Favorite UNIX-like OS for laptop

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The Lounge What is on Your Mind? Favorite UNIX-like OS for laptop
# 1  
Old 08-02-2009
Favorite UNIX-like OS for laptop

First, a hello to all of you out there. Quick introduction since I'm new here before I ask my question. I'm a Computer Science major who has an unnatural love of operating systems. Smilie In fact, I'm looking on building a new computer that will have enough RAM to let me have some fun with several VMs at once.

So, here's my question. I've been using Linux for just over a decade and, over the last few years, I've been playing with other operating systems (BSD, OpenSolaris, etc). Most of these have been on my desktop computer, but I'm looking for a good primary OS on my laptop. It's a Thinkpad T61 with an Intel x3100 for graphics and an Intel 3945 wireless card. I'd like to be able to have my hotkeys, since I've gotten spoiled with them, as well as the scrolling feature of my touchpad. I don't mind working a little to get those working, though. Also, I have my home wireless network secured via WPA2.

I just wanted to get some opinions of what other people have found works well on laptops. I've already started trying out a couple differnet OSs (and am leaning towards FreeBSD) on this thing, but I'd still like to hear what ya'll find works well. Thanks!
# 2  
Old 08-02-2009
I think you will find that Ubuntu is the favourite Unix/Linux OS for home use on desktops and laptops; in the professional/commercial realm I think you'll find very few Linux laptops but plenty of Unix/Linux servers.

I have used Ubuntu 8.04 onwards on an HP laptop with the wireless networking, video, sound and multimedia buttons across the top of the keyboard all working without any intervention from myself (apart from wireless network configuration of course.
# 3  
Old 08-02-2009
I'm not a big fan of Ubuntu. Tried it a few times. Right now, I have OpenSUSE installed, as I think it's one of the more nicely done distros. Arch is also installed. I also have FreeBSD, which I just installed. I have OpenSolaris installed, also, but haven't tackled WPA on it, yet.
# 4  
Old 08-03-2009

Where are you going with this thread in light of the rules you agreed to when you registered:

(8) No BSD vs. Linux vs. Windows or similar threads.
This forum is famous for not supporting "opinion wars"?

What do you hope to accomplish by violating the rules?
# 5  
Old 08-03-2009
I apologize if it seemed to be a x vs y thread. It is not, which is why I pointed out my enthusiasm for operating systems, as a whole with no favorite one. I was just hoping for input from people who may have tried multiple systems on laptops, especially my make and model.

I, personally, don't think there is any superior Operating System, except for what is best for a user's needs. This is the first forum I have come across that was a general UNIX-y forum, without a bias towards a particular system, so I felt it was the best place to ask.

I should have worded my OP differently. I'm not really looking for someone to tell me what to use or what is "best." I'm actually looking for input about how x OS is on laptops, with a focus on WPA, hotkeys, scrolling and other things that laptops have that you don't normally see with desktops (which is the only reason for this thread). I apologize for the bad wording in my OP.

As I said, I've been using Linux for many years and used other UNIX/UNIX-like systems on my desktop for a few years, but am hoping to do something new and different with my laptop...just because I like using different things, but since I use my laptop often, I'd like something that, once configured, works pretty well. I don't mind spending a week to configure and get set up (for instance, doing WPA or hotkey config by hand), but I'd like it to work pretty well once it does.

Again, I hope that I have better clarified my intent, here. I am NOT looking for a OS war. Just looking for input and this seemed the best forum to ask, since there is, I assume, a healthy mix of users.

BTW, I think this is an outstanding forum and would like to participate more. I hope that this first thread has not given you a negative perception of me.

EDIT: I should also mention that another reason I started this thread was because, perhaps, someone would have input on an OS I had not considered. For instance, they may tell me that xBSD is outstanding on the laptop, or a UNIX-like system I had never heard of, etc. It's easy for me to try with the big ones, but there are others I may not have even considered.

Last edited by ViperChief; 08-03-2009 at 07:45 AM.. Reason: Added something
# 6  
Old 08-03-2009
The problem with your question, as I see it, is that it is too general.

If you describe the applications you plan to run, or the IDE you plan to develop in, and other requirements (server requirements, client side only, etc), it is better.

Just asking for "what is the best Linux for my laptop" is too vague, if you ask me, and the question does not have much value. Some people develop in Java, others do not. Some folks are LAMP developers, others are simply web surfers. Some folks like MS Office on the laptop, others like .....

It just goes on and on....

If you want a meaningful answer to such a question, you need to be very specific, otherwise you are simply asking for a bunch of opinions about "world peace" or "religion" etc.

Be specific.
# 7  
Old 08-05-2009
Well, my questions was regarding how successful has someone been with x operating system on a laptop when you take into account the extras that come with laptop, such as the media keys hotkeys for volume control and back and forth keys that I have on my Thinkpad T61. Also, getting the scrolling "feature" (some people don't see it as a feature, I have learned) of my touchpad to work. It's been hit and miss with getting it working in some systems with a manual config, which I don't mind doing.

As for what I'll be doing...mostly C++ and a little Python development, but I usually just use vim and a compiler from the CLI. I'd also like to do work with VMs and regular web serving.
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