How many of you dual boot/run Linux on your Thinkpad?

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by csclifford, Jan 2, 2012.

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  1. rumbero

    rumbero Notebook Enthusiast

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    While i am used to apply Debian/unstable as my daily workhorse since so many years, and have also played around a while in parallel with some Ubuntu variations, I do like to have a look beyond the borders and check out the Redhat based offerings. As the rpm-based package management is also a very common standard, and since anything Redhat is very relevant in professional computing environments, it is a pleasure to learn about this quite different Linux distribution approach.

    At work we manage computing clusters of hundreds of machines, but these are using an already very old and ancient, by today's standards, Redhat environment, for which any update to a newer release would be a major disruption in production continuity. Privately, on my Thinkpad, i regularily try out Fedora almost every time a new release becomes available, alas only in disguise as a virtual machine. I have also installed a recent Scientific Linux in a virtual machine, as this is, just like CentOS, based on the same sources as the actual Redhat distribution.

    If i wouldn't already be so happy with and accustomed to Debian, something like Fedora or Scientific Linux would be my preferred choice of Linux.
     
  2. MAA83

    MAA83 Notebook Evangelist

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    If you really want to learn the in and outs of linux and enjoy a steeper (and more pure) learning curve than ubuntu, try out Arch. Check out their forums/wiki page. Very knowledgeable community and very good resources. I had a tough time with it at first and redid about 7 or 8 clean installs to really play with it.. and that was just installing! You build up instead of getting a pre-packaged distro with a DWM already packaged and a GUI installer. I think they have the best package manager in pacman I have ever used in any distro. I strongly suggest learning to use the command line interface. Not the entire time, but at least at the beginning, especially if you want to learn what's going on behind the scenes. I use Arch with OpenBox as I'm all about the minimalism and low resource usage. The opposite would be say, mint/ubuntu with KDE on top instead. Also take a look at distrowatch.com , it has a pretty comprehensive list and brief summary and links to various distro's. A few others I enjoyed were Slackware, and Gentoo was interesting but I'll be damned if I spend more hours compiling than using. If you're real baller look into LFS / Linux from scratch. There is no distro, just rediculous documentation on how to obtain source and build up to a pre-x environment.

    I really really like the init.rd boot system of arch and how the major config is in etc/rc.conf - all in one place! which is derived from BSD, and after reading alot about BSD, it seems to be more organized? Logical? rather than the compiled chaos of linux. Chaos isn't the right word, but most non-commercial distro's really have a re-packaged feel to them. It's all just, pieces put together. A kernel from here, a ls from there, a ps from another place, etc etc. And that's linux's strength, it's adaptability and you can literally plug and play any package/binary/source you want on there. The traditional BSD's seem more scaled back, with slower release dates and more centralized development, and more comprehensive base systems that are less "plug and play" ie:

    but the downside is their repos aren't as cutting edge, especially compared to Arch. Arch can be bleeding edge. Whereas debian, is more tested and stable. But nearly all distros will have a stable and testing/unstable repo for you to draw from. Debian might be a good intermediate step, as ubuntu is pretty much a super fancy debian. You should take a look at some BSD's, I plan on trying out FreeBSD, but there are also more user friendly versions like PC-BSD and Desktop-BSD. OpenBSD is supposed to be the most secure OS in "the world". (Hearsay, not experience).

    Check em all out! Ubuntu is only the beginning. I praise ubuntu for helping masses of people to discover linux, and for providing a fully functioning free operating system to those who can't afford windows volume licensing or individual windows machines. But as far as learning linux via ubuntu, you can, but it doesn't encourage you to IMO.
     
  3. vinuneuro

    vinuneuro Notebook Virtuoso

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    I like the current Linux distros as a novice user. They've come a long way since I first tried Linux 8 years ago. The dealer breaker is that power consumption is terrible compared to Windows.
     
  4. AndreR

    AndreR Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have Ubuntu 10.10 installed with the beautiful Soothe theme installed. Make sure you have latest Firefox installed or Chrome to get as smooth experience as possible.

    However, Linux does not have as good power management as Windows 7, Wine (which ables you to run Windows compatible software) has some problems and the Wacom drivers are terrible! (And you loose all the goodies with the ThinkVantage suit)
     
  5. vinuneuro

    vinuneuro Notebook Virtuoso

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    Great theme!
     
  6. csclifford

    csclifford Notebook Evangelist

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    I might have to check out that theme, it looks pretty nice.

    And it is a shame about the power management on Linux. While in Windows 7 I'm getting around 7 hours, and on Linux I'm getting about half of that.

    Anyone have any good power management tips?
     
  7. rumbero

    rumbero Notebook Enthusiast

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    While i don't really care about power management issues since my Thinkpad hardly ever leaves the desk, people are reporting wonders about tlp, whose author is a very dedicated Thinkpad user:

    Code:
    [root]~ # apt-cache show tlp
    Package: tlp
    Priority: optional
    Section: utils
    Installed-Size: 264
    Maintainer: Thomas Koch <linrunner@gmx.net>
    Architecture: all
    Version: 0.3.5-2
    Recommends: ethtool, wireless-tools
    Suggests: smartmontools
    Depends: pm-utils
    Conflicts: pm-utils-powersave-policy
    Filename: pool/main/t/tlp/tlp_0.3.5-2_all.deb
    Size: 27932
    MD5sum: 0d82fab16354f87e35250e2d705a76ef
    SHA1: 376f3791f8f7ae64af393889f529fa3bd55b3189
    Description: Saves battery power on laptops
     TLP is a collection of scripts enabling implementing
     power save features for laptop hardware.
    
    launchpad.net/~linrunner/+archive/tlp/+packages
    github.com/linrunner/TLP/wiki/TLP-Linux-Advanced-Power-Management
    wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Tlp
    de.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/TLP (if you can read German)
    thinkpad-wiki.org/TLP_-_Linux_Stromsparen (if you can read German)
     
  8. ConnectDon

    ConnectDon Notebook Consultant

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    From [Phoronix] The Leading Cause Of The Recent Linux Kernel Power Problems

    From [Phoronix] Surprising Power Consumption Of Ubuntu 11.04 vs. Windows 7

     
  9. Palmately

    Palmately Notebook Enthusiast

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    I've been running kubuntu exclusively on my x200t for the past year since I purchased it. *buntu has the best tablet support that I've come across in an out-of-the-box distro. I recently reinstalled Windows 7 on my T510 since I had been switching hard drives around. I couldn't believe how much more intrusive it was compared to linux. The updates...oh the updates! When I turn my computer on, I intend to use it. Having Windows continuously reboot my computer at startup to install updates was too much for me. I have since put Kubuntu back on it.
     
  10. AndreR

    AndreR Notebook Enthusiast

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    Windows 7 actually runs real nice and yes, the first time you will have to do an couple of updates and reboots.

    But I wonder how the wacom digitizer works for you? This is the biggest problem for me because of the extreme sensitivity.
     
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