[clug] Advice about buying a new laptop

Rodney Peters rodneyp at iinet.net.au
Tue Sep 22 01:44:08 UTC 2015

I doubt this will be an issue with contempory laptops.  These are likely to be running Win 8.x *64 
bit* and if not then I suggest that a buyer move on to the next item in the shop - because 64 bit 
is where the action is - indeed, many distro are no longer producing a 32 bit desktop-oriented 

AFAIK, all Win 8 implementations need UEFI and practically all UEFI machines come partitioned 
with GPT, which allows 128 primary partitions.  Mine came with 6 primary partitions already - 
openSUSE installer elected to shrink the main one and create 3 addtional.   I later shrunk further 
and now have 11 primaries, enabling me to triple-boot ROSA as well as openSUSE & Win 8.1.

Your HP desktop might have been an earlier model that came with obsolescent MS DOS disk 
label (partition table).  These were problematic, althought not impossible to dual-boot.  In the 
case of a desktop simply install a second HDD for Linux only (and GPT it to boot - no pun 


On Tue, 22 Sep 2015 11:22:44 jhock at iinet.net.au wrote:
> I have had two Asus EeePCs and they were both very easy to convert to Ubuntu
> (they came with Windows OS). I just had to answer seven easy questions to
> fully install Ubuntu. I did not bother with dual boot.
> We bought an HP desktop for our son. I tried to load dual boot with Ubuntu
> but the way Windows was configured in multiple partitions it didn't work.
> I'm not patient enough to try and solve the problem so I uninstalled Ubuntu
> and left the HP to its own fate without my intervention.
> I would suggest asking how the operating system is partitioned onto the hard
> drive as it may be very difficult to install another OS if it's all over
> the place.
> John.
> ---- Rodney Peters wrote ----
> >Some other items to add to your decision matrix:
> >
> >battery life - whilst 8 hr might be achievable, if you really need it,
> >lower priced models tend to have lower capacity batteries
> >
> >OTOH, lower CPU speed lowers power drain, other things being equal, if
> >performance is not a major criteria.
> >
> >hardware virtual machine capability - if you are not majoring in IT then
> >this is probably not a requirement.
> >
> >I've no doubt that many CLUGgers use Toshibas, however it is a brand that
> >sometimes requires work-arounds to get Linux functioning and therefore
> >best avoided by less experienced users.
> >
> >If buying from a bricks&mortar shop then one thing you should ask the
> >salesperson to demonstrate is how to *disable* secure boot - although
> >openSUSE 13.1 does not require that some less popular Linux still might. 
> >Similarly, they should be prepared to show you how to enable hardware
> >virtual machine support.
> >
> >I don't use laptops much and my current Acer E522 might be at the lower end
> >of what a student requires.  openSUSE 13.1 installed on it besides Win 8,
> >without a hitch.  I've since done online upgrades to openSUSE 13.2 and Win
> >8.1 (the latter from the Acer site).  The upgrades went smoothly.  Both
> >the above OS boot whether or not Secure Boot is enabled.
> >
> >Main downside is that the firmware does not support hardware virtual
> >machine (although the CPU would).  The only games I do are card games -
> >the above model has 1.5 GHz CPU and might not be much chop for action
> >games.
> >
> >Sometimes better deals are available direct online (was my case) and
> >sometimes in eg Officeworks.  Depends on how soon you need to purchase.
> >
> >HTH,
> >
> >Rod
> >
> >On Mon, 21 Sep 2015 22:37:03 jm wrote:
> >> Your biggest problem i
> >
> >On Mon, 21 Sep 2015 22:37:03 jm wrote:
> >> Your biggest problem is likely to be drivers and having the laptop
> >> behave correctly when you close the lid to put it to sleep. I'll leave
> >> it up to others to comment on specific brands. Just a few questions from
> >> me that may help shape the discussion.
> >> 
> >> I'm guessing the dual boot requirement is either for games or software
> >> requirement of the degree your doing (eg, you must use M$ Word). Would
> >> this be correct? Can you elaborate on the application you need to run
> >> (or are likely to run)?
> >> 
> >> Do you mind buying online sight unseen, or would you prefer to shop in
> >> person?
> >> 
> >> How fast do you need it?
> >> 
> >> Depending on your answers it may limit the available choices.
> >> 
> >> This would go down like a ton of bricks with the sales person, but you
> >> could create a live USB image to boot off and try on or two laptops in a
> >> store to see if the obvious things checked out.
> >> 
> >> The good news is that things are getting better and Linux support is
> >> improving al the time.
> >> 
> >> Jeff.
> >> 
> >> On 21/09/2015 6:06 pm, Sharon Doig wrote:
> >> > Hi Canberra Linux Group,I am a lurker here and need some advice about
> >> > buying a new laptop. I am looking at a sub $800 lap top computer to use
> >> > for university studies. Can anyone tell me what brands and models would
> >> > allow me to duel boot Open Suse 13.1 and windows? I am hoping to duel
> >> > boot on a windows 8 or higher OS. Since I am really new at buying a
> >> > machine to run both windows and linux on. Could you provide a list of
> >> > questions for the sale person/manufacturer help line.
> >> > 
> >> > Thanks in advance.
> >> > Sharon Doig Sharon Doig in Canberra - Australia
> >> > E: po_box_304 at yahoo.com.au

More information about the linux mailing list