[K12OSN] OT: best distro for laptop

Petre Scheie petre at maltzen.net
Thu Jan 13 15:55:52 UTC 2005

I second the vote for Xandros.  I've got Mandrake 9.x on a Dell Latitude (CPx, I 
think), which I installed about a year and a half ago.  It works fine with the 
Cisco wireless card I have, but I could never get it to work with any others 
like SMC, D-Link or some Realktek-based cards.  On two other Dells (a CPx and a 
CPi) I put Xandros on, and it has seen every card I put in (be sure you do the 
Update System under Xandros Networks).  And it has a nice graphical indicator of 
the how much charge is left in the battery.  I'd switch the Mandrake to Xandros, 
but it's my wife's laptop and since it's not broken, she won't let me fix it. ;-)

I haven't looked at Mandrake 10 yet--I have the disks, I'm a long-time Mandrake 
Club member,just haven't had the time--so it may have gotten better about 
detecting various wireless cards.  But I also think, for a non-technical newbie 
such as you sister, the Xandros Network tool, which provides a 
click-and-install-it software service (most packages are free, but there are 
some you have to sign up for their pay-service to get), is a real gem.  And I 
think the Xandros file manager is the best bar none, as it automatically finds 
all Windows shares AND NFS shares.

And it's Debian-based.


Tim Kaldahl wrote:
> On Thursday 13 January 2005 03:04, Rob Owens wrote:
>>I'm asking this off-topic question because I trust the opinions of those on
>>this list.  The laptop in question is my sister's.  It's currently
>>dual-booting Windows XP and Mandrake 10.0, but the wireless config under
>>Windows ate itself.  If I can get wireless working under Linux, that's what
>>she'll use.  Mandrake is on there just because it's my default choice, but
>>I'm open to anything.
>>In particular I'm looking for good power management tools.  If the distro
>>comes standard with them, great.  Or if somebody could recommend an add-on
>>package that will work w/ Mandrake or something else, that would be great
>>too.  I'd like perhaps to have an ever-present battery monitor.  What else
>>is important?  (I don't own a laptop myself, so I don't really know what to
>>ask for).
>>Thanks for the suggestions.
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> I personally am running with both Vector Linux and Xandros (community edition) 
> on my laptop. The Xandros was easier to install, but I prefer the Vector 
> Linux SOHO package. Xandros installed on both my Compaq Presario 720 and my 
> Toshiba A15-S127. Both recognized my D-Link wireless card, but I had to 
> provide ssid and such under Xandros. Vector automatically connects and 
> obtains an address via DHCP. My access points are unprotected however, so I 
> don't know how Vector would perform under WEP. With FC2 on my Compaq I also 
> had to manually configure ssid and the rest. Xandros does seem to have some 
> pretty good power management, I haven't worried about it with Vector. 
> (Vector's apm monitor does seem to work on an old Acer laptop, but that is 
> pure experimentation)
> I still consider myself an absolute newb with Linux, so take this for what it 
> is worth and I hope that it helps.
> Tim Kaldahl
> Maplewood Academy
> I.T. Coordinator
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