Finding a Mint 14 compatible laptop

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Finding a Mint 14 compatible laptop

Postby script_kitteh » Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:12 pm

Hi folks,

So I want to get into Linux, and I've settled on Mint as my first distribution. I'm planning on purchasing a laptop and then just installing Mint over the default OS that comes on it (Win 8 I guess). I don't want to blow a bunch of money and then find out it has driver problems or something. Are there any resources out there that have verified Mint 14 compatible laptop make/models? I haven't been able to find anything of the sort myself yet.

The other question I have, is once I purchase a laptop, how do I know which Mint to download?! < there are several choices there, and I think I'm correct in thinking that the differences in "desktops" are mostly aesthetic differences? If that's the case, then how do I know whether to download "32-bit" or "64-bit" ? :( I have no idea what that even means...

Anyways, thanks for reading, any and all advice/tips are welcome.

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Re: Finding a Mint 14 compatible laptop

Postby passerby » Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:48 pm

I don't have a list for you, but if you plan on going into a physical store to find a laptop, you could always bring a Mint DVD with you and boot into it, then play around a bit. It isn't a perfect solution, since the OS may function a little differently on an actual install, but it's a good first step.
Of the downloads, I'd say it depends on what you're after. The desktop environment is largely a matter of personal preferences. IMO, if the laptop has a dedicated graphics card, give Cinnamon a try. If not (or if Cinnamon doesn't play nice, you don't like Cinnamon, etc.) give MATE a go.
In regards to 64 vs 32 bit, you should give this thread a read: viewtopic.php?f=90&t=125254

There have been a few threads about compatible laptops. In my experience, Lenovo and Dell are well-supported.
There are laptops that ship with Ubuntu/Mint by default (eg. ThinkPenguin, System76), but they're usually more expensive for the specs.
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Re: Finding a Mint 14 compatible laptop

Postby HughT » Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:03 pm

Hi script_kitteh, I recently bought a new laptop from Novatech - see They will supply PCs and laptops without an Operating System; no point buying Windows OS only to delete it. Novatech also has a Linux forum. You haven't mentioned which part of the world you're in, so I don't know if they will be a suitable supplier for you. Don't get a Win8 machine, they tend to have UEFI boot enabled which will prevent you from installing any other Operating System. Unless you get a high end machine, and use it intensively you'll see little difference between the 32 bit and 64 bit versions. Cinnamon, Mate, KDE and Xfce are indeed different flavours of desktops. My suggestion would be to choose either of the first two (though it's always a matter of personal preference). You are very un-likely to have driver problems on a new machine, I didn't - it just worked straight out of the box, no extra drivers needed. You'll be surprised how easy it is to install compared to doing a fresh install of a Windows OS. Hope this helps.
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Re: Finding a Mint 14 compatible laptop

Postby slingshot » Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:51 pm


What is the size of the laptop you want to buy. I am very happy with Acer Travelmate B113M (11.6"). Only problem with brightness but nothing else(for now).


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Re: Finding a Mint 14 compatible laptop

Postby laidback » Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:54 pm

I'm using an old Acer Aspire 5050, recycled after the Windows user threw it away and bought new!
Put in more memory (now 1Gb) and different HDD (again recycled).

No major problems running Mint 14.

I wouldn't expect newer machines to have problems.

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Re: Finding a Mint 14 compatible laptop

Postby Acid_1 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:59 pm

I have a 3 or 4 year old Sager NP2096. I bought it with Linux in mind while looking for pc's. Found mine at

Anyway, what you want to look for is for two more specific bits--the wireless card and the video card. Myself, I like to look for Intel parts for the wireless chip, they seem to play nicely with Linux.

For the video card, go for a nVidia. As long as you don't buy the newest cards, they work well with Linux, and with dkms and one click installs for the driver in Mint, it's a piece of cake to set up.

After that, think about what you want to do with the PC.

Just email and surfing? Find a 2 - 2.2Ghz dual-core processor
Gaming? Find a 2.4 - 3.0Ghz dual-core
Hosting servers? Go for a quad-core.

These are just some things to look at.

Remember that if you want a large screen, or an external monitor, you'll need to look into getting a decent video card, or you could be looking at some lag if you're watching videos or playing games on the external.

And finally, if you have the hardware, see if you can boot up your favourite distro, see if the disc works, and if there are no hiccups, shouldn't have too many issues. Keep in mind, most problems in Linux can be resolved with a little help from the community, Google, and some command line.
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Re: Finding a Mint 14 compatible laptop

Postby kc1di » Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:43 pm

Hello script_kitteh and welcome to mint,

There are several ways to go in finding a new laptop. but I would warn you that all new laptops with windows 8 pre installed will come with UEFI secure boot that may or may not be able to be disabled. that can prevent you from installing mint on some of them.

I think it may be good for you to take a look at companies that sell preloaded linx laptops. here are a couple zareason will preload mint 14 for you.

that being said I have a dell 1564 that mint work very well in but get the model that has window 7 pre install or call dell and see if they can ship you one without any os installed. Tell them what you plan and don't let them talk you into one you do not want.

good luck happy hunting.
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