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What Linux Distro is best for the bizarre Sony VPC-Z2 laptops?

Sockheaven

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Hi All,
I stumbled on this forum while trying to find information about Linux distributions and hoped someone here would have some insight.

Back in 2011 I bought a Sony Z laptop (the last model before Sony sold off all their PC assets). It was a fantastic laptop and to be honest its been my backup PC since then, light portable and 'all the ports'.

Unfortunately 11 years later and it's just not quite the powerhouse it once was. It is currently running Windows 7, and here are the complications with migrating to Linux:

1) It has an onboard raid controller for the 2 SSDs (running RAID 0 at the moment - but its using some intel raid mode i think) - I have read that it is not natively supported by Linux

2) it has an external AMD GPU (and bluray writer in the external unit) that communicates over the unique optical LightPeak connection(Thunderbolt before it was over copper) - I think it may be one of the only commercial products that used the fiber optic one. This unique setup seems to not have wide support on Linux - I have read on a few posts of people figuring out how to get it to work as long as the docking station is connected at boot - but I couldn't find a guide that looked appropriate for my skill level.

3) not sure it matters but it has 2 batteries, an internal and an external skinny battery the laptop sits on. I wasn't sure if that was a normal item to support on linux distrubutions.

System Specs
Intel i7-2620M
8GB Ram
256gb SSD (2x 128GB in RAID 0)
Intel HD Graphics (internal)
AMD 6650M Graphics (external via LightPeak)

Questions:
Given those known issues - does anyone know of a Linux Distribution that may have native support for something like this, or if not native suppoort - a relatively friendly interface to add support for the GPU?

The only distributions I have used is Debian (whatever the latest recomended release that LinuxCNC recomends) so I am pretty ignorant of other options and the pros/cons of each distribution.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated! I'd love to breathe more life into this laptop since it is still impressively light and small, seems a waste to put it out to pasture.

Best Regards,
Paul
 


CrazedNerd

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It may be a niche/wierd brand, but the hardware looks pretty stand. The only way to know is to pick something and make it happen.
 

KGIII

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Last edited:

CrazedNerd

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I think the issue with the question above is that there isn't typically a specific distros for specific hardware, it's not all even, but that's typically not how they develop the distros...or at least that's how i understand it.
 

KGIII

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I think the issue with the question above is that there isn't typically a specific distros for specific hardware, it's not all even, but that's typically not how they develop the distros...or at least that's how i understand it.

Actually, I posted the wrong link.

THIS is the link I meant to post:

 

Brickwizard

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Linux's distributions are not equipment specific, your series 2 I7 is supported by the Linux kernel, the onboard intel graphics like wise,
with 8gb Ram, any distribution is available to you, download a few and try them out
 
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S

Sockheaven

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Thanks for these comments!
Let me review these posts and see what I come up with.

Best Regards,
Paul
 

wizardfromoz

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I stumbled on this forum

We apologise, I have to fix that front step.

Welcome to linux.org, Paul and keep us posted.

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 

wizardfromoz

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Paul does it have ports for USB stick/s?

Why I ask is that if you become acquainted with Ventoy, as a burning solution (it's cross-platform), once the Ventoy software is transferred to the stick, you can simply drag and drop downloaded Linux distro .isos onto it, and boot on it to try out the distro.

So with a 16 GB or 32 GB stick, you could put 5 - 10 isos on it, saves on burning, formatting and so on.

DistroWatch is the place to look for the distros.

Chris
 

Bartman

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I'm running Ubuntu 20.04.5 LTS on this 2010 desktop with a dual core processor and 4.0 gb of memory and integrated graphics.

Code:
[email protected]:~$ inxi -Fxz
System:    Kernel: 5.15.0-53-generic x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: N/A Desktop: Gnome 3.36.9
           Distro: Ubuntu 20.04.5 LTS (Focal Fossa)
Machine:   Type: Desktop System: Dell product: OptiPlex 380 v: N/A serial: <filter>
           Mobo: Dell model: 0HN7XN v: A01 serial: <filter> BIOS: Dell v: A02 date: 08/27/2010
CPU:       Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Core2 Duo E7500 bits: 64 type: MCP arch: Penryn rev: A
           L2 cache: 3072 KiB
           flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 11703
           Speed: 1812 MHz min/max: 1600/2933 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1857 2: 1857
Graphics:  Device-1: Intel 4 Series Integrated Graphics vendor: Dell driver: i915 v: kernel
           bus ID: 00:02.0
           Display: wayland server: X.Org 1.20.13 driver: i915 resolution: 1024x768~75Hz
           OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel G41 (ELK) v: 2.1 Mesa 21.2.6 direct render: Yes
Audio:     Device-1: Intel NM10/ICH7 Family High Definition Audio vendor: Dell driver: snd_hda_intel
           v: kernel bus ID: 00:1b.0
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.15.0-53-generic
Network:   Device-1: Broadcom and subsidiaries NetLink BCM57780 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe vendor: Dell
           driver: tg3 v: kernel port: ece0 bus ID: 02:00.0
           IF: enp2s0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 149.05 GiB used: 13.12 GiB (8.8%)
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Fujitsu model: MHW2160BH PL size: 149.05 GiB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 145.16 GiB used: 13.12 GiB (9.0%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda5
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 41.0 C mobo: N/A
           Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A
Info:      Processes: 183 Uptime: 14m Memory: 3.73 GiB used: 1.37 GiB (36.6%) Init: systemd
           runlevel: 5 Compilers: gcc: 9.4.0 Shell: bash v: 5.0.17 inxi: 3.0.38 [email protected]:~$

You should be able to run any Linux distro on that laptop with that hardware.
 
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