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Thread: You have choice - if you have the right hardware!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    You have choice - if you have the right hardware!

    I'm on AMD 3.4ghz quad core with 4GB ram and IGP radeon 4250 (512mb shared). I first tried Ubuntu 11.10 back in early 2012, but gave up because my webcam wouldn't work, system would lag, mobile broadband would only work when using third party scripts, and Unity was basically featureless at the time. I was forced to use the open drivers because Catalyst has horrible 2d AND 3d performance on this chip. The open drivers are adequate but there are bugs with the desktop environemnts. I tried afterwards 12.04 which has a very pretty colourful interface, but again horrible performance with the laggy dash and laggy effects. To get it to be usable I had to use tweaks to disable features like blur, without which the dash text is unreadable, and had to disable the laggy compiz effects.

    I tried E17 but it has the worst application support out of all desktops. Chrome won't work without system borders, basically rendering cutomizability function useless. Other apps have similar problems. KDE has a horribly ugly look and feel but I tried using it, but it has choppy opengl performance due to redraw bug which has been reported. It's not that my hardware can't handle it because every desktop effect runs fast if I switch on the FPS counter. The problem is to make any desktop usable, I have to tweak and disable half the features because of various bugs. Gnome Shell had great smooth performance in 3.2, but later versions were laggy.

    I know that I should have chosen properly supported hardware from the beginning but some of these bugs seem to crop up afterwards. I've read reports of some hardware working beautifully when the older versions were released, and then problems when new versions are released. The bugs are OK but why does it take so long to fix them? Is the video chip I'm on very uncommon? I had bug reports from many months but no word on them at all. KDE is still unusable with desktop effects, so to use any DE, I have to disable features because of bugs which aren't fixed for so long. Now that gnome 3.8.1 is out, it has acceptable performance again and I like using it now, thankfully, because I don't like windows.

    What are your hardware horror stories?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    6,930

    Re: You have choice - if you have the right hardware!

    Quote Originally Posted by DisappearingOak View Post
    What are your hardware horror stories?
    None really . I run an Ubuntu VM on a very modern desktop that I built myself and have had no trouble. My backup laptop (a bog standard Latitude D520) also used to run older versions of Ubuntu with no trouble at all. Sounds like you have been very unlucky!
    You think that's air you're breathing now?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Peoria, Arizona
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    67
    Distro
    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: You have choice - if you have the right hardware!

    I don't have any really bad hardware horror stories. I never could get video to play right on my old Dell notebook though. I had to fiddle with gstreamer and invert all the colors. This had the effect of making the image display properly if I was watching a movie but if I took a picture or used Skype or something, then my video would be inverted.

    I try to check out the hardware in a machine before I buy it now because I care more about knowing that my computer is going to have Linux support than I do about the performance or value of the parts. I am willing to pay a little extra if I have to in order to know the computer is going to work for me.
    We're alike, me and cat. A couple of poor nameless slobs. -- Holly Golightly

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: You have choice - if you have the right hardware!

    I've always been pretty lucky with hardware. I had some serious problems setting up a printer once, but that was in 2008. Also, one laptop's brightness controls didn't work properly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Hidden!
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    Kubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: You have choice - if you have the right hardware!

    Quote Originally Posted by DisappearingOak View Post
    I know that I should have chosen properly supported hardware from the beginning but some of these bugs seem to crop up afterwards.

    it's the problem i've been noticing as well. furthermore bugs that were once already solved and patched reappear.

    10.04 - sound not working propperly
    10.10 installed - sound working, after a few updates sound no longer works normally, sound chip is often recognised wrongly.
    12.04 - fresh install sound working, Skype cam pic upside down
    12.04 month later - sound not working, suspend not working, hibernate not working
    12.04 almost 1 year later - trouble with update - "generic" logitech mouse not working. had to replace the interface to make it work again. keyboard recognised wrongly - had to reconfigure the whole thing.

    these sort of things shouldn't happen. if something worked in 10.10 first install it should continue to work. the patches shouldn't create new bugs. furthermore if these bugs were solved by new release updates again should not reintroduce them.
    Easy to understand Ubuntu manual with lots of pics: http://ubuntu-manual.org/
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    5,991

    Re: You have choice - if you have the right hardware!

    I don't have horror stories.

    Laptop - Everything works out of the box except for the onboard softmodem but we all know those don't work in Linux and the last time I used dialup was in 2004 I think.
    Desktop - Everything works out of the box
    Printer - Multifunction HP works fine via the LAN or USB.

    Before I got into linux I purchased a webcam which is now old and it does not work but apparently there is a way to make it work but I can't be bothered.
    I'll NEVER buy a ATI/AMD GPU for use in linux, NEVER. It's just looking for trouble.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Hidden!

    Re: You have choice - if you have the right hardware!

    I run Ubuntu successfully on two devices: The Toshiba NB100 12-A netbook and the Dell Optiplex GX-620 desktop tower; however, I tried to run Ubuntu on my Toshiba Satellite C670 notebook computer but it is really buggy. On the notebook if I run Ubuntu through Wubi it will not connect to the keyboard and recently I partitioned the drive but it will not switch off - only reboot ALL THE TIME. Why is Ubuntu (or most Debian Linux distros) not successful with Toshiba?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    874

    Re: You have choice - if you have the right hardware!

    I have not had any problem with hardware at all, I have different versions of Ubuntu installed in an external hard drive and boot it off computers of different specs and never experienced any problem except once at work it froze when skype started, turn out there was some incompability with the usb webcam this guy gave me, borrowed another one from another guy in the same room and everything worked. I have also instaledl Ubuntu on a few laptops, from about 7-8 year old ones to the newest one which is only one year old and all work great (For 12.10 wifi doesn't work on an old hp netbook with a broadcom wifi card, but 12.04 worked great, maybe the new kernel doesn't support the card anymore?). I haven't tried anything with "secure" (restricted) boot yet.

    Got an old Epson scanner-printer, worked out of the box since 11.04 (need to download drivers for 10.04 and 10.10, but they are .deb packages so installation was a piece of cake) Tested on hp printers at work, they work out of the box (but Win7 doesn't work!)
    Last edited by monkeybrain2012; April 13th, 2013 at 09:04 AM.

  9. #9
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    May 2005
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    Indiana
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    Hardy Heron (Ubuntu Development)

    Re: You have choice - if you have the right hardware!

    I realized this when I first started messing with Linux a long time ago. So since then, I've always intentionally bought computers and peripherals that are known to work well with Linux. I don't really think it's unreasonable. It's the same with MacOS X. It runs on supported hardware, and if you try to make a Hackintosh, you expect it not to work well with just any hardware.
    Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. - Dr. Seuss

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Kubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: You have choice - if you have the right hardware!

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew.46 View Post
    None really . I run an Ubuntu VM on a very modern desktop that I built myself and have had no trouble. My backup laptop (a bog standard Latitude D520) also used to run older versions of Ubuntu with no trouble at all. Sounds like you have been very unlucky!
    Doesn't sound like a fair comparison. With a VM your host OS takes care of all the annoying hardware stuff. Or is your host OS also Linux?
    "I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee." --Flash Rosenberg
    formerly 'known' as Euroman

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