Recommended laptop for openSUSE

Hello,

I hope this thread post is appropriate; this seemed the most appropriate location to ask the question.

I am looking to obtain a new laptop and would like to use openSUSE on the laptop (exclusively). I am looking for a beefy machine with good hardware support by openSUSE while at the same time not too bulky. Any suggestions on which make/model? Primary purpose is software development and numerical work. I took a look through the laptop wiki, but, boiling the support list down seemed less valuable than recommendations from this thread.

To tack a second question onto the first, is it possible to encrypt the file system at a low level? I think I saw this as a feature on the release notes of 11.2. I will be doing some travel through the summer and not having to worry about stolen data, just stolen hardware, would be nice.

Thanks in advance.

The ThinkPads are generally a good choice for compatibility, but they don’t seem to be quite as good quality wise as they used to be. I have a Toshiba that everything works except possibly the modem, but I have never tried it as I don’t have a wired telephone.

If you want good compatibility, do not buy the latest and greatest. The newest stuff has to wait for Linux to catch up to it. So, laptops with SSDs could be iffy due to the hard disk controller support. Newer N wireless can be iffy as well, and you may end up having to buy a USB device or a PCMCIA card to get support.

The midrange ASUSes are good as well. IME SSD’s are no problem anymore. I have a couple of them, they all perform as they should.
Some other things to take into consideration:
the graphics card/chip; at this moment I suggest NVIDIA. This would give you a full desktop experience with fancy effects.

Speed? Buy an average laptop, replace the slow disk by SATA. My € 550 laptop with € 150 SSD beats most of the € 2000 ones with their TB disks. The TB disk is next to the laptop.

N-wireless is not found much in midrange laptops.

If the shop people allow, testing with the Live CD is a good idea.

On Thu, 2010-02-04 at 18:16 +0000, crcook wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I hope this thread post is appropriate; this seemed the most
> appropriate location to ask the question.
>
> I am looking to obtain a new laptop and would like to use openSUSE on
> the laptop (exclusively). I am looking for a beefy machine with good
> hardware support by openSUSE while at the same time not too bulky. Any

I love my HP Elitebook 2530p. Everything works really well (well, I
haven’t tried everything… I do know the fingerprint reader is crummy).

I have the 2.13Ghz dual core and just 4G of memory, but it will support
a total of 8G.

Mine is running oS 11.1. I have tested the web cam using Yahoo.

> suggestions on which make/model? Primary purpose is software
> development and numerical work. I took a look through the laptop wiki,
> but, boiling the support list down seemed less valuable than
> recommendations from this thread.
>
> To tack a second question onto the first, is it possible to encrypt the
> file system at a low level? I think I saw this as a feature on the
> release notes of 11.2. I will be doing some travel through the summer
> and not having to worry about stolen data, just stolen hardware, would
> be nice.

HP’s support Drivelock which is independent of the OS.
Drivelock doesn’t encrypt… but is a password lock stored
inside the drive that prevents it from working if moved
to a different host without somebody entering the secret.

I think it’s a pretty reasonable solution.

>
> Thanks in advance.
>
>

I’d say +1 on ASUS and +1 on take a liveCD to the shop.

I chose my ASUS because it had an instant on “splashtop” (Linux-based) environment so I figured hardware compatibility would be good.

The only thing I found with the ASUS PRO59 is that the webcam is upside down (although the splashtop version its fine, they must have a customized kernel or skype) and that the card reader doesn’t work.

Most of the free webcam apps (cheese, kopete, egika) have a simple invert setting which suits me. Its just skype that doesn’t have a setting for that.

Performance is pretty good for a cheap-ish laptop. Desktop effects work out of the box.

Hi
I patched the kernel module to fix that for other users on the Fora;
http://software.opensuse.org/search?baseproject=openSUSE%3A11.2&p=1&q=uvcvideo

If it doesn’t match your running kernel you need to use the src rpm and
rebuild that.


Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 (x86_64) Kernel 2.6.27.42-0.1-default
up 20 days 7:28, 4 users, load average: 0.16, 0.09, 0.05
GPU GeForce 8600 GTS Silent - CUDA Driver Version: 190.53

Yeah thanks. I had seen that thread. I actually just went out an bought a better camera (shock horror it’s a M$ one and it works great on Linux).

It depends what you mean by beefy really and what size is reasonable for you.

The HP Probook 4310s has a nice aluminium chasis and comes Opensuse certified. It’s packing a Core 2 Duo (up to 2.26ghz and 3mb level 2 cache) DDR 3 and a 512mb dedicated graphics card. It’s also available with a 7.2krpm HDD, which I guess you’d want to upgrade to a SSD at some point (I probably will as soon as NAND isn’t so hilariously expensive). It’s 13" and it’s got a HD (not full HD)
and it’s relatively light.

Obviously being a HP you can upgrade to 4 year international hardware support/accidental damage.

Of course the Elitebooks are pretty amazing.

I’ve got an old Lenovo Thinkpad T60p at the moment that runs fine with linux. They’re all pretty outstanding in terms of reliability/upgradability/linux compatability but you pay for the privelege.

Lenovo are launching their core i7 W and T series laptops this month as are HP with their i7 elitebooks.

I think a safe bet would be to stay away from other brands of i7 laptops at the moment (bad experience) until the manufacturers get to grips with implementing the new technology in terms of power/heat.

  • crcook,

I love my Acer Aspire Timeline 8371. Couldn’t get the UMTS part to work yet (but that’s me, because other people said it worked out of the box for them) and the fingerprint reader doesn’t work (unless you configure the BIOS protection part under Windows).

Everything else worked out of the box. I chose this one because it doesn’t have an optical drive (don’t need one) and a rather big battery.

Which leads to the real question: What do YOU want? :slight_smile:

Uwe