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SUSE on Dell Latitude D505

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SUSE

The quest to get GNU/Linux to run well on a laptop has been a long running challenge. In this piece, Ed looks at his success with OpenSUSE on a Dell Latitude laptop.

With openSUSE 10.3, using the KDE disk (but having tested the GNOME interface, too), the boot and install was pretty typical of SUSE any other time. I recommend you set the resolution to 1024x768 during at the first boot screen. One critical gotcha: While SaX is probing the hardware, do not touch the touchpad, or the machine will lock up and you'll have to reboot and start over.

Video: The default intel driver is faulty. Once everything is installed and running, you really should change to the i810 driver. Otherwise you'll run into display corruption errors, especially in conjunction with the suspend modes. This requires editing your /etc/X11/xorg.conf by hand, and you'll find the driver section near the bottom of the file.

A particular problem with Dell BIOS is the A10 and A11 BIOS updates cripple something in Linux. Most people have display problems, primarily a section of screen at the top either black or garbled, with the display offset downward by that band. The last known good BIOS update is A09. Even if it requires a downgrade, you may want to consider this.

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If you don’t posses the right knowledge & the experience, then finding the best Linux laptop can be a daunting task. And thus you can easily end-up with something that looks great, features great performance, but struggles to cope with ‘Linux’, shame! So, as a RedHat Certified Engineer, the author & the webmaster of this blog, and as a ‘Linux’ user with 14+ years of experience, I used all my knowledge to recommend to you a couple of laptops that I personally guarantee will let you run ‘Linux’ with ease. After 20+ hours of research (carefully looking through the hardware details & reading user feedback) I chose Dell XP S9360-3591-SLV, at the top of the line. If you want a laptop that’s equipped with modern features & excellent performance that ‘just works’ with Linux, then this is your best pick. It’s well built (aluminium chassis), lightweight (2.7 lb), features powerful hardware, long battery life, includes an excellent 13.3 inch Gorilla Glass touchscreen with 3200×1800 QHD resolution which should give you excellently sharp images without making anything too small & difficult to read, a good & roomy track-pad (earlier versions had a few issues with it, but now they seem to be gone) with rubber-like palm rest area and a good keyboard (the key travel is not deep, but it’s a very think laptop so…) with Backlit, two USB 3.0 ports. Most importantly, two of the most common elements of a laptop that can give ‘Linux’ user a headache, the wireless adapter & the GPU (yes the Intel HD Graphics 620 can play 4K videos at 60fps), they are both super compatible with ‘Linux’ on this Dell. Read more