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Which Linux is right for my hardware?

Link to this post 10 Oct 11

Good Afternoon All!

So, I finally bought a new machine!!! After a lot of research, I decided that a Dell XPS 15 laptop was what I wanted. I would of liked to buy another mac, but they're way too expensive. I've heard some really great things about Linux but before I installed just any distro, I thought I should try and figure out which distro was right for me. Is it Ubuntu, Fedora, etc? Here are the specs for the computer I bought:

1 2nd generation Intel Core i7-2630QM processor 2.00 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 2.90 GHz
1 6GB,DDR3,2 DIMM
1 Backlit Internal Keyboard - English
1 15.6HD TLF WLED LCD L50xX
1 NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M 1GB graphics with Optimus
1 750GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
1 Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit Service Pack 1, English, No Media
1 Tray Load Blu-ray Triple Writer (reads and writes CDs, DVDs, BDs)
1 JBL 2.1 Speakers with Waves Maxx Audio 3
1 Intel Centrino Wireless-N 1030 and Bluetooth 3.0
1 90 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
1 Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Student, English
1 2.0MP HD webcam with single digital mic (H.264)
1 Mini DisplayPort (1),
2 USB 3.0
1 USB 2.0 (eSATA/powershare combo)
1 Integrated network connector 10/100/1000 LAN (RJ45)
1 HDMI 1.4
1 Audio jacks: headphone (2 total) with SPID/F support (1), 1 Mic-in
1 9-in-1 media card reader Supporting SD, SDIO, SDXC, SDHC, MS, MS Pro, MMC, MSXC, xD


My concern is that I want to make sure everything will work and that the distro will be user friendly and intuitive. I also want to make sure the bluetooth, blu-ray player, webcam, etc, all work before I make myself regret what I've done. So, which Linux do you think is right for my hardware? Your thoughts and insight will be very appreciated!

Link to this post 12 Oct 11

The bluetooth and wifi may be unsupported and require extra firmware and/or drivers to get them to work properly.
As for the blueray, blueray is not currently support on Linux-based operating systems, so you will have to wait for a proper hack to be completed before it can be play blue-ray disks.

Your hardware can run any distro you want, If you want something easy and well supported distro then I recommend Fedora. You can perform a google search for the computer model and the keyword fedora to see if other fedora users with that laptop have experienced hardware problems.

Link to this post 15 Oct 11

THanks mfillpot for your reply. I was thinking about Fedora, but I heard from various people Fedora isn't good for beginners. Do you think for a first time linux users that Fedora is better than Ubuntu?

Link to this post 15 Oct 11

Many people recommend Ubuntu and for a while I had recommended it, but with their current state and the recent new release it may be good to wait a little while. Fedora is a good distro which is based off of Red Hat, so it has many of the commercial firmware and drivers available. As for the user interface, you can choose to use an window manager that you wish and the application management and configuration tools are nearly the same as with ubuntu.

Link to this post 17 Oct 11

For your first time integrating into linux, use Zorin OS 5 which is based on ubuntu 11.04. It supports most current devices, media codec installed for audio and video playback, and a windows 7 desktop interface design for easy navigation. Ubuntu is compatible with windows so you will find using Zorin a lot like using windows.

The only device that may not be supported is the blue-play DVD player. Your system will work fine with linux. You have the option to install linux alongside windows giving you the option to switch between linux for windows at will. If you want to make sure Zorin OS or any flavor of linux works on your system try out the Zorin OS liveCD without installing. Just boot from your CD-ROM drive.

Link to this post 17 Oct 11

Also note that USB 3.0 is still problematic no matter what distro you are using. In Fedora, access to USB 3.0 is disabled by default due to conflicts within the kernel. There is a way of enabling it, but, then you are exposted to other problems. Depending on what hardware you are using and what apps you are running, you might not run into these conflicts, but, you should check the "Known Problems" of whatever distro you choose to make sure USB 3.0 is available in the version you wish to install. I assume it was a big enough problem that Fedora choose to keep it disabled until the kernel conflicts are resolved.

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