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Which Dell laptop for Linux 2112


Dell GX 520 is this any better than an Optiplex 210 Issues with Dell computers
1) I am on my 2nd Dell Optiplex, now a 210 Optiplex, just within 5 months. The first one I returned as it had a lot of problems with the 2003 Microsoft Small Businses Edition...
Follow up to "Boot fails at checkpoint Ithr" from a couple of weeks ago
A couple of weeks ago I spoke with Dan Mays at Dell Hardware Support, who was nice enough to take my calls even though my Dimension 4700 is no longer under warranty...

I run both Fedora & Gentoo on my D610, although a couple items didn't work initially (I got the D610 close to its launch), all the issues were fixed well within a year and now all the hardware runs great. I haven't heard of any Dell laptops not working with Linux, but here's some suggestions:

1. Get the Intel wireless card; Dell uses the Broadcomm chipset in theirs which doesn't have an open source driver (it requires NDISWrapper, but you lose tons of great features like monitor mode). 2. If you want better OpenGL performance and nVidia is an option, go with the nVidia video card. Traditionally they have been much more supportive of open source drivers than ATI. ATI has gotten much better over the last couple years, but I'd only go with them if I wanted to do some OpenGL stuff (like Xgl) and I don't have nVidia as an option. Personally I went with the ATI X300 (no nVidia option on the D610), and that was one of the pieces of hardware that took a couple months before it was supported. 3. If you don't care about OpenGL, go with the Intel card. Intel's performance with the latest version of Mesa (basically an open source direct rendering package) is great. Also, right now neither ATI's nor nVidia's proprietary drivers work with the latest version of Xorg (7.1). 4. Go with a newer distro that users a kernel after 2.6.14. All the machines Dell currently sells use Intel chipsets which make the drives (both HDD & optical) appear like a SATA drive (regardless of whether they actually are), and a lot of work was done that was merged in at 2.6.14 that made SATA things play better in Linux. 5. If you get a Core Duo, be sure to use the SMP kernel. You might also want to set MAKEOPS="-j3" (or just remember to pbutt -j3 to make whenever you compile stuff from source) in your profile; this tells gcc to use multiple threads when compiling (always use j# with # = number of CPU's + 1).

Depending on how familiar you are with Linux, I'd highly suggest using a distro like Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake) or Fedora Core 5 (Bordeaux). While distros like Debian or Slackware can be made to work with a newer machine, it will almost certainly require a lot more work than it's worth. Both distro's I just mentioned are great for almost any level of experience (I have coworkers who have been using Linux for over a decade whose current favorite distro is Ubuntu).

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Follow up to "Boot fails at checkpoint Ithr" from a couple of weeks ago 2116
Thanks to both Chris and yourself for the very good information. Briefly here is the current setup for both machines. 4700 (New) the subject of my previous posts --- USB...


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Dell GX 520 is this any better than an Optiplex 210 Issues with Dell computers

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Which Dell laptop for Linux 2111