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View Full Version : The best distro for a laptop



ambidextrousone
February 7th, 2009, 10:26 PM
looking for another, out the box ready to go distro similar to ubuntu, or maybe even ubuntu itself.

ive been hearing that fedora is worth a look when it comes to laptops, but im inexperienced - this is a first experience of linux for my friend, so i need it to be a good one, providing a live-cd confirms its capable of running it, suggestions please :)

boltz
February 7th, 2009, 10:29 PM
Linux mint, so many reasons

spacegypsy
February 7th, 2009, 10:30 PM
Try as many live CD as you want.

It really depends of your hardware specs; sometimes ubuntu is better sometimes linux mint, pc linux os, openSuse or elive...

Sporkman
February 7th, 2009, 11:12 PM
Ubuntu.

speedwell68
February 8th, 2009, 11:40 AM
Linux mint, so many reasons

QFT^^^. Mint is great for noobs, the restricted-extras and a few other non-free things that in Ubuntu you'd have to install manually, so it gives you a much better out of the box experience Plus Mint's default theme looks 100% better than Ubuntu's dodgy brown.

Johnsie
February 8th, 2009, 11:45 AM
In my experience Ubuntu runs well on laptops... but also runs very hot. I've been using Ubuntu since 2005 and two of my laptops have had overheating issues wit Ubuntu. Neither of them work anymore. However on my eeepc it seems to be ok. My eeepc runs quite hot and the the fan activity is different to when I had Xandros, but it hasn't burnt out (yet).

I think next time I get a real laptop I will keep windows and use Ubuntu in a vm.

speedwell68
February 8th, 2009, 11:51 AM
In my experience Ubuntu runs well on laptops... but also runs very hot. I've had two laptops that had overheating issues wit Ubuntu. Neither of them work anymore. However on my eeepc it seems to be ok. My eeepc runs quite hot and the the fan activity is different to when I had Xandros, but it hasn't burnt out (yet).

I think next time I get a real laptop I will keep windows and use Ubuntu in a vm.

Never had any overheating issues on my Acer Aspire Laptop. Not in two and a half years of exclusively running Ubuntu. If you are running Ubuntu on a Netbook, give EasyPeasy Linux 1.0 a try. It is remixed Ubuntu 8.10 and is tailored specifically to Netbooks. I am running it on an Acer Aspire One A150 and it rocks.

Johnsie
February 8th, 2009, 11:55 AM
You're one of the lucky ones then. It's kinda like playing the lottery. If you look in the forums quite a few people have had serious problems with Ubuntu on laptops. And those problems shouldn't be brushed under the carpet. People need to be made aware that there is a possibility of damage.

adamlau
February 8th, 2009, 12:09 PM
Arch Linux. Ubuntu runs like a comparative slug on even the T60 platform.

ambidextrousone
February 8th, 2009, 12:24 PM
woo, my thread got lots of interest, well, arch linux would certainly be a lot more slim-line - but i have got a live cd for mint right here, gonna give it a shot, need to do a full install of arch on my machine first before trying to put it on someone elses ;)

ambidextrousone
February 8th, 2009, 12:56 PM
looks like we can peel this 'designed for windows' sticker off :) its taking even compiz with relative ease off the livecd, just a few packages away to having this running nice and smooth, like :)

all this i hear about ubuntu and other distro's having compatibility issues, particularly with laptops, and it hasnt failed me once on any laptop or pc i have run it on, the only thing i can possibly be picky about with mint is its memory footprint, this lappy is only running 512mb ddr2, with a nasty shared gfx card on it. -_- i know thats poor, would running from livecd use more ram, or am i forced to try and send this laptop back to the owner with arch on it? ;) might be needing plenty of your help for that mind, but i know a few on here who i can harass good information out of :):)

zipperback
February 8th, 2009, 01:01 PM
I have an Acer Aspire 5050-3371 Laptop and everything works great for me using Ubuntu 8.04 LTS.

Could you please provide us the specifications of your laptop and perhaps we may be able to help you a little better.

- zipperback
:popcorn:

ugm6hr
February 8th, 2009, 01:10 PM
all this i hear about ubuntu and other distro's having compatibility issues, particularly with laptops, and it hasnt failed me once on any laptop or pc i have run it on, the only thing i can possibly be picky about with mint is its memory footprint, this lappy is only running 512mb ddr2, with a nasty shared gfx card on it.

Never used Mint, but if you have only 512MB to play with, Compiz is best removed.

I don't think I would recommend anything other than Gnome for Linux beginners.

XFCE is OK as long as they don't need networking (ensure you add xfce4-panel to autostarted apps list).


sudo apt-get remove compiz-core

I use Ubuntu 8.04LTS on my lappie (1.5GB, Acer, Athlon X64) and the same on my Dell Mini 9.

No heating issues here.

ambidextrousone
February 8th, 2009, 01:11 PM
couldnt give you the exact model information, i can see its some old nasty emachines model that belongs in the computer graveyard, as for specifications!

Intel celeron M 1.6 (YUK!)
Intel 945GM express 128mb shared (EWW!)
as mentioned before, 512ddr2 shared.

its using some no-name realtek onboard sound, but thats running without issue on this lifecd

this thing is one of those little 'good deals' from pc world, the disposible type of machine destined for spyware, viruses and all sorts of crap to make it run even slower than it already is :P

oooh, needed to add - the hard-drive is tiny, even after i got rid of the crappy 'recovery partition' - what a joke lol 35GB, so id rather get rid of windows altogether to make the best of this shed

ambidextrousone
February 8th, 2009, 01:19 PM
Never used Mint, but if you have only 512MB to play with, Compiz is best removed.

I don't think I would recommend anything other than Gnome for Linux beginners.

XFCE is OK as long as they don't need networking (ensure you add xfce4-panel to autostarted apps list).

i agree, this is best without compiz, but, the user of this machine likes it to look pretty - on the upside, it wont be playing games at all, and theres no need for webcam compatibility, so thats questionable, ill probably leave the compiz on for now

As for networking, thats one of the features we will need, we like to share our films when she visits :)

the needs are not great, but im dealing with a very picky, visually conscience person :P

simtaalo
February 8th, 2009, 01:27 PM
You're one of the lucky ones then. It's kinda like playing the lottery. If you look in the forums quite a few people have had serious problems with Ubuntu on laptops. And those problems shouldn't be brushed under the carpet. People need to be made aware that there is a possibility of damage.

playing the lottery?

what are you on about

i've installed so many different distro's on my laptop which is over 2 years old and never had any problems with the hardware being damaged.

not sure what kind of damage you mean?

ugm6hr
February 8th, 2009, 01:28 PM
Actually, I don't think Compiz adds much to most users regular experience of Linux desktop.

The animated minimize / restore windows are nice though. Wobbly windows are entertaining for a time. The shortcuts for Expose and Alt-Tab are useful to people who use that functionality (but I think most don't). And the mouse shortcut for swapping desktops can be positively annoying.

Your (and their) choice...

ambidextrousone
February 8th, 2009, 01:35 PM
its my fault really ugm6hr,

but hopefully, the whole wobbly windows thing will grow old like it did me, might be able to talk her round then, and get rid of the resource hungry compiz.

well, mint is running fine, but i am tempted to just go with 8.04, purely because im more familiar with buntu if things go amiss, ill be able to help over the phone without physically having the laptop here.

is this a myth or fact, 8.04 is a pain in the *** for wireless? if so, maybe 8.10 is infact best - granted, the wireless will be used rarely, but its always handy to check your facebook and email while sat eating a mc-chicken sandwich? lol, daft mood this afternoon guys, sorry ^^

ugm6hr
February 8th, 2009, 01:42 PM
I use 8.04 with 3 different wifi setups.

2 were flawless. 1 required Wicd / manual serialmonkey driver install.

What wifi card does it have?


lshw -class network

If you are going with 8.04.2, make sure you install all the necessary media stuff (see link below) before handing it on.

Maybe even ask her to pick a theme (or just desktop background) from gnome-look for herself - but don't let her get too carried away! I find the Dell Mini default background quite nice - it uses greens and browns in a landscape, which goes nicely with the default Hardy pale brown theme.

simtaalo
February 8th, 2009, 01:51 PM
well, mint is running fine, but i am tempted to just go with 8.04, purely because im more familiar with buntu if things go amiss, ill be able to help over the phone without physically having the laptop here

its going to be the same method to fixing stuff on mint as it is ubuntu.

ugm6hr
February 8th, 2009, 02:40 PM
Further help RE: wifi here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1063756

danbuter
February 8th, 2009, 04:49 PM
I also recommend Linux Mint. It's Ubuntu with extras.

Polygon
February 9th, 2009, 02:52 AM
if you want a challenge, arch linux is good. Although the only reason im not using ubuntu is that the jaunty alphas refuse to install =)