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Linux for laptop

Discussion in 'Linux & Open Source' started by triggerthat, 10 Jan 2006.

  1. triggerthat

    Soldato

    Joined: 26 Aug 2005

    Posts: 6,863

    Location: London

    Hi guys,

    Will be getting my laptop shortly which will be mostly used to for work and bringing into lectures. Consequently I need a linux distro that would easily work as a dual boot along with Windows XP, have programming tools, WiFi browsing, battery life and multimedia (DVD, Games etc).
     
  2. FirebarUK

    Soldato

    Joined: 9 Dec 2004

    Posts: 5,604

    Location: Dorset

    For out of the box I'd probably say SuSE / Ubuntu or even Mepis. Mepis feel's the fastest out of that lot. Perhaps even try Fedora Core 5 Test 1...
     
  3. triggerthat

    Soldato

    Joined: 26 Aug 2005

    Posts: 6,863

    Location: London

    Thanks, am after something easy to use too. :) I've been an owner of a MAC too.
     
  4. triggerthat

    Soldato

    Joined: 26 Aug 2005

    Posts: 6,863

    Location: London

    Anyone? A DVD iso would be great.
     
  5. MrWhippy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 15 Sep 2005

    Posts: 1,497

    i have (over the last 18 months) successfully used SUSE 9.2, Fedora Core 4 and KNOPPIX (live boot cd) on a laptop that normally runs winXP.

    they were all great, but each did need a small amount of fiddling to get the WIFI up and running. nothingtoo difficult though and all the info on how to do it was easy to find via google.
     
  6. Caged

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 23,844

    Also be aware you may, depending on laptop model, have to do a bit of fiddling to get the battery / power modules configured and recognised.

    The last distro I tried was Ubuntu 5.10 and Fedora Core 4, neither detected my battery, and hunting through the package repository installing anything battery-related didn't solve a thing. After the pain I experienced trying to get my ATi drivers installed, I gave up and removed the Linux partition. So your mileage may vary. Get a Thinkpad if you want decent Linux compatibility.
     
    Last edited: 11 Jan 2006
  7. KE1HA

    Hitman

    Joined: 3 Jul 2004

    Posts: 866

    Location: Helena, Montana

    Dual Boot with VMWare

    VMWare is a definitely must to testing and playing with Distro's as it saves your system from curruption and it's very easy to use. Plus the entire disk stays NTFS, so no risk of crashing the MBR or anything by mistake.

    I ran into loads of pain with Fedora Core 4 and WiFI. Had a US Robotics, Belkin and D-Link cards <PCMCIA >. US Robotics was what I finally ended up with. On my new Lappy, it's an Intel Pro Wireless setup, was no trouble to set up at all. I moved away from Fedora as it's really bulky.

    I've tested < Using VMWare > Debian, Fedora Core 5, Slackware 10.x, Gentoo and several off the wall versions. Slackware and Gentoo seemed to be the fastest, whereas Debian and Fedora were the easiest to install.


    Real Dual Boot Lappy:
    When I did a true Dual-Boot system, I did it this way < you may already have an easy way >:

    Partitioned the Drive 40% NTFS, 40% Linux and 10% FAT. The fat was so I could have a cross over between them.

    Loaded WinDoze first, then Fedora and let fedora Manage the Boot loader. When you ge to that section of the installation, you'll see that GRUB will pick up the WinDoze installation. I made that the default and put Linux second. Took about 20 minutes for Linux, and an hour for WinDoze < along with another 45 minutes of Updates and re-boots >.

    Using the YUM utility is really nice, made the updates go really slick, and I started it as a service so it kept my distro happy.

    Good Luck !!
    .
     
  8. Caged

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 23,844

    A word of warning about using VMWare - it won't let you know how a certain distro will work with the hardware inside your laptop, it just let's you know if you like the way the distro works.
     
  9. foxy123

    Associate

    Joined: 21 Jun 2004

    Posts: 45

    I have been using Ubuntu on my laptop (Nec) for more than 6 months and I am very happy. It;s not a dual-boot since Ubuntu suffice all my computer needs. The only thing which does not work is a card reader on enu chip. But it does not work regardles what disto you use.
     
  10. Jonny69

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 3 May 2004

    Posts: 17,668

    Location: Kapitalist Republik of Surrey

    I've just put Ubuntu on my laptop as a second boot option. It automatically resizes your Windows partition (you choose the size) and sets the bootloader for you. It seems to have picked up the battery, drivers and everything, although my lappy is getting on for two years old now.

    The only annoyances so far is it sets Ubuntu as the first boot option which is irritating as I use Windows primarily, but this is in the middle of being sorted and it doesn't mount the NTFS partitions automatically so I can't view my Windows based files. It also looks like a lot of installery hashery to get USB broadband modems to work.
     
  11. TotalImmortal

    Associate

    Joined: 4 Jul 2004

    Posts: 40

    "The only annoyances so far is it sets Ubuntu as the first boot option which is irritating as I use Windows primarily"

    This is extreamly easy to fix, just edit /boot/grub/menu.lst and put the windows entry as the first entery or the only one labled as defult and there you are.. you can also change the wait time, etc..
     
  12. Jonny69

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 3 May 2004

    Posts: 17,668

    Location: Kapitalist Republik of Surrey

    ^^^ Done it, I'm learning fast :D