New laptop compatibility

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elak
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New laptop compatibility

Post by elak » Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:23 am

Hi,

I'm a Linux Mint 17.2 KDE user and I'm going to configure and buy a new (hopefully long-lasting) laptop.
Here's a list of its main features:

- Chipset: Intel HM170 Express
- CPU: Intel Skylake i7-6700HQ
- RAM: DDR4 2133MHz CL13
- SSD: M.2 (NVMe) Samsung 950 Pro
- HDD: SATA III 7200rpm
- GPU: NVidia GTX 970M GDDR5 (dedicated) + Intel HD Graphics 530 (integrated)
- Wireless: Intel Wireless-N 7265 Single Band + Bluetooth 4.0 (or Intel Wireless-AC 8260 Dual Band + Bluetooth 4.2, which one would you suggest?)

So my questions are:
- will all of these components be compatible with Linux Mint >= 17.2 or do they require particular attention (like about kernel version, NVIDIA drivers configuration, etc.)?
- is there anything I should take care of or take into account before buying or before installing Linux Mint?

Thanks for your attention, I just want to be sure my laptop will be 100% compatible before spending a lot of money on it :)

Bye

Lisa_P
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Re: New laptop compatibility

Post by Lisa_P » Wed Dec 23, 2015 1:01 pm

Hi,

Expect difficulties! I have a very similar laptop (Clevo). It's certainly not quite 100% compatible yet. I used 17.3-64 Cinnamon for mine.

The 6th gen intel with dual graphics isn't fully supported (search for i915 issues) yet, so it is going to give some headaches. Mine runs on the nVidia GPU with the official drivers, leaving the intel HD 530 alone until that's working. Expect to need a 4.1+ or 4.2+ kernel with WiFi firmware if you opt for the 8260. (Firmware can be found here: https://wireless.wiki.kernel.org/en/use ... rs/iwlwifi and needs to copied to /lib/firmware before installing a new kernel). I went for the 8260 for its dual band support. I don't know how well the 7265 is supported, but it looks like a better candidate if you don't want to mess about with firmwares yourself.

As long as you don't enable hardware encryption on your m2.Sata SSD you should be fine with that one. I can't tell if LUKS is using hardware encryption, but I needed it for Win 10 (Bitlocker). I ran into some oddities with mine, but I have 2 SSDs in my system (one m2, one regular sata).

I setup mine with wired network at first, installed the official nVidia drivers, then copied the wifi firmware and did the "easy" install of the 4.2.0-19 kernel through the kernel section of the Update Manager. After that my WiFi worked fine. (I'm now on 4.2.0-22).

I also can't get suspend/sleep to work properly. Sometimes the screen remains black/off. Using the sleep button and closing the lid alternatively can bring it back to live sometimes. Rebooting (either Windows and/or Mint) sometimes causes the machine to hang at BIOS, however, simply using shutdown for either OS works fine.

Search the internet for the individual parts and combos to read other people's experiences. I expect that nearly all the issues I have experienced so far will disappear with future updates. The hardware is simply too new, I think.

I hope this helps somewhat... Good luck in choosing the right machine.

elak
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Re: New laptop compatibility

Post by elak » Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:47 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience!
I think your laptop is the same as the one I would like to buy (mine is a rebrand-Clevo).

I know the hardware is still too new, but I would use Linux as primary OS so it is important to understand if I'm doing the right choice. This laptop costs a lot of money and its hardware allows a very long last, but hardware incompatibility issues can be a problem in the short term.
Thanks again!

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jimallyn
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Re: New laptop compatibility

Post by jimallyn » Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:18 pm

For full functionality with the Skylake processor, you'll want to install the 4.3 kernel.

http://www.yourownlinux.com/2015/09/how ... linux.html
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Lisa_P
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Re: New laptop compatibility

Post by Lisa_P » Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:24 am

jimallyn wrote:For full functionality with the Skylake processor, you'll want to install the 4.3 kernel.
http://www.yourownlinux.com/2015/09/how ... linux.html
Personally I'm not very fond of RC kernels. That's the RC1, there are release versions out as well. I think it might be better to use one of those instead?
http://ubuntuhandbook.org/index.php/201 ... -released/

And perhaps look through http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/ for a newer release.

Edit: Last non-RC is 4.3.3-wily and didn't work very well with the nVidia/intel combo. While the intel HD graphics are now enabled by default and more or less working (strange flickering every so often), the nVidia drivers fail, nouveau fails, so I'm back to 4.2.0-22.

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