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If you have a new Alienware, I highly recommend not to try installing Ubuntu on it. I can't even describe how many levels of hell I went through to get stuff working, and how every Ubuntu base update gives me a panic attack.
From Ubuntu not installing with RAID settings, then not being able to boot in GUI mode because Nvidia drivers, to built-in keyboard, speaker and mic not working.
Praise the Ubuntu lord, now everything is working, but I still can't adjust the rgb keyboard colors :(

Comments
  • 1
    I was never impressed with Ubuntu's hardware support nor with any Debian-based distro (including Debian itself) tbh, but I've had better luck with Pop!_OS in terms of hardware support if you wanna stick to that branch of distros
  • 3
    @chilledfrogs I was actually looking at System76 laptops. It would be perfect to have a high-performance computer already with Linux installed. But I was afraid the German customs will rip me a new asshole when they tax it...
  • 1
    @NickyBones Understandable 🤣😅 I never used System76 hardware, I hear it's good but yeah, I was more talking about general hardware support from various laptops I've installed Pop!_OS on, but for more knowledgable people in my view it is more than worth it to take the time to install (and learn about) a minimalistic distro on their personal machine such as Arch, Void, Gentoo, or Alpine, depending on taste since you'll get a system that *really* suits *you*; personally I am very happy with Void for a bit now after a stint with Arch for a bit since Void offers (imho) better packaging and dependency resolution with XBPS (I hear pacman improved now, but hey), and it uses runit which I happen to much prefer to systemd for service management, and generally Void errs a tiny bit more on the side of stability than Arch especially relative to the AUR at least for my taste (even though the AUR is amazing and Arch was generally stable enough for me for personal usage), so yeah 😅
  • 1
    @chilledfrogs I will ask at work about Pop!_OS. I'm not a Linux expert. I prefer something for dummies that will recognize the bloody Nvidia graphics and allow me to have rainbow colors on my keyboard. Very simple demands, but alas...
  • 1
    @NickyBones Elementaryos? also

    - Alienware

    - Linux

    supporting linux was never their priority imo
  • 1
    @NickyBones Also understandable 😅 in my view Pop!_OS is great especially if you have Nvidia graphics cards since they have dedicated images and support for that, so you just burn the Nvidia image and install it and you should be fine, but for the long term, I would nevertheless recommend screwing around with a minimalist distro in a VM or even just perusing the Arch Wiki to solve some issues you might have (yes, it's so good that it works for other distros frequently), an all too neglected part of open OSes like Linux and BSD nowadays (in my view at least) is the learning experience and understanding at least a bit more how your system works, which is actually really helpful
  • 1
    @kiki Some years ago you could actually choose Linux as operating system when ordering an Alienware, but not anymore. The last two alienwares I had, worked with Ubuntu with minimal issues, and I could even get the alienfx to work.
    I stick with Ubuntu because of all the other software I use (e.g. ROS). I am a bit worried that if I stray from Ubuntu, basic stuff I need for daily usage will become an installation nightmare. I don't want to build every single package from source. Give me binaries!
  • 1
    @NickyBones omg, I never knew that. Elementaryos is distributed like Ubuntu, you don't need to build anything from source. It's essentially improved, more painless Ubuntu with Pantheon instead of Gnome
  • 0
    @NickyBones *points to Pop!_OS again since Ubuntu-based and therefore supports everything Ubuntu does while not doing the occasional weird shit Ubuntu does, plus hardware support*
  • 2
    @NickyBones also, make sure you check the checkmark that accepts some license agreement and allows the OS installer to install proprietary drivers. Without it there is a solid chance that open source drivers for your hardware just don't exist. This is especially relevant for drivers of new GPUs
  • 0
    @kiki I saw some posts about the ROS buildfarm not building packages for elementry/xubuntu/others. So you can't install their packages with apt install :(
  • 0
    @kiki Yeah, I am using the Nvidia proprietary drivers now.
  • 0
    @NickyBones it's not the customs though, it's the carrier charging you 40$ because they had to pay a 3$ clearage tax.
  • 1
    @ostream 40$ on a 3K computer is nothing, but 19% import tax is a whole different story
  • 1
    Isn't it a gaming oriented laptop? Gaming means windows, so I guess it's no wonder it was not built with Linux compatibility in mind
  • 0
    @iiii It's gaming oriented, yeah. But pretty much all high-performance laptops are categorized as gaming laptops. Some of us just need mobile powerhouses for graphics/vision/algo tasks, but I don't know any laptops targeting this.
  • 1
    the keyboard stuff is pretty normal for gaming laptops and such

    as for nvidia drivers, just fuck nvidia optimus

    dunno how good ubuntu handles that, I've had mixed experiences and in the end settled for a different laptop without a dedicated GPU
  • 1
    I got a Lenovo legion for work and installed Manjaro on it. Not even the Ethernet was working, I had to look up everything to get networking running.
    Ended up working just fine in the end, but still. Even if I like Linux, the amount of time I have to set aside just to figure out that shit annoys me.
  • 3
    @NickyBones German customs? Why not having a look at Tuxedo, they are actually in Germany.
  • 2
    @Fast-Nop Because I didn't know they existed!!!! Thanks for letting me know. I doubt my stupid uni will drop the contract with Dell, but for personal purchase, Tuxedo looks amazing.
  • 2
    @NickyBones I have a tuxedo actually, though one without a dedicated GPU, so I can't comment on how well nvidia works

    From the hardware I'd say its nothing non standard, fairly similar to xmg/schenker.

    Also why is this website overrun by us schnitzels??
  • 1
    @NickyBones Funny you mention Dell since they usually have actually very good Linux hardware support, for instance I'm very happy with my Dell XPS 13, but indeed usually those on institutional contracts aren't as good
  • 2
    @NickyBones I have an Aura15 with 4700U, no dGPU, 32GB RAM, 2TB SSD. Linux Mint ran out of the box with the 5.8+ HWE kernel, except the RGB keyboard driver where I had to DKMS some additional OSS kernel module. With Tuxedo's default installation, that wouldn't have been necessary, but they don't offer Mint. Btw., I somehow thought you were Canadian. ^^

    @LotsOfCaffeine Tuxedo is actually the Linux oriented branch of Schenker so that the laptops are similar to the point of being the same. ;-)
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop ahh, I heard of the two companies being related, but I didn't know they were mother-daughter
  • 1
    Because of those issues I usually first try Fedora over Ubuntu. Works with most computers out of the box which I tried. Also they really care about their upgrade working right which is a must IMO.
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