Over the years I have had struggles and great success with installing Linux on various machines. Some hardware I like to work with more than other bits of hardware. Here I will discuss specific issues with bits of hardware and machines and how to overcome challenges. Although, Linux will run on just about anything, some hardware is better suited to it than others. Here are specific hardware experiences, what I like, don’t like, work around issues I have overcome with some “obscure” bits of hardware and just general experience with running Linux.
Originally I have only kept notes for myself on working with various bits of hardware. This might be useful for your Linux journey. My hardware is all fairly old, ancient by some standards but it still gets the job done. When these machines break down or are no longer able to do the job I request of them, they will be replaced. I guess that makes me not the ideal consumer. As a rule, I don’t like to throw something away until it is no longer useful or not practical to continue maintaining.
I have found that Dell seems to just work with Linux, no tweaking necessary unless there was a Broadcom wireless driver to install. I am also extremely appreciative that they have been using the same power supply barrel connector for years, so I always have a power supply somewhere.
Primary on-the-go machine. Intel Core i7-4610M, 128GB mSATA, 500GB SSHD drive, 1080p screen with the AMD GPU. It is running openSUSE Tumbleweed flawlessly. Most notable feature is the dock station ability. Very convenient to go from desk to lap with just the push of a button for separation and other accessories available for t his E-series of machines. This runs KDE Plasma Desktop which is not phased by the dock to undock. It flawlessly updates my screen layout and remembers each screen “location.” Everything worked on this machine without any tweaking. This is a large part of why I recommend Dell Latitude series of machines.
My previous main Linux machine that I purchased in 2007 that just keeps chugging away. It is currently running openSUSE Leap but has also run Tumbleweed extremely well.
This machine serves as a kind of dashboard display and live backup of my main system. I mostly use this machine to display a calendar using Kontact, a kitchen assistant and access to my different communication channels.
Runs Ubuntu-Mate as this is a PowerPC based system. Mate does great at the 2GB of RAM that this has and is nice and snappy. It does struggle with most YouTube videos which is unfortunate. Does well for listening to the radio and simple web browsing.
For more information on running Linux on PowerPC here are the resources I have used.
Panasonic Tough Book CF-52
Core2 Duo machine running openSUSE Leap 42.3. Acts as a media server in the living room. Currently, I find that it needs more RAM to function better, 2 GB is great for local media but not for streaming services.
HP Stream 11
The build quality and fell of this machine is what I really enjoyed most. Read more here on my experience with it
Lenovo ideapad 110S
Acer Aspire E15
Dell Latitude 2120
Panasonic Toughbook CF-19
The touchscreen has been a challenge to auto configure but everything else works very well. Biggest complaint is the lack of a good virtual keyboard in KDE Plasma 5.12.
A very commodity, basic laptop, nothing noteworthy about this machine other than everything went very well.