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Thread: Laptop Help

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Dec 2010
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    Default Laptop Help

    With the world being what it is today, my newly teenage son needs a laptop for school work for at least the rest of the school year. Along with being able to use Zoom he would like to be able to dual boot it into some version of Linux, either Arch Linux or Ubuntu.
    I have an old Probook, at least 5-6 years old, with a i5-4200M, 16gb of ram and a fairly new 250gb Samsung SSD.
    With a fresh install of Window 10, would this fairly old laptop be able to handle the Linux and be usable to learn things like C++, HTML (5?), Kotlin and/or some other programming language(s).
    He's a bright kid, a ton of energy and not a ton of outlets. It was his idea as he has had some interest in it for some time plus he now has a lot of free time.

    Any suggestions, as this is far from my field of expertise, would be appreciated.
    Hey, did my first homebrew class. Check it out.

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    Colossus in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Feb 2007
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    Manchester, UK
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    Default Re: Laptop Help

    If it'll handle Windows 10 then it'll like as not handle Linux--the latter is generally less demanding on hardware than the former. The only thing you might potentially have issues with is the Wi-Fi adapter in the laptop, which may or may not work under Linux. You can test that out fairly easily, though--most Linux install media will boot up the OS first and allow you to install from that, and you can see quite quickly if there are hardware incompatibilities.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

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    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Laptop Help

    Yup, running Linux from a resoruce perspective is like never going to be the problem. The issues that my rise as factotum says are if certain pieces of hardware do not got proper driver support.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Laptop Help

    As an alternative to dual-booting, can I suggest that you install VirtualBox, and run the Linux/Unix installation as a Virtual Machine? This means that you can run both at the same time, and that things like backups can be handled from Windows alone, rather than having to mess around with the two distinct operating systems. It also gives some degree of protection against hardware clashes as it virtuallises the hardware.

    You can also spin up as many virtual boxes as you like with different operation systems on each. I've managed to spin up everything from MS-DOS to modern Centos environments. There are also a number of VM templates available with OS already installed, which can cut out some of the hassle in installation.

    VirtualBox is free as long as you don't install the Extension Pack (which is licenced, and Oracle will chase you for money if you use it). I use VirtualBox extensively and have not yet needed anything that is in the Extension Pack.

    It works well enough that I managed to get a full Kubernates cluster working using three virtual machines (A Master and two Worker nodes).

    (EDIT: There is other software to do the same sort of thing, and If you are using Windows 10 there is also Windows Subsystem for Linux as well)
    Last edited by Manga Shoggoth; 2020-04-26 at 05:24 AM.
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Laptop Help

    Thanks all, we'll play around with this today and see what we can do.
    Hey, did my first homebrew class. Check it out.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Telok's Avatar

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    Mar 2005
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    PRAK

    Default Re: Laptop Help

    Dual boot to ubuntu is pretty easy. A but of googling will find lots of instructions.

    One benefit is that, on the one I did for my wife, the WinOS can't see the parts of the HDD partitioned off for the nixOS. Came in useful when she picked up an email virus that locked the keyboard.

    About once a year I fire up the ubuntu side, update, and archive her docs/pics.
    Niven's Laws, #5
    If you've nothing to say, say it any way you like. Stylistic innovations, contorted story lines or none, exotic or genderless pronouns, internal inconsistencies, the recipe for preparing your lover as a cannibal banquet: feel free. If what you have to say is important and/or difficult to follow, use the simplest language possible. If the reader doesn't get it then, let it not be your fault.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Laptop Help

    Yup, we found instructions.
    Ubuntu is downloading and we'll download Rufus afterwards and go from there.
    Hey, did my first homebrew class. Check it out.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Laptop Help

    If you're using Ubuntu then you can actually get a version called WUBI which is *designed* to be installed on Windows. It avoids you having to repartition the hard drive by making the Ubuntu hard drive be a single file on the Windows filesystem, rather than a separate partition, but it still creates a full dual-boot setup.

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