Are there any computers nowadays which don't play well with Linux?

Hi, I just ask this question although it is too late for me already: I bought a new computer for my wife without looking around to see if it will play nice with Linux. The one I bought for her is a:
GIGABYTE BRIX GB-BKi3A-7100, Barebone SLIG78
Crucial MX300, 525 GB SSD IMKMCS2
Corsair 8 GB DDR4-2133 Kit,
The box is just 11.3 x 11.9 x 4.6cm ( 4.44" x 4.68" x 1.8" for those of you not being able to use the metric system), it has an i3-7100 processor with an integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU. I added 8GB of DDR4 ram and a 525GB m2.SSD. This combination makes it lightning fast. The SSD is a 2 x 5 cm PCB, compared to the old 3.5: disk it is nothing, still caries the same amount of data and is much, much faster.
Temperatures internally are great, no heat is being produced at all, or is softly blown out by the small fan which rotates at very low speed.
To top it off I installed Manjaro KDE 17.01 on it. My wife used to use Mint 17.3 but on her old PC it was getting slower so i thought why not go all the way: a fast computer deserves a fast OS.

To return to the original question: does anyone of you have any problems when starting to use a new computer? Is there still some hardware around which does not like Linux?

Heh, just read these threads !!

Almost any NEW Nvidia and some AMD video cards cause heart ache in most Linux distros, they are just more frequent in Manjaro due to rolling release and more frequent changes.

In addition there was a bunch of issues around SkyLake chipset that really didn’t work right until Kernel 4.9, and I’m not sure it is totally fixed yet.

There are constantly a few wifi chips that cause problems that occur mostly on newer machines - mostly laptops.

On the other hand, a lot of laptops are so horribly under-provisioned as far as processor speed that you end up having to switch to Linux just to get any performance at all out of them. They are DOG slow on windows, and quite acceptable on Linux.

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I too built a little computer around a Mini-ITX form factor.
I originally planned it as a firewall computer (sought out dual gigabyte nics, etc). Fanless.

Like yours it was too much machine to waste on a firewall, its running like a scalded cat. Very nice machine.

The only consideration in these things is that vendors often sell them with under-rated power supplies. Always buy-UP with power supplies. The first time you plug in something like an external USB DVD drive you will over run the power supply, and bad things happen.

Mine is still running HDD, but it boots in 18 seconds, and I never shut it off anyway. Intel graphics so its trouble free.

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That’s why you wait a little until you buy new hardware, that was the case 10 years ago, and is still the case now. When the 1070 came out it wasn’t supported by the then current Manjaro nvidia drivers. Two months later, everything was okay. Patience is a virtue.

I NEVER had any major problems with nvidia drivers in over 10 years. So I wouldn’t generalise. The problem with nvidia blobs is that they are mostly closed source (signed firmware). But at least they work and give good performance.

WiFi is the most problematic, followed by proprietary hardware often found in laptops, like fingerprint readers. Laptops in general are more problematic than desktop computers, with all their radios, cams, and of course dual graphics.

Rule of thumb: check compatibility with Linux before you buy. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work - again, especially with laptops.

Or you could just buy a laptop from System76 and other vendors that support Linux.

That’s why a new ThinkPad is on my wishlist :slight_smile:

System76 has some cool an affordable offers, but it’s American, so not the best bet for us Europeans as they only have US keyboard layouts.

Believe it or not: the new computer is too fast.
From pushing the on button to seeing Chrome and Thunderbird on screen is a bout 10 seconds. That is nice, except that the network (wired) is not yet up and running. So pages are requested but not loaded.
Now I know I can use a script with a sleep function to make sure the 2 programs are started a bit later, but is there also a better way to make sure the programs are started after the network has come up? Is there for example a way to check if the connection is available?

As soon as the network comes up Tbird will connect. Maybe Chrome will need another mouse click or something.

How are you starting these program such that they start automatically on boot? Are you just leaving them running or having KDE restore your prior session or what?

These sound like horrible problems to have. I’m sure I could provide a service to the community and take that thing off your hands. :wink:

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Talk to the wife, it’s her computer.

I start the 2 programs using KDE’s autostart. It does say there:Run on: startup. Can’t find a way to change that.

Quite a few computers don’t play nicely with Linux. Many specialty-hardware components don’t have device drivers for linux, and that’s the primary issue.
Microsoft has a trademark for ‘designed for windows’ or some such, which indicates to potential buyers they needn’t be quite as cautious. Linux counterpart is the plethora of forums of people working on Linux drivers/workarounds.
Microsoft has a new designation to be aware of, Windows Signature Edition, which I originally read as the certificates were locked to Microsoft (likely for extra security) but I find current comments implying its not true.
I’ve been on laptops for the past 10 years, so that’s where most of my understanding is based upon.
historically, I prefer Lenovo T and X series, but they support Linux on a large variety of devices.
https://support.lenovo.com/ca/en/solutions/pd031426

Have dreamt for a few years of using a Razed Blade, but they use very proprietary ms-driver-based components in their machines.

Something to be said about a seasoned user and his hardware. Myself I don’t need or want the latest and greatest computer or hardware for the exact reasons being mentioned here.

My latest find which was left for dead on the side of the road in a trash pile.
Of course I grabbed it and cleaned it up and a few sticks of memory and a HDD from my spare parts stash. Installed Manjaro on it and here we are.

Dell Optiplex 380 (08/27/2010).
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E7500 Wolfdale 3MB Cache, 2.93 GHz, 1066 MHz FSB.
DDR3 Memory 4.0 GB 1066 MHz FSB.
Graphics Card [AMD/ATI] RV516 [Radeon X1300/X1550 Series].
Hard Drive 160 GB SATA.

That looks like a serviceable office machine depending on your needs. How well does it perform?

For what I’m using it for web surfing / video streaming basic PC stuff it does great and I was needing a newer desktop anyway.
No complaints as I only have some time in it.

With the exception of a few webcams, I have not run into any hardware issues in years. Linux has come a long way since the older days when you were basically a slave to Microsoft or Apple. These days drivers usually are either included by the manufacturer or quickly outsources via open source.

I do not deny that video cards sometimes take a few months before some of them finally are stable on Linux. If you’re willing to wait 3 or 4 months though (on average), you’ll soon find that everything has usually been resolved. Of course, I can see how that may be a problem for those folks who have that “must have it now” mentality.

That is why i prefer older desktops computers and hardware as for the most it always works.
I have run into the occasional graphics card that just refused to run.
Most of my stock is 10 years old to present date but does what i need it to do.

For newer machines that just work - laptops with pure intel (no discrete gpu stuff ) and a not-shitty wireless card can be found rather easily. From those XPS dell developer models all the way to entry-level rigs. But as noted here - beyond that is usually not much of an issue either. The wifi cards are almost the most important/common thing to check these days.

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I’m currently running my Manjaro partition on an HP Omen 15 which originally was designed as a “gaming” laptop with a small system SSD and a large 2 TB HDD, of course pre-configured with Windows. When I bought the laptop back in September of last year, I spent about 2 weeks removing Windows 10 and re-configuring it to be a nice Linux box. I don’t game, but bought the “gaming PC” just because I liked its specs, Intel I7/6700 HQ, pretty fancy NVIDIA graphics processor, smallish 128 GB SSD, and 16 GB memory. Finally, I ended up installing 3 systems to the SSD - Manjaro, Mint, and Mageia. I had to incorporate ReFind in order to get the triple boot to work - sort of a jury rig that I could probably correct, but it works for my purposes, so I’m not “fixing” it. Each system has “/home” directories on the big HDD, so I can take advantage of the SSD for speed without worrying about storage limitations. This is a Wonderful box for Virtualbox installations, which can all run from the big HDD. Anyway, after mucking with the EFI stuff and using ReFind, it’s a nice little hobby machine. It was worth the effort.

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I’ve never understood the attraction to small SSDs. For me I want ALL of the system on an SSD and only bulk storage on the HDD. I don’t want to install tiny system partitions because I’ve been bitten too many times in the past with those.

At least you can choose to dump one or more ot the distros you crammed onto 128gig, when you find things grow over time, but even that won’w work well due to the need to re-partition.

Of course I don’t understand the need for large 2 TB hard drives either, especially not in a laptop. I would invest in 2TB NAS, and move all that big stuff onto the NAS rather than carry all those eggs in one basket.

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I still use 40gb and 80gb new old stock hard drives and that is plenty big enough for my use.
I’m not impressed at all with SSD.
I’m not impressed with much new stuff anyway.:wink:

I am. I put a Samsung 850 Pro (Sada III interface) which I got at a much better price than shown on that page, into an old-ish Dell laptop and its like night and day. Imagine how much faster it would bee if it had a suitable PCIe slot available.

I’ve babied this machine since I bought it, and its been linux all its life. An SSD is the best upgrade you can do for machine - any machine.

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