Linux in a binary world... a doomsday scenario
Posted Dec 7, 2005 17:00 UTC (Wed) by drag
In reply to: Linux in a binary world... a doomsday scenario
Parent article: Linux in a binary world... a doomsday scenario
As far as laptops go just by Intel. Their Sonoma platform is fully supported by Linux OSS drivers.
Just buy 'centrino'. Just avoid buying anything with a ATI video card and Broadcom Wifi. If you have a broadcom wifi it can't be 'Centrino', but many people sell centrino laptops for one configuration and centrino-like for another.
A laptop with ATI graphics can still be called 'centrino', but you just have to watch out for that.
Their newer 'Graphic Media Accelerator' items are as fast as or a bit faster then the old ATI stuff.. and those Pentium-M cpus are, frankly, quite amazing.
Pentium-D and Pentium 4's suck realy badly, but a Pentium-M 1.7ghz is low-power and cool, but at the same time is just as powerfull as a 3200+ AMD64 cpu.
Since your buying a laptop with 'everything intel' you know they work well together and power management is nice. You should be able to get wifi working, suspend to ram and suspend to disk to work, and all that without any more effort then it takes to get Windows XP secure.
There are some lingering issues like some laptop's bioses and such still suck and make ACPI stuff difficult.. and with Wifi there is some issues with 'software switches' vs 'hardware switches' with Intel nics. There is special software for Linux to deal with it (open source of course)
If there is any questions then avoid buying a 'consumer' style laptop and buy a 'business' style laptop. Business laptops tend to avoid all the gimmicks and add-ons that tend to make some laptops a pain in the ass to support.
Here is some more stuff:
Out of all the major vendors HP probably has the best hardware support for Linux. On a few models of their notebooks they have specificly setup the hardware to make Linux compatability work well...
Their website sucks ass though.
Here is the installation instructions from HP regarding Suse Linux and Redhat on some nc4200, tc4200, nc6110, nc6120, nx6110, nx6120, nc6220, nc6230, nc8230, and nx8220 notebooks.
You may be able to find others.
You can buy these laptops with Windows XP-delete and get FreeDOS installed on them for a 100 dollar discount.. which you can use to configure for more memory and larger harddrive.
There are 2 problems.
Probem number one is:
When you get a very customized laptop you loose the discount they have on pre-built models. This means with FreeDOS on customized notebook it costs the sames as Windows XP on a more generic notebook.
Problem number 2 is:
finding the stupid thing on their website.
The solution to number 2 is to follow this navigation guide:
on the right hand side click on 'online shopping'
on the 'buy direct from hp' click on 'small and medium business store'
click on 'notebook and tablet PCs'
click on 'notebook'
click on 'thin and light' notebook.
scroll all the way to the right and select 'configurable thin and light'
That way you can do the "Local FreeDOS" option with the -100 cost and much more carefully select wifi stuff. AVOID Broadcom.
Now if you want the pre-built discount and want to get Windows (most people here, I assume, still have some use for it)
You want to select a normal notebook and get the standard setup. Select the 'recommended notebooks' options to get the lowest prices.
Just be very carefull. Some models will only come with broadcom wifi.
Probably be wise to call HP and specificly request models with intel wifi cards for the specific reasons that you want good Linux compatability.
I don't know how well they work or how nice these HP laptops are... but from what I've heard or read these things work very well with Linux. Power management and everything works almost right out of the box on newer versions of the distros.
Probably want to try one out first though.
If you want AMD notebook then you have to use propriatory drivers for 3d. There is no way around it.
However for Wireless get a Ralink rt2500-series MiniPCI card. Ralink released specs and drivers (GPL'd even!) for their wifi stuff.
Rt2x00 is a effort to rewrite them to get they running on the new generic linux ieee80211 protocol stack. (This should be very nice).
Meanwhile the OSS drivers work well on x86 platforms.
On my PPC laptop I had to use ported FreeBSD drivers (called Ural-Linux) drivers for the Ralink USB 802.11g wifi adapter.
For people that are stuck with broadcom crap or TI crap..
Linux kernel developers are going to break NDIS drivers! Not intentionally, but because of a policy of 'agressively ignore' thing they have going with binary drivers.
There is hope for you broadcom users:
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