Linux on laptop | PCSPECIALIST

Linux on laptop

john hughes 12

New member
Hi,

I am wanting to buy a laptop, perhaps the 14 Gemini iii, and install linux on it. I have USBs with linux systems on, and basically have had enough of apple and Microsoft... I wondered if anyone else had gone down the road of buying a laptop without an operating system, and then installing linux, and if they found it ok, or if there were snags with drivers, wifi etc... I have used linux before and installed it, but am aware it can be tricky sometimes!

Thanks,

John
 

Stephen M

Spamtastic
Hi John, welcome along. It would be worth going through the sticky thread in the Linux part of these fora which gives a lot of details on which PCS machines work well with Linux.

I have been running Linux, mainly Ubuntu since about 2013 and while I will not claim it has always been simple I have managed to install a 'nix distro on close on 10 PCS machines.

The main worry at the moment is some machines with an NVMe SSD, it is a problem caused by Intel and at the moment no solution, but standard SATA SSDs are fine and I have used Samsung m2 NVMe on an Octane, Optimus and Defiance.

Probably the best way forward is for you to choose the specs of your machine and post them here.

What 'nix distro are you intending to use, a few to choose from here: https://distrowatch.com/

I like Ubuntu but would not argue with anyone who went for Mint, Debian or whatever, most are good and it is mostly down to personal taste. The only time I would specify certain distros is if you are into music making, the Studio distros have low latency kernels which is important for music.
 

Stephen M

Spamtastic
Just looked at the Gemini and nothing jumps out as being unfriendly to Linux but unfortunately no mention on the compatibility thread.
 

markh

Bronze Level Poster
Hi,

I am wanting to buy a laptop, perhaps the 14 Gemini iii, and install linux on it. I have USBs with linux systems on, and basically have had enough of apple and Microsoft... I wondered if anyone else had gone down the road of buying a laptop without an operating system, and then installing linux, and if they found it ok, or if there were snags with drivers, wifi etc... I have used linux before and installed it, but am aware it can be tricky sometimes!

Thanks,

John
Hi John,

Recent experience suggests Ubuntu have really got their act together with drivers and recent hardware. If you install the latest distro (19.10) on a Clevo chassis laptop you won't go wrong. TongFang laptops like the Recoil have been known to be problematic, although the Fusion which is also TongFang has seen positive Linux posts on here.
 

Stephen M

Spamtastic
Agree with MarkH, 19.10 is a good distro. It even went on an old Optimus which had been quite problematic in the past with the only tweak being to install in safe graphics mode.
 

john hughes 12

New member
Thanks very much Stephen and Mark. It sounds anyway as if there are no definite negatives, and there would be a good chance of it being fairly painless. I have installed ubuntu before, but am wary of getting a new machine, and the customer service told me to be cautious... I have a USB with various linux systems on it, and hopefully one would work if the others don't... Inclined now just to buy it, and to disregard the voice that tells me to get it with windows on, and try to dual boot it!
 

john hughes 12

New member
Sorry, this is the specification broadly I was considering: cheap and cheerful! Using maybe Elementary or Zorin or Mint or Ubuntu. Be really grateful if anyone spots any gremlins lurking here, or has any other thoughts...

Best,

John

Chassis & Display​
Gemini Series: Aluminium Chassis: 14.1" Full HD IPS LED (1920 x 1080)​
Processor (CPU)​
Intel® Celeron® Dual Core Processor N3350 (2 x 1.10GHz, 2.40GHz Turbo)​
Memory (RAM)​
4GB LPDDR4 2133MHz LOW PROFILE SOLDERED​
Graphics Card​
INTEL® HD GRAPHICS (CPU Dependant) - 1.7GB Max DDR4 Video RAM - DirectX® 12​
1st M.2 SSD Drive​
64GB Hard Drive Onboard (eMMC)​
2nd M.2 SSD Drive​
NONE-----------​
External DVD/BLU-RAY Drive​
NONE8x Slim USB 2.0 External DVD-RW6x Slim USB 2.0 External Blu-Ray Writer​
Memory Card Reader​
Integrated Micro-SD Memory Card Reader​
 

Stephen M

Spamtastic
That looks OK, although as I said before no one has posted anything on the Gemini but do not think that should be a problem. The only big glitch at the moment is Intel with some NVMe drives so I think you should be OK.

If it was me I would go with MarkH's suggestion of Ubuntu as that is running well with 19.10 but would be interesting to know how the others go as well.
 

jerome_jm_martin

Active member
Hi john,

As the others said 19.10 ubuntu based are working very well, but you can give a try with elive distro. It works like a charm on low spec systems,

Also make sure to read the linux forum, there's plenty of usefull info.

Like stephen said the main issue is with the NVMe drive and bioses where sata mode is hardcoded to RAID. (thanks to intel using a nasty cache system with their chipset) (if bios let you change the sata mode, you are fine with any distro)

J.
 

john hughes 12

New member
Thanks Jerome,

From what you and Stephen are saying, I am taking it that the Gemini does not have the NVMe drive with that configuration of the BIOS, and so should be ok with Ubuntu?

If so, I will go ahead and order the machine, and thanks to you all for your help.

Best,

John
 
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