Best Laptop for Debian

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Best Laptop for Debian

Postby nemanja » 2018-12-03 18:41

Hi everyone,

I am new to Debian, and would like to buy a new laptop which I will be using on Debian. Does anyone has a suggestion on which laptop is the best choice, in terms of hardware compatibility with Debian?

Thanks!

Nemanja
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Re: Best Laptop for Debian

Postby Segfault » 2018-12-03 18:44

New or refurbished?
In what part of world? There may be different suggestions for Namibia, Finland or Japan. Etc. In some countries you may want a bulletproof version for instance.
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Re: Best Laptop for Debian

Postby nemanja » 2018-12-03 18:50

Didn't understand you well. Few years ago, a friend of mine told me that there was one great laptop for Debian on the market, and they were fully compatible. I am wondering if there is something similar today as well, new of course.

PS I am living in Switzerland.
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Re: Best Laptop for Debian

Postby stevepusser » 2018-12-03 18:53

What sort of price are you thinking of?

Also, what is your intended use of the laptop? Light Web browsing and email, or gaming, or school and programming, can require different hardware.

Do you need to keep Windows on it?

How long do you need the battery to last?

How heavy can it be?

Do you need an optical drive?

Do you do graphics work and need a really color-accurate screen?
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Re: Best Laptop for Debian

Postby stevepusser » 2018-12-03 18:55

nemanja wrote:Didn't understand you well. Few years ago, a friend of mine told me that there was one great laptop for Debian on the market, and they were fully compatible. I am wondering if there is something similar today as well, new of course.

PS I am living in Switzerland.


Then ask your friend what that was. :D

There were many fully compatible laptops a few years ago, but he may have been thinking of Lenovo laptops. I've also had very good experiences with Acers on the budget side of things.
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Re: Best Laptop for Debian

Postby nemanja » 2018-12-03 19:07

stevepusser wrote:What sort of price are you thinking of?

Also, what is your intended use of the laptop? Light Web browsing and email, or gaming, or school and programming, can require different hardware.

Do you need to keep Windows on it?

How long do you need the battery to last?

How heavy can it be?

Do you need an optical drive?

Do you do graphics work and need a really color-accurate screen?


The main use of the laptop would be to do physics simulations in Octave (similar to Matlab), hence something with at least 8GB of memory would be preferable. Also, I would like to experiment with adding external hardware to it. For example something even via USB, and in the end to be able to control that piece of hardware. In principle, this would be something for me to learn in depth how Debian works and how it can interact with various other devices.

Windows is not important to have, but could be useful. Anyhow, it's a second priority.

Battery is not a priority.

Heaviness is not a problem neither.

Optical drive could be good.

No graphic work for me at the moment :)

All in all, I would prefer to stay below 1000 euros for this.

PS yes, I will ask him which one was it. It's just that you guys here may know about this as well :)
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Re: Best Laptop for Debian

Postby stevepusser » 2018-12-03 19:18

The MSI GP63 I have is quite powerful, works great, and can be found in the US for under $1000, but I don't know how much one would cost in Switzerland...

https://www.microcenter.com/product/505 ... er_-_Black
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Re: Best Laptop for Debian

Postby nemanja » 2018-12-03 19:22

stevepusser wrote:The MSI GP63 I have is quite powerful, works great, and can be found in the US for under $1000, but I don't know how much one would cost in Switzerland...

https://www.microcenter.com/product/505 ... er_-_Black



Thanks!

I will check it.
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Re: Best Laptop for Debian

Postby llivv » 2018-12-03 19:35

system76
offers ubuntu and their own pop linux pre-installed on their new laptops desktops mini and server
us based

star labs systems
offers ubuntu and has compatibility tests for many linux distros
uk based new used refirbished i think
In memory of Ian Ashley Murdock (1973 - 2015) founder of the Debian project.
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Re: Best Laptop for Debian

Postby Bulkley » 2018-12-03 20:14

The first rule of buying hardware for Linux is to avoid cutting edge. Look for something that has been on the market at least six months. That gives time for the kernel to catch up.

Do yourself a favor and make a Debian live-USB. Take it with you when you go shopping. Use it to boot any machine that interests you. If the sales person won't let you, find another store.

Make a list of possible candidates (list full details). Look each up on line and search for Linux issues. If there's a lemon on your list you will probably find it.

Check this site.

BTW, there are Linux oriented retailers.
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Re: Best Laptop for Debian

Postby HuangLao » 2018-12-03 20:28

ThinkPenguin is a solid choice for GNU/Linux: https://www.thinkpenguin.com/catalog/no ... nu-linux-2 You can specify Debian in the section of "OS to install", otherwise it defaults to Trisquel or Ubuntu.

I've had great success with Gateway for laptop (current model is over 10 years old) http://www.gateway.com/gw/en/US/content/home
and
Refurbished HP's for desktop, currently using one for the last 8 years: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications ... ignid=3331

PS: another option https://minifree.org/
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Re: Best Laptop for Debian

Postby stevepusser » 2018-12-03 20:30

Even System 76 laptops can have trouble with Debian: https://www.reddit.com/r/debian/comment ... e_highend/

The poster eventually replaced it with a Lenovo P72 monster with 128 GB RAM that ran Debian much better: https://www.reddit.com/r/debian/comment ... enovo_p72/

By the way, my MSI GP63, like most new 8th Gen Intel hardware, does require newer KMFD (kernel-Mesa-firmware-drivers) from backports if you want to run Stretch, and also a couple small tweaks to get the Optimus GPU switching working with Bumblebee.
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Re: Best Laptop for Debian

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-12-03 21:37

nemanja wrote:The main use of the laptop would be to do physics simulations in Octave (similar to Matlab

Are those CPU-based or do you need CUDA and/or a GPU?

If you don't need a GPU then avoid NVIDIA, integrated graphics cards are less bother and better supported under the open source graphics stack.

Some laptop retailers allow you to de-select Windows and save a significant amount on the licence fee without having to pay for overpriced system76 hardware.

And I've just noticed that ThinkPenguin charge $50 for "Operating System Installs" [sic], what a bunch of twats :x
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Re: Best Laptop for Debian

Postby Segfault » 2018-12-03 21:42

I personally did not mind buying a refurbished laptop when my old one died. Two years old it was a well refurbished Thinkpad and cost me only $150 with Windows license ... then I peeled the Windows sticker off and sold it on eBay for $50 ... got a decent laptop for a total of $100.
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Re: Best Laptop for Debian

Postby Soapm » 2018-12-04 09:31

I think it was Lenovo I saw with Debian pre-installed.
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