/hibernate issue (and "sleeping when I close the lid" is easily changed; I like it not to sleep when I do that, so I disabled it).

    • by iggymanz (596061)

      < shatnew > Why....would you run *RHEL*......on a *laptop*???!!!!! < / shatner >

      I think that would be your GPU problems right there, Ubuntu and Debian work fine with nVidia drivers and have the support packages for it (for Debian in non-free). RHEL is great for the servers but dang if I would ever use it for any desktop.

  • System 76 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 24, 2011 @06:20PM (#37825720)

    I purchased a System 76 laptop a few months ago after being on MacBooks for 7+ years and haven't looked back. My requirements weren't the same as yours so you might want to contact their customer support to ask specific questions, which I found to be responsive and friendly when I was researching them.

  • I've never actually bought from them, but it sounds like you'd be an ideal customer of http://system76.com/ [system76.com] - they provide pre-built Ubuntu Linux computers, including laptops, with good specs. Since they're building the PC and installing the OS, they can test the compatibility of everything. This is a lot better of an experience than you're likely to get with an off-the-shelf laptop + a downloaded Linux ISO.

    System76 also provides support, although I have no idea how it compares with AppleCare... but most Li

  • by reiscw (2427662) on Monday October 24, 2011 @06:24PM (#37825764)
    This weekend, I went to Office Depot, bought an HP 2000 laptop for about $329, brought it home, backed up the windows image, and installed Ubuntu 11.10. All of the conditions of his post are met. Battery life is good, fan is quiet, sound works, closing the laptop lid causes the machine to sleep, etc. Not sure what he means about backup - I use grsync which is easy enough to back up my home directory to a flash drive (primitive, I know, but I've never been burnt). No special configurations were necessary to install Ubuntu. It's funny that people keep bringing up WiFi. The last time I had problems with WiFi on Linux was a Broadcom chipset on Ubuntu 8.04. After that, everything has worked without issue (and I could get it working by extracting / copying firmware). Sometimes I think a lot of the Linux complaints about sound and wifi are out of date.

    I'm not sure what "AppleCare" is unless it's some sort of extended warranty / replacement program. Unless you're very unlucky, a decent laptop is cheap enough that you're better off self-insuring. While it might make sense for an Apple product (I'm being generous) I don't think it makes sense for a basic laptop workstation.
    • by retchdog (1319261)

      wifi might be okay (depends on the chipset, so just do the homework first). however, thanks to unending "progress" like pulseaudio (or shoddy distro packagings of pulseaudio, depending on who you believe), sound is STILL touchy on linux. at least on ubuntu, there's no guaranteed way to keep the sound stable, it just changes too fast.

    • Have to agree with above poster. I've installed Linux Mint on literally dozens of notebooks and netbooks recently, and only had a problem once on some rather dated hardware. Most of the new stuff JUST WORKS pretty much out of the box. There's some configuration or tweaking to do usually, but nothing a competent 10 year old couldn't muster (IE changing resolution, connecting to a wifi router with a WEP password).

  • There's been a lot of grumbling the past year or so about regressions in notebook/netbook power management which hurt battery life. Aside from that, I've generally had pretty good luck using Ubuntu Linux on laptops; but I haven't tried installing it on a new-ish laptop yet (all have been older HP/Compaq models).
  • Fan noise? (Score:5, Informative)

    by devleopard (317515) on Monday October 24, 2011 @06:28PM (#37825816) Homepage

    " ... minimum cooling fan noise ..."

    I have a 2011 15" MacBook Pro. The new i7 quad-core + new GPU gets crazy hot. Often the temp gauge jumps to 80 degrees C + and the fans spin up. Those 2 fans maxed out at 6200 RPM is anything but quiet.

    • by cashman73 (855518)
      You might want to check that out. I have the same system and don't notice those problems at all.
  • by TheDarkener (198348) on Monday October 24, 2011 @06:28PM (#37825824)

    It gets really annoying. 'I presume he wants working wifi, too'... ok, how about a working video chipset? If you're presuming, and you live in a 3rd world country, maybe you'd presume he wanted a modem.

    If this is dude's submission, don't mess with it, it just doesn't help the guy get the answers he needs. Besides, most wifi chipsets I've used recently have been pretty damn good.

    More-so I am aggravated at the editorial nature of these footer comments in general. Nerds don't like editorials, they like facts. Maybe that's my assumption, but I've been reading Slashdot for 11 years now. It. Gets. flippin'. Old.

    I probably should have ranted on some other, more deserving article footer comment...oh well. I love you guys

  • You are amazed that the computer goes to sleep when the lid closes and sound cards magically work, but yet you want to get a linux distro? What is this like your second computer ever?

  • Stick with a Macbook (Score:4, Informative)

    by John Bresnahan (638668) on Monday October 24, 2011 @06:31PM (#37825868)

    I used to run various versions of Linux on a couple different ThinkPads, and over the last few years (2006 - 2008 or so), each new release seemed less solid than the one before. I would spend days or weeks trying to hunt down fixes for various problems (sleep wouldn't work, WiFi wouldn't work, audio wouldn't work, etc.).

    Finally, in 2009, I bought a MacBook Pro (17", 8GB RAM), and used that as my primary machine. Best decision I've made in a long time. I wanted one laptop that I could use for everything, and with VMs running Windows 8 and whatever flavor of Linux I feel like playing with at the moment, I can develop and run any software for any platform.

    I might feel differently if I were a gamer, but I'm not, so this is the best setup. Since you're coming from a Linux system, I'm guessing that any games you might play are already available on the Mac.

    • I screwed up the last point. If playing games is important to you, make sure those games are available for Linux.

      Or, as I said above, stick with a Mac, and run Linux in a VM if you want.

  • If you want solid service and don't want a Macbook, then Lenovo Thinkpad is it. The support is domestic/insourced (my service center was in Georgia). As long as you're under warranty (comparable or cheaper in price to Applecare, but a larger number of somewhat confusing choices), they'll overnight you a mailer which gets overnighted back. After the service (which in my experience was very fast), they overnight the laptop to you. It can't get better than that without local repair centers (=apple stores).

    This

  • I couldn't care less about "just works". Half of the fun of running Linux laptops is the challenge to set them up to do all those things you want.

    The other half is to see the Apple funboys fiddling with their Macbooks to make projectors display their stuff (that is when they find someone who actually has the right widget to plug it in).

    ROFL

  • It should have (depending on the kind of hardware, you have (out of the box): 1. Backup, very similar to Time Machine, with the added advantage that you can actual performed a backup not only locally, but remotely or in the cloud (Ubuntu One)> Extremely easy to configure 2. Ubuntu One is very similar to iCloud, as it even synchronize with your phone. 3. Unity is getting more and more similar to OS X 4. You can pay for support.
  • by ADRA (37398)

    If you're up for a half decent price for a laptop, I found basically everything worked out of the box with the Dell XPS 15 (I7, etcc). I used Fedora 14 and I think there may have been some initial snafoos with video and Wifi. If there was, the fixes were straight-forward.

    For Noise, everything was quite on the unit normally as long as you're not cracking out 8 threads at a time (like when I make a build it becomes quite a bit noiser). The one bug that is with the unit is the NVidia GPU. When you're driving t

  • just get virtual box, and run linux on your mac book.
  • I have a Lenovo at work that runs Fedora 14 beautifully. Performance is excellent and graphically it does everything I need, which is typically web development. Though I do quite a bit of browsing in chrome. The default graphics card is fast enough, and I presume it's an inboard Intel chipset. I don't know what CPU it has but I'm guessing it's two years old; it was someone's hand me down.

  • I know several people who installed Linux on laptops for a while, but then they got tired of the hassles and went with Macs. The BSD environment on OS X is "good enough" that they can run all their UNIX/Linux apps, more or less.

    I, on the other hand, am stubborn and will only run Linux - in large part because you then get a much wider range of hardware options. I've run it on 3 generations of Thinkpads, 2 generations of netbooks, 2 desktops, and a tablet. In NO case (even when Linux came preinstalled) did

  • I have a Lenovo S12 netbook with the older processor and an Intel graphics chipset that's fully supported by X.org. The wireless is broadcom but the closed-source broadcom drivers are in the Fedora rpmfusion repos, and they work very well. The laptop works just like my old PowerBook. Close the lid, it goes to sleep. Open the lid, it wakes up. It has barely enough horsepower to run Compiz. All in all it's a slick machine. The Nvidia Ion version may work just as well too, with the Nvidia proprietary dr

  • There is a slashdot advertiser that advertises linux pcs. I forget the name. anybody wanna help? Dell makes some ubuntu laptops. www.dell.com/ubuntu
  • Nearly all laptops by quality manufacturers have excellent Linux support these days, especially if you are inclined to use Ubuntu.

    Your MacBook is an excellent candidate. I have a couple Dells, one that came with Vista and the other with 7, that I put Ubuntu on, and they run great. I also took an older MacBook that had fell out of use, and it also runs Ubuntu like a champ. I can't say I prefer one or the other; both brands have their strongs points in terms of hardware, but the Linux experience is about a

  • I ran a fdisk, format and reinstall with only Linux on my years-old core 2 duo macbook pro and bought the machine a second lease on life. It's snappy and responsive and mostly functional other than there doesn't appear to be an ATI driver that can deliver 3D acceleration for it. Which might be a big deal if you plan to use it for a gaming rig, except then you wouldn't be running Linux now would you? It makes a great programming development environment, and has me seriously considering doing the same thing t
  • by Acheron (2182) on Monday October 24, 2011 @09:02PM (#37827078)

    I would recommend buying yourself a Macbook Pro, getting VMWare Fusion or if you're low on funds after buying the MB, then VirtualBox, and running a Linux VM. You get the solid quality of the MBPro hardware and the standardised hardware environment that a VM offers and the resulting good linux driver behaviour.

    I use VirtualBox on my 2010 MBPro and it works like a charm.

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