Successful Linux laptop install

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Successful Linux laptop install

Postby spottedcat » Sat Mar 11, 2006 2:47 pm

A couple of days ago, and with some trepidation (considering what I've read about getting Linux to work on some laptops), I had a go at installing SuSE 10.0 with Gnome on my Sony Vaio VGN-FS215B (dual booting with Windows). No trouble at all. Well, hardly at all. Just a couple of very minor issues, easily fixed. In fact, I'm using this setup for this post. And I've even got wireless with WPA-PSK encryption working well - after a kernel upgrade that is. Now if only I could do the same for my desktop. Sigh.

So - a couple of questions. Is such an untraumatic install common despite what I've read? Or if not is there any forum/hardware compatibility database I could usefully post my experience on?

Also - one little oddity. When running on battery power a warning window pops up shortly after the desktop has booted up telling me to power down as there is only 1% charge left in the battery. Not so. This happens with a fully-charged battery. It seems to take a little longer for the panel app battery indicator to show the true state of the battery. Anyone else seen this? It's only a minor irritation, but is there anything I can do to stop it happening?
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RE: Successful Linux laptop install

Postby ajCham » Sun Mar 12, 2006 12:48 pm

When I first got my laptop (Acer Apsire 1313) a few years ago I installed Mandrake 9.1. Despite this being my very first experience with Linux, I didn't have any serious problems with it. The only quirk was that when my USB mouse was plugged in, the touchpad was deactivated - not really a problem.

When I upgraded to Mandrake 10, I too had problems with power management. As a result, if I ever lost power when running on mains (quite often - the PSU is knackered), the computer went dead instead of changing to battery power.

Until recently I haven't had Linux installed, because the games I was running on Windows were very hard drive intensive (I only have 20GB). Now that I'm no longer playing all those games, I was able to free up half the disk for Linux, and I now run Mandriva 2006 with no problems, despite the PSU still being knackered. (I really should replace it though, it's getting very frustrating when the machine won't even power-up.)

In conclusion, I think the days of laptop related problems with Linux are mostly in the past. From what I've heard, Linux now supports modern laptop components pretty much as well as it supports desktop hardware.


About your battery monitor, perhaps if you change your power management settings to update the output more frequently the program will detect accurate battery readings before it sends a pop-up. On my machine, it updates the status only every 20 seconds by default.
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Re: RE: Successful Linux laptop install

Postby spottedcat » Sun Mar 12, 2006 3:10 pm

ajCham wrote:In conclusion, I think the days of laptop related problems with Linux are mostly in the past. From what I've heard, Linux now supports modern laptop components pretty much as well as it supports desktop hardware.


Thanks, ajCham. My install was so stress-free that I guess you must be right. Good to hear it.

ajCham wrote:About your battery monitor, perhaps if you change your power management settings to update the output more frequently the program will detect accurate battery readings before it sends a pop-up. On my machine, it updates the status only every 20 seconds by default.


Thanks again. I've had a look in YAST. The trouble is the power management options in SuSE YAST must be different from Mandrake/Mandriva, and I can't see how to change the frequency of battery readings. And I guess you're using KDE. I'm using Gnome. I think I'm experiencing a Gnome or SuSE bug. I've checked again and see now that the panel icon shows the battery charge status quite quickly (I missed that before), but that after a minute or so the green colouring showing remaining charge disappears, the icon goes grey (ish) and only then does the warning window popup. I click OK, the window disappears and shortly thereafter the icon goes green again.

Has anyone using SuSE and/or Gnome come across this?
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