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To me it is a jungle to find what Linux distribution to choose...

Of course one would like to use as much performance as possible from the machine. In my case I have a HP Pavilion dv6-6008eo - in particular I am a bit worried that the graphics card AMD Radeon HD 6490M (1 GB DDR5) will not work.

Do you have any suggestion on how to proceed to find a Linux distribution that should support the hardware? (I would prefer to know that it works before installation).

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2 Answers 2

I'm not sure if specific hardware support is a good approach to choose a distro. The mainstream distros all support more or less the same hardware, perhaps the only difference will be that at a specific point in time some distro may have some version of a driver / kernel / library / whatever that is a bit ahead of another, but two months later they are equaled.

I'm talking out of the box here, which seems like what you expect. Sadly, there's no guarantee that all hardware, let alone the newer hardware, will work out of the box on any install. What is commonly done by a user, hadn't got lucky enough to get e-vry-thing working flawlessly out-of-the-box, is to try and make the non/disfunctional hardware work as best as its possible at that point in time.

Had Linux have better driver support from manufacturers, of course, this issue would be moot.

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I see what you say and perhaps you are right. What I would love to find is some test site which might have a matrix/spreadsheet where different hardwares are listed in a column and distros listed on a row - then if a distro supports the HW there should be an "X" in that cell. –  AD. Nov 12 '11 at 5:54

I had a lot of issues with my ATI graphics card and my dual screens in virtually every distribution I tried. However, when I installed OpenSuse, everything worked like magic out the box.

I would however recommend that you stay away from the open source graphics drivers for your card, and use the proprietary flgrx driver that is available for most distributions (including OpenSuse). flgrx is made by ATI so you'll be sure to use most of your card's performance.

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You're wrong about the ATI driver part, AMD (formerly ATI) actively helps with the opensource driver radeon. In most cases (note: subjective), it's better than flgrx –  Lekensteyn Nov 11 '11 at 22:28
    
@Lekensteyn, I'm speaking out of experience. The flgrx driver is much better if you're going to be playing games (in my opinion). I haven't had much luck with the open source driver and games. –  maxmackie Nov 11 '11 at 22:53
    
Yesterday I installed openSUSE-11.4-GNOME-LiveCD-x86_64 onto a 16Gb USB using Universal-USB-Installer-1.8.6.8 - after that I restarted the computer on the USB. I came to the Suse start menu and chose the first option (live?) but after a while it got stuck... –  AD. Nov 13 '11 at 7:36
    
Did you install the distribution to disk? Or just ran it in live mode? –  maxmackie Nov 13 '11 at 7:43
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That's very odd. You have a clean image so that definitely shouldn't happen. I would recommend trying to install it to your hard drive beside your current distribution. If it doesn't end up working, it will be easy to remove. –  maxmackie Nov 13 '11 at 7:57

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