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Hello everyone! I have some questions about Linux distributions on my laptop. It's a Gateway MT series - Gateway Official Site: Shop - Notebooks - MT6733 Laptop Product Details I've ...
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  1. #1
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    Smile Linux Distro Advice (Gateway MT Series)


    Hello everyone! I have some questions about Linux distributions on my laptop. It's a Gateway MT series - Gateway Official Site: Shop - Notebooks - MT6733 Laptop Product Details

    I've used several distributions of Linux in the past on different computers. I'm wondering if anyone knew about hardware compatibility and Gateway laptops, specifically the MT series. The issue is that I will be using this laptop for work, so I don't want to deal with hardware issues. I've installed and used Linux several times but I've never had a 100% good installation... on one the sound didn't work, on another the network card didn't work... etc. So hardware compatibility is a big factor for me. I would like something I could use without having to spend hours upon hours researching and debugging the problems.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Thank you for your time.

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    Super Moderator Roxoff's Avatar
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    My suggestion is to buy a laptop with Linux pre-installed, then you dont have to worry about compatibility; US$650 is a lot of cash to blow on a laptop that might, in the end, not work right.

    Despite that, I dont think there will be any major gotchas here. The mainboard and graphics use Intel chipsets, so you're probably very safe there, you've got standard kit pretty much everywhere, the only points to note are:

    - Network; wireless is a Realtek chipset, and I've no idea about compatibility there. The wired network port is 10/100 and is probably a realtek chipset too, so there should be no problems with that (but you never know for sure until you find out what the actual chipset is)

    - Card reader may be proprietary; if it uses a USB connection internally then you've got no worries, but if the interface is non-standard it'll never work (but then, multi-card readers are available extremely cheaply these days, and may be quicker than a proprietary one).

    Good luck.
    Linux user #126863 - see http://linuxcounter.net/

  3. #3
    oz
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    Welcome to the forums!

    I agree with Roxoff, and don't see any immediate issues with the hardware. In addition to that, I also agree that buying with Linux already installed is a good way to go if possible because you should receive some support for it directly from the laptop maker.

    Wireless networking is the one thing that I often see as a problem for some laptop users. However, Realtek does offer Linux drivers in most cases and those drivers are usually incorporated into the Linux kernel fairly quickly. Check the Realtek website for more information on compatibility.

    OpenSuse and Ubuntu are popular choices for Linux on the laptop, but pretty much any of the others should work, as well.

    Do let us know how it all works out for you.
    oz

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    Thank you for the suggestions.

    I might try OpenSUSE. I heard from a colleague that they've tried Linux Mint on an identical laptop and they had problems getting the sound to work. I heard that's a derivative of Ubuntu. It was an issue with the ALSA driver not recognizing the soundcard, or something to that effect.

    One more question I have for you, is that do any of these support full disk encryption? Confidential data may be stored on these laptops and it's important that it remains secure.

  5. #5
    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Beckett View Post
    One more question I have for you, is that do any of these support full disk encryption? Confidential data may be stored on these laptops and it's important that it remains secure.
    Here you go...

    TrueCrypt - Free Open-Source On-The-Fly Disk Encryption Software for Windows Vista/XP, Mac OS X and Linux

    TrueCrypt - Free opensource on the fly Disk Encryption tool | SUSE & openSUSE
    oz

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    Ah, yes, I love TrueCrypt. I use it on my Windows XP and Vista computer regularly. The problem is, FDE is only supported on Windows computers. TrueCrypt can mount/encrypt volumes on Linux but not in an FDE manner.

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