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The Future of Linux on Laptops 375

katie_york writes "CoolTechZone discusses the future of Linux on laptops after HP and Ubuntu's recent announcement. 'What would be even more exciting for Linux is if other OEMs, similar to HP, took the same approach by partnering with selected distributions of consumer friendly Linux and started offering an alternative not only in third world regions, but also in the United States. In addition to that, support for Linux on the desktop side of things would be just as welcomed.'"
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The Future of Linux on Laptops

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  • Priceless... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TripMaster Monkey ( 862126 ) * on Friday May 27, 2005 @09:30AM (#12654204)

    From TFA:

    After all is said and done, I have to wonder if anyone from Redmond, Washington had any input towards HP's decision to offer Linux to the "3rd World" and exclude the U.S. (the richest Windows market) from it's[sic] Linux program. I would certainly like to believe not. Of course, we all love a good conspiracy theory now, don't we?

    Wow...sounds like Gundeep Hora wrote this article with Slashdot specifically in mind...

    ^_^
    • Re:Priceless... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NickFortune ( 613926 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @09:41AM (#12654325) Homepage Journal
      Just goes to show perhaps that this particular meme is starting to spread outside the fairly narrow confines of communities like slashdot.

      I'm surprised this doesn't draw more attention. I mean it wasn't that long ago that one vendor had MS threaten to withdraw their windows reseller's licence just for offering a machine with no pre-installed OS. I mean we're not even talking about support here - they went ballistic just because someone offered the consumerbase choice.

      In fairness, I should say that MS have no objection to vendors offering linux systems. Just so long as they're about three times the price of the wndows equivalent, run on crappt hardware, or are otherwise deeply unappealing. It seems to help the vendor hides the machine away or refuses to admit it exists as well.

      • Re:Priceless... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by r.jimenezz ( 737542 )
        Disclaimer: I am not American nor do I live in the US.

        HP and no one else should fear Microsoft when it comes to offering choice to their consumers. That they cannot extend this offer to the US, assuming it has to do with MS, is above all in my humble opinion, an acknowledgment of the sad state of American justice and politics and its relationship with corporations.

        Just the perception of a third world geek :)

    • Re:Priceless... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by kesuki ( 321456 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @09:44AM (#12654344) Journal
      Don't worry, Wal-mart will never buckle down to pressure from Microsoft. They will continue to sell PCs w/out OSes, and/or w/Linux. Yeah, many people hate Wal-Mart for the pressure they put on vendors/etc... But what other main stream OEM will ship PCs without an OS/ with Linux, and not charge you for a copy of windows? No, Apple doesn't count!

      So if you want a Linux Laptop, in the US right now, you've got wal-mart, and some small computer shops that probably have the license cost for windows included in your purchase price.
      • Wal-mart still has no-os and linux pre-loaded systems for desktops*, but it's looking like right now they have no laptops selling that way.

        I guess too many geeks spurned The evil empire of wal-mart, and they too decided it's not worth the effort of trying to explain to customers why the computer 'didn't come with windows'

        *= they're looking like they're all legacy type systems that most slashdotters already have more than enough systems at that speed level though...
      • Re:Priceless... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by stm2 ( 141831 )
        Another option [linuxcertified.com].

      • I think the issue is that Microsoft refuses to buckle down to pressure from Walmart. That situation is likely to continue as long as most computers are sold through outlets other than Walmart, which is a situation I hope continues indefinitely. Microsoft doesn't even come close to Walmart in terms of evilness. I'd go as far as to say that if you ripped out the last lab of Macs in your school district and replaced them with a bevy of Windows PCs and two moronic techs at $40k/year to maintain them, and you sh
      • Re:Priceless... (Score:3, Informative)

        by westlake ( 615356 )
        Don't worry, Wal-mart will never buckle down to pressure from Microsoft.

        Linux has become all but invisible at Walmart.com.
        There are limited prospects for after-market sales in Linux and maintaing a separate Linux inventory doesn't make sense for a mass-market retailer.

    • Re:Priceless... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DenDave ( 700621 )
      Indeed, although I must add that, with the exception of the airport extreme, the iBook from apple is extremely well supported with a variety of Linux distributions. Most noteworthy being Yellowdog who also provides 1st rate vendor warranty and support.

    • by gowen ( 141411 ) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Friday May 27, 2005 @09:46AM (#12654376) Homepage Journal
      Wow...sounds like Gundeep Hora wrote this article with Slashdot specifically in mind...
      Maybe he was targetting it at his slashdot-reading sister ... "Karma Hora".
  • "started offering an alternative not only in third world regions, but also in the United States" .. Didn't HP launch it in Europe and South africa ..perhaps im wrong.
    I was unaware i lived in a developing nation , such as um the whole of Europe
  • by Docrates ( 148350 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @09:32AM (#12654235) Homepage
    not only in third world regions, but also in the United States

    So I guess that leaves Europe, Canada, Australia, and many others out uh?

    I know, I know, it's a US centric site (per your FAQ), but we still feel it you know?
    • Re:The world (Score:3, Insightful)

      So I guess that leaves Europe, Canada, Australia, and many others out uh?

      Reminds of a story about Americans on a guided tour in Sydney one day.

      One of the tourists asked a question about Australia and ended their question with ...compared to other places in the third world?

      I suppose Americans, like Australians, are bombarded with news features either about their own country or the "third world" and they can be forgiven for thinking that the third world is everywhere else.

      • Fundamentally, the idea of numbered worlds has got to offend someone. After all, the "first world" would be Europe. The "second world" might be the U.S. and Australia. Third world? The colonies that didn't achieve independence prior to 1900? Honestly, I think people ought to just stop using the term "third world," because it's imprecise and offensive, but this is hardly a problem we're going to solve here on slashdot. :'(
    • by blazerw11 ( 68928 )
      Every so often, I get to leave my protected existence in these United States and venture out to some of those "Third World" countries. I gotta tell ya, some of them are pretty nice. I would even go so far as to call Paris the Tulsa of France.
    • Re:The world (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LWATCDR ( 28044 )
      You should learn to be more forgiving. When I went to UK for work it was much the same way. The people I worked with where shocked that I would want to go to the Royal Art Museum and the Imperial War Museum for fun. They kept asking me questions like, do you know who Nelson was and why his statue was in Trafalgar Square.
      Everyone is is trapped by their world viewpoint and the media. Most people from the EU seem to think that people in the US are as dumb as our sitcoms. Of course the UK if full of quirky peo
  • through a different, smaller mfg, though. so perhaps when this article states 'like HP' they mean, Dell?
  • Installing Linux of a laptop is easy, especially with ditributions like Ubuntu. The fact that Linux comes preinstalled or not with the hardware doesn't matter IMHO.

    But once Linux is installed, the difficult part is to *use* it. Installing new software and making it work properly is not trivial. Even with GUIs like Synaptic, using any Linux distribution requires Unix knowledge. You can't use (upgrade/customize/etc) a Linux workstation without using a terminal for instance.

    So for a newbie or for my parents,
    • One thing that you may be overlooking, is that many of these people won't have been windows users, or computer users at all. They'll learn unix and linux just like a windows user learned windows. Experience is the best teacher.
    • It's not a matter of the ease of the installation of the Linux distribution or the fact that it's installed by the OEM, it's that the laptop hardware is probably specially chosen and configured for linux.

      The problem with linux on laptops is that it is very difficult to find the right drivers for every peice of hardware like the graphic card, the sound card, etc. If HP designs a laptop from the ground up with linux in mind, they can make sure that the parts they choose come with good drivers, or at least f

      • I wonder how much more difficult this makes it to update your kernel? Ubuntu recently issued a new kernel update and while it worked effortlessly for me (as all of my drivers are part of the kernel, through sheer good fortune!), would those using a pre-installed version of Linux with all the OEM-specific drivers and patches be able to update just as easily?
      • The most annoying part is that with every new kernel release/upgrade (Red Hat, Fedora Core), you have to reinstall the Nvidia drivers - everything else is more or less autodetect.

        While installing these drivers isn't anything more time-consuming than running a shell script, it has to be done for both SMP and the ordinary version of the kernel, requiring in each case /etc/inittab to be edited, the system rebooted in command line mode only, the script run, /etc/inittab to be unedited, and the system rebooted.
    • I disagree, I've been running Ubuntu at home for 6 months now, and I don't have to do anything. When updates are avail, you get a little icon by the clock, you click it, enter your password, and have it install/configure everything; just as Windows does, just as Mac does. While Ubuntu doesn't have all the media stuff installed by default, I think some basic instructions about how to install them via Synaptic would suffice. I just rebuilt my mom's 2.8G Dell - it was "slow" due to her using XP and collecti
    • by NickFortune ( 613926 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @09:54AM (#12654457) Homepage Journal
      Installing Linux of a laptop is easy, especially with ditributions like Ubuntu. The fact that Linux comes preinstalled or not with the hardware doesn't matter IMHO.

      Umm... you think so? Linux on the desktop is easy. Laptops can be challenging. Unless of course you mean just getting the binaries onto the disk. Even then its not always straightforward. I 'll always remember the fun I had once getting anaconda to work with some crappy SiS onbard graphics chip

      Lapops use more custom components and working drivers are harder to come by. I'm writing this on a Tosh Satellite M30 which works perfectly - but then I did some careful reading ahead of my purchase. Even then, getting the wifi up and running was an adventure.

      On the other hand, if it comes pre-installed, we should expect a decent default configuration. If not, it seems reasonable to complain to the manufacturer.

      That said, I can see where you're coming from. Hey, I don't even duspute your conclusion.

      • I'll always remember the fun I had once getting anaconda to work with some crappy SiS onbard graphics chip

        It doesn't have to be some cheap part either; my laptop with a GeForce2go chip wasn't able to install a decent xwindows setup without a tremendous fight. And that was AFTER the epic battle getting the base OS to boot from CD and install properly.
    • The thing is, INSTALLING it is easy, the hard think is to make all the hardware work.

      I have an HP laptio (Pavilioin ZV5000) and I have tried several Linux distros, Mandr[ake/iva] (really easy to install) did not detected my external hard drive (it is a case to connect an internal HD to USB). Then I looked for help and everyone told me to try another disto.

      I tried Ubuntu, and the sound did not worked, I entered the Ubuntu IRC channel and they told me that the ATI chipset was not jet supported.

      Then I tried
    • The fact that Linux comes preinstalled or not with the hardware doesn't matter IMHO.

      That is where you are completely wrong, as this is the only difficult part.

      But once Linux is installed, the difficult part is to *use* it

      Explain please !
      IMHO it is a LOT easier to use Linux than Windows. One single example : configure the antivirus. Most users do not even understand the concept of an antivirus. At least in Linux you do not need one.

      Installing new software and making it work properly is not trivial

      E
    • Installing new software and making it work properly is not trivial.

      Is it trivial on Windows? Seriously? IMO, software-installation on Linux is a whole new paradigm when compared to Windows. On Windows, you hunt down the installer on the net, execute it, follow instuctions and install the software. On Linux, you do not need to spend time looking for that installer, since it's already provided by your distributors. Click few icons/type few commands, and the software is installed.

      Why is Windows-way easie

      • Most people who download stuff from the net, ie, most Windows users, see a download link, and click to download it. Then the browser says "Save or Open", and most users hit "Open", and the installer starts up.

        That's actually quite a bit easier than how many linux distros handle things.
      • I don't know any other Linux users personally, but I like to help out new users on the forums occasionally. So here's an anecdotal example of the progression of a newbie from the Windows-Way to the Linux-Way that I was personally involved in:

        http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=34155 [ubuntuforums.org]

        It's a great feeling when the clouds suddenly part and someone sees the light! ;) And I agree that the Windows-Way is only intuitive because it is what we are used to it - a completely new user, faced with the task o

    • Installing Linux of a laptop is easy, especially with ditributions like Ubuntu. The fact that Linux comes preinstalled or not with the hardware doesn't matter IMHO.

      But once Linux is installed, the difficult part is to *use* it. Installing new software and making it work properly is not trivial.


      I'd have to disagree a bit. While you're right, in that it IS easy to install most distros now, I think the biggest problem is always getting ALL your hardware to work properly.

      If your lappy comes with the OS pre
    • Give a perfectly working dualbooting system to a total n00b. Someone who doesn't have a clue what a computer is or what internet is. I did it twice already (to my uncle (+/- 35y) and an old friend (+/- 55y)) and I got an amazing result: they liked Linux better because it was: Easier to use, more stable and more logical built-up. And all their software was already there while with Windows they still had to install everything. Of course you are not going to give them root access nor are they ever going to f
    • Installing Linux of a laptop is easy, especially with ditributions like Ubuntu. The fact that Linux comes preinstalled or not with the hardware doesn't matter IMHO.

      The last several laptops I've delt with:

      Gateway Solo 2500*: Required an hour's worth of googling to find out what sound driver would work with the neomagic audio chipset. (And one site was of the opinion that it couldn't work with OSS drivers). I finally found the full solution on a heavily-typoed post to usenet. Just to add to the

  • Actually... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kukickface ( 675936 )
    What would be great is if everybody started moving to the LSB so that you could use virtually ANY Linux on the hardware. This crap where all you need is a different variation on software packaging and you have a different operating system has GOT to stop.
    • I agree. How different are the current distros (in layout terms) from each other? I'm kinda ignoring the "shiny-box" distros at the moment (SuSE, Mandriva, Xandros, Red Hat) - Ubuntu is based on Debian, so I presume they have the same internal layout. What about Gentoo? Are Gentoo and Debian compatible between each other without major changes? I think these two (community) distros being cross-compatible would go a long way to setting the standards ball rolling. Despite how often it is criticised Debian is s
  • Upgrades? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bmalek ( 855094 ) <brian.malek@gmail.com> on Friday May 27, 2005 @09:37AM (#12654278)

    I agree that this is the way to do it (making sure all the hardware works with Linux), however what happens when somone wants to do an upgrade down the road? Chances are they are going to have to choose from a very small list (by comparison to a Windows machine) of upgrades that now work with their version of Linux.

    Now some of you may not think this is a bad thing, but I can see where it could be heading... Want that new upgrade? Send your machine back to HP and for $400 you can have this $100 piece of hardware because you have no choices and we can charge you whatver we want! Profit margins here we come...

    • Re:Upgrades? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jusdisgi ( 617863 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @09:59AM (#12654517)

      Chances are they are going to have to choose from a very small list (by comparison to a Windows machine) of upgrades that now work with their version of Linux.

      For fuck's sake, why don't you actually try a Linux installation sometime, instead of perpetuating this ridiculous bullshit story of Linux's hardware support "problems." Send it back to HP? Are you on drugs?

      Linux has excellent hardware support. There is one major wireless chipset that does not have native support, and thus requires you to use the windows driver through ndiswrapper. There are some winmodems that don't work, or are hard to make work. And there are a few printers yet out there that don't behave.

      Now, to put that in perspective, lots of printers won't work with Windows XP. And lots of wireless cards won't work in Windows 9x. Various legacy stuff doesn't work on newer versions, and the number of times you'll need a third-party driver is vastly higher in my experience on Windows than Linux. I've got 3 usb->serial dongles; in XP, they each need a different driver, none of which came with the OS....if you want to use them with XP, you'd better have the CD that they came with. Each one is automatically recognized and assigned a device file when plugged into any modern Linux box. Same story with my Sprint PCS phone's data connection; Linux just recognizes it as an ACM device, and you can use the regular dialup setup. To do that in Windows, you have to find a driver, which is very difficult without buying a $40 outlook-sync program.

      The truth of the matter is, more hardware will run on modern Linux than any single version of Windows ever produced. Your post was 100% sheer FUD. And if you disagree, and want to come back here and bitch and moan some more, why don't you start with theorizing at least one upgrade you can think of that a normal user would be able to do himself on Windows, but would have to send the box back to HP to accomplish on Linux. I dare you.

      • I agree, and apart from that how often do you upgrade a laptop?!

        Incidentally, all your points are good, but there are still ease-of-se things. For example, I have a duplex printer - if it's on XP. If it's on a Linux box it's a single-sider simply because the driver doesn't yet support it.

        Your comments about the dongles are right on: I have a Belking bluetooth usb which requires complicated installation on any given XP box, works fine until you reboot, then not at all again ever after. I hate XP.

        Justin
    • I agree that this is the way to do it (making sure all the hardware works with Linux), however what happens when somone wants to do an upgrade down the road?

      We're talking laptops, remember? You're not going to be throwing in a new NIC or Video card into a laptop. Well... video cards are upgradable, but nobody really sells them so the point is moot. Hard drives would require a reinstall anyway, memory upgrades don't require anything.

      So no, upgrades aren't an issue in this case.
    • People don't upgrade laptops often, and the problem of few options available aready exists. At least, if Linux laptops become more common, hardware fabricants will start to support it (by not hidding the specs) and the options will be the same.
  • by sethadam1 ( 530629 ) * <adam@@@firsttube...com> on Friday May 27, 2005 @09:38AM (#12654288) Homepage
    I've used every major distribution out there, and NOTHING is as friendly IMHO as Xandros. You want a desktop PC certified for Xandros. Here you go, bitches, a $69.99 computer [microtelpc.com], with mostly realistic specs! (note the Earthlink "catch").

    You can't beat that!
    • You can't beat that!

      1. It's a desktop.

      2. That's only if you pay for dial up modem service at ~$22/month. (Total: ~$330.)

      It's not bad at $320 (w/o dialup) though not stunning.

  • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Friday May 27, 2005 @09:38AM (#12654291)
    Apparently, HP is determined to make certain models work 100 percent with Ubuntu.

    Is Linux still suffering from incompatible hardware in computers these days? I haven't purchased a laptop since 1996 but it ran Linux (I did have to use AcceleratedX because at the time XFree didn't support the video card chipset) just fine.

    Are we still having serious problems with people not being able to use their computers 100% with Linux or are they talking about "out-of-the-box" with no configuration necessary?
    • Is Linux still suffering from incompatible hardware in computers these days? I haven't purchased a laptop since 1996 but it ran Linux (I did have to use AcceleratedX because at the time XFree didn't support the video card chipset) just fine.
      On the whole, most things work, but accelerated 3d, Winmodems, and ACPI-type stuff (suspend, resume etc) are still bugbears - often even after a lot of commnad-line tweaking.
    • Incompatibility List (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      There isn't much that doesn't work, but it's worth listing, and easier to keep track of than all the stuff that works just fine:

      http://www.leenooks.com/ [leenooks.com]

    • Are we still having serious problems with people not being able to use their computers 100% with Linux or are they talking about "out-of-the-box" with no configuration necessary?

      I've had some experience with two different Toshiba laptops (which I think are great) and problems have been:

      • Hibernation/Sleep
      • Sound
      • Wireless
      • Grapics required a lot of configuring

      I've seen enough messages from developers addressing some or all of the issues. The point being they are real problems to varying degrees for some

      • I can add to that list:
        • Even when the Graphics card finally works, using external monitors often does not or is buggy.
        • Printers. Yes, most of them work on Linux nowadays but the quality often leaves something to be desired. When you are on the move alot you quickly get end up using a very varied flora of printers some of whome will be badly supported.

    • I'm running Fedora Core on my ThinkPad T22 (a relatively modern machine with SpeedStep, USB, etc.) and everything was detected and installed fine, including power management.

      I always end up compiling my own kernel for extra features that I want to use, but I needn't have if I didn't want to.
    • Oh, yes we are! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Graabein ( 96715 )
      (I originally wrote this yesterday in a comment to the article "Mad has hell, switching to Mac", but it's even more topical here so I'll repost:)

      > He doesn't want to bother with packaging, experimental drivers,
      > non-ability to sleep, and other issues that come with Linux (especially
      > on laptops). Plus, Macs can run a lot of Officially Supported
      > Microsoft software that the industry feels it needs in order to be compatible.

      Yup, that just about sums up my experience too. My company really tried
    • You clearly have not used one of the newer laptops with ATI graphics card in them. If you are unfortunate enough to own one such and the card does not have 3D acceleration support in the XFree86/X.org free driver then your choices are tough ones.

      Choice 1: Choose to run radeon free driver. You will have everything you want working but no 3D acceleration. That makes it a break deal for many uses.

      Choice 2: Run ATI's fglrx driver. You have 3D acceleration, yeah!! But don't expect to ACPI suspend and resume

  • Whatever (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @09:39AM (#12654295) Journal
    Anyone who was using Linux in 1999 remembers when there were announcements like this every day. (Dell partners with Red Hat! Compaq partners with Ximian! Dell partners with Eazel! Compaq partners with Red Hat!) None of it amounted to anything.

    This is good news, I guess, and making something work with free drivers on any one distribution makes it work (with some kicking and swearing, anyway) on all Linux. But I'm not throwing a party just yet...

    • Part of the problem at the time was that Linux was under very heavy development. I know, it's under very heavy development now, but major XFree86 and desktop and libc versions were in flux.

      For example, IBM was, IIRC, shipping Caldera OpenLinux 1.3, a fine distribution, one that was one of the best at the time--until the transition within a few short months from libc5 to libc6, XFree86 3 to XFree86 4, KDE 1 to KDE 2, etc. And suddenly, nearly every piece of new, interesting Linux software was incompatible
  • There are already ways by which laptops with Linux installed can be purchased. The major news is the HP initiative that can spark similar behaviour in IBM, Dell (who do SuSE), etc.
    • The major news is the HP initiative that can spark similar behaviour in IBM, Dell (who do SuSE), etc.

      Indeed. IBM's Thinkpad line are typically very Linux-friendly, but there are still problems (the T22's WinModem has no GPL'd drivers so can't be placed in the kernel; suspend/ resume are a little flaky; the X40's built-in card-reader does not work, etc). I'm not sure how much power IBM have now over the future of Thinkpads, but a 100% Linux compatible Thinkpad (with GPL'd drivers from Kernel to acceler

  • by acoustix ( 123925 )
    I don't know anyone who owns a laptop anymore. I do know several people who own NOTEBOOKS.

    You would think that people in the industry would know the difference between a laptop and a notebook.

    -Nick

    • Re:Why laptops? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fwitness ( 195565 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @10:32AM (#12654885)
      I disagree. I see more and more people opting for laptops with >=17" screens. These usually have dual drives and whatnot, and wind up being ridiculously powerful email readers. Ain't no way I'm calling a 12lb laptop with a 17" screen a notebook. It's barely a laptop and more like a lower-leg warmer.
  • Strange Choice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nytewynd ( 829901 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @09:44AM (#12654342)
    It would seem that the it would make more sense at first to design a desktop that is 100% linux compatible. The vast majority of Linux machines are acting as servers of some sort or are being used by us geeks that are locked in a basement with no windows anyway, and have no reason to be portable. I don't see the average college kid running out to buy a linux machine for school, nor do I see executives deciding to buy linux machines for their traveling businessmen.

    You can also get more horsepower for cheaper. I'm sure that are plenty of people that want a Linux laptop, but if I was going to specifically design hardware for linux, I would start with a desktop. I would probably also include the US, but that's another story.
  • I will buy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fimbulvetr ( 598306 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @09:45AM (#12654360)
    While I've never been an HP fan, I'd be inclined to purchase one of these after reading the initial reviews.
    I'd be especially interested if it had an AMD processor.
    HP had one of the best laptop repair policies I've ever seen. Back when I did HP warranty work, one could send in a (broken for just about any reason) laptop, and pay a flat $400 fee for getting it fixed. While that may sound expensive, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than paying for the parts + labor for an LCD replacement.
    Additionally, it seems HP doesn't hide behind the "bad pixels are not a defect" policy. While some manufactures (*Cough* Apple, Dell) require that your LCD has at least 20+ bad pixels before they fix, I've seen HP repair laptops with 5 or less.

    Obviously, this is anecdotal, and their policies may have changed.
  • by cyberlotnet ( 182742 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @09:46AM (#12654367) Homepage Journal
    1. How many true "geeks" run a system "as it is shipped" Im willing to bet most of us reinstall for one reason or another soon as we get the system. Maybe we want a diffrent partition setup? Maybe we want to make sure there are no Vendor installed CPU wasting crap installed.. For what ever reason most geeks reinstall the OS soon as the computer enters there care.

    2. I don't want to be limited to what I can run.. I don't want to be "taxed" for software I will never use.

    So in the end I really don't care what OS's you offer.. What I want is the ability to order a laptop void of any OS at all!!!
  • Sleep Mode (Score:3, Insightful)

    by timtwobuck ( 833954 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @09:50AM (#12654417)
    In my opinion, one of the most important aspects of a laptop is how well it enters and leaves sleep mode. Use an Apple laptop for an idea of how close to ideal you can get.

    My IBM laptop, an older model, does not sleep well, the battery may last a little longer, but its not dead like an Apple laptop is. Perfect entering and exiting sleep mode, and Linux will get a toe-hold
  • by TVC15 ( 518429 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @09:53AM (#12654449)
    Support for clunker desktops and laptops will go a long way towards making Linux and computing in general available to the financially limited. I was actually rather impressed with M$ rumored foresight [slashdot.org] at creating a version of XP to run on old machines that are still running 95 or 98. Who here doesn't have a few (dozen) friends with eMachines that they bought 6 years ago and are running on limited RAM, limited disk space, and everything else? The further they reduce the hardware requirements of a basic distribution (coupled with ease of install), the more plain folk will agree to do the switch. I'm personally hoping for the day I can slap something like an Ubuntu install CD into a Sony PCG-N505ve and have everything work well.
  • Oh, the irony! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by heffel ( 83440 ) <dheffelfinger&ensode,net> on Friday May 27, 2005 @09:57AM (#12654493) Homepage Journal
    I just got an HP ZV6000 series laptop, featuring an AMD 64 processor. I got it with all the intention of installing Ubuntu for AMD 64 on it.

    To say that the laptop is not linux friendly is an understatement. There are no drivers for the video card, you can get X.org sort of working with the vesa driver. The touchpad is partially supported, scroll bar doesn't work and you need to resort to tricks to make it work (remove and readd the psmouse module).

    I installed the latest Java development kit for Linux AMD 64 on it, followed by Eclipse. Eclipse keeps crashing every few minutes.

    Although my intention was to run Ubuntu on this laptop, I find myself booting to Windows XP home all the time just to get some work done.
    • Re:Oh, the irony! (Score:4, Informative)

      by Arroc ( 208497 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @10:57AM (#12655125)
      Kinda offtopic....
      There's a known bug [sun.com] in hotspot's amd64 version that makes eclipse crash. Disabling the jit compiler worked for me, although with a performace hit. I've been waiting for Sun to fix it for a while already, it's pretty frustrating (so please vote for the bug).
  • Let me start by saying that this is a great idea. Unfortunately, i don't see people buying an 'unknown' OS together with their 'expensive' laptop. People fear changes. I can't think of anyone who would not buy a laptop with a Windows OS installed. Why would they? What's the argument of the salesperson? I'll tell you what the average salesperson will answer: "uhm .. Linux is just cool and opensource and free! all applications are free!". Followed by a stream of questions by the customer who wants to play hi
    • People fear changes. I can't think of anyone who would not buy a laptop with a Windows OS installed. Why would they? What's the argument of the salesperson?

      My sister runs Ubuntu at home, and now that she is looking for a laptop I am steering her towards a Mac. She asked me about this MacOS thing which it has: Is that apple's version of Windows? I answered with a qualified yes and made a mental note to explain operating systems to her when the time presents itself

      My point is that (a) Microsoft does represe

  • I've been in this field now for twenty five years and I can state categorically that corporate announcements have zero information value when it comes to predicting the future.

    Well, actually, not quite zero, because you can be sure if something's announced, it's because all parties involved are postively sure it will have no significant impact on the future. Makes sense, if you think about it. Knowledge about the future is power -- competitive power and power to create additional profit. That's why Apple
  • I quite like Ubuntu, as i think its finally a step in the right direction for Linux distros and have it on a couple of my machines. Now my main machine is a laptop (Dell 9100) and i often use it with an external monitor capable of far higher resolutions than my laptop display and this is where my gripe come in. Ubuntu absolutely refuses to allow me use the monitor resolution I want and keeps forcing me to the laptop LCD defaults which look like shit on monitor display.

    Now I know this is not an Ubuntu spe
  • ... HP is launching these notebooks in regions where Windows piracy is high because they can rely on the security of selling them to people that will buy just because they're cheaper, but will eventually install a pirated copy of Windows instead of Ubuntu. Not very promissing for Linux I say. Heck, the bundled FreeDOS even makes this easier...
  • Ubuntu was the first distro that, first, installed w/o hitch on my Fujitsu E, and, more importantly, had both suspend and hibernate working out of the box without my usual little configuration dances and overnight compiling with little hand-held fan attached to its side ;-)
  • with suse pre-installed. Was surprised when I cam e to learn that the 1 year support they offer applies to the linux distro as well. This is only for one model though. An AMD Mobile Sempron 2800+ with 256Mb of ram, 15" display, dvd-cdrw combo and a 40G hard disk for around $675.
    that ain't bad with a 1 year international traveller warranty
    would love to see other models of acer also to have this option
  • by stagmeister ( 575321 ) <lustig@@@brandeis...edu> on Friday May 27, 2005 @10:29AM (#12654856) Homepage
    If linux had better graphics support, I think that linux would take off more - on both the laptop and desktop - as a development platform for console-style games. Think of it this way: If you are developing a game, you currently have to develop the game for windows, mac, linux, etc. if you want it to be on all platforms. However if you were to use a live linux distro as the base for a game, you could make it so that all you have to do is restart your computer, put the CD in your drive and the game runs automatically - no need to mess with installing it on the hard drive, no need to have to port the game, nothing! It will run on any processor that it is designed for that has a fast cd-rom drive (which is pretty much all computers these days), and with network support built into linux you could very easily set it up to connect to the internet and get to a gaming server for lan parties or just regular internet play.
  • My understanding of how a GNU licenced operating system works in this situation is a little hazy. But this is slashdot, so I'll just jump right in. Wouldn't a BSD licenced OS make more sense for a laptop vendor?
  • All I care about is: will they make suspend/hibernate work on their hardware? Nothing else matters as much on a laptop, but I have never yet seen it running without any problems on any Linux laptop. (I know some people have it running "flawlessly", but I've never seen it, and not having it working makes a laptop much less useful...)
  • Are specifically built to only use hardware that has good linux compatibility (pref without the need to use binary drivers although for some things like video cards that might be unavoidable, especially for laptops).

    The laptops would have WiFi chipsets with linux support. And power management functionality that works in linux. And so on.
    The desktops would include things like Ethernet cards with linux support. And so on.
    Then, have printers, scanners and such that are also supported in linux available as an
  • FYI/
    Nokia's new 770 Tablet [nokia.com] - Debian Linux, X, Gnome, Opera, 802.11g, Bluetooth 1.2, 800x400 widescreen, handheld form factor - supposed to go on sale for US$ 350 within 4 months. (No phone included.)

    Nokia's site for open-source components for the 770: Maemo.org [maemo.org] has Linux sources and application development resources.

    Developer's FAQ PDF here [nokia.com]
  • by buchanmilne ( 258619 ) on Friday May 27, 2005 @01:00PM (#12656473) Homepage
    I wonder why an OEM vendor shipping Linux pre-installed on laptops only signals "The Future of Linux on Laptops" when it's Debian^WUbuntu ?

    HP first started shipping Linux preinstalled on NX5000s with SuSE [macnewsworld.com].

    And, Mandriva ships pre-installed HP laptops [mandriva.com] (looks like an NX9030) in Europe

    I point out that Mandriva 2005LE does everything (at least on my HP NX7010) this apparently "highly configured system designed especially for HP notebooks" does out-the-box, including:

    -LAN (8139too)
    -WiFi (ipw2100 in my case)
    -Modem
    -Sound
    -Bluetooth (I use it with a Logitech MX900 and my Nokia 6600)
    -Graphics adapter (fglrx or radeon)
    -Battery usage meter (ie acpi)
    -Suspend to disk
    -Hotkey configuration (new in 2005LE, keyboarddrake should choose the right keyboard layout )

    I don't have any Firewire devices, and I all the IR devices I have have a faster medium (bluetooth or cable), so I haven't tested them, but the firewire modules get loaded fine.

    (On the download edition of Mandriva, you would need to download the firmware for the ipw2100, you would get the radeon driver, and the modem may not work out-the-box ... but that's the price of Freedom ... Ubunto isn't Free!)

    So ... I see this more as Linux becoming more mature in support of features we all want working out-the-box (which previously requried manual setup).

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.

Working...