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I have tried and tested Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Arch Linux and Windows. Recently I have come across Open SUSE.

I was wondering what are some Linux distros that are specially designed for laptops.

I am using HP Envy 4 Ultrabook - 1046 TX

Arch, while running good on my desktop, creates a lot of complications on my laptop and gives poor battery life even with all tunables turned good with powertop and laptop mode tools installed and configured well.

The same thing is with Ubuntu and derivatives - very poor battery life no matter what I do (I have tried almost all the tricks).

I don't like Ubuntu over Arch anyway because Arch is minimal and highly customizable which is a thing that I've always loved about Arch.

Recently I have come across Open SUSE and it works fine as a live USB OS, but I haven't installed it yet. Another thing that I would like to mention is that I tried 32bit of Open SUSE while my device is built on 64 bit architecture. So perhaps lowing down the process size made it seem so good at the beginning but might cause problems later.

I am looking for something with good battery life without compromising graphics (say for example KDE with Open SUSE), and also good software support.

A friend of mine told me that rpm based distros have lesser free software than deb based. Honestly, it's something hard to believe. Linux community is very wide and I don't think whether I use rpm based or deb based or even Arch, in most cases I'm going to get almost all the software that I need.

Anyway, battery life and good GUI (I like KDE) are most important for me. So any suggestions?

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closed as off-topic by Shekhar, Mokubai, teylyn, Tog, Dave M Jul 31 '13 at 16:00

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My guess is that your laptop has switchable graphics and can choose which graphics card to use. This is handled far better under windows and often affects battery life. All distros will have this problem until Linux support for switchable graphics improves. – terdon Jul 30 '13 at 14:38
It seems like any answer you will recieve will be based on pure opinion. – Ramhound Jul 30 '13 at 15:17
@terdon I too believe that the problem is with switchable graphics. A friend just recommended that I use Bumblebee. Have you ever heard of it? Do you think it's a good idea to use such things? – Chetan Bhasin Jul 30 '13 at 18:05
Yes I have heard of it, but I have no experience with it so no opinion either. By the way, it is open SUSE not SUES. – terdon Jul 30 '13 at 18:05
@Ramhound Actually, that wouldn't it's hard to say that it's just an opinion. The world of Linux is pretty big, and there is something for almost every need. So I think if someone has already been here and found an easy and clean solution then it could be great to have it shared. – Chetan Bhasin Jul 30 '13 at 18:07

If your issue is battery life, I would say your problem is more about finding the correct desktop environment than the correct distribution. You may try to use a lighter one than KDE.

I was a KDE user too, and then I switched to XFCE, that is quite customizable and pretty light, and not too unusual for a KDE user. I gained almost one hour of battery duration with that, and by taking care of other little things like reducing screen luminosity.

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Seems like a good idea. However, I'll still try doing a full install of Open SUES on my laptop and see if it performs the same way as it does in the live mode. If it does, then it's great otherwise I'll switch back to XFCE. – Chetan Bhasin Jul 30 '13 at 18:03

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