Originally Published: Thursday, 9 November 2000 Author: Brian Richardson
Published to: enhance_articles_hardware/Hardware Reviews Page: 1/1 - [Std View]

Linux Hardware Resources: Linux On Laptops

Where do you go to find information about running Linux on your laptop? Brian Richardson reviews the 'Linux on Laptops' page, run by Kenneth Harker. Read on!

Despite the fact GNU/Linux was designed to emulate a large-scale server operating system, many loyal penguins run Linux on their laptops. This is far from an easy task, as laptops have always been famous for their proprietary nature. Odd sound cards, unknown video devices, wacky keyboard layouts make dealing with a PC laptop more like fiddling with an embedded computer having a color screen. Windows users have enough trouble finding support for laptops, so the problem can only be amplified in the Linux world.

The Linux On Laptops Web page was started by Kenneth E. Harker to help solve many notebook nightmares. This site (and its various mirrors ) serve as a storehouse of Linux experiences with dozens (if not hundreds) of mobile computers. The site is broken down into several distinct sections:

All of the information resides on one large Web page, which may make it difficult to navigate. Aside from one dancing penguin, the site is virtually graphics-free. What the site lacks in style, it makes up for in content (news flash: good Web pages aren't driven by cheesy pictures, they run on information). While the site has many dead links, the vast majority of the Web links point to useful laptop information.

My laptop, the NEX Versa SX, is listed on this Web page ... but was missing from LhD (which I reviewed on Tuesday). Not only did information exist, but it was detailed information including how to make the hibernation support work, hot-swapping the CD-ROM, video chipset specifications; in other words, everything I needed to know before attempting to install Linux on my portable system.

Unlike many hardware resources, Linux On Laptops has no search engine. This is understandable, since most of the content is hosted off-site. However, the detail and organization of the page makes a search feature unnecessary.

Linux On Laptops is a great Web site for Linux users who want to go mobile, especially using older notebooks. Several mirrors exist in North America and Europe. Bookmark one if you want to take Tux on the road.


Brian Richardson wanders the countryside with his NEC Versa SX running KDE2. Of course, he couldn't get it working with Xfree 4, but you can't have everything.