Need help with Hardware Compatibility

rickapel

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Hello,
I’ve dabbled with Linux over a couple of decades but nowhere near an expert.
I’ve always installed on old hardware which was no big deal in the past if it didn’t work.

Thinking of buying a new refurbished Dell Lattitude 5431 for the sole purpose of installing
Kali Linux (Debian variant), and I’m looking for validation of my assumptions below. I believe this laptop is deemed Ubuntu compliant by Dell.

Tried calling Dell for assistance but sales support declined any advice since I was buying 3rd party.
Looking for any wisdom on a slant to use when calling them for compatibily concerns. They are generally very exceptional but maybe I went about it the wrong way.

My Questions
——————-

First of all, is this a proper set of questions for this forum?

If not, please give me suggestions as there are enough Lnux forums to make your head spin and I need to start somewhere to get some basic advice.


1) When checking for compliance, it would need to be for Debian compliance in my instance. Correct?

2) since the Dell Lattitude is a busness laptop, and subject to customizatio, I need to check for compliance for all individual internal components (i,e. Grapics card, SSD, netword card). Correct?

3) My understanding based on cursory investigation is that Dell supplies drivers on their site. My guess is that when using their drivers it would be limited to Ubuntu since that is what they support. Correct?

4) My reasoning for using Kali Linux is to get the plethora of tools ready to go rather than customizng another Linux distribution. Is there a better approach to take?

Thanks in advance for any help!
 


wizardfromoz

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G'day Rick and welcome to linux.org :) , from DownUnder.

I am about to sign off for my evening but I will provide a link regarding
Is there a better approach to take?

https://www.stationx.net/kali-linux-vs-parrot-os/

I would be inclined to go with Parrot, as it will likely get more help here.

Have a read and I will drop back in next 24.

Cheers

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 

Brickwizard

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Welcome to the forum,
You may or may not like my answers, but here goes.
Dell kit has always been one of the better brands for installing Linux on, but nothing is foolproof, you may need to install additional drivers for some components. But that's easy to guide you through. [I use Dell refurb lappies]
Kali, is an extremely cut down Linux distribution, before you consider using it, you need to be fully Linux experienced and terminal competent , PLEASE read the full Kali documentation before you commit yourself [and the first 2 post in the Kali forum of this site]
there are around 10 Pen-testing distributions available on Linux, and the "tools can be added/used on any Linux distribution you prefer. Some have friendlier forums than others, but all will expect you to know the basics and will not hold your hand, only point you in the right direction.
 

camtaf

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for the sole purpose of installing Kali Linux
....so you aren't a Linux guru, but you want to install a pro pen testing distro - why?

Start out with a general purpose distro, learn the ropes first, then if you still need a pro distro install one.....

......but most forums expect people using a pro/pen testing distro to know what they are doing.
 

Condobloke

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G'day Rick, Welcome to Linux.org

I would second the vote on Kali o_O...I wouldn't touch it with a forty foot pole.

Then again, you may have good reason for that choice. let us know.

When you say a 'plethora of tools'....which ones are you referring to?

I am sure you will be impressed with the willingness and friendliness displayed here.
 

kc1di

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Hello @rickapel,
Welcome to the Linux.org forum.
I will second all the doubts about Kali linux it not for a novice in linux. But I have had good success with Dell laptops and linux though I have no experience with the model you mentioned. Only problems I have ever had with dell was the wifi cards which often are broadcom chip sets and you'll need to have a Ethernet connection at first to install the correct driver for.
Again I would not recommend kali as a first Linux os. good luck with what ever you choose.
 
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rickapel

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....so you aren't a Linux guru, but you want to install a pro pen testing distro - why?

Start out with a general purpose distro, learn the ropes first, then if you still need a pro distro install one.....

......but most forums expect people using a pro/pen testing distro to know what they are doing.
I am a retired IT professional with a comp sci degree with over 40 years of experience on over 15 different platforms including MVS/OS390, Aix, DEC, EMC Celerra which is an DEC Ultrix System on the back end, SAN, Disaster Recovery, Networking, etc
My resume goes on forever but my experience with Linux is as a hobby so I'm trying to get answers while trying to be humble.
I've installed Kali Linux on an old laptop for a College Class and have used it with Nessus, Metasploit, Nmap in Sandboxes provided by the University.
Just trying to validate compatibility before I make a purchase. I plan on taking more advanced classes at the same aforementioned university.
 
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kc1di

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rickapel

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Kali should be no problem for you. It's hardware detection can be lacking at times though.
That dell is Ubuntu certified. only thing I can see that may be problem is the Nvidia graphics card
other than that should work fine.

Have fun and enjoy the journey!
Thanks for the reply! I noted the Ubuntu compliance early on but wasn't sure of cross distribution compliancy.
 
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rickapel

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G'day Rick and welcome to linux.org :) , from DownUnder.

I am about to sign off for my evening but I will provide a link regarding


https://www.stationx.net/kali-linux-vs-parrot-os/

I would be inclined to go with Parrot, as it will likely get more help here.

Have a read and I will drop back in next 24.

Cheers

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
G'day Chris,
Nice succinct article! I gave it a cursory look and will have to circle back and give it a more thorough look when I get a chance.

I'm in Cincinnati, Oh in the US and think I posted my first thread just about 4am as I couldn't sleep. Seems like I caught the attention of the other side of the world first.

Retired from IT, but conversing with the folks DownUnder was a regular thing when I was still working and pulling a 24 or 48 hr shift working on problems around the clock and working with tech folks on their normal shift in their respective time zones. Last time I was on the phone with an Aussie, I told him that I like Foster's beer, and he informed that they ship their garbage beer to the states, and they drank (from memory) "The Queen's Brew", whatever that was!
This was 15-20 years before the craft beer craze here.

Thanks for the reply,
Rick A
 
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kc1di

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Since debian Which kali is based on and ubuntu are both based on debian it should be an indicator that it will work.
However that being said you may have to do a little configuration to get everything working on kali.
 

Brickwizard

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Just trying to validate compatibility before I make a purchase.
I will just repeat part of my reply

Dell kit has always been one of the better brands for installing Linux on, but nothing is foolproof, you may need to install additional drivers for some components. But that's easy to guide you through. [I use Dell refurb lappies]
 
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rickapel

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I will just repeat part of my reply

Dell kit has always been one of the better brands for installing Linux on, but nothing is foolproof, you may need to install additional drivers for some components. But that's easy to guide you through. [I use Dell refurb lappies]
 
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rickapel

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Brickwizard,
Thanks for the Info! I should be good figuring out what drivers are needed. I pretty much understand that IT "validation" is always like urinating in a boot while the boot is oscillating in multiple directions and changing velocities!
 

Brickwizard

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Just to say you don't need all that power [i7-1270P] for running Linux unless you're gaming or film editing, you could pick up a 4 yr old dell and save some cash.
 
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rickapel

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Just to say you don't need all that power [i7-1270P] for running Linux unless you're gaming or film editing, you could pick up a 4 yr old dell
I agree that from a Linux bare metal perspective I wouldn't need this machine as I already have a handful of older laptops. I would be buying refurbished at a really good price, however, and may use this laptop to bring myself up to speed running Virtual Machines. Also will be potentially working with containers and MongoDB, all of which gooble up resources per my 1st hand perspective from a University Course I took over the Summer Semester.

Professionally, I've only worked with VMware ESXi a long time ago. As an individual I doubt if I can even remotely afford an expensive bare metal hypervisor like that seeing that I'm staring down retirement.
 

Brickwizard

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may use this laptop to bring myself up to speed running Virtual Machines.
Then the reasoning is fairly sound. In which case [it will cost a bit] get it with the ram upgrade to as much as you can afford [or as much as the MB & CPU can handle]
 

wizardfromoz

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I pretty much understand that IT "validation" is always like urinating in a boot while the boot is oscillating in multiple directions and changing velocities!

Don't urinate on your computer. The keys will get sticky and start to smell.

I have been using Dells for most of the last 20 years and find them perfect for Linux.

Current one is a 4 year old Dell Inspiron 5770 laptop with 16 GB RAM, and on it I run 77 Linux Distros from 4 of the main Linux "families" - Debian, Arch, RPM and Gentoo.

Wiz
 
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rickapel

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Don't urinate on your computer. The keys will get sticky and start to smell.

I have been using Dells for most of the last 20 years and find them perfect for Linux.

Current one is a 4 year old Dell Inspiron 5770 laptop with 16 GB RAM, and on it I run 77 Linux Distros from 4 of the main Linux "families" - Debian, Arch, RPM and Gentoo.

Wiz
Wiz,
I remember the first time that I realized that the Dell Business Laptop ”refurbished“ category from my preferred vendor was a mix of not only off-lease computers but included some units that were in practically brand new condition.

Also now glad to hear from all of you folks on the forum that my favorite brand is a goto choice for hard core multi-Distro Linux users also.
 

Brickwizard

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Ok Rick now your happy with your choice of Lappy, I will go back to your original question
1) When checking for compliance, it would need to be for Debian compliance in my instance. Correct?

2) since the Dell Lattitude is a busness laptop, and subject to customizatio, I need to check for compliance for all individual internal components (i,e. Grapics card, SSD, netword card). Correct?

3) My understanding based on cursory investigation is that Dell supplies drivers on their site. My guess is that when using their drivers it would be limited to Ubuntu since that is what they support. Correct?

4) My reasoning for using Kali Linux is to get the plethora of tools ready to go rather than customizng another Linux distribution. Is there a better approach to take?

[These are my personal opinions to your questions]
1] NO. as all Linux distributions are based on the Linux core, in most cases what will work for Debian will also work for Fedora/Slackware/Puppy, or any of the other 500 or so desktop builds.

2] With all equipment age plays a part, the newest machines may not have Linux drivers available for cutting edge new components, unless the component manufacturers supply non-free Linux drivers, then it can take up to 9 months for the boys and girls of the Kernel teams, to back engineer, test and release Linux FOSS drivers

3] Dell do make some linux drivers available on their site, but I can say that I have never used them, 90% of the drivers you will need with Linux are already in the Kernel driver source package or available in additional driver packs or safe 3rd party repositories.

4] Kali is not as user-friendly or as simple to install as some other Pen-testing distributions, and support on their web forum is lacking to say the least, if you look back at the questions asked over the last 6 months, you will see that around 20% only get a reply [this goes back to their attitude that anyone who wants to use Kali should be experienced enough to find & install any missing drivers or new applications they need without help.
The distribution I am gate-keeper and Janitor for [ otherwise known as Moderator ] will answer a much higher percentage of questions, But in line with all other Pen-testing distributions we do expect you to have sufficient working knowledge of Linux, you ask a question, and we may tell you what is wrong or guide you as to how and where to find a fix, BUT we do not hold your hand .
 

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