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OmSai
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Reliable Gentoo Notebook? Reply with quote

SD Lead Sponge wrote:
Are there notebooks you guys would recommend, either through second hand knowledge or experience, that meet the following requirements:

1) Hardware must be reliable and withstand abuse (as in reviewing notes on my lap on a rikkity bus inbetween classes every day for three years). The computer cannot break down. It is an integral part of my life. It simply must work.
No laptops are immune to HDD failure.
It happens.
During my 4 years of use in college, just taking it back and forth to classes, my HDD crashed twice on my Dell D600/D610.
But it is a solid laptop overall.
You just have to learn to rsync your data.

SD Lead Sponge wrote:
2) Must have at least 15" widescreen and decent battery life (3+ hours)
Remember that even Lithium-ion batteries have a limited number of life cycles.
Most are about 500 charges-discharges.
From 3 hours initially, mine is now down to 1 hour after 3 years of use.
The more you use AC power, the better.
That disclaimer said, make sure you implement Gentoo's power saving tips.

SD Lead Sponge wrote:
3) It MUST BE GENTOO COMPATIBLE! PERIOD!
Hardware compatibility these days just means video card and wireless.
An Intel video chipset is the best supported (albeit the weakest performing) but good enough if you're not going to game on your laptop (which is a stupid idea anyway)
As for wireless, Intel is also very well the best supported.
When you find a laptop you like, you can check the wireless chipset compatibility on Wireless LAN Support

SD Lead Sponge wrote:
4) I am looking at higher performance systems, I am willing to shell out extra money for higher end, reliable and compatible hardware.
Dell in my experience is very good.
Get one of the Ubuntu laptops and put Gentoo on it...that way you know kernel drivers work for wireless
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fukas
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say, that Dell Inspiration 1501 is a good one. I configured everything, including winmodem and wifi.
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SD Lead Sponge
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nixnut wrote:
merged above four posts here. please search before posting

Sorry about that, but thank you for doing so in a non-abusive way.

Sounds like Thinkpad and Dell are the way to go. I'll go with whichever offers the best deal for the money.

And OmSai, thanks for the very detailed analysis of my post,

Thanks guys.
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yogee
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:39 pm    Post subject: Most preferred Gentoo Laptop Reply with quote

Hi all ,
Its time I look for a new laptop. Is there any laptop then gentoo users prefer under Thin and light Max 2Kg limit with
atleast 13.3" screen.

I 'm looking at Macbooks but I 'm told they get too hot. Not a good idea for gentoo. with stuff compiling most of the time.
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Koda
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

imho if you buy a macbook you stick with macos
if you want to install linux go for other (less expensive) options

right now i installed a gentoo on a toshiba m200, it's rather old but gentoo works with all its hardware (sd slot apart)

bye
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pappy_mcfae
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If money is no object, and you TRULY want the way to the cross, get something with a Core2 duo, or a true AMD 64, and set up a 64 bit Gentoo system. There is no finer experience than seeing the fireworks simulation screensaver work without any choppiness whatsoever! Watching a system do an emerge -aev system in less than two hours, followed by an emerge -aev world that takes about four is an amazing sight! The text flies by so fast, there is no time to read it before it's replaced by the next page.

And once the compiling is done, oh, it is a thing of beauty. The computer is so fast, konqueror pages open pretty much as soon as I release the pressure on my finger! If I had the cash, I'd be burning rubber to Fry's right now to try on something in a Core2 Laptop with at least four Gigs of RAM. I'd take the hard drive out of the old Toshiba laptop and make a video of me hurling the rest from my third floor window. M-WUH HA HA HA HA! :twisted:

Blessed be!
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it may not matter to you, but to me, the first thing is to identify laptops that actually work with linux. it's amazing how many aren't fully compatible (i.e. one or more of their hardware components doesn't have a linux driver yet). it can take a fair bit of research (looking up the exact makes/models of their components) but once you've ruled out all the laptops in your size/price/whatever range that aren't fully functional with linux, you might find the choice a lot easier.

i'm reasonably happy with my little sony vaio (now a very old model): everything works, from the unusual keys to the sd card slot...power saving features...everything. the only thing i'd do differently is to do as pappy suggests and get something gruntier. i thought portability was everything (and this little baby is certainly light, and goes six hours between charges) but with hindsight i wish i'd gone for processing power instead. no point having a go-anywhere run-for-six-hours laptop if you hardly ever use it because the desktop's so much faster. doubly so for gentoo: you really will be "compiling most of the time" and heating that sucker right up if your processor drags its ass!
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nixnut
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

merged above four posts here. please search before posting.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had really good luck with my Alienware m7700a, the most sordid thing about it was getting dmraid to work (I *Had* to dual boot winXP at the time) and my intergrated web cam still doesnt have a working linux driver, though there is still active development. I've also had good luck with a Dell D810 and I use a Dell D620 currently for work. Both the dells have been 32bit installs and my Alienware is a 64bit.
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cazort
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:13 pm    Post subject: Buying a new Laptop: HP/Compaq? Multiple issues... Reply with quote

I am looking at buying a laptop.

I've been using Gentoo linux on five computers for over four years now, and I've been very happy with it, and plan to use it on my new laptop, maybe as a dual boot. My old laptop was a compaq; I had trouble with wireless support on it (I was using a USB adapter), and I had a nice dual-boot with windows 2000.

I am looking at buying something like this

I guess I have four questions:


  • How can I find out if all the hardware in question is supported in linux? I want to be able to use all open-source drivers. I am worried about this with video cards, and wireless support in particular, but...I also realize that there may be things I am not aware of ahead of time. What aspects of the hardware should I check? I'm worried that I might not think to check certain things and then they'd become a problem.
  • Does anyone know any other hardware manufacturers that offer similarly priced laptops? I can't seem to beat the 2GB Ram, AMD dual core processor for around $600 deal.
  • I also don't like the idea of buying a laptop with windows on it and paying for it and not using it. On newer computers I've had problems with repartitioning and reinstalling--often they are including only "clean restore" disks...that wipe the computer, so I can't do a dual boot with windows without buying it separately...I feel like if I'm paying for it, I should be able to do a dual boot. Does anyone know how to find out if I will have this problem ahead of time...and if there is any way around it?
  • Is there any way in which this model is "too good to be true"? Like are these computers made with cheap components on the motherboard so that their performance will suffer relative to their specs?


Thanks ahead of time!
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nixnut
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

merged above post here.
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cazort
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

simon_irl wrote:
it may not matter to you, but to me, the first thing is to identify laptops that actually work with linux. it's amazing how many aren't fully compatible (i.e. one or more of their hardware components doesn't have a linux driver yet). it can take a fair bit of research (looking up the exact makes/models of their components) but once you've ruled out all the laptops in your size/price/whatever range that aren't fully functional with linux, you might find the choice a lot easier.


This makes sense. What I'm not clear on is what hardware components I need to check...and also what the best way for me to check support is. I can't seem to find a good site that has a database of what is supported or not...should I look directly in kernel documentation or something?

Also, I'm no expert in these sorts of things...why are the HP/Compaq laptops so much cheaper than Sony VAIO ones with similar specs? It's hard for me to pass up buying something that has the features I want and is a good $300-400 cheaper...but I'm wondering if I'm overlooking something serious here?
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albright
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.linux-laptop.net/ is always
worth a look ...
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

albright wrote:
http://www.linux-laptop.net/ is always
worth a look ...


I've already searched that site exhaustively.

Unfortunately, none of the laptop lines that are currently for sale on the HP website are listed on that site. Perhaps the site is a bit out of date? Or maybe hp just upped their offerings?

I noticed dell is selling laptops with linux pre-installed on them. Are these safe for gentoo? Or do they rely on third-party drivers? I want to be able to get everything to work with kernel support, without any third-party kernel modules.
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OmSai
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cazort wrote:
I noticed dell is selling laptops with linux pre-installed on them...I want to be able to get everything to work with kernel support, without any third-party kernel modules.
Email Dell and ask them then!
^_^
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cazort
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm really having trouble getting any information out of Dell.

I've talked to three people so far and they don't know whether or not the hardware requires third-party drivers or works with built-in kernel support...very frustrating. The general vibe that I am getting is that they have a "packaged deal" that runs with some configuration of Ubuntu linux...and works out of the box.

Both sales and tech support people seem to be reading off a list, and have no knowledge of linux or anything, and refuse to connect me to someone more knowledgeable.

What I'm afraid of is that they'll require third-party kernel modules in order for some of the hardware to work (sort of like how dell often requires special drivers that doesn't work with out-of-the-box windows installs), and that some essential feature (like the wireless card, video card, or maybe something I didn't even think to check) won't work without installing this driver. From my past experience working with Dell systems, and I've installed dozens of them with Windows, a lot of them required third-party drivers for windows. I know linux is different.

I dunno?

And if I am going to look this stuff up on my own, where do I go? Where do I find exactly what hardware is supported and how well it is supported? For example, some graphics cards are supported but only with limited functionality, without installing a third-party driver.
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OmSai
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cazort wrote:
Both sales and tech support people seem to be reading off a list, and have no knowledge of linux or anything, and refuse to connect me to someone more knowledgeable.

What I'm afraid of is that they'll require third-party kernel modules in order for some of the hardware to work (sort of like how dell often requires special drivers that doesn't work with out-of-the-box windows installs), and that some essential feature (like the wireless card, video card, or maybe something I didn't even think to check) won't work without installing this driver.
I just talked to sales at Ubuntu (1-877-CANONICAL) and they said that going with any Dell system with an Intel chipset is your best bet, since it has open source kernel drivers for graphics (as I had said on page 3 of this thread ; )

Dell adds its own third party drivers for the wireless card, but that's it.
FYI I've got my broadcom wireless working on my Dell D610, so you shouldn't have a problem there.

cazort wrote:
And if I am going to look this stuff up on my own, where do I go? Where do I find exactly what hardware is supported and how well it is supported? For example, some graphics cards are supported but only with limited functionality, without installing a third-party driver.
IMHO these days its only wireless and graphics you have to worry about. Here are some resources anyway -
  1. The Dell forums
  2. The Ubuntu Dell forums

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cazort
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you! This is very good news. And I found information on the wireless, and graphics, and it seems that there are built-in options that work.

It looks like I will be buying one of the three dell systems...I'll come back here and let you all know how it works out.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since everyone else here is obsessed with the Thinkpads, I'm going to recommend something different - the HP Pavilions ( http://welcome.hp.com/country/us/en/prodserv/notebooks_tabletpcs.html ). If you don't want to pay a ton for your laptop, but still want fairly high specs, the Pavilions aren't bad. Just make sure you watch http://www.xpbargains.com/ for a coupon - I got $500 off on my laptop from there.
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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks folks...I ended up buying a Dell XPS M1330, (one of the dell laptops sold with Ubuntu, with an intel chipset) and the hardware works beautifully with Gentoo, although I did need to use the beta install CD to get wireless working during the install.

:-)
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OmSai
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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cazort,

Glad it worked out! :D

Whenever you get a chance, please contribute your time and experiences to improving the Wiki
http://gentoo-wiki.com/Dell_XPS_M1330
...a lot of the articles are quite out of date :(

Regards,
OmSai
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooh, thanks...that would be a great idea!
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm using a Lenovo 3000 N200 for 2 months (wow :D) now. I put together a short and not thourough guide focused on kernel compilation.
Read it at http://wade.hu/~pdw/lenovo_n200.txt
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:30 pm    Post subject: you know Gentoo-friendly laptop? Reply with quote

Hi, I want to buy a new laptop this summer, and would want to slam gentoo on it... The thing is my previous experience with laptops and linux (not just gentoo) has been rather troublesome, so I'd like to know if any of you laptop-owners could give me a nice recommendation.

Generally speaking it should definitely be in the upper range, preferably a quad-core, although a dual core with more than 2.0 GHz per core would also do well, at least 2gb of ram and a screen no smaller than 16", preferably wide-screened, also I would rather have nvidia graphics (for the sake of compiz).
The thing I'm most worried about is the display (up until now I always had problems with no displays being detected, which meant I couldn't use any liveCD's :( , and I'm also quite troubled about some horror stories I heard about wireless network cards and gentoo.

Any advice from anybody owning or knowing a laptop fitting in the above description would be very welcome, also if you think gentoo wouldn't be the right distro choice for a laptop please let me know :D
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

merged above post here.
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