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Help Me Purchase a Laptop for Linux

Discussion in 'Linux and Unix' started by robomatic, Mar 11, 2013.

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  1. robomatic

    robomatic Thread Starter

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    I want to install Linux on a new laptop (not yet purchased). I have an inexpensive laptop, but it has Windows 7 on it and I figure a large part of the cost of the laptop went to the OS.
    So, I'd like to buy a laptop without an OS and install Ubuntu or Debian on it. I expect to pay somewhat less for the lack of an OS (maybe $50 or so?)
    Is it possible to find or specify a reasonably powerful laptop for a good price because it doesn't have an OS? How and Where?
     
  2. arochester

    arochester

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  3. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    The actual cost of windows on an oem is minimal. That is why there are so many restrictions on an oem copy of windows; ie valid with original hardware only, etc.

    If you can purchase a laptop without an os and that is a big IF since I have not seen them offered for sale for a long time. I doubt the cost would be any less than purchasing one with windows.
     
  4. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    The link posted above that has linux pre-loaded, looks good. This is not a system without an os however I think it would do what you want.
     
  5. robomatic

    robomatic Thread Starter

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    Thank you all for the helpful observations and link. I have four laptops to choose from, and for now I will probably install Linux dual boot on my least expensive ($300) laptop. I will then see if I end up using it.
    Next question, Ubuntu or Debian? I've installed Ubuntu to a desktop before with no trouble, but some of my loose contacts use Debian, but I haven't heard any major differences between 'em as to find one preferable. The buzz seems to be with Ubuntu, and I'm an ignorant newbie, so that's the way I'm tending.
     
  6. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    I am just learning linux as well however I use [and really like linux mint] I have it installed as dual boot on a netbook and as the only os on my home server.
     
  7. jiml8

    jiml8 Guest

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    If you want Ubuntu, I strongly recommend Mint instead. Forked from Ubuntu, employs a much better desktop, and is not subject to the recent madness that the Canonical developers seem to have inflicted on it.

    You also should take a good look at Mageia. This distro is forked from Mandriva which was one of the nicest and most user-friendly distros. It is a young distro but coming along quickly. Uses the KDE desktop, and is not as mature as it needs to be, but that will probably change with the next release.

    OpenSUSE is also an excellent distro.
     
  8. robomatic

    robomatic Thread Starter

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    Thanks again. I'll look into Mint and Mageia. I spent some time with Mandriva on a desktop and it worked well for me.
     
  9. Phantom010

    Phantom010 Trusted Advisor

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    I've also read very good reviews about Mint, but for speed and minimalism, there's Bodhi. Like Mint, it's built upon Ubuntu.
     
  10. monckywrench

    monckywrench

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    You may wish to install Linux in a virtual machine first since there is no reason to dual-boot in most cases.

    You can very easily try a variety of distros in VMs. VirtualBox is free, easy to use, and you can also host a variety of Windows OS if that's useful. I try to discourage conventional dual-booting since it often leads to annoyances when the boot record gets trashed.

    I have Windows and Linux hosts with both OS as guests. Costs nothing, you can revert to a Snapshot if you are testing software and want a "clean slate", it's pure win.

    https://www.virtualbox.org/

    You can also use a fast machine instead of dedicating some leftover box.

    However , if you do want a lappy for Linux, I suggest any recent-ish used Thinkpad with an Ultrabay. That way you can do a clean install to the main hard drive, pull one screw and remove it, do another clean install to a second drive, then put the first in a (cheap, like ten bucks on Ebay) Ultrabay caddy and dual boot with SEPERATE drives by choosing them on boot. I press F12 on my T61s.

    The various Thinkpad forums will guide you on these Linux-friendly machines. I like the WUXGA displays on my T61s for viewing VMs.
     
  11. Phantom010

    Phantom010 Trusted Advisor

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    I've had nothing but trouble with VirtualBox when I tried installing Mint or Ubuntu. They never installed properly and were full of bugs.

    The easiest thing to do is to install Ubuntu inside Windows with Wubi. It works perfectly! It's very simple to install and uninstall. It will be similar to dual booting, and no noticeable performance issues.
     
  12. monckywrench

    monckywrench

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    I've had no hassles with either, but there are many ways to go.
     
  13. Phantom010

    Phantom010 Trusted Advisor

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    Yes, indeed.

    I don't know why VM's just won't work properly on my XP Pro machine. Everything else is in perfect working order, or almost... :)
     
  14. monckywrench

    monckywrench

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    That's a headscratcher. My hosts are Win7/CentOS/Mint at the moment. Might be an XP thing?

    If you switch host OS, XP runs well in VMs so you'd still have it. (Snapshots are a nice way to revert XP to a fresh state too.)
     
  15. Crazy10

    Crazy10

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    Another distro for people transitioning to Linux is Zorin OS.
     
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