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HP Releases Linux-Based Notebook

timothy posted about 10 years ago | from the too-bad-this-is-unusual dept.

Linux Business 392

SteamyMobile writes "As the article says, 'In a sign the Linux operating system may be gaining traction beyond server and other back-room systems, HP said Tuesday it will be the first major PC maker to ship a business notebook computer pre-installed' with Linux. This is great news because, as anyone who has ever tried to run Linux (or even Windows XP) on a laptop knows, laptops come with all kinds of funky hardware, and it's often a mess trying to find and configure the right kernel modules to make things like software suspend work correctly. Having it shipped pre-loaded, and with support, makes it easy for me to decide where I'm getting my next laptop. Linux has been ready for the desktop for a while now, but it is good to see companies like HP acknowledging that."

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linux-laptop! (5, Interesting)

Goeland86 (741690) | about 10 years ago | (#9875170)

Linux isn't only ready for the desktop, it's ready for the laptop too!!! And I also have an HP laptop which I'm happy about, where gentoo runs without any trouble on "standard" laptop parts. Only tricky bit was getting the DRI to work with the radeon mobility u1, but even that was easy. Go HP!

oh yeah??!?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875366)

Well, OS X is ready for the lapdance.

But can I... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875171)

get one without linux pre installed?
cause I really like that windows stuff! especially solataire

Good News Bad News (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875172)

Good News, linux on a laptop!

Bad News, the laptop is an HP. Heh, sorry.

How about drivers for the current crop of hardware (5, Insightful)

Craig Maloney (1104) | about 10 years ago | (#9875173)

I'd be more impressed with HP's Linux offerings if they'd support the current crop of laptops out there, specifically the ones with Broadcom wireless drivers and media card slots. Sure, I managed to wrestle the wireless drivers into submission and usability, but the media slots have no hope of ever being usable at this state.

Re:How about drivers for the current crop of hardw (2, Insightful)

roror (767312) | about 10 years ago | (#9875291)

Supporting linux on all the hardware they have sold would be expecting way too much from a company. It'd be quite a large step if they make it a point to offer linux as a supported option in their newer models from this point on.

Re:How about drivers for the current crop of hardw (5, Informative)

jg (16880) | about 10 years ago | (#9875374)

I presume you mean the SD slot as media card...

The SD consortium folks did not publish enough information for open source drivers. You had to sign various agreements to see the specs, etc.

However, this situation is now changing...

Our dear Redmond friends recently asked them for permission to ship SD drivers in source form; we (HP) said "sure, so long as open source drivers are possible". So this got them off the dime to open up SD implementations (at least the software side; they are keeping the mechanical and electrical specs locked up; they want to ensure interoperability of the hardware, and enforce it as part of the contracts you have to sign to get access to those specs).

So the programming specs are getting opened up; this should have taken place by now. This didn't happen in time for the Nx5000.

There is an SD driver developed independently on the iPAQ handheld for Linux from information that had already leaked out over the last several years; this needs further work for particular SD chip implementations. But it was problematical to distribute, at least by a member of the SD group.

At least it is now possible for do drivers, not possible in the past. I don't know how long it will take to get support done for a particular implementation; if you are interested, go for it!
- Jim

i dont care (0, Troll)

mikeeeeeee (748191) | about 10 years ago | (#9875174)


But which distro? (-1, Redundant)

Alcemenes (460409) | about 10 years ago | (#9875180)

Not trying to start a flamewar, just curious. I'm guessing it's probably Mandrake because I seem to remember HP announcing a line of desktop systems featuring Mandrake. Regardless, kudos to HP!

Re:But which distro? (2, Informative)

Ingolfke (515826) | about 10 years ago | (#9875202)

RTFA... it's Suse.

2nd paragraph "The HP Compaq nx5000 will feature Novell Inc.'s SuSE Linux"

Ahhhhh....One Second Please (2, Interesting)

darth_MALL (657218) | about 10 years ago | (#9875182)

Is it really a selling point selling a laptop pre-installed with Linux because it's such a challenge otherwise? What happens when it comes time for my annual reinstall? Not a real bargain if you ask me. You know this unit will be simplified to the point of removing the learning curve for Linux, and so it will be sold to novices who will be in the dumper when it comes time to fix the wear and tear. Just my 2 cents.

Re:Ahhhhh....One Second Please (1)

Txiasaeia (581598) | about 10 years ago | (#9875198)

Or maybe it will be sold to those of us who already have a Windows licence and would prefer to not pay the Microsoft tax again?

Re:Ahhhhh....One Second Please (2, Interesting)

darth_MALL (657218) | about 10 years ago | (#9875215)

I'm not talking about a cost/licensing issue. You know this will fall into the hands of numerous Joe-User types who will not be prepared for the relative difficulty of a new OS. It's damned easy to make it function like the usual (read:Win) OS until it blows up. Then where is the user left? Easy Street? No.

Re:Ahhhhh....One Second Please (2, Insightful)

Txiasaeia (581598) | about 10 years ago | (#9875256)

Joe user types are not going down to Best Buy and buy a notebook with an unfamilar OS on it. They're going to say, "I want a windows laptop!" and the trained monkeys will dutifully point them in the right direction.

If somebody buys a laptop with Linux on it, they'll either 1) learn to use it because they know something about it in the first place, or 2) return it within fifteen days (at least, that's the legal limit here in Canada). Your point is moot.

Re:Ahhhhh....One Second Please (1)

darth_MALL (657218) | about 10 years ago | (#9875273)

Sorry, Have you ever shopped @ Future Shop? The staff are on comission. That means sales. That means selling whatever you can. That means selling a Linux based laptop to the dummy that don't know no better.

Re:Ahhhhh....One Second Please (2, Insightful)

Txiasaeia (581598) | about 10 years ago | (#9875371)

Actually, I buy my notebooks from IBM directly :) I *do* stand around a lot waiting for the monkeys to pull a printer or whatever down from their shelves while they try to sell their overpriced products to the unsuspecting masses :)

I think you're not giving the ignorant dummies enough credit. See, folks like my dad want to pay as little as possible, but still, he'd never pay over $1000 for a laptop with a foreign operating system. I really can't see it happening.

Besides, you and I both know Future Shop's policy on returns - 15 days for tech items. That means that, even if the monkey manages to sell the notebook to a customer, if the guy can't figure it out at all he still can bring it back. I really don't think it's in FS's best interests to sell products that are going to just be returned a few days later because the guy can't find the "Start" button ;)

Re:Ahhhhh....One Second Please (1)

Txiasaeia (581598) | about 10 years ago | (#9875379)

Oops. No offense to my dad. He's not an ignorant dummy. Great, now I'll *never* get to drive his '64 Acadian!

Re:Ahhhhh....One Second Please (5, Funny)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | about 10 years ago | (#9875319)

Joe user types are not going down to Best Buy and buy a notebook with an unfamilar OS on it. They're going to say, "I want a windows laptop!" and the trained monkeys will dutifully point them in the right direction.

Hmm, I think you've got it wrong. It actually goes something like this:
  1. Joe user walks into Best Buy and asks for a Windows laptop.
  2. Trained monkey shows Joe the laptop and offers him an extended warranty.
  3. Joe says that he likes the computer and will buy it, but doesn't want the extended warranty.
  4. Trained monkey offers the extended warranty again.
  5. Joe refuses the extended warranty again.
  6. Trained monkey offers the extended warranty again.
  7. Joe refuses the extended warranty again.
  8. Trained monkey offers the extended warranty again.
  9. Repeat the previous two steps ad nauseum
  10. Joe walks out of the store frustrated and orders his computer online.

Re:Ahhhhh....One Second Please (3, Insightful)

wickersty (800729) | about 10 years ago | (#9875203)

Novices don't fix the wear and tear. They pay people to do it, buy new computers, or simply deal with - and complain about - the fact that their computer is slow, spy/adware ridden, and broken.

Re:Ahhhhh....One Second Please (1)

Sasha Slutsker (799836) | about 10 years ago | (#9875238)

Maybe HP will provide auto-updates? I mean, this could introduce Linux to a whole new layer of users.

Re:Ahhhhh....One Second Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875247)

How will an update fix a failed system? Failed due to user abuse (due to ignorance) mind you, but failed all the same?

Re:Ahhhhh....One Second Please (1)

BroncoInCalifornia (605476) | about 10 years ago | (#9875289)

SuSE Linux has a great online update utitily. YAST online update. Painless. Also SuSE instalation is usually painless. It is at least as easy as installing Windows on a naked computer.

Re:Ahhhhh....One Second Please (4, Insightful)

Veridium (752431) | about 10 years ago | (#9875239)

What happens when it comes time for my annual reinstall?

If HP is smart, they'll do what they do for their windows products... Include a backup partition or a restore CD/DVD that you can restore everything too. I mean seriously, novices are in the dumper anyway when fixing wear and tear on their Windows boxes. I ought to know, about half my income from my consulting business is repairing windows machines for home users.

There is no reason at all that HP couldn't have a default restore utility that works exactly like their windows restore. Just wipes the drive, and puts everything back the way it was when they got it on day one. That is hardly unfeasible. I could write a perl script...

Re:Ahhhhh....One Second Please (5, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 10 years ago | (#9875248)

What happens when it comes time for my annual reinstall?

What annual reinstall? The only reason you have to reinstall Windows once a year or more often is that the Registry, .ini files and other system files gradually get corrupted because any program can alter them in whatever way they want. Linux doesn't have that problem because programs can only alter their own .configure files, not the basic system ones.

Re:Ahhhhh....One Second Please (1, Informative)

NineNine (235196) | about 10 years ago | (#9875410)

The only reason you have to reinstall Windows once a year or more often is that the Registry, .ini files and other system files gradually get corrupted

Or you just occasionally run a program supplied by MS or any other vendor that removes dead links in all of those places. There's no reason to re-install W2K or WXP any more.

Re:Ahhhhh....One Second Please (5, Interesting)

kfg (145172) | about 10 years ago | (#9875298)

What happens when it comes time for my annual reinstall?

You put in the 'rescue' disk and click on "Yes".

There, not so hard, is it?

Not that I've ever had to do a reinstall of Linux for maintenance purposes. It doesn't fragment, crud up or slow down and BonziBuddy doesn't run on it.


Re:Ahhhhh....One Second Please (2, Insightful)

pebs (654334) | about 10 years ago | (#9875393)

Is it really a selling point selling a laptop pre-installed with Linux because it's such a challenge otherwise?

The selling point, I think, is that it is a laptop that is intended for running Linux, so you don't have to worry about lack of driver support (presumably).

As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, it is an HP, which kinda negates any possible selling point :)

Re:Ahhhhh....One Second Please (0, Redundant)

BroncoInCalifornia (605476) | about 10 years ago | (#9875401)

I do not see where Linux has a learning curve any more difficult than Windows.
Using KDE is at least as easy as Windows.
Getting patches is as simple as clicking on the green button on the toolbar and then entering the root password when it askes for it.
Even installation is as easy as windows.
And Linux installations (with a journaled file system) are much more stable than Windows installations. They do not change randomly over time the way Windows does. Linux boxes require less mainainance.

hp laptops (3, Interesting)

grahagre (459342) | about 10 years ago | (#9875189)

lots of people bitch and complain aboout the quality of hp laptops, i think theyre great. personally i would have thought ibm would be the first major laptop maker to embrace linux pre-loaded, oh well hp is going to make a lot of money from this. thanks hp.

Re:hp laptops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875280)

you can get an ibm laptop with linux pre-installed.

they don't have it on their website, you have to call in and ask for it

Re:hp laptops (2, Insightful)

Drakon (414580) | about 10 years ago | (#9875416)

IBM did this for about two years, if you search the archives you can find where they cut it off, since it turned out to be cost prohibative. You can still order new IBM laptops with linux preinstalled, they're just not going out of their way to support every piece of hardware on every laptop they sell anymore, like they used to.There simply wern't that many people willing to shell out what IBM charged at the time for a laptop, even if they are the best laptops on the planet. HP will probably NOT make a lot of money from this because anyone interested enough to buy a laptop with linux preinstalled is skilled enough to install it themselves, on any laptop they choose. (Choise is very important in laptops. I personally value light weight and long batteries (Thinkpad X40) whereas my boss values speed and screen size (Dimension M60)

PS: Comparing HP/Compaq laptops to quality laptops is not the process of a rational mind. They're good at being cheap, and that's about all

Re:hp laptops (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | about 10 years ago | (#9875503)

I'm split between an IBM R51 with a 1.5GHz Pentium M, 14.1 XGA or 15 SXGA (or better), and 512MB RAM, with an Orinoco or something and a BLANK hard drive, a Medion MD42100 (NOT the German model - the US model is a Centrino, so I'd sell the WiFi card - I don't like the idea of running ipw2200 drivers), or an Averatec 3220H1, with a 256MB RAM upgrade (or if I can find it cheap enough, the 3225, which is the same thing with 512MB RAM).

Its NOT the year of Linux on the desktop (-1, Offtopic)

JoeShmoe950 (605274) | about 10 years ago | (#9875190)

Its the year of linux on the laptop ok, stupid joke -- []

Not for me. (-1, Flamebait)

Damon C. Richardson (913) | about 10 years ago | (#9875194)

Why would i buy a laptop from HP. Maybe after they fire one of their executives.

Huh? (4, Interesting)

Greg Larkin (696202) | about 10 years ago | (#9875196)

From the article:

Fink said the launch is a test "so that we can see the take up we get for this particular product."

Soooo.... if the "take up" is insufficient, then the test failed? Where is the customer left in that case?

Re:Huh? (1)

LostCluster (625375) | about 10 years ago | (#9875305)

Most likely in the same place that Microsoft left everybody who bought anything from their line of network products... with the warrenty still valid and support from phone operators in India still available, but no more left to buy in the marketplace.

Re:Huh? (1)

kubrick (27291) | about 10 years ago | (#9875484)

Warned upfront, which is better than a lot of companies that will drop their products like a hot potato if they don't do too well.

Panic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875206)

So the new term "Laptop Panic" on top of kernel panics. Hope people don't have "Bladder Panic" when they start seeing those kernel panics :)

HP makes good printers, nothing more. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875209)

Now why would anyone want to run Linux on a POS HP laptop? HP needs to stick with printers.

Re:HP makes good printers, nothing more. (1)

weighn (578357) | about 10 years ago | (#9875407)

that's funny. First thing I did with my HP/Compaq nx8000 was to put FC2 on it. Runs very nicely thanks. Only piece of h/ware that needed wrangling was the wirelss adaptor [] .

Re:HP makes good printers, nothing more. (3, Interesting)

ejaw5 (570071) | about 10 years ago | (#9875424)

If you ask me, HP printers have gotten worse then before when they were an "instruments" company instead of a consumer company. I have to wonder how many of the newer monochrome laser printers will serve as long as an old HPLaserJet 4. Just look at their inkjets. Used to be rock solid, now they break every two years. And don't get me started on them shrinking the ink cartridge sizes/capacity on the newer machines...

Not sure what the article author is talking about (2, Insightful)

adzoox (615327) | about 10 years ago | (#9875214)

Apple Laptops run Linux with full hardware upport VERY nicely and have over a broad generation of laptops.

Re:Not sure what the article author is talking abo (0)

grahagre (459342) | about 10 years ago | (#9875234)

i think you mean bsd instead of linux ;-)

Re:Not sure what the article author is talking abo (2, Informative)

Graymalkin (13732) | about 10 years ago | (#9875310)

No [] , Linux [] works [] alright [] .

Re:Not sure what the article author is talking abo (1)

nofx911 (634100) | about 10 years ago | (#9875337)

You forgot Gentoo []

Re:Not sure what the article author is talking abo (1)

JeffTL (667728) | about 10 years ago | (#9875329)

No, you can put Linux on an iBook or PowerBook and it runs just fine, though unless you got a blank one and didn't want to buy OS X I don't see much point to it, when the hardware comes with a specialized BSD that natively runs most commonly used nongame software -- and GNU chess is probably better for your brain than solitaire anyhow.

Re:Not sure what the article author is talking abo (1)

sp0rk173 (609022) | about 10 years ago | (#9875438)

I'm a BSD nut, and I still installed linux on my ibook for a while. Why? Because I wanted to. It's something to do just to see how it feels. Of course, the first thing i dual booted was Darwin and OS X. Oh man, that makes even less sense than dual booting linux and OS X...but i wanted to do it. So I did. Yeah, I used it less than 10 times.

Re:Not sure what the article author is talking abo (1)

mr i want to go home (610257) | about 10 years ago | (#9875419)

I think you'll find that the parent is talking about Yellow Dog Linux [] . Sorry if that wink meant you knew and were making a joke.

Re:Not sure what the article author is talking abo (1)

Mr. Frilly (6570) | about 10 years ago | (#9875245)

I've got a 12inch powerbook; no wireless, no external video, and no sleep. I can do without wireless and sleep, but not having external video is a real killer... I still have to use my ancient Dell when I do presentations.

And I think the same goes for almost every powerbook that's been released in the last year and a half.

Re:Not sure what the article author is talking abo (4, Funny)

konaforever (744753) | about 10 years ago | (#9875465)

Hmm, my 12 inch powerbook does all of those things. You sure you own a powerbook or a P-P-P-powerbook?

Re:Not sure what the article author is talking abo (0)

eingram (633624) | about 10 years ago | (#9875258)

HP said Tuesday it will be the first major PC maker

While PC stands for personal computer and can mean a wide variety of things, it usually means things that != Apple.

Re:Not sure what the article author is talking abo (2, Insightful)

sp0rk173 (609022) | about 10 years ago | (#9875420)

which is dumb and stupid. I know it's true...but it's lame-ass mass marketing taking a toll on our society.

Stupid business majors.

Re:Not sure what the article author is talking abo (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875276)

I would assume so. Apple laptops are highly popular among geeks and their hardware doesn't change much after each release. The drivers stay the same across most of the line. PCs, on the other hand, change with each brand and model making it more difficult to write drivers to fit all of them.

Re:Not sure what the article author is talking abo (3, Interesting)

Standard Colin (737911) | about 10 years ago | (#9875326)

Absolutely true! I have Gentoo running on an iBook and it's a spectacular linux laptop. The only complaint I have is that theres no way to get graphics acceleration because the video card is a radeon mobility M6, for which there are no open source drivers, and the ATI binary drivers dont run on ppc. I believe PowerBooks have or have the option to use, and nVidia card. That would be nice

Worth the price for Wireless (4, Interesting)

miyako (632510) | about 10 years ago | (#9875222)

From the looks at it, the price is work it just for having wireless configured. It's a real PITA.
This does look really nice though, and I'm glad to see that they are using Suse, which seems to be the best "User Oriented" distrobution out there. I'm actually a little suprised that they can make a notebook no more expensive than it is with all supported hardware, as I've noticed Linux compatible hardware tends to be a wee bit more expensive than non-supported hardware.
I do have two concerns though, first off is the quality of the notebook. OS aside, if the hardware isn't robust enough to stand up to lots of abuse, then it won't sell well and someone will probably blame that on Linux. The second concern I have is that while Suse Professional is wonderful, the personal edition seems to really lack some important things (like a compiler. I don't care if your not a developer, if your using linux at some point you will want to install software that has to be compiled for your system).

Re:Worth the price for Wireless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875324)


Just shop around.

There are easy to install Linux wireless devices, just be smart about it.

Any Prism54 card works fine out of the box in NEW distros like Fedora Core2.

No fuss no muss. Plug-n-play. Almost. All you have to do is copy a copy of the firmware to a certain directory. Directions are avaible at

To see the supported cards are here:

Hardware in Linux is a peice of cake as long as you buy the correct hardware.

Also if you noticed that Linux supported hardware is a bit more expensive it's normal. This is because the slightly more expensive is usually higher quality then the cut-rate stuff that gets dumped on consumers sometimes. Higher quality hardware is easier to work with and support.

Re:Worth the price for Wireless (2, Insightful)

Graymalkin (13732) | about 10 years ago | (#9875397)

Oh man, all you had to do was go to a website not listed anywhere in a card's documentation to figure out how to get the card working. That's so easy Aunt Millie could even do it!

Installing a wireless card is not a piece of cake until you've spent a couple days finding and reading documentation. Then it is a piece of cake since you don't have to do it all over again.

Re:Worth the price for Wireless (1)

BroncoInCalifornia (605476) | about 10 years ago | (#9875336)

Maybe we should thank Intel for all the Linux support. More than a year ago they started to supply Linux support Intel Graphics. Now they are giving Linux support for Intel Wi-Fi.

Re:Worth the price for Wireless (1)

NineNine (235196) | about 10 years ago | (#9875433)

ike a compiler. I don't care if your not a developer, if your using linux at some point you will want to install software that has to be compiled for your system

If a user ever has to learn the word "compile", then the piece of software is a failure, period. That's like saying that if you buy a Toyota, you're going to have to re-machine the cylinder heads *sometime*!

Re:Worth the price for Wireless (1)

Drakon (414580) | about 10 years ago | (#9875436)


Re:Worth the price for Wireless (1)

b17bmbr (608864) | about 10 years ago | (#9875446)

are you kidding. mandrake 9.2, rh9, knopppix, and yellow dog 3.01 configure wireless like a breeze. and, a helluva lot easier than XP. i have struggled to get my 2 brothers-in-law's notebooks connected with XP, and my wife's computer, ay freakin carumba. linux is a snap. the wireless cards are now recognized as /dev/ethx instead of /dev/wlanx, and /etc/sysconfig... scripts work fine. all you have to do is add a few things like wep keys, etc. while acpi is sometimes sketchy, wifi works great on linux. a year or two ago maybe, but now, it is simple. there are even gui tools, so no need to open up vi.

Good. Linux laptop. I am SO there. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875232)

"All of those parts of this notebook have been turned on, work completely and are fully supported," he said. (from the article)

I love this. I have a Gateway 400vtx. Works, the damn video card is irritating and Gateway sucks.

But for 1140?

I AM THEIR. It's mine. I want it. It's mine.

For a long time I thought, who needs a laptop? The desktop is faster and cheaper.

But now that I have one? I use it more then my desktop.

Why? Because it's convienient. I like to sit down in the middle of the room with the laptop in front of me. With the front propted up on my crossed legs It's confortable for my hands, and I am around other people instead of stuck in the "computer room". I take it outside, I take to work. Take it on trips.


My desktop is for gaming (that runs linux, too).

It's nothing wonderfull, but it's nice. I have a couple tv capture cards, so I stream TV to my laptop and record shows to watch at work in the background.

It's nice. And one that is sold brand new with Linux installed? Everything works out of the box?

No kernel patching no experimental drivers? Great. Plug n run. Keep my big media stuff on my old Desktop, now gaming rig/file server/media server/mythtv backend. Work gets done the on laptop.

(oh and if you think that "hey windows you don't have to patch". I prefer to expend effort getting something to work, rather then continiously fixing broken crap. Windows is the death of a thousand cuts.)

Tech Support. (4, Insightful)

Eeknay (766740) | about 10 years ago | (#9875236)

And will HP be providing tech support for users who have problems with Linux (yeah yeah, I know there are few problems with Linux/Suse, but you never know...)?

WTF? No Wireless or DVD+RW? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875250)

Try to customize this laptop on HP's website and you'll find "Note for SuSE Linux: MultiBay DVD+RW and Intel PRO wireless not supported."

Re:WTF? No Wireless or DVD+RW? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875403)

The DVD is understandable because the laws restricting it. I am sure that you can get that working on your own.

If you want wireless get a Prism54 card.

GPL'd drivers given by the original designers of the chipset. Good move.

The drivers were accepted into the kernel lately and most newer distros will be able to support it out of the box. The only gotcha is the firmware.

Most of them are 802.11g, and they are very reliable and work well. Also most cards support several modes of operation which is sometimes rare even in well supported Windows enviroment.

For cards:

Re:WTF? No Wireless or DVD+RW? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875469)

there are no laws regarding a DVDRW and linux.

Re:WTF? No Wireless or DVD+RW? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875470)

I'm typing this ON A HP NX5000, and it comes with a Atheros A/B/G wireless solution, not Intel. Also, it comes with the bad-assed Texas Instruments combo CardBus+1394a+FlashMedia controller. Reads/Writes SD cards faster than ANY media reader I have ever seen. Take my advice FWIW, NEVER buy a laptop with a Ricoh or O2MICRO part in it. Yeeech!

I go thru a laptop about every 6 months, and I can honestly say this is the best I have had yet. I've tried IBM, Sony and Dell, and would rate them in that order. Bluetooth, A/B/G, 1394, and a nice screen (get the 15" upgrade).

I should also mention that I'm using WinXP; Sorry SlashDot, XP works great for me.

A day late and a dollar short in my case. (5, Informative)

krunk7 (748055) | about 10 years ago | (#9875251)

I pretty much got fed up making linux on the laptop work and just sold off my Dell to pick up a iBook. If this had been an option at the time, I may have considered it. As it is, OSX has all the unixy goodness plus none of the hassle.

Re:A day late and a dollar short in my case. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875348)

OS X has it's moments.

To say none of the trouble that's untrue. It's easy to deal with to be sure, but it's still not as flexible or as high performing as Linux on x86. (or PPC for that matter).

Personally the custom enviroment I make for myself thru X windows' infinate customizability is far better for MY purposes then anything I can get from OS X.

Also besides video drivers (nvidia) Linux is going to still be more stable. Finder still has some nasty lock-up habits. But it's not as bad as Windows, definately.

screw this (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875265)

this is news for nerds []

SuSE makes this even better (4, Informative)

Stevyn (691306) | about 10 years ago | (#9875287)

I haven't used SuSE in a while, but I'm happy they chose it over Linspire or those other "distros". Actually, for this purpose, I can't think of a better distro. Mandrake is kind of slow and Fedora is more beta testers tinkering than a distro I'd want to offer to my customers. I'm not trolling there, Red Hat agrees with me :)

SuSE also has a good repuation of GPL'ing their work where as Linspire won't even offer a free download AFAIK.

Bah. (5, Informative)

wo1verin3 (473094) | about 10 years ago | (#9875288)

HP said Tuesday it will be the first major PC maker to ship a business notebook computer pre-installed' with Linux.

Hardly. I owned an IBM T20 which qualifies as a business notebook computer and it shipped with Linux years ago. Here is the coverage [] from June 19/2000.

Slack on T22 (1)

simetra (155655) | about 10 years ago | (#9875359)

I've got Slackware running good on my IBM Thinkpad T22, with a Cisco Aironet wireless card, and mini-PCI (3Com I believe), kernels 2.4.x and 2.6.x. It works like a champ. I've set up Quickswitch [] to easily use different network profiles and different XF86Configs at login (to use super-duper scrolling mouse). It's really as easy as a desktop. In fact, I'm using it now. For more detailed info: click here [] .

This is set up dual-booting Win2000, which I very rarely boot.

About time (4, Insightful)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | about 10 years ago | (#9875292)

ACPI and to a lesser extent APM are a struggle in Linux. I didn't realize this until I bought my 15" Powerbook. Now I know. The next killer app/functionality for Linux is laptop compatibility/wireless. Show me that sleep/sus[pend will work out of the box and my management will be sold since the release of Evolution/exchange connector.

Re:About time (1)

dmaxwell (43234) | about 10 years ago | (#9875409)

Since you have a Powerbook, the situation isn't that bad. pbbuttons [] is what you are looking for. In Debian at least, installation and configuration is dead easy. There is even a GUI. I use it on a Pismo Powerbook with good results.

Re:About time (0, Offtopic)

Drakon (414580) | about 10 years ago | (#9875461)

This is slashdot, everyone claims to have the SHINY PRETTY 2.5K powerbooks. You're obsolete.

Re:About time (1)

Standard Colin (737911) | about 10 years ago | (#9875427)

maybe I can help you out here, I'm not trying to be rude. Linux on apple hardware uses /dev/pmu and a daemon called pbbuttonsd for power management. it works GREAT. have fun:)

$60 difference... (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | about 10 years ago | (#9875293)

The article points out that there's only a $60 difference between the Linux-equiped laptop and the comparable model from HP running Windows. Am I the only one who thinks that's exactly what HP is paying for their OEM licenses since they buy it bulk? (A Foogle search reveals that there are many web outlets who will gladly sell you an OEM Windows XP Home copy for about $80-$100, provided you also buy a piece of hardware at the same time to keep the transaction within Microsoft's rules.)

They get it (1)

Micah (278) | about 10 years ago | (#9875313)

Maybe there should be more of a difference and maybe not, but this is the first time I've seen comparable computers offered for LESS money with Linux instead of Windows, at least from a major manufacturer. I would call that a HUGE step in the right direction!

Thanks HP. I want to get a laptop within the next year, and you just moved to the top of my list!

Re:$60 difference... (4, Informative)

BroncoInCalifornia (605476) | about 10 years ago | (#9875464)

I went to the HP web site. If you select SuSE 9.1 or XP home you get a $60 price break from the default selection of XP "professional".
they are giving your SuSE 9.1 for the same price as XP home. We are not getting a price break.

They think this will be a low volume product, or they are not sure what the support costs will be.

Re:$60 difference... (0, Flamebait)

NineNine (235196) | about 10 years ago | (#9875466)

What business is it of yours? Your only concern should be as to whether or not it's a good value. Do you ask the grocery store manager if the box of cereal that you buy is artificailly expensive because of government grain subsidies (it is)? Now go away, and put your tinfoil hat back on.

The acid test for linux on any laptop (4, Interesting)

gabbarbhai (719706) | about 10 years ago | (#9875299)

Would be reliable suspend/resume to/from disk and memory, with all devices waking up correctly. I've heard that Powerbooks with Linux can do that, but I don't own one (yet)..

Personally... (1)

Uplore (706578) | about 10 years ago | (#9875306)

I think its a great idea. Through the use an open source and free operating system they reduce the cost of the machines building cost by.. say.. $150 worth of licencing fee for Windows. This means HP can produce a laptop with better valur for money, and for the same cost as a machine running Windows you could get more RAM or a bigger hard drive.

News pointing to news pointing to news (1)

StArSkY (128453) | about 10 years ago | (#9875308)

HP Press Release []

I have beeing playing with SUSE 9 for the last 3 months on some servers, and I have been impressed. My traditional background has been Slakware, Redhat & Mandrake.

Good to see it on HP.

Laptop trouble (2, Insightful)

iamdrscience (541136) | about 10 years ago | (#9875335)

I don't really think laptops are as much trouble with linux as people make out. At one point they were a big hassle, but in my experience (admittedly, not particularly extensive) the difficulty of installing linux on a laptop over installing it on a regular PC nowadays is negligible. Sure, laptops still tend to come with weirder hardware, but really, most distros have gotten quite good at supporting most of it right out of the box.

Convenience (3, Interesting)

zaxios (776027) | about 10 years ago | (#9875344)

I expect this will be successful simply because of how enormously inconvenient it is for Linux users to buy a laptop bundled with WinXP and get a refund, or how expensive that OS is to just pay for and not use. However, if you don't like SuSE, there's always FreeDOS on a Dell [] and installing the Linux distribution of your choice later. I guess this rules in the convenience stakes - as convenient as buying a WinXP laptop - and that's its selling point.

(Note that this certainly isn't the first [] popular Linux laptop.)

Caution! Lunix is dangerous!!! (0, Troll)

drl0gic (644095) | about 10 years ago | (#9875347)

Lunix, BSD, Debian and Mandrake are all versions of an illegal hacker operation system, invented by a Soviet computer hacker named Linyos Torovoltos, before the Russians lost the Cold War. It is based on a program called "xenix", which was written by Microsoft for the US government. These programs are used by hackers to break into other people's computer systems to steal credit card numbers. They may also be used to break into people's stereos to steal their music, using the "mp3" program. Torovoltos is a notorious hacker, responsible for writing many hacker programs, such as "telnet", which is used by hackers to connect to machines on the internet without using a telephone.

If you see the word "LILO" during your windows startup (just after you turn the machine on), your son has installed lunix. In order to get rid of it, you will have to send your computer back to the manufacturer, and have them fit a new hard drive. Lunix is extremely dangerous software, and cannot be removed without destroying part of your hard disk surface.

Re:Caution! Lunix is dangerous!!! (1)

coyotecult (647958) | about 10 years ago | (#9875471)

I miss

Thinkpad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875384)

I bought a Thinkpad T21 a few years ago that was preloaded with Linux. HP is not the first.

In fact, a later model (the T22 [] ) came with what to my knowledge was the only legal DVD playing software for Linux, Intervideo's LinDVD [] , a port of WinDVD, which could never be purchased seperately and AFAICT is no longer available anywhere.

HP public denial in five ... four ... (4, Funny)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | about 10 years ago | (#9875388)

I've seen this happen before. Many times. And as I write this, Microsoft is calling HP to remind them of the terms of their mandate^H^H^H^H^H^H^H contract. And as the conversation progresses, the potential cost increases to HP's Windows licenses might get a mention.

Five seconds until HP fires off a press release stating that they are not really selling a Linux laptop. Four. Three. Two ....

Does it support Wine? (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | about 10 years ago | (#9875399)

Then I can ..... oh wait!

Still not fully supported tho- (3, Informative)

NTT (92764) | about 10 years ago | (#9875400)

From the product web page [] : (Note for SuSE Linux: MultiBay DVD+RW and Intel PRO wireless not supported.) And the base price has changed since the article was published.

cool, but... (1)

whitekolovrat (736562) | about 10 years ago | (#9875402)

...why the hell the stille recommend [] winxp?

'bout time (1)

stevenm86 (780116) | about 10 years ago | (#9875417)

Finally, linux on a laptop, pre-installed! This is the ultimage geek dream come true. Linux on my Dell 600m was a PITA, but everything seems to work finally (invluding software suspend!). Let me know if you have one of em and want a .config.

this is nice, but... (5, Interesting)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 10 years ago | (#9875431)

I know that I should be "grateful for what I have", but I've got a couple gripes about "linux on laptops". Keep in mind, however, that I own an IBM Thinkpad X30, and I do run single-boot debian sid on it.

1) IBM needs to get their act together and offer Linux support, at the very least, for their laptop line. Their hardware is mostly supported already, but it shouldn't be necessary for me to pay the extra amount for a licensed copy of Windows XP, which I'll never use just to get a well-built laptop. What's more, they're advertising linux for enterprise use, and enterprises use laptops. I don't see how moving to linux couldn't be anything but good for them now, overall - or at least moving in and helping linux laptop development, so that it is soon mature enough for IBM to start offering it at a corporate level on laptops.
2) It would be nice to start getting a little bit better kernel and X support for things like suspend and power ACPI. At the very least a listing somewhere on manufacturer's sites saying, "hey, our hardware needs this specific version of software to work properly if you run Linux" - it's often difficult to find definitive information on such topics, and people will often get things working when others are not able to for odd reasons. Personally, hard or soft suspend do not currently work for me w/ kernel 2.6 and X 4.3 running the dri-trunk debs - on current sid - on my X30. Returning from suspend results in X being borked, requiring a reboot to fix. (Anyone that has information as to why this is occuring, or what the fix might be, and I'd appreciate hearing from you...)
3) Wireless support. I'm not talking solely about drivers, as those have improved significantly* and are on the right road, but wireless tools for useland. As far as I know, it's currently fairly difficult (via waproamd, the only thing I've seen to do this) to get a wireless card to 'roam' from network to network as you go from, say, home or work. There needs to be a good userland tool for this.
4) * The wireless drivers in the kernel itself are still pretty shitty and minimal, and wlan-ng sucks horribly. The hostap 2.x drivers are a significant improvement over the other two in every regard (as far as I've seen), but actual support in the kernel really should be improved. :-/ (Anyone know why hostap stuff hasn't been brought into the main kernel tree?)
5) power management tools don't seem to work too well. It's quite possible that I'm simply ignorant on the matter, but tools such as cpudyn and cpufreqd do not scale the processor's speed dynamically when losing AC power, or gaining it again. In my experience, the daemons need to be restarted manually.

Get Windows Bugs Worked Out First (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875435)

I've discovered that Windows HP laptops don't work perfectly all of the time. It would be nice to have a Linux HP laptop in which all components work, but if HP can't get it perfectly right for Windows, then I'm not too eager to switch to an OS that is notoriously complicated when it comes to unusual parts.

You see, I'm working at a law school that has a WEP-encrypted 802.11G network. We've got two IBM loaner laptops while we get everything prepared for the school year. Both of them got online fairly easily. A student brought in a Dell yesterday, which also was pretty painless to get on the network. HPs? No!

We've had two HP laptops come in over the past two days. I don't think the network is broadcasting an SSID or is otherwise blatantly open (talking outside of encryption, too), but the IBMs and Dell didn't have a problem getting online. We're going to have to call HP to find out why their laptops aren't cooperating.

Now, two laptops is no biggie. However, we're going to have around 200 people at the school, trying to get online, in about three weeks. I would guess a significant portion (20+, perhaps?) will have HP laptops. We *have* to get them on the network, and Windows isn't working right as it is. Buy a Linux HP laptop? I would be extremely cautious to do so, from what I've seen so far.

Linux Certified Stickers, SWEEEET :) (2, Interesting)

metalac (633801) | about 10 years ago | (#9875448)

Well it seems like "Linux Certified" hardware is getting easier and easier to find. I bought a laptop about 2-3 years ago from Sony and it was a pain to get USB to work, I had to user the patch, but with successive kernel releasies it got acctually fixed in the kernel code and it started working straight out of box after kernel 2.4.22 or so.

Now that HP is getting their certified laptops out there I feel that rest of the manufacturers would also start geting their act together. After all people who buy these things and run Linux on them are probably the people who'll recomend these computers to their Joe Sixpack friends. I can't count how many times I recomended a computer or a piece of hardware based on how well it worked with Linux, just so to support the cause and support companies that acctually use standards and are not biased towards a certian OS.

sounds nice, except (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875458)

that on their website, you can't customize the laptop with linux. one would think they would sync the website with their announcement. the options on their website states linux is an option, but you just can't actually configure a laptop with linux and buy it. does that mean you still have to pay the MS tax?

Linux day? (0, Offtopic)

saned (736423) | about 10 years ago | (#9875472)

Is it Linux day today at Slashdot??
80% of the submissions are Linux-related... am I missing something here?
Not that I don't love Linux... I very much do, but aren't any other subjects for news today?

I kinda miss the worm-of-the-day headline... ;-)


I hope this one is not a Bait and Switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9875500)

I think is is great that a major manufacturer is claiming to support
end user linux

I just hope that HP is not just using this as a "token" gesture.

My experience with getting information about HP's Mandrake Linux
desktops in the past was horrible.

The "Linux Option" always seems to disappear at their website
when you got to the configuration page. The only option is Windows XP. It
is like a bait and switch.

When you called HP you would get strange evasive answers like "Linux?"
or "We don't offer Linux."

??? Do what ??

After arguing with them and convincing them that HP is supposed to
be selling Linux

then your phone call gets redirected several times. Out of frustration
and waste of time you hang up. The version of Mandrake "offered" was an
older one.

It is like HP really didn't want to sell linux at all.

So, HP, please don't give us the bait and switch.

To put it politely. Hey HP, please clean up your %#&*ing act.

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