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Re: Choosing Hardware

> Video:

Some of the recent intel chipsets are not supported well in etch but are ok 
with lenny.


Recent ati cards are a real trap. There aren't even free 2D drivers available 
for them due to some problems with an NDA, apparently. It's worthwhile 
looking at them very carefully if you want to avoid fglrx. There are some 
experimental drivers around that are slowly coming up to speed for these 
cards, but they are certainly not in Debian atm. 

> Wireless:

As you said, intel is pretty easy to use. 2100 and 2200 seem fine but I don't 
know there are too many of them around any more. 3945 is supported well with 
etch but you need to run the non-free regulatory daemon which you may not 
want to do. There is a new driver for 3945 and 4695 (the iwl driver) which 
will not need the regulatory daemon as all that has been pushed into the 
firmware. It's microcode (firmware) is in sid and the driver is destined for 
mainline kernel in the next release or so. Those who use it say it's 
wonderful, but I gather it's not as easy to get working as this page implies:



> Audio:

the Intel High Definition audio (module snd_hda_intel) is a fast moving 
target, it seems. Support has improved vastly in recent kernels. There are 
some known problems with a realtek card that uses that chipset that I know 

> Others? I think just about any Ethernet (wired) NIC works fine, right?

seems so. We never hear about problems with them so they must ;)

> Do I need to worry about power management, 

finding out about whether suspend-to-disk or -ram works beforehand can be a 
good idea. Some drivers don't like suspend (fglrx used not to but seems to 
these days, ipw3945 comes up a bit groggy but reinserting the module fixes 

> Anything else I need to look out for?

Check out some installation reports on either tuxmobil.org or 
linux-laptops.net for the machines you are looking at. But beware that 
manufacturers go and change the internal bits and give them the same model 
number just to be difficult so look at the exact hardware that's being 

good luck!


Stuart Prescott                 www.nanoNANOnano.net

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