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Phoronix Announces '2017 Linux Laptop Survey' (google.com) 66

Phoronix is hosting a 2017 Linux Laptop Survey. From their site: While Linux laptop compatibility is much better than where it was years ago, it's still not too uncommon to run into display/hybrid issues, shorter battery life under Linux than Windows or macOS, touchpad problems, and other occasional compatibility/performance shortcomings. So we've established this Linux Laptop Survey in conjunction with Linux stakeholders to hopefully gather more feedback that will be useful to many different parties...
The survey will be online until July 6th, after which the results will be publicly available, and will determine the most popular brands, distros, screen sizes, and GPUs, as well as common pain points and popular price points. And one particularly interestng question asks respondents what they'd like to see in a "dream Linux laptop."
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Phoronix Announces '2017 Linux Laptop Survey'

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  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Saturday June 24, 2017 @10:45AM (#54681787) Homepage Journal

    The complete absence of anything by Lennart Poettering.

    • Add "Complete absence of Optimus [wikipedia.org]" to that list, and I'm on board.

      • no laptop (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tomxor ( 2379126 ) on Saturday June 24, 2017 @11:07AM (#54681861)

        We all like to bitch about crappy hardware and software, but If you kept adding all the things that anyone ever hated about linux or hardware to your "no" list you will end up with a transistor... even some people will hate a particular type of transistor. so you will end up with nothing.

        Point being, if you knew all the details of what went into making your computer you would find a lot of it pretty fucking awful... Once you take the red pill you have to be more accepting of the prevalence of poor design and buggy hardware and software or get out of computing. Just focus on the good stuff, the bad stuff is inevitable for so many reasons. On a semi-related note, another way of looking at things is like Minix3: failure is inevitable, so make it fail right.

        • Re:no laptop (Score:4, Interesting)

          by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Saturday June 24, 2017 @11:39AM (#54681997)

          Minix is extremely useful for education though.

          To anyone interested, minix3 runs on two architectures: i586 or later processors, or beagle arm7v boards. It uses NETBSD's packages

        • even some people will hate a particular type of transistor. so you will end up with nothing.

          Back in the day, I used to hate PNP transistors. Everything was backwards and counter-intuitive, even the power supply was negative. A classic example of user-unfriendly design.

          • by glitch! ( 57276 )

            Back in the day, I used to hate PNP transistors. Everything was backwards and counter-intuitive, even the power supply was negative. A classic example of user-unfriendly design.

            And often, the only way to get it to work was to add an NPN transistor.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Troll. And maybe paid for. No sane person would discard good free software because the person that wrote it.

      • I agree, a sane person would not discard *good* free software, but that's not what we're discussing here.

        • Fine... I'll do it.

          I have been using a distro with systemd for years, now. It hasn't failed me - ever. I learned a few new commands, and have grown to accept it. I'm not willing to say I like it - but it is easier for me to deal with.

          To be clear, I have a small network and nothing of great importance on it. I am also meticulous about backups. It has never stopped me from booting, it has never prevented me from finding problems, it hasn't even gotten in the way.

          Are there improvements that would help? Probably. It should probably spit out more accurate information when shit fails to start. That'd help.

          Meh... I really don't mind it. At the same time, I understand why other people aren't that fond of it - and it can be a bitch to work with. I have read the stories.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            Systemd has not eaten my dog or anything quite so dramatic. And it hasn't caused me any problems, personally.

            But I've always felt that systemd was a solution in search of a problem, I don't care for Poettering's attitude (especially as regards the Unix philosophy), and I remain suspicious about how systemd got injected into all the major distros practically overnight.

            • by KGIII ( 973947 )

              It is, for me, better than the init scripts. I offer no opinion, in public, about the remainder. ;-)

              I also have no idea why it's trying to be more than an init system. I am pretty sure that's what they said was the goal. I'm pretty sure it's just gonna keep adding stuff until it's all you need to have besides the kernel. I may jump ship, at some point. GhostBSD has been nice in a VM.

              • It is, for me, better than the init scripts.

                Perhaps. For some people it's the other way round, and others prefer something else entirely. But it's Linux, you have the choice.

                Oh, hang on, you don't any more. That's what pissed most people off, I suspect.

                • ... But it's Linux, you have the choice.

                  Oh, hang on, you don't any more. That's what pissed most people off, I suspect.

                  Well, I wouldn't describe myself as "pissed off" over it. But I've some misgivings, sure.

                  • It's a single point of failure. Whether it's a bug of some kind or a TLA backdoor it's suddenly become much harder to flank around any problems.

            • by epine ( 68316 )

              But I've always felt that systemd was a solution in search of a problem, I don't care for Poettering's attitude (especially as regards the Unix philosophy), and I remain suspicious about how systemd got injected into all the major distros practically overnight.

              Father knows best. Works for many. However, if I wanted that experience, I'd use Apple. Father knows best, the whole nine yards.

              I'm over here precisely because I don't want that.

              Thus, Poettering can take his father-knows-best peremptory monolith an

          • by tomxor ( 2379126 )

            I have been using a distro with systemd for years, now. It hasn't failed me - ever.

            This is the interesting thing, especially if you are anti-systemd (I am slightly). It's the difference between being against something conceptually but not seeing the bad effects of "the bad bits" in implementation, I guess we overlook the importance of the quality of implementation... A poorly implemented good concept can be way worse than a good quality implementation of a slightly flawed concept.

            • by KGIII ( 973947 )

              Conceptually, I don't mind it. The implementation is, well, kinda odd. It also tries to be so much more than an init system. Conceptually, I like the idea of an improved init system. I'm not entirely sure when that morphed into the kitchen sink approach or why they don't just give valid messages when processes fail to start?

              It's never made me mad, but I really think it could be better - and possibly broken up into smaller parts.

              • by tomxor ( 2379126 )

                Conceptually, I like the idea of an improved init system. I'm not entirely sure when that morphed into the kitchen sink approach or why they don't just give valid messages when processes fail to start?

                It's never made me mad, but I really think it could be better - and possibly broken up into smaller parts.

                Yeah I agree, and being more modular and minimal for the actual init system part should provide superior reliability and less bugs, pretty much anyone would agree, but that suggests the opposite should be unreliable and buggy - In practice though it's not because there are many other variables determining these properties of software. It doesn't negate advantages of being more modular and minimal, just shows that the opposite doesn't have to be as terrible as we probably think it will be.

    • by buchanmilne ( 258619 ) on Saturday June 24, 2017 @11:41AM (#54682015) Homepage

      These days, audio on linux just works (including things like auto-switching an audio stream to a bluetooth headset whrn connected).

      I haven't had to fix buggy init scripts in years (only to have them overwritten on upgrade), and unit files provide all customisation options I need (e.g. increasing file limits).

      If you have real problems, post links to the bug reports so there can be more eyeballs looking at the problem.

    • But the presence of either the other important software I run on Windows or macOS today or some actually compatible and similarly useful equivalents.

      The success of Linux on the desktop hasn't really been about Linux itself for a long time.

      • When was the last time you actually tried LibreOffice or KDEnlive or similar "equivalents" in OSS? Unless you\'re a "power user" in the commercial version and/or you're starting from scratch, you probably won't notice much difference.

        I've been doing some at-home editing and proofreading for a local magazine for the last couple of years, and we've never had a problem interfacing between my Linux system and their Windows gear. I just save as .docx and everything seems to work fine.

        I recently uploaded a series

        • As far as I'm concerned, a current model Dell Precision laptop is *my* "dream Linux laptop".. I currently have a Precision M4400 but its getting kind of "long in the tooth".. My *only* gripe is its weight... Its great to see Dell starting to sell Precisions with Ubuntu installed, rather than just the consumer-grade XPS crap...

          • by chrish ( 4714 )

            We've gotten a couple of Dell Precision 5520s here with Ubuntu pre-installed; they seem really good.

            Their Thunderbolt dock thing seems a bit flakey in Linux (well, Arch mostly) though. Luckily the Precision 5520 has more than one port.

        • For casual personal or in-house business things, I use OSS all the time. I'm a big fan of the idea of community-developed software, and in particular of the kind of sharing culture and collaboration that was much harder when I was younger but is now enabled by the Internet.

          For important things in business, we pay for good software and for reliable interoperability, even though that sometimes means a lot of money for something closed source.

          The reality is that a lot of commercial business software is still b

          • Yeah, I think we're on the same page here... my point is just that OSS is always going to keep getting better, and the price is going to keep it as a mainstay for newbies learning the ropes. Eventually I think we'll reach the point where OSS becomes the dominant paradigm. Will that be five years from now? Ten years? Who knows? But I think the economic 'forcing functions' are leading in that direction.

        • I find Writer sometimes buggers up the formatting (especially bullet points & indents) but then again I've had the same problem from different versions of MS Office.

          Calc isn't too bad. It doesn't seem to have conditional formatting though. Formulas & charts are no clunkier than with Excel.

          I used the Poohypoint equivalent once, it was dross.

          (Note: I'm on CentOS which is pretty conservative so I probably don't have the latest versions)

    • Without signed firmware, but WITH hardware write-lockable firmware (current SPI flash chips don't actually support this!) and a fully user configurable trustzone/tpm/smartcard core (meaning *NO* pre-configured keys, everything from the ground up configurable/replaceable by the end user.)

      And all for under 500-1000 dollars with performance and specs comparable to a system built in the past 10 years.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Bring back the build quality and durability of the older IBM Thinkpad laptops. And the weight - I want a clean kill when I hit someone with it.

    • I love Thinkpads, but from what I recall, their Linux-compatibility was basically "hopeless" about 20 years ago (mainly due to the integrated modem+audio), and has been "mediocre" for the past 10 or so (usually, one major deal-breaking problem, and a few seriously-annoying ones for anybody who could live with the big one). I recall, even my T61p threw enough random headaches at me to say 'fuck it' & run Linux in a VM under Windows. One particular "pain point" I remember was its inability to do hardware-

      • I have a T40 (don't know how old - it's rude to ask - but it's non-pae) but had shitloads of driver trouble with Win7. Kali runs fine on it.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Thinkpads x260, i5, 16gb ram, 256gb SSD- absolutely flawless running Linux. Custom kernel, so it boots in 6.8 seconds. Wake from sleep is instantaneous. Keyboard is excellent. Battery life is adequate.

        I prefer desktops personally but for portability, durability and raw horsepower- this thing rocks.

    • by Kludge ( 13653 ) on Saturday June 24, 2017 @12:54PM (#54682441)

      Would someone please tell these laptop companies that the Apple-type keyboards are SHIT!?!! Please bring back the old Thinkpad keyboards.

      • by Xtifr ( 1323 )

        How about a classic model-M-style keyboard on a laptop? With real bucking-springs? (They still make the model-M, but not, as far as I know, for laptops.)

        Of course, it would be a significant increase in weight and thickness, and would add to the price. But I still think it might be worth it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Linux Mint everything works like greased snot with a SSD.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Would it really be that hard to just interview both of them?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just bought a Lenovo T470s and it's very nice.

    Only two issues:
    - got the 2560x1440 14" display and it can be a bit of a chore to get the dpi right
    - battery life under Linux is about 2/3rd that of running Windows.

    If you're going to get this machine, something to note: the i5 version will accommodate 20 gig of ram while the i7 will do 24 gig (8 soldered to the board instead of 4 in addition to the single sodimm)

    Runs like a raped ape: i7, 24 gig of ram, 1tb ssd. Virtualization (1 to 4 instances), coding, surfin

  • My Hp with intel processor & intel video gave me no trouble at all except for the fact Mint 17.4 kde doesn't get the vsync working. Does work on 18.1 but I'm not willing to upgrade just to get rid of the annoying flickering while scrolling.
  • by Kludge ( 13653 ) on Saturday June 24, 2017 @12:56PM (#54682449)

    None of the radio buttons in the survey does anything when I click on it.
    This is probably because I am running a script blocker. Why can they just not use the regular old html radio buttons that just work? Why does everything have to be overloaded with javascript bullshit today?

    • Why does everything have to be overloaded with javascript bullshit today?

      Because everyone thinks their wheel is better than everyone else's wheel. If you choose your modules correctly, a Drupal site will continue to work even if javascript and cookies are completely disabled. It will pass the PHP session ID in the URL, which is insecure (in that it potentially allows hijacking) but which will still permit the site to function.

    • Not just overloaded. It's all generated by Javascript, too. This is the first post that made me think there might be advantages [medium.com].

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