Linux Tips – Courtesy of the Jem Report

It’s harder to turn your laptop into a Linux machine compared to a desktop. Unlike desktops, laptops are more likely to contain hardware that’s unsupported for the now-famous alternative operating system. But it is possible, if you know which laptops work best with Linux, and how to support the notebooks that don’t have optimal penguin compatibility.

First, check when your notebook was made. New models-ones made within the last six months-should work fine with Linux. However, if your notebook has a Winmodem expect problems. These built-in modems rely on Windows-based drivers to work. If needs be, look for a PCMCIA modem as a replacement.

Wireless cards in laptops can also interfere with a smooth Linux transition. Some AMD-based cards, for instance, are not very compatible yet. Again in the worst-case scenario, you can buy a new wireless LAN PCMCIA card, which could run your $60 to $80.

With video cards, inverse logic rules. You would think that the top Nvidia and ATI cards would support Linux, but according to they tend to have the most problems. You can look at both manufacturers’ web sites to see which cards work in which laptops with which OSs. The trick here, you see, is that video cards in laptops are that much different than their counterparts in desktops.

You may also find that a Linux-based OS will wreak havoc with your laptop’s special power-savings features, sleep functions, and basically other little features that you take for granted with a Windows Operating System.

Who would have thunk that simplicity and ease of use could be so difficult? But if you are truly a Linux fan, dealing with this additional bit of inconvenience is a way to show your true dedication to the cause.

Or you could show your dedication without so much pain-by going with a commercial desktop GNU/Linux edition, instead of a freeware version. These tend to be able to hand hardware issues such as the ones mentioned, and they tend to be easier to install. Some options include SUSE, Mandriva Linux, Linspire, and Xandros.

More Linux tips for laptops at –

By Matthew Brodsky – Laptopical

Friday, March 24, 2006