Laptops and free software?

10 Antworten [Letzter Beitrag]
Garsmith
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Beigetreten: 07/27/2013

Im thinking of getting a laptop but leaning for a old one because I only going to listen to music, write and watch video (and its a lot lower price). I found a Dell E6400. The version of this laptop I found has P8600, 4GB ram, 160GB drive, Intel graphics, 16:10 monitor (YEY! Not modern shitty 16:9.) and probably matte, Intel 825xx Gigabit ethernet, IDT 92HD ICH9 audio (and no numpad that makes keyboard move to left and makes bad writing position). All supported according to h-node.

The question is more: What makes a laptop supported by free software? Is it normaly webcam and wireless features that do not work? What are the normal problems when it comes to laptops? Is more or less always ethernet, intel graphics (3D acceleration) and audio supported? Is their other known or unknown parameters that can be a problem?

Wireless can in most laptops be replaced so their isn't a problem there for what I can see and Im not a webcam user.

I have taken a look at h-node.org and it seems to be many new laptops that is supported by Trisquel out of the box. Most of them Asus. I have even found laptops listed with GeForce 310M GT650M, Geforce 610M and listed as A-platinum. Is a laptop A-platinum even with no 3D acceleration or is these card 3D free software supported?

onpon4
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Beigetreten: 05/30/2012

Usually deblobbed Linux supports hardware rather well, with the main exceptions being hardware acceleration and wireless.

For video cards, if you have Intel integrated graphics (e.g. Intel GMA or Intel HD), that's good; these graphics controllers are supported with free/libre software directly from Intel. Many Nvidia cards also work well thanks to the Nouveau project, especially ones that are a little old. As far as I know, AMD/ATI cards are guaranteed to not have support for 3-D acceleration, so they're the worst modern graphics controllers.

For wireless cards, the best ones are usually from Atheros. For everyone else, it's really hit-and-miss. I think I remember hearing that the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo cards are usually no good, but I also vaguely remember someone telling me that's not true or something to that effect, so I'm not sure. In any case, you can fix a bad wireless card by using a USB wireless adapter, such as one of the ones sold by Think Penguin.[0] If you want to be able to replace the actual wireless card, you need to watch out for digital restriction mechanisms; many laptops from Apple, HP, Lenovo, IBM, Dell, and Toshiba arbitrarily reject cards as some sort of anti-competition feature.

[0] https://libre.thinkpenguin.com

Dave_Hunt

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Beigetreten: 09/19/2011

I have two laptops that run Trisquel, fully, for my purposes: An old Dell Inspiron and an Asus EEPC1015PE (netbook). Though the wifi is by Broadcom, in the Dell, it has the Atharos compatibility. Both machines have working ethernet, wireless, and audio; I'm not sure about the 3D; the machines both have Intel graphics. These are old boxes-- the netbook being at least 4 years old; not sure of the Dell's age; I got it second-hand.

jxself
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Beigetreten: 09/13/2010

You might be interested in this then:

http://www.fsf.org/resources/hw/endorsement/gluglug

At present, you can't get more freedom-respecting that this.

Garsmith
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Beigetreten: 07/27/2013

That is a good alternative but I cant find a replacement keyboard for my language.

lembas
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Beigetreten: 05/13/2010

You could email and ask them about it. The guy who runs that place is quite helpful.

Magic Banana

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Beigetreten: 07/24/2010

You may find (elsewhere) "keyboard stickers" to be glued on the actual keys so that you see the layout of your choice.

As you probably already know, this layout is to be "added" (with the "+" button) from the "Layout" tab of the "System Parameters/Keyboard layout" utility.

Garsmith
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Beigetreten: 07/27/2013

The laptops are from UK and they have around the same keyboard layout as I want. Some sticker seems to be a good alternative as others have commented. Was little afraid it would be the US layout.

I did some research and found that X60 has the problem with high pitch noise when on battery. A normal problem for Core Duo and Core 2 Duo laptops in the early days.
http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Problem_with_high_pitch_noises

Gluglug have now updated and the laptop is now a little cheaper.
http://shop.gluglug.org.uk

Only 2GB ram, max 60GB SSD, no dock, 4cell battery.

lembas
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Beigetreten: 05/13/2010

>What makes a laptop supported by free software? Is it normaly webcam and wireless features that do not work? What are the normal problems when it comes to laptops? Is more or less always ethernet, intel graphics (3D acceleration) and audio supported? Is their other known or unknown parameters that can be a problem?

Well, a laptop is a collection of parts and any part may or may not have a free driver and firmware available. GPU and wifi are the usual problems. Bluetooth might or might not work, ditto webcams. Ethernets and audio usually work. One nasty problem is some laptops come with a BIOS whitelist that restricts what kind of wifi cards can be swapped in.

andrew
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Beigetreten: 04/19/2012

On 11/02/14 07:10, garsmith wrote:
> Im thinking of getting a laptop but leaning for a old one because I
> only going to listen to music, write and watch video (and its a lot
> lower price). I found a Dell E6400. The version of this laptop I
> found has P8600, 4GB ram, 160GB drive, Intel graphics, 16:10 monitor
> (YEY! Not modern shitty 16:9.) and probably matte, Intel 825xx
> Gigabit ethernet, IDT 92HD ICH9 audio (and no numpad that makes
> keyboard move to left and makes bad writing position). All supported
> according to h-node.

I am running that laptop now (same model anyway - E6400), except it's
probably an older version and it has NVIDIA graphics. Everything works
fine, it has 3D acceleration, Bluetooth works, webcam works, audio
works, but no WiFi on the default Intel card. I bought an Atheros card
and took out the old one and the WiFi works fine now.

I just got a new laptop today and the touch screen and ethernet port
don't work by default. I'm guessing (hoping) that a kernel update will
fix that though, considering the hardware is probably fairly recent and
the default Trisquel 6 kernel is from 2011-2012.

Andrew.

Magic Banana

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Beigetreten: 07/24/2010

Updating Trisquel's kernel to the latest version is easy: https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/update-linux-libre-kernel

Try it! :-)