back to article Which is the best Linux for laptops?

I have been a user of Windows for ages now, literally using WinXP Pro since its first public release, and I have a fairly good understanding of how the OS works. I have been starting to venture into the Linux/Unix world, currently using the Ubuntu 8.04 on my ThinkPad X60. But is there a distribution that would fit best my …


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  1. John Rose

    gos Rocket

    Have you tried gos?

    BTW what wireless card/dongle are you using? I believe that you get different power consumption with Linux driver rather than ndiswrapper using Windows wrapper.

    I don't find Ubuntu awash with useless software. In fact I've downloaded lots of extra software e.g. Google Earth, ms fonts, codecs drivers, Scribus, gPaint, Rosegarden.



  2. William Andrews

    OpenSuSE 10.3

    OpenSuSE 10.3 is probably one of the most easy to use Linux distros ever,

    try it out, however 11.0 has some boot loader issues. So stick with 10.3.

  3. William Andrews

    OpenSuSE 10.3

    OpenSuSE 10.3 is one of the easiest to use Linux Distros ever, try it out.

    However 11.0 has some boot loader issues, so stick with 10.3.

  4. James Bassett
    Thumb Up


    I'm afraid I can't comment on Battery drain as (my wife's) laptop is tethered to the mains. It's five years old so I doubt the battery works in any case. However, for ease of use you cannot beat the new Beta 3 of gOS. The underlying OS is Ubuntu and it is imeadiately familiar to Ubuntu users but it is even more user friendly and has nice touches like battery monitor and WiFi monitor displayed by default when installed on a laptop.

    Even on my Wife's aging Dell, setup was a simple matter of;

    Insert CD

    Boot Laptop

    Click install


    Obviously you have to change the bloody keyboard language from US to UK along with the clock but that was it. Fully functional laptop in about ten minutes flat.

    And whilst the apps in the Dock Bar largely point to Google Apps they can be easily re-directed to whatever floats your boat.

    It flies on an old Celeron 1.5GHz with 512MB of RAM. I highly recommend it!

  5. Jesse Dorland

    Dream Linux & Kubuntu

    I would have to say Dream Linux would be my choice. It is a debian base distro from Brazil. It's lean, mean and clean; GUI looks like OSX. And it doesn't consume lots of rams. Infact you can run it on P3 laptop! Good for newbie, and for advance users.

    Kubunutu is a nice distro, also debian base with KDE GUI as default, and if you are coming from a Windows' enviroment, and you like XP GUI, then this is perfect for you.

    Con: As usual, you would have to configure wifi network card along with few things. Sadly applies to both distros :(

  6. Anonymous Coward


    give Mandriva a second chance, I have recommended it to lots of Linux novices and they all liked it, not always straight from the beginning, but once you get used to it you will see that you can almost always avoid the command line if you don't want to use it.

    The 'Mandriva Control Centre' and the 'urpmi' package managment system are well thought out.

    I'm personally using it even on my Toshiba Libretto U100 where it did support almost everything out of the box (excluding the useless finger-print reader) and has been very good at making the battery last long too.

  7. Swiss Cheese Company
    Thumb Up

    Linux Mint

    If a user-friendly Gnome distro is what you're after, go for the latest Linux Mint Gnome-edition namely "Elyssa": "".

    For installing some useful applications, read the following: "".

  8. Damian Turner-Steele


    PCLinuxOS is the only one I have used that works with everything, I tried gOS (pre rocket) and it didn't recognise my wireless but it was quite quick, and I don't spend ages trying to get stuff to work, its quicker to throw another distro at the problem. I am also using Vector a lot at the moment, the lite version is excellent on old hardware and 5.9 is good anyway.

  9. Piloti

    MSI Wind : Advent 4211

    Has anyone put Linux on an MSI Wind : Advent 4211 ?

    If yes, which one, how ?

    I have no external usb optical drive handy so will need to boot from usb. Does anyone know of there is a linux distro that will.....

    GOS sounds good, except... hate google and all they do.


  10. John Werner

    Depends on the HW and SW

    I've played a little with this on a couple of different laptops and a couple of different distros. The answer really comes down to the hardware you are running and the built in drivers in the distro.

    The first key thing I was found is that new laptops need the newest distros and drivers. The laptop is evolving really fast. Old laptops (>5 years old) may only have spotty hardware support.

    For general use on an older laptop, Mandriva seems to have a bit of an edge. It has a longer history. If you are using a newer laptop (<2 years old), I would go for Ubuntu. It is slightly more user friendly than Mandriva (which was the one time most user friendly distro), and it is being kept very current.

    To be more specific, I find that XUbuntu is a good choice for a lightweight environment for a laptop. It uses GTK, but does not have the extra weight of a full Gnome setup. A stripped version with just Firefox, Open Office, Thunderbird, Gimp, and a few other basic utilities will fit on a 2G flash drive (Should you need something to travel with). If MythTV, Scorched3d, bzflag, Freeciv, pioneers, googleearth, 500 megs of music, and a few other programs foor "in flight entertainment" are needed, you can still get it all on a 4G drive.

    The key to battery life comes down to speed scaling. On one 2 year old Compaq nc6400 laptop, the SpeedStep technology of the Centrion Duo processors/chipset does not work in Ubuntu 8.04. (It also doesn't work in Win2K -- so it may be some a bios or hardware issue.) On a 1 year old Compaq 6910p with a Centrino Pro, Ubuntu seems to be able to throttle the CPU fine. All of the other built in hardware is well supported.

    BTW, if FC5 is installed on the 6910p, the onboard LAN and WAN are not recognized. (FC5 had to be put on it to support some development tools for an embedded product.)

    - John

  11. Stephen Greenham


    Try sabayon linux....... it rocks on any system....

  12. chris

    custom ubuntu

    it's possible to do a non default install of ubuntu. have done it a few times, use the alternate cd and install a comandline system and build up from their

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