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Choosing hardware to run Linux

Just as the name says, here is where you can post tips and tricks to share with other users of MEPIS.
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manyroads
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Choosing hardware to run Linux

#1

Post by manyroads » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:56 am

Because there are fairly frequent questions regarding suitable hardware platforms for Linux, I thought I'd share this site, even though many of you may already be aware of it. I know that Ubuntu is not the base/ parent of this distribution, but their hardware certification ratings have been incredibly helpful over the years and never wrong, for me. :number1:

Ubuntu Certified hardware has passed our extensive testing and review process to make sure Ubuntu runs well out of the box and it is ready for your business. We work closely with OEMs to jointly make Ubuntu available on a wide range of devices.

https://certification.ubuntu.com/desktop/
"Don't believe everything you think."
Pax vobiscum,
Mark Rabideau - http://many-roads.com - Reg. Linux User #449130
MX-18.3 kernel: 5.1.5-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_6
Dell Latitude E5470
Intel i5-6300U~ 24GB RAM ~ SSD: 1TB
Coding since 1974

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Caesar2
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Re: Choosing hardware to run Linux

#2

Post by Caesar2 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:52 am

I tend to by computers one piece at a time and it is hard to find recommendations for putting together a computer that works well. I have learned from mistakes. There are a few places and videos for recommended "builds" but they aren't always up to date.
If I was in the market for a new system, I might be scratching my head. Things have changed a lot in the last five years since I last built.
MOTHERBOARD ASUS|F2A85-V PRO A85 FM2 R
PROCESSOR AMD A10-5800K APU with Radeon(tm) HD
3.8G 4M FM2 R
MEMORY 8 Gig
Segate 250 Gig

VIDEO CARD - ONBOARD AMD/ATI
TRINITY [RADEON 7660D]
vesa/fglrx BUS: PCI EXPRESS

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manyroads
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Re: Choosing hardware to run Linux

#3

Post by manyroads » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:08 am

My fingers are too small to be building laptops and netbooks from scratch. I just upgraded my wife's sata to ssd and those little screws and tight places 'try' my old, fat fingers.
"Don't believe everything you think."
Pax vobiscum,
Mark Rabideau - http://many-roads.com - Reg. Linux User #449130
MX-18.3 kernel: 5.1.5-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_6
Dell Latitude E5470
Intel i5-6300U~ 24GB RAM ~ SSD: 1TB
Coding since 1974

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Mauser
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Re: Choosing hardware to run Linux

#4

Post by Mauser » Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:10 pm

Ubuntu's hardware list is laughable since it doesn't even scratch the surface on what Linux can run on.
I am command line illiterate. :confused:

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Re: Choosing hardware to run Linux

#5

Post by PPC » Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:46 pm

HI!
It was a nice idea to create and share that list but... I've never had any problem running antiX/MX on any computer (and the latest Lubutu refused to boot on my netbook that runs antiX and even MX fine).
The problems people usually can have finding hardware to run Linux on:
1- printers/ printer-scanners : check if the device has Linux drivers before acquiring it (HP devices usually run great, according to my limited experience)
2- wi-fi cards (once again I'm lucky on that front, but check on-line before acquiring the device. External USB wi-fi "antenas" usually work great, specially if a bit older (once again , according to my limited experience)
3- graphics boards - boy... big trouble here, I have an Intel one on my netbook, runs fine... I have very old nvidea cards on my 2 desktops and installing the drivers was not a good experience on antiX (couldn't) or MX (worked only by a fluke), if you don't want to push your video card, the open source driver Nouveau works fine for office work, and video decription. It may be not advisable for gaming, I guess.

P.
Last edited by PPC on Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Stevo
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Re: Choosing hardware to run Linux

#6

Post by Stevo » Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:33 pm

Laptops can also be tricky. We picked the newer MSI GP63 8RD gaming laptop for building packages for the repo because it was powerful, well-priced, Intel-based, and looked like it had a really good cooling system so it wouldn't suffer thermal throttling when running the CPU full out for long periods, and crossed our fingers that it would work well with MX 17.1.

It turned out to need some more backports than we had at the time, but is now working well with those and a manual tweak to get Bumblebee working (just a bonus, it doesn't help for packaging), so we it looks like we lucked out with this one. Like other MSI gaming laptops, there's also a secret four-key combo to unlock the hidden expanded BIOS section, where one can tweak all kinds of settings like voltage curves and memory timings, for even more optimizations. There's even an Electron app for controlling the keyboard RGB colors that can be downloaded from Github if you don't like the CLI msi-keyboard in the Stretch repo.

So I can recommend this model or similar ones if you're looking for a gaming laptop or for compiling power, if battery life is not a big concern: https://www.microcenter.com/product/505 ... er_-_Black

The linux-hardware subreddit would also be a place to haunt if you're trying to find compatible machines.

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manyroads
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Re: Choosing hardware to run Linux

#7

Post by manyroads » Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:02 pm

I agree, there are certainly many places to haunt/ hunt. I personally like the Ubuntu site because it attempts to examine mainstream devices that are easy to find at Costco, Walmart, amazon, on the web, etc.
- Building desktops is not a big problem,if that floats your boat
- Getting Linux happy parts for PCs is also not hard
- Going to third party re-builders like Emperor Linux is too rich for my blood, as are some of the Linux device builders like Purism, System76.

On the other hand, finding a decent out of the box, refurbished 'quasi-new' laptop is a bit more challenging, especially if you're not inclined or skilled enough to spend hours fixing drivers, etc.

It's just all about choice, I guess. ;)
"Don't believe everything you think."
Pax vobiscum,
Mark Rabideau - http://many-roads.com - Reg. Linux User #449130
MX-18.3 kernel: 5.1.5-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_6
Dell Latitude E5470
Intel i5-6300U~ 24GB RAM ~ SSD: 1TB
Coding since 1974

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Re: Choosing hardware to run Linux

#8

Post by Stevo » Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:12 pm

At least one Debian user also had a lot of trouble with System76's Oryx Pro, which was odd, since it ships with its own variant of Ubuntu and was supposed to be Linux-friendly overall: https://www.reddit.com/r/debian/comment ... e_highend/

They ended up getting a Lenovo P72 instead with a 2 TB NVME SSD and 128 GB RAM: https://www.reddit.com/r/debian/comment ... enovo_p72/

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manyroads
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Re: Choosing hardware to run Linux

#9

Post by manyroads » Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:17 pm

There certainly is no easy guarantee. Lately I have been sticking with refurbished Dell's: 2 Latitudes and one Inspiron. "Knock on wood" they have been great.
"Don't believe everything you think."
Pax vobiscum,
Mark Rabideau - http://many-roads.com - Reg. Linux User #449130
MX-18.3 kernel: 5.1.5-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_6
Dell Latitude E5470
Intel i5-6300U~ 24GB RAM ~ SSD: 1TB
Coding since 1974

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richb
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Re: Choosing hardware to run Linux

#10

Post by richb » Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:30 pm

If building is your thing, mine since my first build a couple years ago, the motherboard and processor are the key components. Phoronix is a good resource:

https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page= ... therboards

They also have recommendations for graphics cards
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