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Ozor Mox
February 11th, 2009, 06:09 PM
About a month ago I decided to do an upgrade on my laptop and desktop computers. The last time I bought a new computer was more than four years ago, back when I used to use Windows. This time, with Ubuntu being my core operating system (no dual boots or anything), I was buying on that basis. I knew I wasn't going to pay for a Windows licence, leaving me with the options of either no OS or Ubuntu, or another Linux distribution.

The end result is that I bought two no OS computers and got it half right. The desktop I bought is great and works with Ubuntu no problem. I figure that if any hardware hadn't have worked, changing it wouldn't have been too much trouble. I guess my conclusion with buying an Ubuntu laptop though is that hardware incompatibilities are a lot more difficult to deal with. The wireless card has very sketchy drivers, though they do work. Also, the BIOS has a bug where the year of the release date is displayed as 0892 instead of 2008, causing the Linux kernel to have a little wobbly at each boot up (although it does still work).

So, on the premise that I might sell the laptop I have and replace it with something else, what should I do? Buy one with Ubuntu pre-installed to guarantee the hardware support is ok? If this is the case, I could do with links to places I could get them in the UK. I know of System76 but they deliver only in the US. I also know of Dell which I am considering, but the choice is quite limited.

This is sort of a dual-purpose thread! I'd quite like advice on my particular situation described in the nice ramble above...but also I want to know...as Ubuntu users, what do we/you/us do when we want to buy a new computer? Should the approaches for desktops and laptops be different?

cmat
February 11th, 2009, 06:14 PM
Check this out...

http://webapps.ubuntu.com/certification/

Gives PCs that have hardware certified for running Ubuntu. If you find the selection limited. You can read up on the specs and put together your own PC. Either through those retailers, custom PC shops, or yourself (it's really easy).

bradthewanderer
February 11th, 2009, 06:15 PM
I know Hp offers a flavor of ubuntu on some of its netbooks. Yes I think you should always look at Desktops and laptops as different approaches. I don't know which computers you can or cannot get in the UK as I don't live there, sorry. I know Everex offers Linux desktops as well. I usually just buy a laptop and get it running with Ubuntu, I always find that companies put on their own version and it never lives up to what I need. I believe that Lenovo's laptops run Ubuntu well too. I hope my rambling helped you out somewhat. Good luck.

Flimm
February 11th, 2009, 06:16 PM
What about Efficient PC (http://efficientpc.co.uk/)?

steveneddy
February 11th, 2009, 06:19 PM
Some newer laptops need to have the BIOS flashed before OS installation if you bought a no OS laptop.

You know, Dell and System 76 have a great deal on Ubuntu preinstalled on desktops and laptops.

I own a two year old System 76 laptop and recently purchased a Dell Ubuntu laptop for my youngest daughter for college work.

Both were reasonably priced for the hardware at the time.

I would also check for hardware compatibility before buying hardware that you are going to run Linux on. Which is why I have been buying the hardware preinstalled with Ubuntu, I just don't have the time to track down weird issues with hardware.

Good luck. I'm sure you will get the laptop issues ironed out.

Ozor Mox
February 11th, 2009, 06:39 PM
Check this out...

http://webapps.ubuntu.com/certification/

Gives PCs that have hardware certified for running Ubuntu.

That's a really useful resource, thanks :)


If you find the selection limited. You can read up on the specs and put together your own PC. Either through those retailers, custom PC shops, or yourself (it's really easy).

I can't do that for a laptop though unfortunately. For a desktop, it is a good solution.


I know Hp offers a flavor of ubuntu on some of its netbooks. Yes I think you should always look at Desktops and laptops as different approaches. I don't know which computers you can or cannot get in the UK as I don't live there, sorry. I know Everex offers Linux desktops as well. I usually just buy a laptop and get it running with Ubuntu, I always find that companies put on their own version and it never lives up to what I need. I believe that Lenovo's laptops run Ubuntu well too. I hope my rambling helped you out somewhat. Good luck.

True. I think having a version of Linux installed that I don't like wouldn't have been so bad though, because I'd have at least known the hardware was mostly supported for Linux so there would have been a much better chance of Ubuntu also supporting it.


What about Efficient PC?

They only do netbooks and I was rather hoping for a more powerful laptop, although I am now back to considering a netbook again...


Some newer laptops need to have the BIOS flashed before OS installation if you bought a no OS laptop.

I did actually have to change a BIOS option for the OS to 'Other' (other options were 'Vista' and 'Win XP') for it to even boot the Ubuntu live CD at all. After the trouble with the BIOS, I sent it back to them and told them there was a BIOS bug. They flashed it, and when I got it back noticed that the BIOS release date has gone from 10/02/0892 to 11/08/0892 or something like that, haha! Oh well, it was worth a try! The thing that bugs me about this is that all of my older computers, even a laptop 6 years old, reports the BIOS release date correctly.


You know, Dell and System 76 have a great deal on Ubuntu preinstalled on desktops and laptops.

System76 does actually look awesome, I just wish they were available in the UK :( ... Back on to the Dell option it is.

The thing I've learned from buying the laptop with no OS is that no OS does not necessarily mean that the laptop was not built with an OS in mind. The one I bought was clearly built for Windows, which is why I think I made the wrong choice and perhaps should have got something with Ubuntu pre-installed.

Another question... These netbooks, what are they actually able to do? Can you play 3D games on them even at low graphics settings? Can you install Ubuntu or Xubuntu on them, or do you have to use a specifically designed Linux? How do you install a different OS without a CD-ROM drive?

Sorry for the length of my posts :KS

JK3mp
February 11th, 2009, 07:17 PM
Quite interesting idea...didn't know Dell sold Linux desktops at the time. I installed it myself on mine xD lol. But it looks like they only sell it on the inspiron and im iffy about those .. xD

smartboyathome
February 11th, 2009, 07:34 PM
ZaReason.com gives good deals on computers with Ubuntu preinstalled.

cprofitt
February 11th, 2009, 10:57 PM
I bought a Lenovo T500 and everything worked out of the box.

cmat
February 11th, 2009, 11:28 PM
Forget about HP. http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2009/02/06/hp_drops_mini_1000_uk/

Poorly implemented flavours of linux ruin it for everyone.

Viranh
February 11th, 2009, 11:51 PM
If you liked system76's computers, it may be possible to buy/build one. The Serval Performance I have is based on the compal FL92, which you can still buy. I really liked System76; they had great support and I love the computer. However, since you can't buy directly from them, you may still be able to use all the testing they've done to your advantage.
Here's a place that sells the compal FL92: http://www.avadirect.com/product_details_configurator.asp?PRID=10446

Pretty much everything works out of the box on these (as long as you choose the intel wireless).

swoll1980
February 12th, 2009, 01:02 AM
I noticed alot of companies that sell comps with buntu preinstalled seem to over charge for hardware. System 76, dell charges more for ubnutu machines than for windows for some reason.