Jump to content

How to Get a Linux PC


Recommended Posts

raymac46

Let me count the ways. You may have some additional ways I haven't used.

 

  1. Repurpose an existing Windows machine you already own. This is how I got started (Dell Dimension 4100 desktop) and I have done it recently with a Lenovo laptop. Remove Windows, install your own favorite distro.
  2. Dumpster diving. I got my first Linux laptop that way - a 1997 Compaq from the recycler. It was junk but I got it working with Vector Linux.
  3. Buy a preinstalled Linux machine. Only did this once with a 32 bit 1st gen Acer netbook and to be honest I wasn't impressed with the result. I had to remove the default Linux because it was so badly configured. No wonder Linux failed on the first netbooks.
  4. Donations. I have received many obsolete Windows machines over the years and either kept them (Toshiba netbook) or passed them on after refurbishment. This usually means installing an SSD nowadays before putting Linux on the unit. I refurbed one particularly nice desktop and 7 years later upgraded it again.
  5. Off lease. A super way to get a good basic machine at a great price. Have done it several times, mostly Dell or Lenovo commercial grade stuff. They came with Windows but I removed it of course.
  6. Buy a clone. Did this once - had the maker build it so that it booted to the BIOS setup, then installed Linux. This unit is 12 years old now and still works great.
  7. Build your own. This is the optimal way if you want a new desktop. You can choose your hardware for best results.
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
raymac46

I have got the best results from off lease and build your own. However it took me a few years to get the courage to build a desktop. My clone machine is good but I was lucky and got a legendary AMD Athlon X2 in it.

Off lease stuff around this area is usually Intel Centrino tech so it's perfect for Linux. Desktops usually need a wifi card but by now I know what'll work best.

Much as I appreciate the growing number of OEM Linux offerings, they are hard to find in Canada and very expensive. Besides I don't necessarily want to use the preinstalled distro, so it's better to save a few bucks and just remove Windows.

 

Edited by raymac46
  • +1 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
V.T. Eric Layton
1 hour ago, raymac46 said:

legendary AMD Athlon X2

 

Ah... the memories. That was one helluva AMD processor. I think I still have a couple out in my shop somewhere. I used it in my ol' ericsbane04 machine about 10 years ago.

 

ericsbane04:

Cooler Master Chassis Mid Tower Elite 334 Nvidia Edition ATX Casing
Cooler Master Extreme Power Plus - 650watt power supply
GigaByte GA-M55plus-S3G socket AM2 motherboard
AMD Athlon64 X2 4000+
Nvidia chipset: GeForce 6100 Northbridge, nForce 430 Southbridge
4Gig Centon DDR2 800 PC-6400 RAM DDR 800 (slots 1 & 2)
2Gig Minix DDR2 800 PC-6400 RAM DDR 666 (slots 3 & 4)
IDE 0 Master: Western Digital 250Gig
IDE 0 Slave: ZIP 100
SATA 0: Western Digital 250Gig
SATA 1: Western Digital 250Gig
IDE 1 Master: HP DVD 840
IDE 1 Slave: LG CDRW/DVDROM GCC-4481B
Standard 3.5" floppy
Six (6) cooling fans
=====
HP Deskjet 842C printer
HP Scanjet 3400 flatbed scanner
HP W1907 LCD monitor
Altec Lansing (front) + Harman Kardon (rear) speakers
Dell USB keyboard
Logitech Trackball mouse

Updated 09 April 2011

 

Heh! Still had the Zip100 and the floppy in that machine. Fun times! :)

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
V.T. Eric Layton

I have to say here, I have NEVER in my entire computering career bought a brand new anything ... desktop, laptop, etc.

  • Like 1
  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
V.T. Eric Layton

Oh, don't misunderstand... I've definitely bought mobos, psus, cpus, HDDs, RAM, etc. throughout the years to build my systems. I just have never bought a brand new desktop or laptop computer. One of these days, though, I might buy me a nice new HP laptop. Although, my g-friend is saving up to buy herself a new one, so I may inherit her old HP, which really isn't that old (3 years). I'll put Slack on that baby and be Rockin' and Rollin'! :)

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
securitybreach
2 hours ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

Oh, don't misunderstand... I've definitely bought mobos, psus, cpus, HDDs, RAM, etc. throughout the years to build my systems. I just have never bought a brand new desktop or laptop computer. One of these days, though, I might buy me a nice new HP laptop. Although, my g-friend is saving up to buy herself a new one, so I may inherit her old HP, which really isn't that old (3 years). I'll put Slack on that baby and be Rockin' and Rollin'! :)

 

Ah, I've never bought a new desktop as a prebuilt couldn't be as nice as what I build. I thought that you meant that you hadnt built a pc with new parts or something. HP machines are nice, we only deal with HP hardware at work. Of course, they are the business class versions (Elitebook and Zbooks).

  • +1 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
raymac46

If you do not intend to use Windows I see a clear difference between building a new desktop (which would not have Windows preinstalled) and buying a new laptop (which conceivably would.)

I'd prefer to get a used laptop which might even have an obsolete version of Windows on it. You are going to blow it off anyway. That seems like less of a waste to me.

My Thinkpad was originally set up for Windows 7. It was upgraded to Windows 10 but I don't think Lenovo guaranteed to support that O/S. It would probably have been fine but I wasn't going to use it anyway.

  • Agree 1
  • +1 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Hedon James

I've mostly repurposed old machines with Linux.  Things went alot smoother when I learned to research the hardware BEFORE I installed Linux, LOL!  But I've also built from scratch and, TBH, that has been my best computer....EVER.  It's been a 100% linux machine since inception.  Getting a little dated now with its AMD FX-6200 Bulldozer chip, but I put 16GB RAM in there and it's still a beast, despite it's age.  And I bought an OEM with linux pre-installed.  Bought a Gorillabox from the US maker Chimpbox, with PCLOS pre-installed.  I blew off PCLOS and put my custom Lubuntu re-mix on there and its a dedicated media server/KODI machine.  I download/rip/convert movies on that, and manage my video library.  I had Gorillabox squeeze in a dvd writer to that shoebox machine, and I've been VERY impressed and pleased with it.  I can't remember the specs in that, but I do know it's an AMD CPU and I bumped the RAM to 8GB.  I think I spent $450 on that, even with the RAM and dvd upgrades.  I would absolutely do that again!

  • Agree 1
  • +1 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
securitybreach
4 hours ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

Hmm... if work ever offers you a pallet of older ones, be sure to let me know. ;)

 

Unfortunately, we have a disposal company that in turn resells them on ebay and such. If you search ebay for 'used business class' laptops, you will see lots of high end ones with good specs and tons of accessories like docks and such available for around $200. Most of the machines used in the corporate world never leave the docking stations at work so they are in great shape. Companies have to dump them every three years due to negotiate warranties. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
saturnian

I've never built a computer. I've gone with new, refurbished, and used. Everything here has been what you'd call low-priced "budget" computers; I've never had anything nice like a ThinkPad. But it's great to be able to slap Linux on a cheap computer and get down to business -- that's one of the most beautiful things about this operating system! I haven't used Windows at home since XP days; I always wipe the drive and install Linux almost as soon as I get my hands on a new (or new to me) machine.

  • +1 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
raymac46

I've had my share of Linux gaffes. My daughter had a Dell netbook with the only Intel video chip that didn't work well with Linux (GMA 500 Poulsbo.) That had a Broadcom wifi chip too. 

AMD graphics gave me fits back in the day but they have that nicely sorted now - at least on older hardware. That said, I'll check with Phoronix before buying the latest Ryzen APUs.

I do not require the latest and greatest hardware to run Linux, although I must admit my wifi adapters could use a refresh where I can do that.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
V.T. Eric Layton
2 hours ago, raymac46 said:

That had a Broadcom wifi chip too.

 

Broadcom carp has always been problematic in lappies when installing Slackware. I know the trick these days, though... thanks to ol' Urmas. ;)

  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...