I’ve had laptops with linux before, but linux was never the original laptop OS and modifying the configuration was always necessary. It used to be fun to hack and modify an OS on an old laptop but I guess if I’m going to spend 600 or 700 bucks (or more!) I’d rather not have to worry about modifications.

One of my worries is that in the past I’ve experienced bad or terrible changes to battery life/performance after installing linux. I’m guessing that that won’t be the case with a linux native laptop? Any experience… (dell, system76,…)? I remember trying to fix this in various ways that the internet had suggested but it never came out as I wanted.

My other worry is the keyboard and shortcuts. I’ve been using a mac at work which in my experience has a fairly different keyboard short cuts, is that still the case? (is this distro dependent?) I remember always having to modify cut and paste for terminals to match the browser’s cut and paste short cuts in ubuntu. This always seemed silly. Again not sure if I want to do this if I’m shelling out a significant amount of money.

Any advice or stories about going from a mac-unix-ish setup to a pure linux setup?

Should I stop trying and stick with macs?

@ProfessorYakkington
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3 года

I’ve not owned one of these before ( https://starlabs.systems/pages/lite-mk-iii ) but it looks interesting in terms of a new laptop that is linux native and a bit cheaper ($426/£399) than a lot of purism / system 76 options. The build quality looks nice, but it is hard to judge from screen shots. Here is an OMGubuntu write up on the device. https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2020/07/starlabs-lite-mk-iii-linux-laptop. Also, for work I have a developer edition xps 13 with linux and it is great.

@Wheeljack
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13 года

If I had the coin, I’d spring for one of the developer editions of the Dell XPS 13 or XPS 15.

Keyboard shortcuts are of course modifiable, but default to more Windows-like bindings.

What exactly are you trying to get away from with Mac?

@ProfessorYakkington
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23 года

For what it is worth, I have a purism 15 inch. For the most part I really like the laptop. The near 0 branding is great and I have 32 gigs of ram which is great as I do a lot of data intensive dev work. However; the hinge broke on the laptop within 6 months of light use which was extremely disappointing. I was able to repair the hinge with a good amount of effort but I probably wont buy another if this one dies. Obviously just a single exp. so take it with a grain of salt. On the good side, the hardware switches are great and the already mentioned ram is nice.

@zaggynl
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33 года

Get a second hand business laptop (dell latitude, lenovo thinkpad, hp elitebook), replace battery where needed, install linux yourself. If needed you can pop by the seller with a USB drive with Ubuntu or suchlike to quickly test compatibility. Business laptop because of decent parts and guaranteed to be self serviceable.

As for power saving, I saw this pop by a while ago: https://medium.com/@amanusk/an-extensive-guide-to-optimizing-a-linux-laptop-for-battery-life-and-performance-27a7d853856c

@partion
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33 года

I wouldn’t care at all about Linux being preinstalled - just about every laptop will run fine with Linux, the “comes with Linux preinstalled” part sounds like cheap marketing, as most Linux users (such as yourself) would have no problems installing the OS on their own. Claims of improved support sounds dubious as well. As for the laptop, what kind of workflow are you looking at? Personally, I’d wait for new Thinkpad T400 series with AMD Zen 2 CPUs to come out (I expect this to happen around this autumn) as they have superior performance and power savings. Also, having AMD means better Linux support.

@Looki
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13 года

On many convertibles the drivers of the fingerprint scanner and the 2in1 detection won’t work on Linux. If you buy one of those with linux preinstalled you can be sure that these features will work

@fruechtchen
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3 года

If you have enough money to buy a completely new laptop, i’d suggest https://mntre.com/media/reform_md/2020-05-08-the-much-more-personal-computer.html - because the repairabillity is probably much better.

See this rant from drew devault on this topic: https://drewdevault.com/rants/2020/02/18/Fucking-laptops.html - i think the reform is one of the few exceptions.

Pinebook pro could also work, but the repairability is not that good. also, the wlan chip is soldered on the mainboard, making it impossible to use a free-software driver.

Being a ARM laptop (both the reform and the pinebook), you don’t have to worry about the intel management engine.

If you’d buy rather cheap, i’d suggest to get for instance an used thinkpad T400/X220 or something from ebay. But these are intel CPUs so you will have intel management engine.

Also: i once buyed an used dell laptop (XPS 13) from ebay. It stopped working for unknown reasons after some time, so i woudn’t recommend that.

@EmbarrassedActive4
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23 года

Nowadays linux is a lot easier to use, get any laptop. I use a dell which wasn’t marked for linux but works fine anyway. Battery life can be fixed by installing “tlp” and running sudo tlp start. You can also configure the keyboard shortcuts in the settings. The terminal uses ctrl+shift+c instead of ctrl+c and so on.

@jaidedctrl
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33 года

can confirm, System76 is pretty good.

but if you want a machine that’ll work with fully free distros (and thus basically everything, even obscure OSes), i’d highly recommend ThinkPenguin. their stuff works perfectly, outta the box, and they’re support is awesome.

@Micalet
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3 года

Deepin, future UOS, is the closest to MacOS you will find. But any DE can be configured a lot to match your needs. Lenovo is great in price / performance. System76 are good but expensive, slimbook, purism, and tuxedo are brands to watch before deciding and Dell have some liGnux love too.

@hburb3ri
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33 года

What you interact with is only a very small portion of the OS. In Mac’s case, they use a desktop manager called Aqua, and that’s what you used to draw windows, do keybinds, handle audio, all that fun stuff. Linux has that as well, but Linux is all about choice.

There are many different DEs (Desktop Environments) and it gets a bit addicting installing and trying them out. There’s even more window managers, which is like the DE, but is purely just how you navigate windows, and not extra stuff like keybinds, menus, launching programs, etc. You’re going to probably use Gnome by default since that’s what most use, but I recommend trying out other popular ones like KDE, Mate, or XFCE.

Since most people judge operating systems with what they interact with, trying out different desktop environments will make Linux feel drastically different, almost like an entirely different operating system. They will be all in your distro’s package manager and are all very popular. Under the hood, everything runs the same, but your experience with the computer will be entirely determined by the desktop environment, so you should test them out till you find one you like the most.

@constantinople
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3 года

deleted by creator

art
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23 года

I don’t recommend buying pre-installed laptops. Instead, buy business class hardware. Get them used or refurbished. You’ll save a ton of money and they’ll be just as powerfull if you get a model only about 3 years behind. Most business laptops have damn good Linux support out of the box.

  • Lenovo Thinkpad
  • Dell Latitude
  • HP Elitebook

As for keyboard shortcuts, it’s Linux, you can customize anything.

@Aeolun
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23 года

You can, but that doesn’t mean it’s either easy or pleasant.

@developred
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2 года

deleted by creator

@dijit
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53 года

All things with a grain of salt; because linux support on laptops is often as good as you make it.

I can say what has worked for me though.

I have had thinkpads (t400, x200, x201, x201s) and they all worked flawlessly with linux.

I currently own a Dell Precision 5520; and it works flawlessly too. But I primarily use the intel graphics chip and force the nvidia one off for better battery life.

The Dell Latitude series are astonishingly good at supporting linux.

Obviously anything by System76 is going to work, but build quality is meh.

I guess we should just talk about devices which might not work so well rather than what does work well because linux really does support /most/ things.

So, what is Linux bad at:

  1. Proprietary/special touch screens. I have a GPD P2 Max, and I need a special kernel patch for touch screen

  2. Mixing DPI’s. So if you have a 4k laptop screen and a 1080p external monitor it’s going to look weird. (probably)

  3. Nvidia. Yeah, it works, but it’s battery hungry, optimus (dynamically switching from intel/nvidia) is a pain, the driver might break randomly, just avoid it if you can.

  4. “Atheros” wifi- should work, doesn’t work well. So look for Intel wifi where you can.

  5. Prorietary fingerprint readers. You wont know this until you get it probably.

  6. Windows Hello/IR camera.- The camera will work, but it will not support facial recognition as you expect.

  7. Networking over thunderbolt. You probably don’t do this, but I did under macos to link my macbook pro to my mac pro- anyway, doesn’t really work.

Makkusu
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2 года

deleted by creator

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Linux is a family of open source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991 by Linus Torvalds. Linux is typically packaged in a Linux distribution (or distro for short).

Distributions include the Linux kernel and supporting system software and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project. Many Linux distributions use the word “Linux” in their name, but the Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU/Linux to emphasize the importance of GNU software, causing some controversy.

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