for questions about running Linux on laptops.

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32
votes
9answers
4k views

Which laptop is most compatible with Linux?

I've always been unlucky with regards to choosing a laptop that I can install Linux on. If it's not the wireless card that's not working out of the box, it's the video card. Also, I'm still not able ...
26
votes
1answer
20k views

How to disable auto suspend when I close laptop lid?

I'm using archlinux. It never auto-suspend before a recent system upgrade(maybe I updated the kernel?). I think it is related to laptop-mode or acpid, so I stop them: /etc/rc.d/laptop-mode stop ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How to use three monitors on a laptop?

I have a laptop running Ubuntu 9.04 with a dual-head setup: laptop panel + external monitor. I'd like to add another monitor but the laptop has a single VGA port, so my question is: what are my ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Is disabling barriers for ext4 safe on a laptop with battery?

The manual page says about the barrier option for ext4: Write barriers enforce proper on-disk ordering of journal commits, making volatile disk write caches safe to use, at some performance ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

Ideal Hardware for GNU/Linux Laptop

What's the best way to find a laptop with hardware that is amenable to installing and running GNU/Linux? I'm looking for something that will ideally work with GPL'd drivers and/or firmware. I took a ...
10
votes
8answers
559 views

How to read the messages during power off

I'm using Lubuntu 11.10. Every time I turn off my Sony Vaio I can read FAIL in red letters. But I can not read. I tried to take a photo, but not success. Well, I was not worrying about this but ...
8
votes
2answers
560 views

Any relatively new binary distro causes kernel panics

I'm having trouble using any relatively new binary distro on this machine. The last binary distro to work without issue was Ubuntu 8.04. I'm currently using Gentoo with the latest 3.2.1 kernel and ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Switch off syslog on laptop?

Is there any point in keeping logs on my laptop? This is not a server to debug problems via syslog. I occassionally want to look at dmesg | tail but that does not mean I need anything on disk. Wastes ...
7
votes
1answer
266 views

Power saving enables touchpad

I've installed power saving packages (bumblebee, laptop-mode-tools, and cpufreq) to my laptop with Debian Wheezy. Thanks to that I decrease power usage from 32W to 10W. But now I faced the issue that ...
7
votes
2answers
552 views

No sound when attached to docking station

I have been using Linux and Ubuntu only since the last two months on my (2006) Sony Vaio VGN A617S laptop which is going pretty well on Ubuntu 10.10. When installing Ubuntu audio did get installed ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Looking for ARM- or MIPS-based computer (netbook or similar size) to play with

I am bored and want to play with a netbook or other small computer. Can anyone recommend something? Requirements: ARM or MIPS CPU Can run Windows CE 6 and/or Linux (preferably dual-boot) Linux ...
6
votes
3answers
630 views

What distributions work out of the box with tablet computers?

I recently got my hands on a tablet computer. I tend to at least dual boot my systems. While doing some research about tablet computing and *nix most of the information was from the 2004-2008 era ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I make Powertop's suggestion's permanent?

When I run Powertop, and look at the Tunables screen, about twenty things are listed as Bad. I can toggle these to Good by pressing enter, and when I do so, projected battery lifetime doubles. How ...
5
votes
3answers
545 views

Advice on running a headless laptop

My current laptop is falling apart, specifically the screen hinges. Once (or ideally before) they break, I'd like to run the machine as a storage device. I strongly prefer using GUIs over CLI. Any ...
5
votes
1answer
266 views

Has anyone actually tested laptop battery life under different CPU governors?

In theory, switching from the ondemand governor to conservative should save battery life on laptops. However, I don't think I've ever seen any tests done to verify this or show how significant a ...
5
votes
1answer
6k views

Acer Aspire S3 or Asus Zenbook Ultrabook for running Linux (Ubuntu / Debian)

I'm curious if anyone has had success with running Ubuntu or Debian on the latest Ultrabooks. Specifically, the Acer Aspire s3 or the Asus Zenbook? I have had an Asus UL30a since they came out, ...
5
votes
1answer
254 views

How can I automatically update my monitor layout in XFCE?

I have a laptop that's normally docked to a large monitor. When docked, I want to use the large monitor as the primary display, with the laptop screen as a secondary display off to the right. When ...
5
votes
1answer
438 views

How can I save/restore window positions when I undock/dock my laptop?

I have a laptop with a docking station that has a large monitor connected to it. When the laptop is docked, I use the monitor as my primary display, and the laptop screen as a secondary display. ...
4
votes
2answers
201 views

WMI-based hotkeys on not working

On my Dell latitude e6540, the WMI hotkeys Fn+UP and Fn+DOWN are not working. I have all necesary modules compiled in my kernel: CONFIG_DELL_LAPTOP=m CONFIG_DELL_WMI=m CONFIG_DELL_WMI_AIO=m On the ...
4
votes
2answers
900 views

What steps do I need to take to successfully install multiple linux distros on my computer?

I want to put my old laptop to use and install several of the most popular Linux distros on it. I currently have Windows 7 on it. My question is: How do I create a set up such that when I start the ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

What are the ramifications of not having a valid partition table?

I recently upgraded my Ubuntu from 11.10 (Oneiric) to 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) on a Dell Inspiron B130 Laptop. When I run fdisk -l it says that my HD doesn't contain a valid partition table. I have ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

Connect 2 laptops together in dualhead mode?

This probably isn't possible, but I thought I should ask just incase I'm wrong. Is it possible to connect 2 or more laptops together and drag files/folders from one screen to the other as if you were ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Powertop tunables: what does it do?

I just installed Powertop 1.98 on my laptop (T420 + FC15). There is a section called "Tunables". Half of my devices show as Bad. I see I can toggle from Bad to Good? What this section is for? What ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

No sound on speakers, headphones ok

My Laptop (Dell Vostro 3300) internal speaker (yes, it's mono) is mute already for some time, and I was just patient with this problem, because the sound quality is ridiculous anyway and I always used ...
4
votes
1answer
30 views

How can I tell what woke my laptop from suspend? [duplicate]

On other operating systems, there are ways to see what process or event woke them from suspend. I leave my laptop often for multiple days in suspend, sometimes to find that it has woken itself up and ...
4
votes
1answer
366 views

If I close the laptop lid the next boot fails

I never shutdown my laptop. I use hibernate instead. Hibernate and suspend are working, but if I close the lid after clicking "Hibernate" the next boot will crash. I see a black screen that never goes ...
4
votes
1answer
294 views

Grub error 21 unless both sd card and live-usb are present

I'm not sure exactly how my EEE PC got to this point, but I have Backtrack (an Ubuntu-based distro) on the SD card, and a few different Ubuntu LiveUSB distros on different USB memory sticks. If both ...
3
votes
2answers
262 views

Linux flavor for beginners

I bought a new notebook (HP Probook 4530s - i5, 4gb RAM) which has just DOS on it. The idea is to install a flavor of Linux which can serve as an alternative to Windows for my regular work (software ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Does the Fn Lock (FnLk) on Thinkpad T440s work well with Linux?

I'm considering to buy a Lenovo Thinkpad T440s and to install Linux on it. According to the user guide and photos of T440s, to use F1-F12 you have to hold down the Fn key, or use Fn+Esc to enable "Fn ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How to extend my desktop to a second connected screen

I'm sure the answer to this question was already presented here in some where, but a quick search (here + Google) didn't find it. I connect a screen to my laptop, and it's blank. How do I extend my ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

How to disable energy saving on notebook screen when using Scientific Linux 6.3?

So there is a notebook that has Scientific Linux 6.3 installed with GNOME 2. If we don't press any button on the keyboard or move the mouse, the screen of it turns black. But: if we move the ...
3
votes
1answer
705 views

sysrq won't reboot with a keystroke, but will with echo “b” > /proc/sysrq-trigger

CentOS 6.2, 2.6.32-220.el6.x86_64 laptop. SysRQ is enabled for keyboard input, as is witnessed by: $ cat /proc/sys/kernel/sysrq 1 Common Magic SysRQ Keys are working such as alt-sysrq-h. However, ...
3
votes
6answers
14k views

Black screen at boot with Mint and Ubuntu live CDs

I just bought an HP pavillion g6 laptop, with the hope of installing Linux on it. I have now tried both Linux Mint (my first choice) and Ubuntu, and both simply give me a black screen from the moment ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

I can't adjust screen brightness of my laptop anymore

My laptop has keyboard buttons for adjusting screen brightness. After a Debian Squeeze re-installation, they don't work no more. [laptop] Acer TravelMate 6592; I use Fn< to decrease the brightness ...
3
votes
1answer
750 views

Why doesn't my laptop fan ever spin down?

My laptop fan is always active, even if CPU usage is really low (less than 5%). I have a Vaio laptop with Linux and Windows, but this problem only happens with Linux.
3
votes
1answer
247 views

Fn+F2 does not UNMUTE

I am using Lubuntu 11.10 (original, not Ubuntu + LXDE) on a Vaio VPCEG series. After install of some network manager, my key Fn+F2 got a different function. It's printed on it the blue symbol for ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Wireless mouse freezes frequently for a second on laptop, when on battery

I have Samsung NP360E5A-A07PL laptop with ELAN Smart-Pad (ETPS/2 Elantech Touchpad, according to gpointing-device-settings), and a Logitech M195 wireless mouse (with an USB receiver). On Linux ...
3
votes
1answer
758 views

Toggle going to sleep when laptop lid closes?

I'm running Fedora 15 Gnome on a laptop. I can't seem to find an option to toggle if the laptop goes to sleep when the lid closes. There are certain times where I want to put the laptop away or close ...
3
votes
1answer
610 views

Closing lid on Crunchbang

I'm running Crunchbang on a laptop. I can't seem to find an option to toggle if the laptop goes to sleep when the lid closes. There are certain times where I want to put the laptop away or close it ...
3
votes
1answer
252 views

Issue with laptop screen when opening lid

I use Archlinux, with acpid to configure the laptop lid behavior rather than systemd. Currently, I have it set so vbetool sets dpms off when the lid is closed, and reopening the lid sets it back on. ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How to configure Xorg for a dynamic dual monitor setup

I have a laptop usually (!) connected to an external monitor. Now I want to configure (if possible without any scripts and/or xrandr) xorg such that If the external monitor is connected AND the ...
3
votes
0answers
450 views

Dual monitor setup on a laptop: internal monitor peeking through on external display

Recently I began to use my laptop (Dell Inspiron N5020) with an external display. I use the displays side-by-side, internal on the left, external on the right. The problem is, however, that the ...
3
votes
0answers
1k views

Make laptop to wake up by keyboard and mouse

The only way I can wake up my laptop (HP Elitebook 8460p) from suspend is by pressing the power button. Neither the built-in keyboard/mouse nor the external ones (connected via USB) wake the laptop ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the Linux equivalent of the Windows registry?

I have a DVD+-RW drive that has quit working. Apparently many users of this laptop model experience the same problem under windows and are required to edit the registry to correct the problem. So ...
2
votes
3answers
381 views

What distro will use less resources for a laptop? [closed]

Currently I'm in doubt: I'm getting a new Dell Vostro 2520 with 4 gigs of memory. The problem is that I'm Ruby/ ex-PHP developer and may have to work with quite big projects. Probably simultaneously. ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

How can I fix/install/reinstall grub?

So I started out with a 250GB HDD, the stock drive from an EeePC 1015pem that I am trying to turn into a MintBook. The drive is physically operable, but all data has been nuked, including the old OS. ...
2
votes
1answer
151 views

How long system has been awake / running / since restart

First and foremost I want to know how long my laptop (unix, apple, OSX 10.9 mavericks) has been 'awake' (i.e. how long its been open, or since it last 'slept'). I' also be interested in how long ...
2
votes
1answer
406 views

How to check if my battery is healthy?

My Lenovo ThinkPad T61 is rather old, and a couple of years ago I had to replace the battery as the old one was dead. Now the replacement battery seems like dying a slow death, but I get conflicting ...
2
votes
1answer
503 views

My Laptop Fans drive me crazy on linux and much less battery

I have a Vaio VPCEA36FG laptop and both windows.8 and elementary OS (ubuntu 12.04 kernel) installed on it. when I am in windows everything is just fine, fans work perfectly efficient and my battery ...
2
votes
1answer
269 views

Does UEFI increase battery life?

I've heard about a better power management when using UEFI instead of BIOS. Is that true? It was about energy consumption being more efficient or something like that. If it is true, has the ...