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Debian loads flawlessly on new notebook.

PostPosted: 2015-03-15 11:06
by NFT5
Like most forums, reading through this one is a list of negatives, Debian wont install, My Printer won't work, How do I make my mouse work......

This week i bought a new notebook. An Asus X551MAV. Bottom end, I know, but it won't have a hard life and it will serve its purpose running a couple of proprietary XP programs, plus enable me to do some basic tasks when away from the shop.

This isn't a review of the machine, but Celeron N2830, 4GB, 500GB, 15.6inch, Intel HD, DVDRW, WiFi, HDCAM, 3-Cell, 2.15kg, Win 8.1. For $345, good value.

So, unpack it and take my first look at Win8.1. In a word, awful. Never mind, didn't want it for that anyway and very quickly (thanks Google) found how to go through the 347 steps necessary to get to Disk Management (that used to take 3 clicks in XP :roll: ) and shrink the Windows partition to a minimum so I can use the balance of the 500GB for what I want. Considered reformatting the HDD and starting again but thought I might just keep it for Anyway, minimum size is 93GB (are you kidding?) but I'll live with that for the moment. I did use the ASUS backup program to preserve a system image in case it all went pear shaped.

Reboot and get into the BIOS. Well, not the BIOS anymore 'cos it's UEFI and turn off all the flashy features (that I'd previously researched on Google in maybe 5 minutes). Loaded the GParted CD and rearranged partitions. I now have 9 partitions. :shock:

Reboot with the Debian DVD and all goes smoothly until it asks me for a driver for the Realtek NIC. No problem, feed that on a USB drive and proceed. During the installation it found both the wireless and wired networks and asked me some questions about them. Just obvious stuff like passwords and network name and type. The installation picked up the UEFI and handled that without any drama.

Reboot and I have the familiar GRUB menu and Debian in Gnome Classic. Addded Backports and loaded MATE (over the top of Gnome because it just works more smoothly than removing Gnome) and LightDM. Added a few programs that I use regularly, including Virtualbox for XP.

Reboot and, selecting MATE from the login options, I'm back in a nice familiar environment. 8) A little tweaking and personalisation can be done later.

For now, everything works. Perfectly. Even networking (which takes a little tweaking on the desktops).

I had thought that the lower spec of this notebook would mean noticeably slower performance and that was certainly the case in Win8.1. In Debian there is little difference to my desktop. Marginally slower loading programs but that's understandable with a 5200rpm HDD versus a SSD.

If there is a moral to this story it is that it's definitely worth spending a few minutes (really, maybe 10, at most) doing a little research on what you intend to do and being prepared. The whole process, start to finish, took barely an hour and I'm up and running with a new machine. I did use the CLI just to install the drivers for my Samsung printer/scanner/fax, but, other than that, it was completely in a graphical environment.

So, a good news story for a change and proof that installing Debian does not have to be difficult. :wink: :D

Re: Debian loads flawlessly on new notebook.

PostPosted: 2015-03-17 09:26
by dotlj
Thanks for your post. I appreciate your time and comments.
I've installed Debian on a number of computers over the years, and haven't found any problems yet.
It works equally well on low end or high end, new or old machines.