Best route to linux laptop?

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chippywood
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Best route to linux laptop?

Post by chippywood »

I want a modern Linux laptop. What's my best starting point? Chromebook or Windows PC? I would intend to install Mint over the existing OS. I don't want to be left with Windows, so buying a Windows laptop and discovering that Mint doesn't work would be the worst outcome (assuming I could even restore Windows from a backup). The Chromebook option sounds better because if Mint didn't work then I could make use of Chrome (again assuming I could restore the Chromebook system if I'd trashed it) even though this would still pretty much be a disaster.

If Mint doesn't work OK, do I have a chance of restoring the original OS?

Any recommendations? I'm aware of the Mint Community hardware page, but current hardware is mostly missing.

Chris
DAMIEN1307
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Re: Best route to linux laptop?

Post by DAMIEN1307 »

I would go with the PC rather than the Chromebook, i have heard that some folks have had problems doing it the Chromebook way...DAMIEN
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motoryzen
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Re: Best route to linux laptop?

Post by motoryzen »

chippywood wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:36 pm
I want a modern Linux laptop. What's my best starting point? Chromebook or Windows PC? I would intend to install Mint over the existing OS. I don't want to be left with Windows, so buying a Windows laptop and discovering that Mint doesn't work would be the worst outcome (assuming I could even restore Windows from a backup). The Chromebook option sounds better because if Mint didn't work then I could make use of Chrome (again assuming I could restore the Chromebook system if I'd trashed it) even though this would still pretty much be a disaster.

If Mint doesn't work OK, do I have a chance of restoring the original OS?

Any recommendations? I'm aware of the Mint Community hardware page, but current hardware is mostly missing.

Chris
--Well I feel you have two main choices here:
1. Smack down the cash on a laptop made/assembled by System 76 or another more Linux-directly-involved company ( which..chances are will cost a lot more)
2. Research specific Windows laptops or their main critical parts ( wifi ethernet card, sound card, dedicated or igpu chipset..etc) online and see if anyone else has already posted any problems with that same make/model/etc involving which ever distro you prefer to run on it.

For example " dell xps 15 linux mint problems" yield a result from early this year viewtopic.php?t=323151 talking about overheating problem right here on the LM forum domain. also viewtopic.php?f=90&t=323537 talking about a fans problem.

Also there's always the chance the problem may have been solved by the time you get ready to buy that specific make and model with a driver update, bios/uefi update, or some work around that is good enough.

That is how I'd start. Joe Collins on Ezee Linux and on youtube would probably have better and/or input on this topic. --
cliffcoggin
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Re: Best route to linux laptop?

Post by cliffcoggin »

Definitely not a Chromebook. They lack full keyboards and only have tiny storage capacity.
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wallyUSA
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Re: Best route to linux laptop?

Post by wallyUSA »

I'd start out by doing an online search. This will give many reviews (and opinions). I did a Google search on 'Linux laptops' and found several interesting articles such as:
  • Best Linux laptops of 2020: the top open-source notebooks ...

    A Guide To The Best Laptops For Linux 2020 - Make A Website Hub

    10 super sweet laptops that come with Linux pre-installed ...

    2020's Top 5 Linux Laptops - Our #1 Pick Will Surprise You

Good luck let us know what happens or if you have other questions.
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Pierre
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Re: Best route to linux laptop?

Post by Pierre »

you could also try Buying an Laptop that still has win-7 installed on it,
- from an second-hand place, or from an on-line store.
that would give you, the better chance, of an Linux conversion.
:)
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Joe2Shoe
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Re: Best route to linux laptop?

Post by Joe2Shoe »

I have LM 20 running on 2 Dell laptops (1 13 years old, 1 8 years old), 1 Toshiba (5 years old), 1 Sony Vaio 10 years old, and 1 Asus 5 years old.
Lots of choices.
I would get a used laptop with an i5 or i7 CPU, 16-32GB RAM, SSD, and an Intel video card.
Good luck.
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chippywood
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Re: Best route to linux laptop?

Post by chippywood »

Thanks to all for the suggestions.

As I anticipated, the only real way to do this is as @motoryzen suggests: to research the support for the individual h/w components in the computer. I came to this conclusion last time I thought about doing this, but never took it as far as actually buying.

My thoughts about purchasing a laptop have tended to go nowhere. I moved on from Windows years ago and have no intention of going back. I have a Linux Mint desktop which I'm very happy with, and I don't really have a requirement for the stuff I do on it to be mobile. I've a small donated Chromebook that I use for travel which I've come to like but the battery is on the way out and I need to replace it. Modern Chromebooks can run Linux programs so I think if I'm going to get one then it would be nice to have a fairly high spec one so I can do that. But then I think: why not just have a Linux laptop in the first place, it's not going to be much slower starting up from suspend than a Chromebook takes, and I don't need all that Google infrastructure. But then I think: if I have a good spec Linux laptop then it's going to compete with my desktop computer for my affection. But I don't need both. At this point, I disappear down a hole of conflicting logic and paralysis sets in. This is what happened last time I went through this and I'm not sure how to resolve it. But it's my problem I guess.

As for dedicated Linux laptops, there don't seem to be Linux equivalents of the £400-600 mid-range Windows laptops, even though a Linux option should be cheaper without the licensing cost. I guess manufacturers are not prepared to spend money certifying Linux (even just Ubuntu) on them because the market is so small. Nevertheless this is the hardware area I'm looking at. Dedicated Linux laptops only seem to be available where specs are too low or prices too high. And the problem with second-hand/refurbished is that the battery will already be beginning to die.
hgrail
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Re: Best route to linux laptop?

Post by hgrail »

I'm in a similar place.

I would like to upgrade my 10 year old desktop - that I built myself and keep patching. I have to admit it still runs well (espec for it's age) and it's no slouch running LM18. I would like something more portable though.

I've been looking at the DELL XPS 13, and the Thinkpad X1 Carbon, and then the offerings from System76. All good options and all close in price.
Dell comes in last due to the lack of ports (I often run several monitors).
The Dell and Lenovo both come with Ubunto and the 76 comes with Pop. I'm sure they would run fine with LM on them.

None of them are cheap - but then I don't like cheap components, and I run my pcs a long time so there you go.

I could get a corporate reject on ebay around $700 with an i7 core which I'm sure would perform well - but then how many years would I get out of it? I don't expect they are made to be worked on like the System76 machines either. I suspect the warrenty goes away the second you crack the case to add or upgrade the ssd.

And then, do I really want to banish my desktop that has performed (and is performing) well for so long? An ASUS build in a server case that is industructable and overclocked to perfection? Perhaps keep both and see where it goes?

So many factors to consider..
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Moem
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Re: Best route to linux laptop?

Post by Moem »

My favourite route is a three-step process:
- Get a Thinkpad (used or refurbished is fine)
- Install Mint on it
- Relax and enjoy.
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bobmct
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Re: Best route to linux laptop?

Post by bobmct »

FWIW - I've installed Linux Mint on numerous brands and models of laptops for both myself, my company and others. With the except of some early Lenovos I've had ZERO issues. My own favorites to use are ASUS and HP. And more importantly the recipients/users of these laptops have had zero problems once they get used to the minor differences between Cinnamon and Windoze (usually < one week of use). I highly recommend doing a complete install and not a dual boot install.

So go for it. You won't be disappointed.
MintyRyzen
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Re: Best route to linux laptop?

Post by MintyRyzen »

I'm currently running Linux Mint 19 on an old 2014 Dell Inspiron with an AMD A6 apu.

Have you seen these Linux laptops from Star Labs?:
https://starlabs.systems/pages/laptops

You could also try going to the store and attempt to boot the display models with a LM20 Live USB Stick and see if they work.
chippywood
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Re: Best route to linux laptop?

Post by chippywood »

bobmct wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:13 pm
I highly recommend doing a complete install and not a dual boot install.
Indeed. Dual boot is not on my agenda - I have no interest in Windows.
chippywood
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Re: Best route to linux laptop?

Post by chippywood »

MintyRyzen wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:31 pm
I'm currently running Linux Mint 19 on an old 2014 Dell Inspiron with an AMD A6 apu.

Have you seen these Linux laptops from Star Labs?:
https://starlabs.systems/pages/laptops

You could also try going to the store and attempt to boot the display models with a LM20 Live USB Stick and see if they work.
Those Star Labs laptops do look good, but I'd have difficultly buying something just off the internet without being able to try it out first. But the idea of taking a live boot stick to a store, I'd not thought of that. I can see that some staff may need convincing that it wouldn't harm their laptops, but if it ends in a sale maybe they could be persuaded. Nice idea.
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