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Linux on Laptops Manufacturer Report Card

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the state-of-the-lindustry dept.

Hardware 131

Werner Heuser writes "At MobiliX there is a survey of app. 100 laptop manufacturers and their Linux status available now. It contains a list of manufacturers, which are the most popular with Linux users. And some criticism about misleading manufacturer announcements for Linux support. The survey finishes with hints to laptop certifications, independent vendors and how to get rid of the "Microsoft Tax". And finally there is a A-Z list of almost 100 manufacturers and their Linux status. Besides Linux also other UniXes are mentioned and some hints about laptops with other CPUs than from Intel are included."

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Censorship (0, Offtopic)

LordKariya (195696) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911220)

is teh sux.

Re:Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911238)

I find it amusing that a site would moan and bitch about censorship, then do it on its own site...

Re:Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911464)

i find it amusing that an AC posts about censorship on a private site which has no power of incarceration or fine and is not at all connected with any government. get a life and go fight a real battle over free speech, if that's something you care about. quit whining about "censorship" on a privately-owned site. no one forces you to be here, get the f*ck out if you don't like policies, it's not like you were born on slashdot and will die on slashdot.


Re:Censorship (-1)

JismTroll (588456) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911598)

Please remember to wipe thoroughly and flush after saying all of that.

whee! (0, Offtopic)

FuzzyMan45 (451645) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911222)


65... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911225)

we will always miss you.

dell (1)

Budgreen (561093) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911234)

works fine on mine, then again it's only a p100

as for microsoft tax, it was cheap and came with a unix on it already.

I think that it's a great idea to keep information on this though, might help a lot of people decide what to buy.. too bad manufacturers proabably don't care to read it and see how well they did :)

Re:dell (2, Informative)

Kwikymart (90332) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911482)

I have a dell Inspiron 2600. I wanted to run FreeBSD on it, but had to settle for Linux (no trolling intended) because it plain just wouldn't boot. However, I cannot get XFree86 working properly on it. It seems that it is the fault of the video card (intel i830M) uses system memory and "steals" it. Well, suffice it to say, it doesn't work perfectly. I can only get 1MB of video memory (the default).

There is a workaround here [] . (for a different laptop, but same video card). Damn it, if Dell would just fucking fix their bios to allow more "stolen" memory everything would be find. Chalk one up for corporate stupidity. Its an easy fix, and they choose not to do it. Fuck you dell.

(I am now a disgruntled dell owner that is kicking himself for not doing more research)

Uptime on my Workstation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911236)

3:54pm up 121 days, 4:51, 8 users, load average: 0.21, 0.09, 0.03 Just wanted to put that in, as I'm right in the middle of an electrical storm. The power is fluctuating a little bit, and I don't have a UPS on here. OS: Slackware Linux 7.1 P3 800 128 Meg RAM.

Re:Uptime on my Workstation (-1, Offtopic)

Budgreen (561093) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911254)

Is now reset


Re:Uptime on my Workstation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911261)

Big deal. 0.21, 0.09, 0.03 ? That means barely any load, and, even more importantly, that any heavy load it ever gets doesn't last more that a couple of minutes. Of course you have great uptime with that.

Cheers! by poopbot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911246)

Credits: on by

Trolling your way on the web today
Takes everything you've got;
Having a Bot to post your comments
Sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to join the frey?

Sometimes you want to go
And get a First Post in your name,
So much goatse that you came;
We know it's hard to get Eff Pee,
Our troubles are all the same;
Get that FP and everyone'll know your name.

- posted by poopbot: because even your grandmother can use lunix

S4jEIFXmBw Post #274

Who cares (1, Funny)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911255)

Laptops are only for impressing chicks, you don't need to actually run an OS on it. (even if you did, the battery life is way too short, you wouldn't get any work done).

Re:Who cares (2)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911561)

-1 Offtopic SpanishInquisition: wasn't expecting you.
Especially in the posititve integers.
One of your fans will no doubt mod you down for envy soon enough...

Re:Who cares (1)

c.derby (574103) | more than 12 years ago | (#3912209)

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Shamless advertisment plugging? (5, Insightful)

iamwoodyjones (562550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911258)

Hmmmm, is it just me or does it seem like slashdot is begining to report more and more on almost usless news from sites that just so happen to sell things.
I think it's just me, so don't mod me down.

Re:Shamless advertisment plugging? (1)

LordKariya (195696) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911306)

It has the word 'linux' in it, this way the plugging can be disguised as 'nix zealousness.

Re:Shamless advertisment plugging? (2, Informative)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911462)

"Hmmmm, is it just me or does it seem like slashdot is begining to report more and more on almost usless news from sites that just so happen to sell things."

Someone managed to get their advertisement posted on the front page of slashdot, probably for free. Look at the link on the story reporter's name: It is the same as the site with the so-called survey of linux laptop machines. Essentially, the guy wanted to do some self promotion and the slashdot editors fell for it (or were paid to get into it.)

Suck (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911267)

This website sucks.
8===D everywhere.

Re:Suck (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911631)

I Agree With This Post.

Anything there? (5, Informative)

Otter (3800) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911272)

Maybe I'm missing something, but that page seems almost entirely devoid of content. There's a list of manufacturer's sales blurbs (much of it vapor) and list of laptop makers and their URLs, with esssentially no original information except for a line telling you not to go to some other site.

Compare to's laptop page [] .

Checking back, I'm not surprised to see the submitter is from the site. I couldn't imagine a reader thought it was worth telling anyone about. Give him honesty points, at least.

Even better (5, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911326)

...or better yet, compare to [] .

Re:Anything there? (2)

capt.Hij (318203) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911360)

Unfortunately you are correct. There is nothing there. It would be much more beneficial to keep a list of configuration settings required for the different laptops rather than just keeping a list of companies that sell them!

I recently was given a Dell Inspiron 2650 and installed linux on it. Because it is a new design my linux distro. was not able to figure out what to do about the display. I ended up fiddling around with Xconfigurator until it worked. Dell wasn't much help, and I could not find anything on the web.

It works fine, but it was more of an inconvenience than it really needed to be. It would have been a much better experience had there been a place on the web that listed all of the configurations necessary for the different types of machines. Simply having a list of companies tells you nothing about installing linux on a particular machine!

Re:Anything there? (1)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911423)

Did you check out They have just about every laptop listed there.

Re:Anything there? (2)

Syberghost (10557) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911395)

There's a list of manufacturer's sales blurbs (much of it vapor) and list of laptop makers and their URLs, with esssentially no original information except for a line telling you not to go to some other site.

And at least one of them isn't a link to a laptop maker, but to a producer of bee-pollen supplements.

Re:Anything there? (1)

sitcoman (161336) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911403)

Also check out [] for what looks like a very thorough listing.

Obsolete URLs (2)

booch (4157) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911798)

I'm wondering where they got their list of computer manufacturers. They included Commodore, who has been out of business for a decade! Other companies they list that no longer exist or no longer make (laptop) PCs are CompuAdd, Escom, Hunday, TI, AST, Digital, Quantex, and Zenith. I'm sure there are more in the list. This is just pitiful -- one of the most useless pieces of mis-information I've seen on the Web.

Maybe just me (3, Insightful)

Hacker'sEdict (593458) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911275)

But ok alot and I mean alot of the *nix users are techies or are heavy in the computer field. And if you really know anything about computers it is usually cheaper and better if you buy a barebone system with no OS on it so why would you mass produce systems with a *nix OS on it when alot of the pubic *nix users don't by prebuilts? Correct me if I am wrong, please, as I see it there really isn't that great of demand for any *nix OS'on prebuilts.

Re:Maybe just me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911317)

alot of the pubic *nix users don't by prebuilts

Do they shave?

Pedantic spelling correction reply (0, Offtopic)

Osty (16825) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911364)

But ok alot and I mean alot

Are you sure you don't mean "a lot" instead, considering that "alot" isn't a word?

Re:Maybe just me (1)

fizz-beyond (130257) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911393)

Personaly I have never bought a pre-built system. I also haven't run a MS operating system since 1996, but that is me. When it comes to laptops, you realy don't have any choice in the matter (as far as I know), well that's not entirely true, you can buy a lunchbox case if you want to build muscles, but I think that's about it.

Now if only I had money to buy a laptop....

Re:Maybe just me (2, Informative)

derch (184205) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911424)

The article is on laptops not desktops. I feel safe in guessing 99% percent of laptop users bought a prebuilt system. When you're putting Linux/BSD on a laptop, you want don't want a barebones system. You want a decent and popular system that might even have manufacturer support.

Re:Maybe just me (3, Insightful)

netrunewolf (592340) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911499)

There is a major need for *nix on pre-builts. here are a couple of reasons:

  • Installing an OS on a system lets you know that the hardware does work, i.e. [] does a manual install on all linux boxes to make sure components work
  • If you are going to throw an OS on a pre-built system, might as well be a real OS like linux
  • If there are not pre-built linux boxes on the shelves at your computer stores, only the adventurous and the geeks will be running linux, and M$ will still be the supreme dominant on desktops, and who wants that

If we want to see a more broad adoption of linux, it needs to be easy for your adverage consumer to get an run. I don't particulary like Lindows, but I love the concept, as it will help bring more people into the fold and increase the use of linux in the overall marketplace.

Many people have to e guided, even wal-mart understands this, hence their new line of linux boxes, so why shouldn't the linux world be the ones to do the guiding. Let's face it folks, if it is not us doing the guiding, it will be the evil empire of gates.

Ok, back to work for me...

~~~don't fear the penguin~~~

back to local vendors (2, Insightful)

acasto (591344) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911281)

Although it is great to see large companies supporting Linux on their platforms, I think in the end, the best support would come from local companies. For people who are not fluent with Linux, it would be hard for a large comany to even support them. But if they had a setup, in which smaller vendors could carry, sell, and support their products, specifically a Linux program, they could target smaller groups of people more efficiently. Smaller, more tagerted support would greatly help increase the abilities to integrate Linux into the everyday computer environment.

dell inspiron 8000 (1)

ckim (543024) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911284)

personally I have a dell inspiron 8000 laptop. it works fine with debian. and dri and apm work flawlessly.

Re:dell inspiron 8000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911886)

could you get the modem to work?

Re:dell inspiron 8000 modem (2, Informative)

ckim (543024) | more than 12 years ago | (#3912331)

yes it depends. for me I had the lucent winmodem with the Mars chipset which has linux support. its a package called ltmodem. google it. I personally use 6.00c2 and it works.

Yet Another Paid Ad As a Stroy (0, Flamebait)

13013dobbs (113910) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911290)

God, this place has gone to shit.

Re:Yet Another Paid Ad As a Stroy (0)

abusimple (588765) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911527)

Out of curiosity...

Is there anyone out there with a Slashdot Subscription that saw this story on the front page...?

Amazing! (3, Interesting)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911293)

If you scroll down the list to NatureTech, you will find that their notebook's SPARC chips are not only powerful enough for Solaris, but good for you too! []

Re:Amazing! (2, Informative)

flicken (182650) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911557)

Pretty funny! Interesting that they couldn't find NatureTech's real homepage []

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911571)

Somebody screwed up the hostname. The NatureTech that makes SPARC laptops has a web site at, not

Booo! Hiss!! (3, Informative)

Outland Traveller (12138) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911303)

Well this link was a lot less interesting than the writeup!

All there is to see here is some guy's web analysis of what type of laptop people on his site search for.

There's a link to the now archaic windows refund site. There's a few blurbs about laptop companies that abandoned linux over the past few years. Finally there are some links to laptop manufacters and related open source projects.

Nothing really special, and nothing that isn't presented elsewhere in a cleaner, more useful format. Good "web-ring" material.

Am I missing something? (5, Insightful)

PeterClark (324270) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911307)

The "report card" seems to be missing an important aspect: namely, grades! There's nothing here that indicates how "friendly" a company or laptop is toward Linux. This looks more like an attempt to boost page views; or maybe stress-test the server? :)

Re:Am I missing something? (2, Funny)

Jonny Ringo (444580) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911346)

Maybe he felt that a grading system would be to harsh and decided that all the vendors are special in ther own special way. :-)

The best Linux lap-top (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911309)

... a stuffed life-sized tux on your lap. It can't compile a kernel, but it's alot cuter than C++ :)

Re:The best Linux lap-top (1)

Shamanin (561998) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911494)

Obviously you have never noticed how C++ looks a bit like a key. Not just any key, one of those old antique types... (ramble, ramble, ramble)

And not overly accurate either (2, Funny)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911310)

For example, the "Naturetech" laptop maker. Go to the website listed in the article. I think you'll be surprised at how far Linux has branched out.

Not too much substance... (4, Informative)

Junta (36770) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911314)

The top 20 list admits to being flawed, and the data there is pretty scarce, hardly a story.

To be on topic, I'm using a little Presario 725US w/ 1.4 GHz. Athlon. Pretty good price/performance, and works well with linux out of the box...

Of course, to get the most out of it, I have patched the kernel for PowerNow and ACPI, to extend battery life, reduce heat, and lower fan noise. Also applied a 'kacpid' patch to kernel to recover lost acpi interrupts. Because it has no builtin support for suspend, I also have the swsup patch applied. The sound also required a patch to actually work. The savage chipset driver with XFree I replaced with a more up-to-date version with better performance, but no matter what the driver locks up when xv attributes are set, so I have to patch xine to run it and RealOne is out of the question...

Ok, so it isn't *that* great out of the box but it was a hell of a lot cheaper than the competition out there and the end result is a solid system, at a price of 1200 new (at the time, after rebate).

Re:Not too much substance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911521)

Wow, you're right. That's SO much better than my Dell Inspiron 4000 that I pulled out of the box and installed Mandrake 8.2 on. Did I mention I didn't tweak anything and it just runs fine? Sheesh. Recompiling patched kernels and all that other stuff you talked about is too difficult for the average user. I could just run Win2k on it and not worry about it.

Good Performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911604)

So which crashes more - KDE or that piece of shit AMD processor?

At least the video card is integrated so you don't have to deal with AMD chipsets/video card incompatibilities. You might want to strap an extra fan or two on it though so when the CPU fan dies it doesn't ruin itself.

Casualty of dot-bomb? (1)

ferreth (182847) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911315)

IBM, Dell announcing Linux laptops and then not offering them (or scaling it back?) sounds like a dot-bomb adjustment. Makes sense for them to focus on the big volume money making Windoze set, particularly being a known market, in uncertain times.

If Dell's still offering Linux as a custom install, and Wallmart is advertising Mandrake/Lwindows (desktops) on there front page rather than Windoze systems, not all is lost.

Linux Laptops (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911331)

It's a shame that the only places that sell laptops/notebooks pre-loaded with Linux charge an arm and a leg for them - I mean, there's nothing under $2000 at You'd think there would be some money in buying some less-expensive laptops sans OS at wholesale (from Asus, perhaps) and then undercutting the competition by saving money on the OS. Even if this means no (win)modem, I don't see it as a huge deal.

I just see some money in the ~500mhz for $600 market. Desktops really started to take off at that price point - perhaps laptops will do the same, even at the reduced performance?


Re:Linux Laptops (1)

rgzoso21 (113465) | more than 12 years ago | (#3912296)

Emperor Linux does not work in that market though. The people that come to them want new machines with good warranties. Who wants an old laptop with no warranty? The kind of people who would install linux themselves on that machine.


Laptops without OS (1)

good-n-nappy (412814) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911343)

Does anyone have a list of sites that sell laptops without an OS? Or at least sites that sell laptops without the Microsoft tax?

I know places to get desktops, like Walmart, but haven't found many for laptops.

Re:Laptops without OS (1)

fizz-beyond (130257) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911412)

Why yes I do, [] and now I just look forward to having cash to actualy buy one...

Re:Laptops without OS (1)

good-n-nappy (412814) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911889)

Hmm, those still start at about $1K which is roughly what I can get buying the base model at Fry's or BestBuy. Or for example, Gateway and Dell have one for $999 right now. And with these I'm going to be paying for a superfluous copy of Windows.

The site you linked to gives the option of adding on Windows XP Home for $75 and XP Professional for $145. If that's average, it seems like a base model OS-less 14" 1GHz PIII 128MB 10GB HD laptop should start at about $900.

Doesn't anyone cater to the tightwad linux user?

ACPI support (2)

e_n_d_o (150968) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911366)

I have a Sony Vaio PCG-FXA35, with the AMD 1.0GHz chip in it . Absolutely wonderful Linux notebook, with one exception: the battery life is 30 minutes *or less* when running Linux...which pretty much means it has to be plugged in all the time.

The source of the problem, as far as I can tell, is the lack of Linux support for ACPI, which appears to be the successor to APM. The laptop has no power management configurability in the BIOS, it all must be done in software. There is no Linux software that I know of that will do this, and altering settings in WinXP appears to only affect the power usage when running WinXP.

If anyone has any suggestions, I'd most appreciate hearing them. At this point though, I think my next laptop will be a Titanium powerbook, as they appear to have pretty good Java support, 5 hrs of battery life, instant-on/off, and run a BSD-based OS.

Re:ACPI support (1)

acasto (591344) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911484)

The latest Linux kernel has support for ACPI. However, it is still under development, but it is there!

Re:ACPI support (1)

Gekko (45112) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911490)

Try this [] how to:

A little google is a wonderfull thing is it not?

Re:ACPI support (3, Informative)

VP (32928) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911522)

There is this technological wonder called Google (I shall keep the exact URL secret, lest the unwashed masses learn about it), which told me that here [] there be a HowTo...

Re:ACPI support (2)

felipeal (177452) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911997)

There is this technological wonder called Google

And there is something called date and a derivative workd called outdated:

v 0.1e, 22 January 2001

Seriously, this HOWTO is pretty obsolete and the ACPI support has changed a lot from that time. I was following the ACPI-devel list on SourceForge some months ago, and this is a known fact (although I can't understand why nobody updated it yet; they are probably waiting for the driver to be more stable).

Re:ACPI support (1)

VP (32928) | more than 12 years ago | (#3912139)

And there is something called date and a derivative workd called outdated

That is true, but then the next line of the Google search result for "ACPI Linux" shows the SourceForge Project [] .

Re:ACPI support (2)

zenyu (248067) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911532)

As others have noted ACPI support is coming along, and I've even read of people having success with your laptop. But even without it there is a tool called lvcool out there which will put your machine into the idle state when you're not compiling or anything. This should help your battery life a little. The best thing is to get a secondary battery since the FX[A] series is made to carry two.

Re:ACPI support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911629)

The problem is the inferior AMD processor actively converting battery power to heat. I suppose your laptop could double as a hot plate, especially when the heat sink fan dies...

Re:ACPI support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911925)

I suppose your laptop could double as a hot plate

They also double nicely as an iron for those tough wrinkles on the lap of your pants.

Wow you can now run HP/UX on Sparc!!! (1)

thebowery (200939) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911381)

well thats what the article claims! load of crap article.

Oh and if you want to see naturetechs offerings it is not with their hippy food offerings it is

Oh well another day in crap /. article linksland.

Nature Tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911382)

Free sparc notebook with purchase of 10000000 bottles of all natural bee pollen.

Fujitsu-Siemens (2)

bigjocker (113512) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911391)

The link provided less info than any usual Ask Slashdot ...

Anyways, I have a Fujitsu-Siemens C Series laptop bought in Germany a year and a half ago (Celeron 450 Mhz, 192 MB RAM). I still use it as my main computer at home and work running only Linux. I have installed almost every flavor of linux and works perfectly, but lately have only used Mandrake: easy install and autodetects everything, from sound card to video, modem and ethernet card.

Even if it is almost two years old it works like the first day with Mandrake 8.1, KDE 3.0 and Forte & Eclipse (and i have dropped it to the floor twice). I even run JBoss in the background while working with Eorte or Eclipse and it runs perfect. No slowdown. If I were a XP or 2000 user this machine would have gone the trash way a long time ago. God bless linux.

I Must recommend this laptop as one of the bests I have seen, and when I buy a new one next month I'm gonna get a Fujitsu-Siemens.

Better pages (0, Redundant)

diametrag (411003) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911399)

I have seen better pages for Linux on laptops out there.
Linux-Laptops [] for example...

bad news for Linux? (0, Troll)

tps12 (105590) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911419)

This sounds like a great resource for the community. I had the luck of inheriting a Toshiba Pentium laptop from a friend that worked perfectly under Linux 2.2. Sound, video, everything. Once I recompiled my kernel it even had functioning APM, if you didn't mind having to rmmod and insmod the sound drivers after waking it up. However, I understand that it is often a good deal more difficult to get Linux to run on laptops.

However, this website also could actually be bad for Linux users. There are a number of issues.

First, it suggests (however accurately) that getting Linux running on laptops is not a simple "plug and play" matter. This scares away potential new Linux users. Linux makes a lot of headway in colleges, but not among the huge number of students who own laptops. This site just makes them want to play it safe and stick with Windows.

Furthermore, I'm very frightened regarding the techniques for avoiding the "Micro$oft tax." Yes, I hate it as much as the next slashbot Linux geek, and that's why I try to build my own boxen whenever possible. But if you avoid the Windows license fee, then you are violating the contract among you, M$, and the laptop manufacturer. We need to fight the common media portrayal of Linux users as evil pirates and hackers, and publishing instructions for subverting the law is step in the wrong direction.

Finally, the effort being put into getting Linux to run on laptops comes at the expense of other worthy goals and projects. Linux makes the most impact (and shows the most growth potential) on low-end servers and "salvage" PCs (Pentium or 486 firewalls and the like that would otherwise be trashed). We should be fixing the installers for these niches, rather than chasing the evasive laptop market.

I will definitely bookmark the Linux on Laptops page. But I'm afraid it may end up hurting us more than it helps.

Re:bad news for Linux? (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911556)

But if you avoid the Windows license fee, then you are violating the contract among you, M$, and the laptop manufacturer [and] subverting the law

What the fuck are you talking about. I didn't sign any contract, and there sure as hell not be any laws requiring MS products to be sold with every laptop. If the OEM sells me a laptop without an OS in violation of a contract they signed, that's their business.

Or maybe you were just trolling?

Re:bad news for Linux? (2)

bnenning (58349) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911605)

But if you avoid the Windows license fee, then you are violating the contract among you, M$, and the laptop manufacturer. We need to fight the common media portrayal of Linux users as evil pirates and hackers, and publishing instructions for subverting the law is step in the wrong direction.

Huh? What's illegal about installing another OS without booting Windows and asking for a refund of the unused Microsoft OS? I'm also curious as to how the act of buying a laptop can possibly create a "contract" between the buyer and Microsoft.

I thought I was so cooooool (1)

Shamanin (561998) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911450)

Have a Dell 4000 Inspiron running Red Hat 7.2 (have also run Mandrake on it) with all of the devices up and running properly. Apparently, I am just another number.

Alienware (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911513)

whan is someone going to get Linux running on one of these [] bad boys?

Re:Alienware (2)

Lxy (80823) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911587)

whan is someone going to get Linux running on [Alienware notebook]

When someone shells out $3,000 for it would be my guess. Oh wait, it does come with a free shirt....

Real IBM Thinkpad T30 Info! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911526)

Since this story was entireless useless, I'll post some info about a new laptop...

I've got Linux running on a new IBM T30 right now.

Red Hat 7.3 install went easy.

I need to check into:
1) Sound
2) Getting the middle "mouse" button on the UltraNav thing working

I believe the modem is a winmodem, but I don't ever use one so I'm not sure.

I'll try some 3D stuff later to check that performance.

Any info on 1 and 2 above would be great... I'm up2dating as we speak. So maybe I'll have more info later.

So far, so good.

I'm switching from Apple (2)

theolein (316044) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911529)

and getting a Thinkpad. I was saddened to see that IBM doesn't directly support Linux on a laptop anymore. I don't think this market is very popular in general, even though the possible hardware variations are far smaller than in desktops and there fore easier to support.

Has anyone run any distro on a Thinkpad A31?

Re:I'm switching from Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911559)

you go girl!!


The anonymous coward.

Re:I'm switching from Apple (2)

trentfoley (226635) | more than 12 years ago | (#3912146)

I don't have an A31p, but have had Debian (stable), various RedHats (7.x+) and a couple of Mandrakes (8.x+) running on an A21p. I'm running RedHat 7.3 right now with no problems.

To qualify that though, I must admit that I don't use the modem for anything, so I don't know if it works under Linux. I've got the mini-PCI 10/100 ethernet card that works just fine.

The Cirrus CS4297A audio works fine.

The video on the A21p is an ATI Mobility M3 and works fine at 1600x1200x32. The A32p uses an ATI Mobility FireGL with which I have no experience.

I also have a CompactFlash pc-card adapter and a usb wireless keyboard/mouse that work fine.

The A21p has S-Video in and out, but I have not had the chance to ever try this stuff on Linux.

So, overall, I am very pleased with Linux on the Thinkpad A21p. I expect the same of an A31p, but I won't ever see one. I have to hang on to this machine for another year. Then, who knows what will be available.

BTW, the IBM Travelstar 32GB drive in my A21p recently died. IBM replaced it with no questions. They overnighted me a 48GB drive and the warranty covered it all (as it should). Forunately, I had very recent backups.

can't take the risk (1)

Tim Fraser (16824) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911544)

I'm not brave enough to buy a laptop and put my favorite OS on it.

I've been lusting after a number of tiny sub-notebooks for a while now. But I'm too afraid to pay $1600US for a laptop when I'm not sure I'm going to be able to get it to work very will with the Linux kernel.

Can I expect to be able to return the laptop (with the hard drive in some sort of pseudo-penguined state)? The "terms and conditions" I've
been reading on online-store sites seem pretty unfriendly - stuff about having to ask for the seller's permission (Return Material
Authorization) to return an item, and promises that the seller will keep some of my money if they decide I've "abused" their product.

Linux-on-laptops sites like give me some confidence, but the models they list are often older than the newer models I see on sale. What if the newer models have some sort of fatal show-stopping quirk? I don't have money to burn, and I don't want to be stuck with a laptop that runs only windoz.

Is there a way I can put money down on a tiny Fujitsu or Sony sub-notebook, try to put Debian GNU/Linux on it, and then return it for a full refund if I fail?

- Tim

Re:can't take the risk (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911641)

Sure most of them come with a restore disk these days so you should be able to put it back should you fail. Also I would buy froma local vendor if I thought I was going to be taking it back most of them have good policies.

Re:can't take the risk (2)

happyclam (564118) | more than 12 years ago | (#3912189)

But I'm too afraid to pay $1600US for a laptop when I'm not sure I'm going to be able to get it to work very will with the Linux kernel.

This very thing happened to me. I was new to installing Linux in late 1999, had no idea what the issues might be. I spent about a month reading as much as I could about laptop models, from manufacturer brochures to the various difficult-to-read "linux on laptops" pages. (They were clearly more oriented to people who already knew what to do and how to do it.)

I ended up settling on a Compaq Presario 1925, for which someone had posted what appeared to be pretty clear directions for getting Linux installed. Then I went to the store, where they had a 1930, bigger hard disk and DVD, and the guy offered me the same price. I was no fool, right?

Turns out that what wasn't in the brochure was a video chip "upgrade" in the 1925 to the 1930 to a chip that had no XFree86 drivers. Took an MIS manager friend of mine a couple days to figure out what happened.


Rather than return the laptop, though, I waited for a new driver to be released. Two months later, there it was. The thing's been a dream since. (I have it dual-boot with the original Win98 because I need Win98 for my employer's software.)

Re:can't take the risk (1)

hoop33 (585222) | more than 12 years ago | (#3912244)

Is there a way I can put money down on a tiny Fujitsu or Sony sub-notebook, try to put Debian GNU/Linux on it, and then return it for a full refund if I fail?

I just bought an HP zt1175 from Circuit City, and they told me I had 10 or 14 days (I forget which) to return it. I loaded Debian 3.0 on it. I haven't started looking at sound or apm yet, but everything else (including X) is working fine. It came with restore disks, so I can restore it to its out-of-the-box state.

Wow... that was boring! (Take 2) (3, Insightful)

Etcetera (14711) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911564)

D'oh... little hasty on the "Enter" key there :)

What I meant to say was, yeah, that was a completely pointless site to go to. Along the theme of it though, if you're (seriously) looking for a *nix laptop of some type, you really, really need to take a look at Apple's Powerbooks.

Feel free to mark me -1, Redundant, but Apple's laptops are probably the best in the industry hardware/design wise, run cooler than most x86 boxes, have faster chips that most PC laptops, and run a full-fledged *nix operating system, with a big giant company and a growing user base to support it.

If you're willing to open your mind (and your pocketbook a little - but come on, you're buying a laptop!) it's hard to go wrong with one of those.

Very devoid of info? (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911570)

>>>--From my web server statistics (data are from April 2002) I know, which manufacturers are most looked up for Linux purposes. Please keep in mind that this is a very rough estimation about their Linux popularity and doesn't tell anything about a laptop fitting a specific purpose. -->>>

Does this site have anything more than very rough estimates or is it just me? On to the next story.

Why linux sucks on the laptop (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911589)

Note, this is NOT flamebait, this is my opinon. I have a State of the are Sony VAIO and linux sucks on it. read whats wrong and FIX IT!

1. No easy way to have simultaneous mice (I have a touch pad and a USB mouse, on Windows I can use both, on linux I can only use one or the other.

2. Winmodems, Come on, us laptop users don't really have much choice, who wants to lugg a fucking serial modem around everywhere just becaause the kernel developers like to piss everyone off.

3. Crappy hardware support. Come on, i can barely get a 1024x768 display on a laptop screen, but linux support for the laptop video cards is crap!

4.No hibernation features. I LOVE the Windows Hibrernation feature, being able to turn off my laptop and beable to come back and turn on and resume my work. Very useful on laptops with limited battery power.

Until these things are fixed, linux will never make it on the laptop.

you are not very smart... (-1)

real_b0fh (557599) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911921)

some answers:

1) man XF86config. you can use as many mouses as you want, usb, serial, ps2... (one has to be the primary tough)

2) yeah winmodems suck, some work (mine does) some does not, its a matter of luck. The zero-hassle thing is to buy a xircom pcmcia modem/ehternet combo, which includes a REAL MODEM on it!!!

3) total bullshit. even crappy neomagic video adapters are properly supported under X. Name one that does not work at least.

4) my toshiba (old 2100 CDT) hibernates properly, but I must agree that some does not. Again, its a matter of luck. As ACPI grows mature, new laptops will be able to hibernate as fine as mine (months of uptime - yay!)

useful link for linux laptop info (1, Redundant)

supernova87a (532540) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911597)

Here's the link I use: link []

It's got driver info, compatibility tables, how-tos, etc. And useful message boards.

Powerbook (2)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911616)

Weird that they barely mention Apple and the PowerBook. Last year at the O'Reilly Open Source convention, basically everyone was packing a PowerBook or iBook.

Re:Powerbook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911844)

Because Apple is BSD. And we all know BSD is not Linux!

Apple (4, Informative)

maxphunk (222449) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911638)

I have a recient iBook that dual boots Debain and OS X. There are a bunch of distros that I can think of off the top of my head that work on it: LinuxPPC [] [defunct?], Debian [] , Yellow Dog Linux [] [Red Hat based], and SuSE [] . The dual boot setup is pretty easy for those with linux experience, a guid is available here [] . I have to give Apple props for the case design, among other things. My only complaints are the 8meg ATI Rage 128 Mobility [it lags a bit] and a soft modem which is unusable under Linux. I got the AirPort card to work {kernel compile), but the lack of a modem irks me because in having a laptop portability is a must and that includes having a working modem. Overall I am happy with my purchase, BUT a PowerBook G4 would be nice... Oh yeah, when you buy an Apple you avoid the Microsoft Tax completely (and it comes with a nice *NIX preinstaled too!) =)

Turnover too fast (2, Insightful)

mapinguari (110030) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911658)

I'm somewhat actively looking for a laptop to run Linux, but I've found the various websites mentioned to be far from useful. It seems that laptop models change about every three months or so.

For instance: I looked at CompUSA selling an HP Pavilion zt1250 [] . I haven't found any linux/laptop site which mentions this model. Not only this, but HP's website has no listing for this model at all, not even an historical reference.

I get the feeling that, as a general rule, by the time someone gets Linux up and running on a new model, that model is no longer being manufactured.

A lot of pages I find about running linux on a laptop tend to say things like: works great out of the box, except for sound, X, modem, network, and power management.

Sony VAIO GR-370 (2)

DaedalusLogic (449896) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911743)

Rocks, 99% of the hardware works with little or no special attention after a RH 7.2 install. Battery life is a little less it seems but when I need Linux on the laptop its for network diagnostics and usually I solve a problem there quite quickly. Dual booting with XP via GRUB... I'm quite impressed, any questions?

Dead Laptop (1)

user311 (320598) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911837)

Unlike many others, I have not had such luck with laptop installation. My greatest problem occured yesterday. I installed Mandrake 8.2 on a Sony Vaio PCG-FXA53. First I tryed fixing some Xwindows problems, but on reboot, the laptop died. It now refuses to turn on what so ever. It exhibits no power confirmation from either battery or a wall outlet. The laptop was designed for XP, so I guess that is my problem. I'm actually assuming that the problem is concerning ACPI. I hope to get it replaced today, but Im afraid of telling them I put linux on it. Whether its cable modem companys or resellers, most places refuse to deal with your product if a non-windows OS has touched it.

WinBook XL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3911885)

I use a WinBook XL (PII/233,64MB) as my lug-a-round for doing security audits. Since the display is only 800x600 and X was a little sluggish on the C&T chip and LCD, I dumped X and now use QT-Embedded with a framebuffer window manager. Works great! The Qt apps are much snappier without the KDE overhead. There are some problems when switching virtual consoles, but I am working on it. It is really amazing to me to see the difference in some of the apps on a small display without window manager decorations eating up real estate around them.

What a waste (1)

rindeee (530084) | more than 12 years ago | (#3911916)

What a completely useless link, and what's with the idea that Dell's linux support was "silently gone". Where the hell was he when that happened? It only made national news.

Nothing there... (2, Informative)

goid (582473) | more than 12 years ago | (#3912008)

This web site has almost no useful information, like most Linux on laptops pages.

About all you can do is read current user reports, and buy the laptop from place that will take it back without asking questions.

Dell, Amen! (1)

Icephreak1 (267199) | more than 12 years ago | (#3912084)

They're one of the few laptop companies that not only have their shit together, but keep their shit together. I recently made the jump from Toshiba; a jump urged all the faster because of their indifference to some concerns I had with their adoption of the Legacy Free BIOS design. Bad.

Anyhow, I'm about a month into owning my spanking new Dell Inspiron 8200, which runs Quake III like a dream by the way. Even at 1600x1200 res with everything enabled. Presently working my way through various System Shock 2 levels. This notebook does not disappoint. So very highly recommended.

- IP

A Dissenting Opinion (2)

Mignon (34109) | more than 12 years ago | (#3912116)

Wow, nothing but slams for the mobilix page. However, I recently found it very helpful getting an HP 800CT working. Sure, that page that was linked in the story wasn't all that memorable, but I think it's a worthy site.

As for the Windows tax on laptops, I suggest buying refurbished models. Where I've gotten mine (including that HP 800CT), they seem to have two tiers of laptops. The higher cost ones have relatively recent hardware and come with Windows 98 or more recent, and the lower cost ones - about $200 to $500 - have older procesors like Pentiums and don't include an OS. (OK, there's DOS on the drive, but no Windows.)

If you write me, I'll be happy to tell you their URL, though curiously, their laptop stock seems quite low right now.

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