a "mini" computer dedicated for Linux?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by Splych, Nov 29, 2012.

Nov 29, 2012
  1. Splych
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    Member Splych GBAtemp's Lurker

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    Recently I've begun programming this year for a course I am taking [nothing fancy; c#]. Realizing that sometimes I'd like to do programming elsewhere, that would mean I'd need a laptop. I'd want to get a fullsized laptop [no netbooks] but at the same time not be too expensive [$300-400 max]. Any recommendations, or can I really just choose any old laptop, install a Linux distro on it [looking at Arch Linux], just do programming on it?

    Also, was considering making it the primary OS as well, so are there any people who use Linux as their primary OS on either a laptop or desktop?
     
  2. Tom Bombadildo

    Contributor Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    Pretty much any laptop will do, look around for some specials or something and you might be able to nab a semi decent one.

    Most Linux distros as a primary OS work great, I'd see no reason not to use it as one, quite a few people do
     
  3. Ron

    Member Ron somehow a weeb now.

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    Coding, especially learning C# will be a bitch to do on Linux. C# is a .NET language, which means it's best used for Windows. Linux usually uses C or C++. Java is also sufficient, and is multiplatform.

    Basically, you will not be able to learn C# properly on Linux. Sure, you can use Mono, but I hardly suggest starting C# on Mono rather than native .NET libraries. Once you get to an advanced level, I guess you could learn the limitations and intricacies of C# on Linux through Mono.

    While Linux is an awesome OS, it's not the ideal OS for your purposes at the moment.
     
  4. Tom Bombadildo

    Contributor Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    Haha oops, didn't read the OP enough.

    I'd suggest dual-booting Windows and Linux if you want to play around with Linux bad enough.
     
  5. Splych
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    Member Splych GBAtemp's Lurker

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    Well that's unfortunate. I read about Mono as well, but the limitations are quite harsh. I've found numerous laptops going for $300-400 however I feel I may just install Windows 7 and use that rather than whatever the stock OS is [appears to be XP and Vista often]. Are there any languages that can be programmed on Linux w/ minimal issues? I'd like to know this so maybe I can expand on that language eventually.

    Just one last thing, are there any news on new mobile processors? If so, it would be good to know before purchasing a laptop.
     
  6. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvertâ„¢

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    C, C++, Java, interpreted languages like Python, Ruby, PHP, Perl, etc...
    If you wouldn't attach "(c) Microsoft" at the end of a language's name, it's generally cross-platform.

    Linux used to be really touchy on laptops, but lately...
    1. Most hardware companies finally came to the conclusion that withholding data on their hardware from Linux users was also withholding their devices, and Linux users would go purchase other hardware (non-broadcom wifi chipsets, etc.) and so became a little more agreeable to get more sales. This was generally the case with things like sound cards, and although "sound issues" is still a phrase most Linux gurus online fear, it's not nearly as bad as it was a few years back.

    2. In the cases where companies are still holding out, Linux users have said "fuck it" and reverse-engineered things, not even caring about possible legal issue (since reverse-engineering for the purpose of interoperability is legal, and in most cases it's been publicly shown that the manufacturers are purposely withholding the required info). This was generally the case with wireless chipsets.

    3. In cases where companies will release Linux drivers and tools, but not open-source them, Linux users have said "fuck it" and included the tools anyways, figuring that a working system is better than an open-source-only system. This mainly refers to video drivers from Nvidia and such.

    4. Many ACPI bugs were fixed, and funnily enough some of them were mistakes in Linux itself, not just other companies going out of spec... but this means way more laptop systems that the OS itself will run on without crashing or being unable to use hardware features like sleep.

    So while, years ago, I would have linked to one of the websites out there that kept info on which Linux distros worked well on which laptop models, you'll rarely run into issues nowadays.

    Though is Linux is going to be a secondary experimentation and development platform, I'd say just use a VM... but make sure that you're getting a computer that has a CPU that support hardware virtualization, so that Linux in the VM runs fullspeed.
     
  7. jurassicplayer

    Member jurassicplayer Completionist Themer

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    Dualbooting Linux/Win7 on my laptop (Win7 just for LoL and doujin games because I don't want to deal with the wonders of WINE). For the most part, there isn't really anything to miss going with linux main (I am using Arch xD), though I don't code anything or have very professional things that I need my computer to do so ymmv.
    Video editors are kind of lacking, but supposedly there is Lightworks coming and NovaCut which will eventually come....hopefully.
    Also there are less options for cute desktop mascots, BUT through much search, I found a shimeji err...engine?...which I find more awesome than Macopix-fork and ninix-aya. All the linux distros that I've tried seem to work well enough (some have strange issues that I never cared to figure out).
     
  8. Ericthegreat

    Member Ericthegreat Not New Member

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    Anything really will run ubuntu.... At least it used to before the new "fancy" updates. If you got an old pc or laptop I bet it will run it tho.
     
  9. Splych
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    Member Splych GBAtemp's Lurker

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    Gave it some more thought, did my research on distros for linux and have decided to put it on hold. Maybe purchasing a laptop won't be to continue doing programming outside of home but to run linux as a primary OS will be for another time.

    thanks for the tips!
     
  10. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvertâ„¢

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    Get a VM and fullscreen it, dude. Then you'll be able to mess around safely.
     
  11. 59672

    Member 59672 GBAtemp Regular

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    There is a way with some companies to get a refund on the preinstalled windows, some companies will do it easily, some will not even let you. A quick search should give a list of companies that allow you to do such. One thing to note is that when you get the laptop, you would have to make sure not to format the hard drive right away and not to go through with the windows setup. Once you go through with the install there's no way of getting the money back. Also very useful if your university or college has premium dreamspark membership so that you can (legally) download and install windows onto it after for free. Why pay more when you don't have to?
     

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