Re: [SLE] Laptop choice - REPORT
From: James Knott (james.knott_at_rogers.com)
Date: Sat, 05 Jun 2004 17:46:10 -0400 To: email@example.com
So, you now know which is the best notebook, for running Linux. ;-)
Johan Sch wrote:
> Here are some snippets from various mail lists that I asked for a laptop choice. I had good responses. Trust this may be of help to some..
> I'm dual-booting win XP and various Linux distros using FAT32, getting online and burning CDs on a Dell Inspiron 8500 and am very happy with it.
> My DELL Latitude C840 installed Mdk10 without any problems. Runs great.
> Yes, I have a T41 that works great with 10.0.
> If I was realistic I would use a Dell Inspiron 9100.. I have always bought dell laptops and never had any problems with running *nix on them. If I was dreaming then
> Would win hands down ;-)
> I would also go for the Dell option. VERY linux friendly.
> I love my IBM Thinkpad X31. It does very well with SuSE 9.1 on it.
> I got my laptop from http://www.powernotebooks.com/ and have been
> pleased with it. I'm running SuSE 9.0 Professional.
> These websites should give you a better approach:
> Have a look on www.linux-on-laptops.com
> My elcheapo Dell 1100 works fine on 10.0.
> I have a Compaq Presario that works like a champ with ML10.
> As everyone knows, all decent laptops are made by Tadpole...
> http://www.tadpolecomputer.com/html/ (No alphabook anymore though :-( )
> Here are some sites that might help:
> I love the IBM T41 to death. I'm so happy with it that I'd buy another
> 10 if I had the money. You can see more info at
> Of course you can avoid the whole ACPI mess if you can find a laptop with a working Linux APM implementation. The Toshiba laptops are always a good start (just make sure your laptop works with the toshiba utilities).
> Some of my Toshiba links:
> I'd say the two most important things to watch out for on a laptop:
> (a) Power Management
> Check ACPI or APM support, Suspend to disk, support for the fans /
> battery monitoring. Check whether the motherboard chipset has I2C and/or
> SMBus support. Watch out for IBM Thinkpads and I2C problems.
> (b) Display Card
> Avoid Trident like the plague. Also avoid SiS, etc. Make sure your
> display card works with Linux and that it has X support with
> an accelerated driver. Be wary of the latest display chipsets (e.g.
> Intel 8xx chipsets, etc). Watch out for cards without onboard display
> memory, e.g. Intel's chipsets. If the cards memory is shared with the
> system memory, make sure that the BIOS supports a mode where you can
> select at least as much display memory as you require to display an
> entire framebuffer + maintain some page tables. 1MB is not enough!
> If you can choose a decent display card. That means one of two:
> - ATI Radeon series
> - NVidia (anything)
> With the ATI cards, check if Tungsten Graphics supports the drivers.
> They wrote the whole Radeon driver + support code. If they don't support it and/or the display chipset haven't been around for 12 months or so, you're in for a nasty surprise or two.
> Make sure that the one you chose has ACPI working. ACPI is a total mess
> - every laptop bios has a different implementation, and it's almost
> impossible to fix it yourself. Check here:
> If your laptop has ACPI broken, you fix it by linking a custom DSDT
> table into your kernel. If there is a fixed one available for your model
> it's great, but if there isn't you're on your own.
> If you have no idea what I'm talking about, ACPI is the interface to
> battery status, fan status, temperature, lid switch, power switch, etc.
> I'm ready to give rave notices to the mdk crew for 10.0 on a Dell
> 1100. Have no idea where yours compares, but I have all good to
> report on this one.
> Thanks to every one involved.
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