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Linux Networking

Want to Run Linux on an Old Laptop? The Hurdles You May Have to Jump to Get it Working

Over the last few years, the Linux desktop has advanced far beyond what many people ever expected this operating system to be. It’s got to the point that an average person can use the software and operating system without many problems getting their computing tasks done.

Since Linux is so efficient, there are many people who want to run it on their old laptops. You might be looking at computer shops, friends’ old machines or on eBay, seeing laptops that don’t have operating systems that you want to run Linux on. Before you do anything or make a purchase, there are certain hurdles you might face when trying to get everything to work.

The first hurdle is your hardware. You have to make sure the hardware will work on Linux. If the laptop is fewer than 10 years old, most of the hardware should be compatible with the operating system.

Some hardware on the other hand might technically work, but the drivers are not made for Linux. They were designed and programmed to run on the Windows operating system. You have a few options here.

Sometimes the company makes a Linux driver, meaning it will work perfectly with the operating system. Sometimes the Linux community has made its own driver to make it work. This can work well or might have a slight cut in performance. Some hardware doesn’t work at all. You have to look up the parts and make sure everything will work together because certain companies go out of their way to make their parts only work on Windows.

If you get over these basic hardware hurdles, you should be running an efficient Linux system that you can get for a rather low cost.

For basic problems you might encounter, be sure you know of your distributions forums. Some are made by fans of the distribution while others are the official forums. Typically, you can type in your computer model number and see what issues or problems people commonly face. With most new distributions, you might have to make minor changes like downloading a driver or change a small part of the setup to make things work properly.

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