[CentOS] Laptop for CentOS-5

Michael A. Peters mpeters at mac.com
Sun Jan 10 08:49:14 UTC 2010

Robert Heller wrote:

> Just about all of the low-end Dell boxes (laptops or desktops) tend to
> be low-quality boxes -- you gets what you pay for.  Higher end Dells
> seem to be OK (eg 'Workstations', servers, etc.). 

In October I found a discard Dell Optiplex GX50 - older low-end dell. 
Found it in an illegal dump pile in a field.

Replaced dead hard drive, re-attached heat sink to CPU (had become 
detached, probably when dumped - perhaps a blessing, whoever built it 
had used way too much thermal paste).

It's been running CentOS 5.x 24/7 since without a hitch.
But for laptops I think you are correct, and my found computer did have 
a problem (dead drive) when found.


Back to laptop question - I have always preferred the Thinkpad T20 
series over anything else. I would suggest running Ubuntu on it, I have 
moved all my desktop stuff to Ubuntu.

Most laptop vendors that I have seen that pre-install Ubuntu install the 
32-bit version. I use 64-bit and have no regrets, so I would recommend 
burning the 64-bit iso and installing that.

Two notes though with 64bit -

1) Don't use the Ubuntu packaged flash plugin. It is 32-bit and will 
pull in a bunch of 32-bit plugins. Get the "alpha" 64-bit plugin for 
Linux from Adobe. Works very well for me (in Ubuntu and CentOS) - and is 
more stable than the 32-bit plugin running in a wrapper.

2) I have no clue about installing a native 64-bit Java plugin. I don't 
have one and don't want one. Maybe icedtea is working for 64-bit better 
now? I got sick and tired of Java media in web pages being generally 
crappy and problematic, so I refuse to install a Java plugin anymore, 
but if you need Java plugin (IE for your work) check to make sure 64-bit 
browser plugin exists before going 64-bit (though 32-bit may work via 

General Desktop Note - CentOS or Ubuntu or Fedora -

1) Give Google Chrome and Midori a try. I really like both, Chrome is a 
little more polished but not open source, Midori is open source but has 
some bugs still with HTML5 multimedia (IE it won't play them if they are 
not set to autostart, but also won't revert to fallback)

2) If you don't mind using software that isn't FOSS, spend the money on 
the fluendo codec package -


It handles h.264/WMV/DivX/etc. extremely well, "just works", and comes 
packaged in both RPM and .deb (as well as tarball). It does not provide 
AC3 decoding, that's my only gripe, but it does just about everything 
else much better in my experience than the "free" gstreamer plugins.

I haven't tried the fluendo DVD player (which does do AC3 decoding) but 
reviews I've seen on it are not very good, stick with something like VLC 
or Xine (my choice) for DVD playback seems to be better.

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