LINUX-INCOMPATIBLE HARDWARE

sp331yi

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IME some models (if not all) of Toshiba and Samsung laptops are POS when it comes to GNU/Linux -- to be avoided unless one is a masochist. (I totally expect responses to this! LOL).

We need to begin a list of LINUX-INCOMPATIBLE HARDWARE (or Not Worth the Trouble!). We could even expand it to include other hardware in the same category -- like Hitachi hard drives. I just want to see what forum users' experiences in this regard may be.

Tried to access Hardware Compatiblility List at another forum and tried searching for things like "hardware incompatible with Linux," "Linux incompatible hardware" and such but could achieve no negative lists.

Everyone want to tell you things like, 'almost any modern hardware is compatible with Linux," but we know this is BS. So, let's hear the the negative side of hardware experiences, LinuxOrg Members!
 


Condobloke

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I agree.

The List would be perhaps a first....but totally necessary to save the same old people voicing the ins and outs of the various pieces of hardware and brands of pc's etc etc and tying us mere mortals up in knots trying to figure out the way forward if in fact there is one.

Complex is the first word that springs to mind....because a great number of pc's require some "input" to have Linux work easily.....so a column in the List showing whether or not "input" is required for a particular pc...?

Maybe this is next to impossible.....difficult at best and more than time consuming

Possibly a list that shows the PC's and the hardware that are NOT linux friendly...?
 

jglen490

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Sometimes it's easier to list what does work, and sometimes it's easier to list what doesn't work. Then there are the cases that show up in both lists ;)
 

jglen490

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The only Acer product I own is the monitor I'm looking at right now. But, I would avoid Acer laptops, simply because in researching and participating in many forums, more Acer laptops show up as problem children than not.

If a user is looking for model ABC of some laptop or motherboard and whether it works on distro XYZ of Linux, search Google with something like
model ABC linux XYZ
. That will give you a good start, then confirm that specific information on a forum like linux.org or the specific distro's forum.

There are just too many variables without narrowing down the parameters.
 
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sp331yi

sp331yi

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There are just too many variables without narrowing down the parameters.
Correct, jglen490! This why I ask individual members for their experiences.
For problem Laptops, we now have

ASUS
TOSHIBA
SAMSUNG

Thanks for contributing!

BTW, to find out which hardware components are in your machine, look at this old LinuxOrg post
 

dos2unix

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I don't know about Toshiba or Samsung. But I have ran Linux on at least 3 different Asus laptops without much trouble.
 
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sp331yi

sp331yi

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We need to break it down by Models, then. Which good ones have you encountered?

In my experience, Model U50F ran good for a while, then presented a weird ethernet problem, for example
 

Vrai

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But, I would avoid Acer laptops, simply because in researching and participating in many forums, more Acer laptops show up as problem children than not.
When I started reading the first post in this thread I thought to myself perhaps the list should be called "What Didn't Work For Me"!
And then I read @jglen490 post above and that reinforced my first thought. I have two Acer laptops and Linux runs perfectly on them!
We need to break it down by Models, then
With so many variations of laptops - even within brands and models - that it is very difficult to make broad sweeping statements of what does not work. Often you have to get right down to the component or firmware level to identify a misbehaving piece of equipment.
 
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sp331yi

sp331yi

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With so many variations of laptops - even within brands and models - that it is very difficult to make broad sweeping statements of what does not work. Often you have to get right down to the component or firmware level to identify a misbehaving piece of equipment.
Hence, this thread.
Broaden one's thinking! Then narrow it down. . .
--------------------------------------------------------
Inductive vs Deductive Reasoning
--------------------------------------------------------
so, let's start with EXPERIENCES, then.
 
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70 Tango Charlie

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I have two Acer laptops and they both work fine with Linux.
On one I have 14 different distributions. It's my test 'laboratory' cp.
I use a HP Pavilion as my main cp. Linux Mint 19.3 works very well on it.
It seems that it would be much easier to do what this site recommends:
rather than concentrating on the negative side.
Just some rambling thoughts of an ......
Old Geezer
TC
 
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sp331yi

sp331yi

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@70 Tango Charlie -- I read that in my research and did not find it too helpful, but thanks as it will be a reference for someone!

What are the Asus models that work for you?

Negative is positive if it saves some newbie from spending money on somethinbg that will not work with any GNU/Linux distribution!

@Vrai again -- complexity is the name of the game nowadays!
 

dos2unix

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I have 8 computers here at my house. 7 of them run linux.
In the last 20 years I've probably installed Linux on over 30 computers
in my home (or for friends) and to tell the truth, I've never had any of them not work with Linux. Maybe 3 or 4 of them didn't like the WiFi chipset, but that was usually the only thing that didn't work. (Usually fixed by buying a USB adapter).

The Asus laptops I've used ...
G531GT
Zenbook UX581
FX705DT
ROG Gsx751

I'm currently running it on a Dell Precision 7510 and a Lenovo Carbon X1.
 

jglen490

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I think it is entirely too difficult to generalize on any certain computer or component builder, because in most cases the negatives are subjective - as in my observation. Which is why it is much better to start with the interwebs and look for specific models and specific distro versions. Then once you have the big rock, you can chip away until you find the small case that either works or doesn't.

That's pretty much what I did when I built my desktop a few years ago. Gigabyte motherboards in general came up as positive in my search, and the model I picked, while not a performance monster, has been super stable. On the other hand, I got my Toshiba A135 laptop after my son moved on to something else. It was in great condition, and although it is a 32 bit machine, it works well on most anything I throw at it - it is my playground, and not a primary unit. So that is an exception to what may be on the list right now.

So if a potential new user doesn't want to do that process, then we should, rather than throw some generalized list, that we squabble about, at someone who is totally uncertain to begin with.
 
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sp331yi

sp331yi

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@jglen490 -- why do you insist on making generalized statements assuming this thread is looking to the general? On the contrary, it seeks specifics. Subjectivity is the name of the game here because its is based on an individual's unique experiences with the hardware he or she has on hand!

I guess some people are simply unable to think inductively. 'Tis a shame but not my problem.

Please continue, valuable individual LinuxOrg members, with your inputs!

Thanks. dos2unix!
 

Nik-Ken-Bah

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LINUX-INCOMPATIBLE HARDWARE
A lot of the so called compatibility of hardware boils down to the fact that most hardware manufacturers just aim at the MS market not the Linux market as well when it comes to their drivers.
As hardware is controlled by the drivers, the hardware does what the driver tells it to do.
Point in case HP provides Linux drivers for its devices.
I have a machine that I built from scratch five years ago AsRock motherboard FM2A88X Pro3+, AMD 64 bit processor, GeForce GTX 750 Ti video card and a ASUS Xonar DSX sound card set up primarily in the beginning to just run Vindows. The sound card has an excellent GUI for controlling it but only in Vindows.
When I finally decided on the distro that suited me I had no troubles with the distro when I loaded the on trouble I had was external to the machine and a router cured that problem.
Which by the way is based on a Linux distro but it does not have a Linux GUI to set it up and make alterations to it when required they use a MS based GUI to do that that is why my HP laptop has Vindows on it so that I can make alterations on it when required.
So it may be more prudent to create a list of manufacturers that do not or who only create limited Linux based drivers for their hardware.
 

jglen490

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@jglen490 -- why do you insist on making generalized statements assuming this thread is looking to the general? On the contrary, it seeks specifics. Subjectivity is the name of the game here because its is based on an individual's unique experiences with the hardware he or she has on hand!

I guess some people are simply unable to think inductively. 'Tis a shame but not my problem.

Please continue, valuable individual LinuxOrg members, with your inputs!

Thanks. dos2unix!
I'm speaking in generalities, because that's all that has been said in this entire thread. And while I appreciate your critique, it is again a generality, "I guess some people are simply unable to think inductively."

In describing what needs to happen, I was trying to drive people's thinking from the general, where we MUST start, to the specific. That is the process. So saying that Asus sucks is nearly as bad as saying an Asus G531GT (with thanks, and apologies, to dos2unix) works without specifying what versions or distros of Linux work on it. It does make a difference. While Kubuntu, Slackware, and Arch are all Linux, they also have quite different approaches, which is why there are distro wars - all the time, on every forum I've been a member of, and currently am a member of.

If you have ever seen the Linux family tree, now add to that all the combinations of hardware that do or do not work, and you will see the futility of creating a simple list of what computer do (not) work with Linux.

The only solution is driving through each difficulty with understanding to complexity of the inputs when people use laptops, with or without customizations, and desktops that may be commodity units or ground up custom concoctions - not to mention the variety of Linux resources available including grow your own or standard distros with customizations.
 

dos2unix

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Asus G531GT (with thanks, and apologies, to dos2unix) works without specifying what versions or distros of Linux work on it. It does make a difference. While Kubuntu, Slackware, and Arch are all Linux, they also have quite different approaches,

I have to agree with you here.

First, there is the whole "secure boot" thing. I disagree with this whole idea, but it exists anyway.
Microsoft wanted to make sure everything could "only" run Windows.

Big corporate data centers were starting run Linux. (Even now Windows is less than 5% of the server market). Hardware companies were seeing lost revenue, because they were buying from other manufacturers that allowed them to run Linux. So they allowed the "big boys" to buy secure boot kernel shims. First it was just Redhat. Then the other big players (Ubuntu and SuSE) bought in also.

I don't know what all distro's support "secure boot" these days. The only ones I've tried in secure boot mode are fedora, centOS, redhat, oracle unbreakable, scientific, SuSE-enterprise, openSuSE, proxmox-PVE and ubuntu-server. These have worked for me.

It's been about 6 years, since I've tried Mandriva, FreeBSD, Mint, and Slackware. At the time, it seems none of those worked in "secure boot" mode. (You had to buy the shim license from Microsoft).

Then we have the whole legacy BIOS vs UEFI thing. I started seeing EFI systems about 1997.
I had to look up when things started switching over to UEFI. It looks like it was first released in 2004.


By 2007 UEFI was pretty mainstream. Most manufacturers were supporting it.
One thing to keep in mind about UEFI versions, in particular 2.1 and 2.8. These had major changes
that make some things incompatible with them. Even today, some distro's do not support UEFI, but most do.

Then there are the chipsets themselves. Almost everything made by AMD or Intel has worked for me.
Broadcom 43xx chipsets were notorious for not working in Linux for several years.
Some realTek sound cards were a problem there for a year or two. Radeon and nVidia cards were a hassle on fedora for a while.

But lately, linux has gotten pretty stable and easy to install. In the last 5 years or so, I don't think there's been any computer I tried that hasn't worked. The honest truth is... installing Linux these days is just as easy as installing Windows. Maybe easier in some cases.
 
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jglen490

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As for secure boot, the reality is that Microsoft backed down on their insistence that it be a requirement of UEFI. The security key still exists in UEFI, and many current Linux distros include a binary blob that includes a security key derived from the Microsoft key. However, and this is really important, very few motherboard makers, including laptops, actually require that UEFI boot in Secure mode. YOU CAN disable Secure boot in most UEFI instantiations, and Linux will work just as well either way. That some motherboard makers, especially in the laptop realm, either don't allow disabling Secure boot or make selection of that option difficult, is probably the biggest impediment to many Linux installs.

I disabled Secure boot on my desktop unit a couple of years ago and have done more than one clean install of Kubuntu since then. I will be doing a clean install of Kubuntu 20.04 LTS shortly. And it's not just Kubuntu that allows this, there are others beyond the *ubuntu family. I've heard of some components, assuming hardware, that have firmware that may depend on Secure boot being enabled. O.K., no big deal enable Secure boot, if you want to or need to, but in nearly all cases no Secure boot and no Legacy or CSM, and SATA set to AHCI will result in a successful single boot arrangement of Linux. That may not be the case with dual boot, you'll just have to work with that. In general(ity), I avoid dual boot questions, it's a needless annoyance (in my opinion), and only gives an excuse to use Linux as a toy instead of the serious OS that it is.

End of soap box.
 
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