I have built a new gaming PC running Win8.1 and have kept my old desktop with nvidia card to experiment with linux.
Now, I would like to get rid of the old PC and buy a laptop exclusively for Linux.
For the moment, I have Opensuse 13.2 Gnome installed on the old PC and I like it very much. But I like having the latest versions of software (same goes for when I’m on my windows PC), so I’ve been looking at Tumbleweed.
I realize that proprietary nvidia drivers are a bit of a pain to get working on a rolling release, so since I will not be gaming on the laptop (well, maybe light stuff, just to try out), I was thinking about getting a laptop without a discrete graphics card, but with Intel graphics instead. As I understand, open source drivers for Intel graphics are practically as good as the proprietary ones.
Am I right in thinking these, or can you maybe recommend some specific laptops/hardware that might be best suited for Tumbleweed ?
Tumbleweed users are possibly the best source of knowledge about what Tumbleweed does, can or cannot;
Tumbleweed users would watch the Tumbleweed forum section to look for threads from people who have problems with Tumbleweed or want to know something about Tumbleweed.
It is of course not unlikely that some Tumbleweed users will look in this forum from time to time, but most people here will not run Tumbleweed and will know about the standard openSUSE distribution, but nothing particular about Tumbleweed. I can move this thread to the Tumbleweed forum for you when you want that.
I tried posting in the Tumbleweed section and it said I needed to enter a prefix, an option which wasn’t there… I just checked, for some obscure reason, it’s now possible to choose a prefix. I will repost there. Thx !
When 12.3 was the current opensuse release, I ran Tumbleweed on a computer with Nvidia graphics. It was frustrating.
When 13.1 was current, I instead ran Tumbleweed on a computer with Intel graphics. That went far better. I’m still doing that with current Tumbleweed, now based on factory.
All is not perfect. There was a brief period last summer where Gnome would not start due to an Intel driver bug, though I found a workaround at that time. Right now, Gnome 3.16 is giving some problems apparently due to another Intel driver bug. It works okay, but there are problems shutting down. It’s an interaction of Wayland with Intel graphics. Switching from “gdm” to “lightdm” solves the problem, but Wayland can no longer be used with Gnome.
While it is not perfect, it is still a lot easier running Tumbleweed with Intel graphics than it was with Nvidia graphics.
I don’t have any specific recommendations on which laptop to buy.
I’ve been running Tumbleweed with Gnome for the last 2 or 3 years on a seasoned laptop with integrated Intel graphics.
As nrickert says, all is not perfect but at least I always got basic functionality, occasionally via “no-modeset” booting.
Last Summer the Intel driver got a major overhaul and we still occasionally see glitches, but workarounds or patches are generally available within a week or two.
Anyway, Tumbleweed is fairly close to the cutting edge and is not as stable as the current “distribution” release: it is our choice, we have been warned.
By the way, the source of the open source driver is Intel itself, so there is no “proprietary” driver for general use, AFAIK.
That said, I had no problem using Tumbleweed on my main workhorse as long as I had a backup PC, a dual boot, or even a smartphone recently, just in case I needed it for that urgent bank transaction when I had just updated Tumbleweed and had no time to troubleshoot the glitch-of-the-month
On the other side, threads on the Forum calling for help with Nvidia or Radeon drivers are countless, see for yourself.
As for laptop models, I would stick to mainstream models, maybe from “last year”, avoiding fancy HW that might not be supported well for a couple of years to come.
Models that have a version sold with “no OS”, “Free DOS” or with some flavour of Linux pre-installed are also good candidates, since they are generally forced to avoid fancy proprietary drivers.
I realize that, and I am mostly considering Tumbleweed since there’s no upgrade path from, say 13.2 tot 13.3 (in theory, there is, but we all know that’s only theory). And having a rolling distro which avoids that upgrade path, sound appealing. On the other hand, Tumbleweed might be more trouble than it’s worth…
Frustrating, because I’ve been distro hopping for almost two years and thought I had finally made a choice.
I was thinking about a Lenovo G70 or Z70, so nothing fancy. I live in Belgium so we can’t buy laptops with Linux preinstalled. There is one retailer who offers laptops without an OS, AND it’s all Intel stuff, but sadly, a bit on the expensive side. A 17 inch Full HD laptop with 8Gb of RAM and Intel graphics would set me back more than 1000 euros (you can do the math how much that is in dollars)…
Well, have you thought of installing both 13.2 (as a stable backup) and Tumbleweed?
Occasional glitches on Tumbleweed usually get fixed in a week or so, and if you have a stable backup you hardly notice the difference…
I live in Belgium so we can’t buy laptops with Linux preinstalled. …
(you can do the math how much that is in dollars)…
Italy still uses EURO apparently lol!
I didn’t mean actually “buying Linux preinstalled”, but if somewhere your favourite Lenovo is sold with Linux, you are pretty sure of not having problems installing it yourself…
Anyway, generally speaking, all-intel, no-fancy HW from a major vendor is generally safe.
Maybe pay attention to the WIFI or network card, search the forum for it, and if you find troubled users change your model…
Yes, especially if it’s Broadcom. On the BTO models I spoke of earlier, you can choose to have an Intel wireless card, but on the Lenovo, you’re not sure which one you’re going to get, because some machines come with Intel ones, others with Broadcom cards, or even other brands, even if it’s the same type of computer. I’ve contacted Lenovo about this, they say that they cannot guarantee that the model I order will come with an Intel card…
> I realize that, and I am mostly considering Tumbleweed since there’s no
> upgrade path from, say 13.2 tot 13.3 (in theory, there is, but we all
> know that’s only theory).
I have been upgrading my systems continuously since SuSE 5.3.
> And having a rolling distro which avoids that
> upgrade path,
It doesn’t. Not at all. You are instead distro upgrading every week,
instead of once a year or two. Yes, likely smaller distance upgrades,
but you bump on all the stones as they appear. You make a blood smudge
on the stones, so that I see them a year later and avoid them.
Never run into any problems ?
If you tell me a future update from 13.2 to 13.3 will go smoothly, then I might reconsider and stick to the point releases.
I don’t necessarily need the newest kernel updates all the time ; I do however want to get the newest stable versions of Firefox, Openshot, Handbrake, VLC etc. when they’re available, just like that’s the case in Windows…
On 2015-04-23 15:36, DrMcKay wrote:
> robin_listas;2706444 Wrote:
>> Why not?
>> I have been upgrading my systems continuously since SuSE 5.3.
> Never run into any problems ?
Of course there were problems. Don’t tell me that nothing ever breaks
after any update. Last week, for instance, the update for the kernel in
13.2 had to be removed because it broke nvidia. Other people in this
same thread have mentioned breakage in the Intel graphics support in
Tumbleweed now and then.
> If you tell me a future update from 13.2 to 13.3 will go smoothly, then
> I might reconsider…
As for updates, a new version of Firefox or Flash usually lands in 13.2 a couple of days earlier than in Tumbleweed, maybe because of different priorities in testing.
Other packages like LibreOffice are a different story.
13.2 only gets maintenance releases (currently libreoffice-126.96.36.199-15.1) while TW gets major releases (currently libreoffice-188.8.131.52).
Generally, if needed, you can still pick the latest from specialized repositories, just have a look at http://software.opensuse.org/132/en
So, I would say that if you need a reliable workhorse I’ll stick to OS 13.2, while if you like tinkering with the latest packages you get more fun with Tumbleweed.
And the option to have both is always open…