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I am considering getting a notebook computer to install Linux on. How to I choose one so that I know its hardware will be supported by my Linux installation? Do I have to manually figure out what each component of a notebook is, then manually check to see if each one is supported by Linux? By the way, does the Linux distro matter in this case, or is it just kernel support that matters?

Some hardware features that are important to me (this is certainly NOT exhaustive list): effective power management, full graphics support (hardware acceleration, etc. etc.), fully utilised wireless, etc.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The Linux on Laptops website lists a huge range of notebook computers on which Linux is known to run.

Some Linux distributions have an associated list of certified hardware. For example Ubuntu and RedHat

Some notebook manufacturers also list approved Linux distributions which they support on their hardware. e.g. HP, Dell, Dell, Toshiba - However you will often find that other unlisted distributions work equally well.

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Is this a comprehensive and often updated site so that I can look through a computer manufacturer's website right now, pick a few models, and be able to find it in Linux on Laptops? Thanks for the link! –  hpy Feb 13 '11 at 0:29
    
The Linux on Laptops site is updated by users, so you have a good chance of finding a popular make and model. You are also likely to find useful information about drivers and installation techniques. –  RedGrittyBrick Feb 13 '11 at 0:31
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