I have a HP mini. Would be good to have an external DVD to help install new peripheral such as a flat scanner to use with my HP. Would like to know from experiences of you guys in respect of brands you have used and actually found no problem of compatibility.
Appreciate your feedback guys. Hey thanks a lot.
The answer to that is "it depends". I have any number of external drives, both eSata as well as USB devices, hanging on my system(s), as well as a flatbed scanner w/ document feeder (Epson) that works just fine. Generally, Linux software is downloaded and installed directly, unlike Windows systems where you need a CD/DVD player to install drivers and software. As for HP minis, I don't have any experience with them, but we do have a Toshiba netbook that works just fine with Linux and our peripherals.
I haven't connected a DVD drive in a long time. The only thing they're useful for is ripping CDs and DVDs, really. I don't even use optical media for backups any longer. I've never seen an installation disk for Linux, for anything. You can download any drivers or packages you need. All that said, I think almost any drive you buy will work out of the box with Linux.
Thanks to both rubberman and sgosnell. You added to my pool of knowledge in these matters.