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Hey all, I've used Linux before, but not in some years (Red Hat 8 or 9?, probably 6ish years ago). This is my first laptop and I want to try ...
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  1. #1
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    Re-newbie laptop installation advice


    Hey all,

    I've used Linux before, but not in some years (Red Hat 8 or 9?, probably 6ish years ago). This is my first laptop and I want to try going back to Linux. I'm thinking probably Ubuntu, since I've heard good things, but I'm open to suggestions. I will probably try to do an install within the next week or so. Here are the laptop's specs:

    Acer Aspire 4551
    AMD Phenom II N830 Triple core (2.1GHz)
    2Gb RAM

    I didn't write anything else down, but if there is any other relevant info I should be able to provide it.

    The main concerns I have are with compatibility of the laptop's hardware, since I can't really swap it out like in my desktops. Also, I will eventually want to be able to do music production and DJing type stuff, in case that is relevant. I'm open to suggestions as I haven't done the Linux thing in a while and want to get things right the first time this time.

  2. #2
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    Most major distributions have a "Live" version now that allows you to boot the OS from a CD or DVD to test drive it. This gives you a chance to see how well it works with your hardware and to see if it suits your needs. distrowatch.com is a good source of info on the many distros available, and you should check out the forums for each distro. The Ubuntu community maintains a hardware compatibility list that may help you determine whether it is a good distro for your hardware. Others may also have compatibility lists.

    I saw a review a few weeks ago that rated OpenSUSE #1 on laptops for its out-of-the-box performance, but that was one person's opinion. You might Google to find similar reviews / recommendations for your hardware.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    As said, download and burn a live CD/DVD and try it out on your laptop before you install. Personally, I've had really good results with Ubuntu on my laptops, though the latest I am running is 9.04. It works flawlessly on all the laptops I've tried it on, and all the wireless and other hardware cruft (usb modems, webcams, bluetooth dongles, etc) work out-of-the-box without configuration required.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  4. #4
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
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    You are on the right track with Ubuntu. Ubuntu 10.10 is excellant, I have had excellant luck with it recognizing a prblem (driver issue) wireless device.

  5. #5
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PsyForce View Post
    I'm thinking probably Ubuntu, since I've heard good things, but I'm open to suggestions.
    I suggest you setup a dual boot - whichever distro you decide on make sure it is not going to erase your Windows partition as part of the install process (Ubuntu will erase the Windows partition as a default). If the PC is under warranty you will need Windows installed to get support.

  6. #6
    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan183 View Post
    I suggest you setup a dual boot - whichever distro you decide on make sure it is not going to erase your Windows partition as part of the install process (Ubuntu will erase the Windows partition as a default). If the PC is under warranty you will need Windows installed to get support.
    Welcome to the forums, PsyForce!

    I agree with what Jonathan said above, and dual booting is a terrific option to help users adjust to Linux gradually rather than them being thrown in the middle of it and possibly left to feel overwhelmed by the learning curve. It was about a year or two before I finally dumped Windows but doing so was a good move, and I've never looked back.
    oz

  7. #7
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    Hi.

    With that kind of device you can pretty much use all netbooks distros.
    Yet if you fear for "bumps" start with Lubuntu and Xubuntu which have low system load GUI. At the moment I using a "ubuntu remix slim" and it works like a charm.

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