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Old 18th January 2014
undercover_penguin undercover_penguin is offline
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Post compatible laptops?

Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo View Post
I use a Thinkpad T42p, with OpenBSD 4.3. Everything I've tried works quite nicely. All the Fn+F# key combos I've tried have worked (Fn+F3 for turning off the screen, Fn+F4 for sleeping, Fn+F7 for outputting the display to the VGA port, and Fn+F8 for toggling screen resolution). In contrast, when I briefly tried NetBSD, most of these combos did not work.

For sleeping, apmd has to be set as a startup daemon. I haven't bothered setting up hibernation, since that would mean repartitioning, which I don't have the time or resources for at the moment.
I'm sorry for digging this post, but as I am reading through the FAQ I stumbled on this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by FAQ 3.7 -Laptops:
While many laptops work very well with OpenBSD, they are sometimes not the easiest systems to get running well, so a laptop might not be the best choice for your first OpenBSD install.
So do you think it's not a good idea to try it anyway? (I am using a Thinkpad T42 too currently)
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Old 18th January 2014
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undercover_penguin View Post
So do you think it's not a good idea to try it anyway? (I am using a Thinkpad T42 too currently)
The point being made in the FAQ here is that every last hardware feature of every laptop may not be supported. Installing OpenBSD on a laptop is a good experience.

Historically, Thinkpads, as developed by IBM, were solid, well built laptops. Many developers, including a number of official OpenBSD developers, wrote code while using Thinkpads. Because of this, Thinkpads are a safe hardware bet for OpenBSD. Personally, I run OpenBSD on a T43 with very few issues. It has been a good marriage.
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Old 18th January 2014
undercover_penguin undercover_penguin is offline
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Sounds great, thank you ocicat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocicat View Post
Historically, Thinkpads, as developed by IBM, were solid, well built laptops.
So do you think the new lenovos aren't as good as the old IBM ones?
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Old 18th January 2014
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undercover_penguin View Post
So do you think the new lenovos aren't as good as the old IBM ones?
No, partly because expectations have changed.

The original IBM Thinkpads were developed & marketed in a time when people were willing to pay for a durable product. Today, the expectation is only to keep a laptop for a few years, & a cheaper price is more attractive than a solid product. Plus, as computer sales have opened up further away from the typical corporate user of old, the average buyer doesn't understand quality & solid construction.

Computers today are commodity items. People, more often than not, buy at a price point, not other factors.

Last edited by ocicat; 18th January 2014 at 08:28 PM. Reason: added missing article...
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Old 18th January 2014
undercover_penguin undercover_penguin is offline
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I guess you are right with this regrettable trend to cheaper products. But still the homepage attracts with military standards and high reliability (assuming you can trust this ad). Furthermore its laptops are NASA certified, aren't they?

Last edited by undercover_penguin; 19th January 2014 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 18th January 2014
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undercover_penguin View Post
But still the homepage attract with military standards and high reliability...
Most likely, I could drop my old IBM T43 off the back of a truck, & the thing would still probably work. I wouldn't even think of doing this with my new Lenovo X1 Carbon, although I am reasonably happy with its performance, but it is not as sturdy.

Would I buy another Lenovo? Probably. Will a future Lenovo laptop be as well built as my old T43? Probably not.

Some official OpenBSD project developers use Lenovo laptops. Searching the misc@ archives will show periodic discussions on various models. Lenovo laptops will probably continue getting preferential treatment (support), but don't get fixated that Lenovo is the only choice around. Most developers have multiple laptops. I do too -- from different vendors. Given how laptops have standardized through the years, sticking with one particular vendor is not always cost effective.

You haven't asked this question, but I will attempt to anticipate the question you really need to ask: "How does one decide on what laptop/desktop to buy for running OpenBSD?" The answer is threefold:
  • Search the official misc@ archives for previous discussion on the vendor.
  • Install the recent release or snapshot of OpenBSD to a USB drive, & take this to a computer store. Either the employees there will allow you to boot off the USB drive, or they won't.
  • If a computer is being ordered online, be very clear as to the return policy in case you decide that the system doesn't run OpenBSD to your satisfaction.
There is too many new models coming out too quickly for the project to know how compatible OpenBSD will be with all of them. This is where you have to do what research is possible followed by performing your own testing. Hardware has become standardized enough such that basic functionality should be fine. It is with the corner cases that some people have issues. Some people find some features to be required; others don't. It used to be that incompatible wireless support was an issue. Incompatibility appears to be diminishing somewhat with newer hardware, but testing is still needed.

If a laptop has an incompatible wireless card, determine whether it can be replaced, or find a USB wireless dongle which is compatible. The most supported USB dongles at the moment appear to be based on Realtek chips. See the urtwn(4) manpage for more information.

Finally, information on the project's official mailing lists can be found at the following:

http://www.openbsd.org/mail.html

A favorite mailing list archive by many involved with the project & readers here is:

http://marc.info/
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Old 19th January 2014
undercover_penguin undercover_penguin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocicat View Post
Given how laptops have standardized through the years, sticking with one particular vendor is not always cost effective.
You may be right, but I am a little stubborn concerning such things.. as long as I am satisfied with a brand I won't change it. And as I am using an IBM Thinkpad myself I can't even think of better hardware. Its just the need for increasing resources which are forcing me thinking about what notebook to buy. (Probably it will be a Thinkpad W500, but that's not for sure).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocicat View Post
[*] Search the official misc@ archives for previous discussion on the vendor.
That's a good idea, thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocicat View Post
[*] Install the recent release or snapshot of OpenBSD to a USB drive, & take this to a computer store. Either the employees there will allow you to boot off the USB drive, or they won't.
I guess I won't find the notebook I want to buy in a store (because I won't buy the newest hardware)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocicat View Post
[*] If a computer is being ordered online, be very clear as to the return policy in case you decide that the system doesn't run OpenBSD to your satisfaction.
In general the german return policies are really fine (no problems returning an item within 14 days), but probably I will buy an used one at a great online auction..


Quote:
Originally Posted by ocicat View Post
Finally, information on the project's official mailing lists can be found at the following:

http://www.openbsd.org/mail.html

A favorite mailing list archive by many involved with the project & readers here is:

http://marc.info/
I've signed up in several lists allready (according to the FAQ's hints), but the archive may be a great help.
So, thank you once more ocicat! I haven't even get startet with OpenBSD and you helped me so much allready

Last edited by undercover_penguin; 19th January 2014 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 19th January 2014
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undercover_penguin View Post
I've signed up in several lists allready (according to the FAQ's hints), but the archive may be a great help.
Although you did not say that you were going to post to the project's mailing lists, be forewarned that posting to those lists requires more thought that most consider.

The project's mailing lists are for use by the developers -- not the general community. The project's mailing lists are designed for deep, thoughtful, specific relevant information exchange. The project's mailing lists are not intended for pointing people to information easily found in the documentation or archives. The project's mailing lists are not designed to facilitate the lazy. Questions which are not thoroughly researched & documentation may very will receive very scathing replies about how poorly the poster understands what they ask about, how poorly they have articulated needed information, and/or how poorly they have researched the archives for similar issues.

If this seems unfriendly, recognize that the mailing lists are theirs. They support the infrastructure, so they can target their usage how they see fit. Just because the mailing lists are accessible to all does not give everyone the right to ask anything. More newbie-type questions are better suited for forums like this one or the openbsd-newbies@ mailing list.

jggimi wrote up comments on how newcomers should frame their questions -- especially if they are asking for support:

http://daemonforums.org/showthread.php?t=596

These are similar to what Eric Raymond classically described as how to ask smart questions:

http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

Please consider these. All members of the community should consider the responsibility & integrity required.
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Old 19th January 2014
undercover_penguin undercover_penguin is offline
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Probably you will be surprised but I did not even consider to post on these lists.
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Old 19th January 2014
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Separating this thread from its parent thread:

http://daemonforums.org/showthread.php?t=1880

Given how discussion evolved specifically to comments about Thinkpads (where I thus far am a contributor...), I am moving this side discussion to its own thread.

Others may have other comments on this same topic of laptop compatibility.
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Old 19th January 2014
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FAQ 3.7, on appropriate first/learning systems, touches on laptops.

http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq3.html#FirstSys
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Old 19th January 2014
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That's what I have quoted in my first post and initiated this discussion
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Old 19th January 2014
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Your second quote. Sorry, I didn't recall it from your initial post. Sorry for the noise.
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Old 20th January 2014
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I didn't mean to offend you jggimi and appreciate your help on this topic
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Old 20th January 2014
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No offense taken; I'm just apologetic.
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Old 27th January 2014
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I have a Lenovo ThinkPad T61, and I have been very happy with it. I'm considering replacing Linux on it with OpenBSD. I used to have a T43 a few years ago; wish I still did, although I might try to pick up another one this spring. I think the build quality on the T61 is still very good, though. It has been able to run every Linux distro I've thrown at it, so I'm looking forward to seeing how a BSD does, as well.
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Old 28th January 2014
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It may also be worth checking out the NYC*BUG dmesgd (http://nycbug.org/?action=dmesgd) (sorry - not allowed to post links yet) to see if there's a dmesg for a laptop you're considering.

Don't forget to add your dmesg to dmesgd as well.
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Last edited by ocicat; 28th January 2014 at 06:07 PM. Reason: enabling URL
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Old 28th January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibara View Post
(sorry - not allowed to post links yet)
Your account has now been enabled to post links.

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Old 31st January 2014
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FWIW, my Thinkpad T43 runs OpenBSD with little that doesn't work 'out-of-the-box' on a fresh install; its a 2 ghz 2g ram all intel processor/graphics model. I do have a newer, faster laptop, but the wireless card is not configurable with OpenBSD -- not that that is a big deal, as my little rsu chip runs perfectly. But my T43 remains my favourite box because it has such great build quality. I were wanting a laptop to use for OpenBSD, I'd try to land a T43 or T42 --- still fast enough, but the build quality is second to none. Perhaps not as beautiful as a macbook, but very rugged and manly looking Of course, YMMV.
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