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#1 2018-10-26 18:06:45

crankypuss
Member
Registered: 2018-09-15
Posts: 51  

[solved] choosing a laptop to get Devuan up and running *on*

Is this a valid topic?  I don't want to go messin' with anybody's rules.  I'm going to assume it's valid, and if the/some admin wants to whack the post, or my fingers, that's as may be.

Here is the thing.  I'm getting tired of the current situation.  My Samsung Chromebook Pro seems to have shat upon its own download facility or something.  Some apps are not receiving touch input, for example
playstore and netflix.  I gotta have my netflix fix.  And my xps13 would have made a splendid laptop, if i had ever used it as one, but now the charging circuitry is bad.  This may be an excuse for money to be spent, lol!

So maybe it will be understandable if i consider the idea of buying a new small laptop and pitching this Chromebook pos.  It's marvelous hardware, battery life 10-12 hours actually delivered, but dang, ChromeOS is kind of a big fat lame-ass mess.  [Do we have language restrictions here?  Are we G-rated?]

I only use the thing for the Chrome browser, Google Keep, Google Docs, and Netflix; i like the builtin stylus Samsung provides, but ChromeOS takes liberties with the thing's operation based on how far back the lid is bent and suchlike which i think it ougn't.  Anyway, i need to be able to draw simple line diagrams and i really like the stylus aspect.

What do you folks think?  Have a favorite laptop/thing that handles basic engineering drawings and runs Devuan happily out of the box as a dual-boot or something?

I'm actually thinking about buying a Microsoft device because everybody else is migrating the tard generations to half a dozen keyboard layouts, and for a touch-typist that can be a real annoyance.  I want my goddamn DELETE KEY back!  That backspace-only stuff is straight from crApple and i don't like it.

Last edited by crankypuss (2019-04-15 13:59:44)

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#2 2018-10-26 18:37:38

HextorBRX
Member
Registered: 2017-08-20
Posts: 106  

Re: [solved] choosing a laptop to get Devuan up and running *on*

Hello

I can tell you one thing: do not buy a Microsoft Surface if that's what you mean? They have terrible Linux support and you might miss a few functionalities. You want Linux to work out of the box which is understandable so do not buy one of those.

Any computer will do as long as it does not have a dedicated graphic card. It makes things much easier after the installation. Also, I would not go for Devuan on a brand new laptop because there are distributions with 4.18 kernels now. I would install Gentoo with OpenRC and come back to Devuan when the next stable version is released.

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#3 2018-10-26 19:40:27

GNUser
Member
Registered: 2017-03-16
Posts: 463  

Re: [solved] choosing a laptop to get Devuan up and running *on*

If you are looking to go 100% free software (including graphics, WiFi, and even BIOS), then get a laptop with Libreboot. I run Devuan ASCII on a T400 with Libreboot and it runs great, 0 issues.

You can get a T400 (or an X200 if you are looking for something slightly smaller) from Technoethical: https://tehnoetic.com/

Vikings also carries the X200: https://store.vikings.net/libre-friendl … f-certfied

Last edited by GNUser (2018-10-26 19:42:53)

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#4 2018-10-26 19:40:47

crankypuss
Member
Registered: 2018-09-15
Posts: 51  

Re: [solved] choosing a laptop to get Devuan up and running *on*

Thing is, i'm really hooked on the drawing capabilities of Google Keep.  Is there anything like a "usable gimp with stylus support" available on linux?  Or laptops that are good for drawings?

Maybe i need to split off, get something like a Samsung Note for a phone, and a nice fast notebook for development.

Suggestions?

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#5 2018-10-26 19:47:50

GNUser
Member
Registered: 2017-03-16
Posts: 463  

Re: [solved] choosing a laptop to get Devuan up and running *on*

Sorry, can't help there. I have no idea how the Libreboot machines handle Google Keep. There is probably not much information on that, as most folks running Libreboot are probably not big fans of Google.

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#6 2018-10-26 20:27:52

dxrobertson
Member
Registered: 2017-05-04
Posts: 211  

Re: [solved] choosing a laptop to get Devuan up and running *on*

I think its important to determine the manufacture of each hardware device on a laptop thats going to run Linux, not just the laptop manufacturer itself.  Realize that the newest devices may not be supported yet.  I have had better luck with all Intel spec machines, but I am not getting the best of graphics.  Wifi seems to be the most troublesome device; my experience with Atheros has always worked out of the box, Realtek has been trouble, and broadcom works fine if you get the right non-free drivers.

One thing I do now is buy locally and make sure it can be returned if dissatisfied.  That way you can run a distro from CD/USB and test all the hardware out.

I recently bought an HP laptop that was all Intel specs.  But running Linux had no wifi.  Turns out the wireless card is not yet supported in the Debian/Devuan stable release.  But testing had an update that did support it.  Very happy with HP along with Intel specs; all works and well. HPs implementation of UEFI is very easy to work with.

I bought an Acer about a year ago.  Mostly happy with it except the "click pad" is crap; the cursor can randomly jump to a different location.  Acer UEFI implementation not nearly as clean as HPs.

Good luck with your purchase!

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#7 2018-10-26 20:44:37

HextorBRX
Member
Registered: 2017-08-20
Posts: 106  

Re: [solved] choosing a laptop to get Devuan up and running *on*

Suggestions?

similar to Microsoft Surface:
Acer switch alpha 12: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=acer+switch+ … _sb_noss_1
Samsung tab pro: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=samsung+tab+ … nb_sb_noss
The Samsung tab pro I tried in a store two years ago had a very uncomfortable keyboard.

similar to Google Drive - Drawings:
https://alternativeto.net/software/google-drawings/

Legacy causes less issues in my experience. Why did you choose UEFI dxrobertson?

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#8 2018-10-26 21:34:12

dxrobertson
Member
Registered: 2017-05-04
Posts: 211  

Re: [solved] choosing a laptop to get Devuan up and running *on*

HextorBRX wrote:

Why did you choose UEFI dxrobertson?


At first it was something I just wanted to try out to see how troublesome/not it would be.  Thinking legacy MBR may loose support someday, may as well start using UEFI now.  After struggling though my first install (mainly problems with Acers implementation), I have come to like UEFI. I like the ESP visible partition, the expandable number of partitions, and I guess the added security of having the EFI having some sort of control over whats allowed to boot.  The design is certainly more expandable than the limited MBR design.  Although I must admit MBR would still work fine on my current installs, but I do now prefer UEFI.

Last edited by dxrobertson (2018-10-26 21:40:19)

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#9 2018-10-26 22:18:17

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,638  

Re: [solved] choosing a laptop to get Devuan up and running *on*

@dxrobertson . . . I thought that the Intel *lake series of processors wouldn't boot linux.  I know someone who got bitten by that.  So something to research.  I have always used Intel and everything has worked.  But audio on my current chip required a rather fussy .asoundrc file to get it working.

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#10 2018-10-26 23:55:15

dxrobertson
Member
Registered: 2017-05-04
Posts: 211  

Re: [solved] choosing a laptop to get Devuan up and running *on*

golinux wrote:

@dxrobertson . . . I thought that the Intel *lake series of processors wouldn't boot linux.  I know someone who got bitten by that.  So something to research..

Yes; good to know.  This points out how important it is to know best you can the Linux support level of all the hardware of the particular machine you are purchasing.  And get to know the hardware before purchase.

Last edited by dxrobertson (2018-10-26 23:56:51)

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#11 2018-10-27 08:02:30

HextorBRX
Member
Registered: 2017-08-20
Posts: 106  

Re: [solved] choosing a laptop to get Devuan up and running *on*

Some Skylake processors such as Intel Core i5 6300HQ don't boot Linux either. I guess we should avoid everything that is Lake related.

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#12 2018-10-27 14:32:17

syscrh
Member
Registered: 2018-04-07
Posts: 1  

Re: [solved] choosing a laptop to get Devuan up and running *on*

As I have first-hand experience with Linux and 2-in-1 laptops, I think it might be useful to say a few words about my experiences.

I am currently using a trusty ThinkPad X201 Tablet (i7, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, WWAN, etc.) with Debian Buster (since Devuan Ascii/Debian Stretch still has this unfixed bug) and KDE Plasma Desktop. I am using the digitizer daily for note-taking and it works perfectly fine. In general this notebook is fully compatible with Linux. I have connected an AMD Sapphire RX560 eGPU via ExpressCard at home, to play some games in my free time (of course I am playing games that are running natively under Linux: SCS Software). This makes the X201 Tablet extremely flexible for every use-case I could think of.

Before switching to the X201 Tablet, I used several ThinkPad X230 Tablets, which I all sold, since they were way too fragile (there was always some plastic part breaking or some new spot in the LC display). In-between all those X230 Tablets I had several of the newer ThinkPad Yoga 14/460/370 devices. They all had some kind of defect (each of these new Yogas was sent in multiple times for repair right after getting it!). Anything newer than the Yoga 460 has a fingerprint reader that doesn't work with Linux, but besides that, everything - including the Wacom AES digitizer - worked fine with Linux (Debian Buster).
The Wacom AES digitzer has some issues in combination with VirtualBox though, so I wouldn't recommend it, if you are using Windows-only software for note-taking. For that I would recommend the older Wacom EMR digitizer, which most older convertibles and the current Fujitsu Lifebook T-series have.
I sold my ThinkPad Yoga laptops, since I got headaches while using them (probably caused by PWM dimming), they were way too fragile for daily useage and the issues with Wacom AES and VirtualBox were a major issue for my workflow.

For a very short time I also tried a Dell Venue 11 Pro out (I believe it had one of these "always on" Bay Trail Atom CPUs). This didn't work properly with Linux at all:
- I couldn't use the Synaptics digitizer, since it was unsupported by many programs (e. g. Xournal) and the active Dell pen drained the internal pen battery within two weeks (used it for a while with Windows), so keeping the pen alive was extremely expensive (AAAA batteries aren't exactly cheap ...)
- I couldn't decrypt the device, as there was no virtual keyboard available at the boot screen
- I couldn't unlock the device, since KDE decided at that time that a virtual keyboard on the new KDE 5 lockscreen wasn't all that important
- I couldn't put the tablet to sleep, since the Bay Trail sleep states were unsupported
- I believe WLAN didn't work either?
- ...
Besides all these negative aspects, there were some nice touches I encountered while using it with Windows: The Synaptics digitizer made my handwriting look natural (very smooth curves!) and battery life was amazing! Performance was sufficient for basic OneNote writing, but saving PDFs with PDF Annotator took quite a while.

That brings me to the software-side of things:
- As far as PDF annotating goes (I use checked ISO 216 A4 PDFs for writing), there is simply no useable software for Linux available. I use PDF Annotator for that, which I have installed in a stripped-down virtual machine with Windows 10.
- As far as painting/drawing/photo editing goes, there is for example Krita. It has great stylus support (with pressure sensitivity) and I can very much recommend it as a replacement for Photoshop/GIMP (and darktable as a perfect Lightroom replacement).

I hope this quick writeup helps you with your decision a bit. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. wink

Last edited by syscrh (2018-10-27 14:38:41)

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#13 2018-11-02 03:35:03

crankypuss
Member
Registered: 2018-09-15
Posts: 51  

Re: [solved] choosing a laptop to get Devuan up and running *on*

syscrh, thank you for the detailed information.  atm i'm trying to install ASCII on my xps-13, will see how that goes.  since the xps-13 supports touch, i'll try the graphics programs you mentioned.  as for the rest... first thing i have to do is get Chrome 70 installed on my samsung chromebook pro.  chromeOS is really not bad as far as functionality goes, but it has some issues.  we'll see how this install goes and i'll scratch my head lol.  thanks again.

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#14 2018-11-02 17:51:31

GNUser
Member
Registered: 2017-03-16
Posts: 463  

Re: [solved] choosing a laptop to get Devuan up and running *on*

syscrh wrote:

As far as PDF annotating goes...there is simply no useable software for Linux available.

Xournal supports PDF annotating and I find it perfectly usable (although my needs are admittedly simple).

https://www.linuxjournal.com/content/edit-pdfs-xournal

Last edited by GNUser (2018-11-02 17:51:55)

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#15 2018-11-03 08:43:12

spartrekus
Member
Registered: 2017-04-30
Posts: 132  

Re: [solved] choosing a laptop to get Devuan up and running *on*

ACER aspire ES15 with ES1-531-C6F1   works well , wifi, hardware,... with devuan. hardware supported with ascii devuan. All works after base min installation.

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#16 2019-04-15 13:56:45

crankypuss
Member
Registered: 2018-09-15
Posts: 51  

Re: [solved] choosing a laptop to get Devuan up and running *on*

As it turns out... i had previously purchased a refurbished Lenovo t510 laptop with Windows 10 pro installed on it.  Was going to use it as a DVD player since my grandson broke my old Sony player.  When i installed Devuan ascii "alongside" Windows, the partition table went unreadable... gparted couldn't properly read the partition table prior to this, and i suspect the refurb wasn't kosher from a software pov.  Having rendered it inoperable, i installed Devuan on it, and i'm quite happy with the device, Devuan had no trouble coping with any of its hardware (which i haven't fully checked out yet, it was just a DVD player for $95 after all).  I'm not sure if Devuan supports fingerprint recognition or not, it might be more convenient than typing a password to unlock the screensaver, but i don't feel like pressing my luck.

Thanks folks.  The Lenovo t510 is built big and solid, quite linux-hospitable.

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#17 2019-04-15 16:05:37

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 199  
Website

Re: [solved] choosing a laptop to get Devuan up and running *on*

crankypuss wrote:

I'm not sure if Devuan supports fingerprint recognition or not

They have fprintd in the repositories so it should do.

I would test it on my ThinkPad X201 but it pulls in polkit and there's no way I'm having that crap on my system big_smile


Fabricando fit faber

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