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Old 02-03-2008, 06:28 PM
"Joona Kiiski"
 
Default Buying debian compatible laptop.

Hello everyone,

I've been using debian a couple of years (still a newbie for most of
you hackers, though), but never installed it in laptop. Soon I'm
buying a new laptop and want to make sure it works smoothly with
debian.

I assume the biggest problem is the screen controller. I tried to take
a look at debian's and X.org's documentation, but didn't find a clear
answer which screen controllers work cleanly with debian (and X.org)
and which not.
In the past:
* ATI's drivers were a big problem (is that still the case?)
* Nvidia drivers worked (at least after installing closed source
drivers manually) (is that still the case?)
* I've heard that Intel GMA should just work (is that the case?)

Are there any other possible critical hardware incompatibilities (fx.
with sound system, dvd-drives, ethernet cards etc.) I should know
about

Any advice is welcome,

Thanks,

Joona Kiiski


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Old 02-03-2008, 06:55 PM
Jochen Schulz
 
Default Buying debian compatible laptop.

Joona Kiiski:
>
> I've been using debian a couple of years (still a newbie for most of
> you hackers, though), but never installed it in laptop. Soon I'm
> buying a new laptop and want to make sure it works smoothly with
> debian.

First, look for reviews and tips on <http://www.linux-laptop.net/>.

> In the past:
> * ATI's drivers were a big problem (is that still the case?)
> * Nvidia drivers worked (at least after installing closed source
> drivers manually) (is that still the case?)
> * I've heard that Intel GMA should just work (is that the case?)

Yes, Intel is fully cooperating with the free software scene and as far
as I know, all of theit graphics controllers are supported. If your
usage habits don't depend on 3D performance, choose Intel.

> Are there any other possible critical hardware incompatibilities (fx.
> with sound system, dvd-drives, ethernet cards etc.) I should know
> about

Sound and ethernet shouldn't be a problem, but watch out for unsupported
wifi cards and whether suspending (to RAM and to disk) works.

J.
--
At night I go to the kitchen; specifically, the knife drawer.
[Agree] [Disagree]
<http://www.slowlydownward.com/NODATA/data_enter2.html>
 
Old 02-03-2008, 11:28 PM
Andrew Sackville-West
 
Default Buying debian compatible laptop.

On Sun, Feb 03, 2008 at 09:28:17PM +0200, Joona Kiiski wrote:
> Hello everyone,
>
> I've been using debian a couple of years (still a newbie for most of
> you hackers, though), but never installed it in laptop. Soon I'm
> buying a new laptop and want to make sure it works smoothly with
> debian.

I bought mine from Linux Certified. It came with ubuntu which I wiped
and replaced with real debian. I'm sure I paid too much, but I was in
a hurry and happy to *know* that it would work.

>
> I assume the biggest problem is the screen controller. I tried to take
> a look at debian's and X.org's documentation, but didn't find a clear
> answer which screen controllers work cleanly with debian (and X.org)
> and which not.
> In the past:
> * ATI's drivers were a big problem (is that still the case?)
> * Nvidia drivers worked (at least after installing closed source
> drivers manually) (is that still the case?)
> * I've heard that Intel GMA should just work (is that the case?)

big yes to intel! In fact, if you can get the chipset specs for the
laptop (good luck...), the more intel in there the better, in my
opinion.

>
> Are there any other possible critical hardware incompatibilities (fx.
> with sound system, dvd-drives, ethernet cards etc.) I should know
> about

most of the rest should not be a big deal.

A
 
Old 02-04-2008, 08:18 AM
Bob
 
Default Buying debian compatible laptop.

Joona Kiiski wrote:

Hello everyone,

I've been using debian a couple of years (still a newbie for most of
you hackers, though), but never installed it in laptop. Soon I'm
buying a new laptop and want to make sure it works smoothly with
debian.

I assume the biggest problem is the screen controller. I tried to take
a look at debian's and X.org's documentation, but didn't find a clear
answer which screen controllers work cleanly with debian (and X.org)
and which not.
In the past:
* ATI's drivers were a big problem (is that still the case?)



Yes the ATI binary driver has few fans but if you can find a laptop with
an older R300 or R400 generation GPU the open driver is very good,
alternatively the newer GPUs are supported by RadeonHD which is quite
immature and has no acceleration yet, but the advantage of this is that
every time new features get added you'll feel like you've upgraded your
laptop.



* Nvidia drivers worked (at least after installing closed source
drivers manually) (is that still the case?)



They mostly work and you have nouveau maturing nicely, one day we may
have open source drivers



* I've heard that Intel GMA should just work (is that the case?)



Good but slow.


Are there any other possible critical hardware incompatibilities (fx.
with sound system, dvd-drives, ethernet cards etc.) I should know
about



Wireless cards and webcams are the main culprits.

I'm looking for a laptop with a dual core AMD64 CPU, AMD GPU with
dedicated (non-shared) GRAM, built in webcam, user changeable Harddrive
& battery, high RAM capacity, large high quality screen, a nice keyboard
and good linux support for all the power saving, suspends, wifi etc....


I'd also like it to have DVI, SPDIF, USB2, FireWire, jumbo frame GbE,
Infrared and eSATA ports

Has anyone seen one?


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Old 02-04-2008, 08:33 AM
David Palmer
 
Default Buying debian compatible laptop.

Bob wrote:


I'm looking for a laptop with a dual core AMD64 CPU, AMD GPU with
dedicated (non-shared) GRAM, built in webcam, user changeable
Harddrive & battery, high RAM capacity, large high quality screen, a
nice keyboard and good linux support for all the power saving,
suspends, wifi etc....


I'd also like it to have DVI, SPDIF, USB2, FireWire, jumbo frame GbE,
Infrared and eSATA ports

Has anyone seen one?



At present, I'm looking (but only looking), at the M59 SLI here:

http://www.pioneercomputers.com.au/products/products.asp?c1=3&c2=15

Regards,

David Palmer.


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Old 02-05-2008, 02:30 AM
Bob
 
Default Buying debian compatible laptop.

David Palmer wrote:

Bob wrote:


I'm looking for a laptop with a dual core AMD64 CPU, AMD GPU with
dedicated (non-shared) GRAM, built in webcam, user changeable
Harddrive & battery, high RAM capacity, large high quality screen, a
nice keyboard and good linux support for all the power saving,
suspends, wifi etc....


I'd also like it to have DVI, SPDIF, USB2, FireWire, jumbo frame GbE,
Infrared and eSATA ports

Has anyone seen one?



At present, I'm looking (but only looking), at the M59 SLI here:

http://www.pioneercomputers.com.au/products/products.asp?c1=3&c2=15



Nice, I'm after one with AMD / ATI graphics, the MSI ones
http://www.msicomputer.com/NB/product_index.asp
Look very nice but support for the ATI RS690 chipsets onboard graphics
is pretty basic

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=NjMwNQ
http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7491
so I'm waiting for that to mature a bit.


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