Linux Mint and laptops

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rfd
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Linux Mint and laptops

Post by rfd » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:09 am

Which laptop brands/models will work best with Linux Mint? Only interested in internet browsing, youtube, facebook, emails, and office apps. Small screen 14" to 15". Needs to work well with WiFi & LAN. A few USB ports would be needed - but no gaming, no large hard drive, or special multi-media needs required.

ralplpcr
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by ralplpcr » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:36 am

Honestly, just about anything that's between 2-10 years old can be made to work quite nicely. The brand new laptops tend to also have chipsets & processors that aren't completely supported yet by the Linux kernel - - Kaby Lake/ Coffee Lake, AMD Ryzen, & Intel i9 may all have some features that aren't entirely stable under Linux. That's Linux in general - not just Mint! They'll *run* Linux, but if you're after a smooth "out of the box" experience without having to tweak & adjust things, a slightly older laptop may be better. Either that, or a laptop that specifically states that it is designed for/has support for Linux. Also, try to get a wireless adapter made by Intel if possible - - they work much better than the RealTek ones that many cheaper laptops include.

I've had good luck with most Lenovo ThinkPad laptops and some of the Dell XPS series. The Lenovo IdeaPad (or just plain Lenovo) laptops can be tempermental - it all depends on the chipset they use.

As always, your best bet is to boot up into a live session via USB or DVD on your intended system & try it out!

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lsemmens
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by lsemmens » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:41 am

I use a rather low spec Toshiba Satellite PSCN4A-02G00H with no issues.
Kernel: 4.15.0-24-generic x86_64 bits: 64
Desktop: Cinnamon 3.8.7
Distro: Linux Mint 19 Tara

Laptop T4500 Dualcore 4Gb RAM
Server AMD Phenom 9650 - GEForce 9400GT 6Gb RAM
Out of my mind - please leave a message

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AndyMH
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by AndyMH » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:34 am

+1 on Thinkpads, buy a second-hand T430, they are cheap. All my Thinkpads (I've had a lot), have all been ex-corporate machines. Bought my third T430 a couple of weeks ago, i5-3320, 1366x768 screen, 4G RAM, no HDD = £125 (it was sold as 'grade B', looks grade A to me). Added a 240G SSD and upped the RAM to 8G, total outlay around £200. And the other advantage - parts are easy to get and not expensive. Mint installs 'out of the box', no problems and performance is good. If you can, get one with a 1600x900 screen.
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19, Thinkpad T430 i7-3632 Cinnamon 18.3, Thinkpad T420 Cinnamon 18.3, Thinkpad T410 Cinnamon 17.3, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

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michael louwe
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by michael louwe » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:01 am

rfd wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:09 am
.
.
Avoid those very cheap netbooks that come with soldered/unremovable 32GB or 64GB eMMC Flash drives. Avoid Acer, Asus and HP, ...

Certain OEM Win 8.x/10 laptops, eg Acer, Asus and HP, have an obstructive or pro-M$ BIOS Setup setting for "select an UEFI file as trusted for executing",(= Live Linux USB cannot boot). For the fix, please refer to ...
https://community.acer.com/en/discussio ... 15-51-78c6
https://itsfoss.com/no-bootable-device-found-ubuntu/
viewtopic.php?t=236560

The above latest(= 2017) OEM Win 10 laptops, eg Acer E and S series, may have even removed this UEFI-BIOS setting(eg "No bootable device" after installing Linux and cannot be fixed), but may be restored by a new BIOS firmware update from the OEMs = update through Windows only. This was after many complaints from affected users. ...
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=254948
... Another workaround is ...
https://askubuntu.com/questions/862946/ ... re-es1-533

Helmut
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by Helmut » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:10 am

I have had multiple unexpected problems with netbooks and laptops, a real pita!
Experience has shown, if I want to avoid a blasted pita, the most probably best thing to do is get a used Thinkpad. Have a look in Yeepay or some other place, they are not as expensive as you may think.
I have had zero issues with Thinkpads, in fact I use old Thinkpads running on Mint to control very sensitive equipment, such as satellite TV broadcasting facilities. Some have been running for years connected to the Internet and the other equipment without ever being switched off...

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Moem
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by Moem » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:52 am

Helmut wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:10 am
I have had zero issues with Thinkpads
You and me, both.
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If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

jpenguin
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by jpenguin » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:17 am

Darn near anything will work, I have an older system76 gazelle.

rui no onna
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by rui no onna » Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:55 pm

+1 for Lenovo ThinkPad (with Intel Wi-Fi).

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Executioner
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by Executioner » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:17 pm

Another +1 for Thinkpad. I have a 510 with 8 gigs of ram and a 240GB SSD. Works perfect. Lenovo Thinkpads are the best. My favorite part of the laptop is the keyboard.

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Reorx
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by Reorx » Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:12 am

I'm either directly of indirectly responsible for Mint on about 7 or 8 Dell laptops. All function perfectly. The most recent purchase was in May this year. When I buy a new laptop - I look for a few features in general.

1) Intel CPU and on CPU graphics. I generally avoid dedicated GPUs.
2) I never get touch screens.
3) For RAM I choose either 4GB or 8GB - never less and never more.
4) I avoid anything that looks or sounds like it is "cutting edge".
5) For my own personal machines (laptops), I never spend over $400. It the machine is a gift for someone else, I'll spend up to $700 to get an 8GB ram space, a quicker CPU (think i5), and maybe a larger HD.

My most recent purchase had an i3 processor (2GHz), 4GB RAM, 1TB HD (5400rpm), 15.6" screen, & 802.11ac WiFi for $375 U$D shipped. It came with Win10. The first time I boot it, I booted to a Mint live USB and used Gparted to shrink the Win10 partition to make room for Mint. This new machine is my platform for LM19(C) Tara - I ran the Beta and then wiped it and installed the stable release... then wiped that and installed v2 of the stable release... So far it is running great and I have found NO issues. I have never booted the Win10 partition but who knows, some day maybe...
Full time Linux Mint user since 2011 - Currently running LM17C64 on my production machines.
Currently testing LM19C64 - Lookin' good so far!
Image Image

Boca
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by Boca » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:23 am

+1 for Lenovo ThinkPads
+1 for Dell Latitudes

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CaptainKirksChair
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by CaptainKirksChair » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:25 am

Well, how much money are you willing to spend? Is "speed" an issue? (The reason for putting "speed" in quotes is because what's fast to you may be slow to me.) Does it have to be a new computer? I agree with Reorx on the Intel hardware, though other hardware will work with a little extra configuration. Search for a used computer store near you and see if a Windows-based laptop strikes you as a good choice. Remember that it's used, so do not overpay. I've seen some used laptops at my local computer "recycler" that are 5 years old and more expensive than a faster, newer, better laptop.

If you don't mind Apple hardware, you can find a great Macbook Pro 15 inch screen for around $300 US on CraigsList.

Here's an example.

Mint runs GREAT on the older Apple Intel-based hardware, and it does have to be Intel. If you want a hard drive larger than 320GB, you can get a 1TB on Amazon for $50 US. They work fine in any laptop.

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Pierre
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by Pierre » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:38 am

it's true that Linux will run on most, if not all Older Machines,
& particularly if that machine was built win-7 primarily ..

but, the later model machines are customised for the later versions of the windows system,,
and most now have hardware that was never designed for any other operating system,
which will obviously make things much more tricky to install any other operating system.
some of these machines, have even been short-changed in order to reduce the manufacturing cost .. ..
& thus locking that machine to Just The One Operating System.

it just shows the fortitude of some folks, who are determined to give their machine an new life,
when they do succeed in installing another operating system, like an Linux System.
:)
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Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] - when your problem is solved!
and DO LOOK at those Unanswered Topics - - you may be able to answer some!.

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AndyMH
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by AndyMH » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:47 pm

Picking up on an earlier post on performance, a used thinkpad T430 with a standard i5-3320M has a passmark of 4113, I replaced it with an i7-3632QM*, passmark 6939, nearly 70% 'faster'. You can argue a lot about these metrics, but it provides an indication. Not that there was any problem with performance with the i5, I just wanted to 'play' and needed to do a lot of number crunching in excel running in a VM.

Message here is that you can get a cheap ex-corporate thinkpad, spend a little money on maybe an SSD, more RAM, and a processor upgrade. Overall not a lot of money compared what you'd need to spend for similar performance for a brand new laptop. You get a 'fast' laptop (not upto modern gaming standards - but I don't do that) and with the older machines, no problems installing linux in a variety of flavours. One of the advantages of the thinkpads, if you buy the right model, is that they are very upgradeable.

* It doesn't overheat, max I've seen is about 88C, that was handbrake crunching a ~10G mkv video file to m4v.
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19, Thinkpad T430 i7-3632 Cinnamon 18.3, Thinkpad T420 Cinnamon 18.3, Thinkpad T410 Cinnamon 17.3, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

KBD47
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by KBD47 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:30 pm

Adding my upvote for Thinkpads. It is so nice to have everything working out of the box on your hardware.

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AndyMH
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by AndyMH » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:23 pm

I couldn't agree more, but I am biased :D
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19, Thinkpad T430 i7-3632 Cinnamon 18.3, Thinkpad T420 Cinnamon 18.3, Thinkpad T410 Cinnamon 17.3, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

rfd
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by rfd » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:35 pm

i wish that i was smart enuf to start such a thread many Many MANY years ago when i became a linux convert. i've wasted money on acer, hp, assus, toshiba, and other such linux NON-friendly machines. i currently have all of those machines running mint, but with a LOT of effort and help from this forum. i did get a new lenovo ideapad last year for the wife because she wanted something lightweight and on the small side, for browsing and emails. linux mint loaded perfectly, works perfectly. must be a lenovo thing.

laurel
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by laurel » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:04 am

Im presently battling with a 7yr old thinkpad with bad drive sectors. neither lenovo OR toshiba who make the drive 1.8"mini sata make or supply any adaptors to enable external connection, to hook same drive via usb into
Im trying to clone across to a new drive, and failing so far;-(
so while the machines running ok otherwise , I would be very wary of any with the mini disks, and theres no way(i think, from the ones ive seen sizewise) you could swap to ssd. could be wrong?

rui no onna
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Re: Linux Mint and laptops

Post by rui no onna » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:47 am

laurel wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:04 am
Im presently battling with a 7yr old thinkpad with bad drive sectors. neither lenovo OR toshiba who make the drive 1.8"mini sata make or supply any adaptors to enable external connection, to hook same drive via usb into
Im trying to clone across to a new drive, and failing so far;-(
so while the machines running ok otherwise , I would be very wary of any with the mini disks, and theres no way(i think, from the ones ive seen sizewise) you could swap to ssd. could be wrong?
You mean like this?

https://www.addonics.com/products/adms18sa.php


Incidentally, it seems like Lenovo did have laptops with 1.8" micro SATA SSDs although I'd be wary of the controller on these older ones.
https://www.amazon.com/MMCRE28G8MXP-0VB ... 00L1HX7OC/
Last edited by rui no onna on Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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