Help finding compatible laptop


#1

Hello,

I would like to buy a new laptop that I will use exclusively for Haiku and I need help finding the right one.
I know that there is a hardware database at haikuware, but I have given up on that. It’s a complete mess of old hardware that is no longer available and hardware listed as compatible but when you click on it to get more information, it turns out that all sorts of thing about this particular piece of hardware is not compatible.
Anyway, what I’m looking for is a laptop with a 17" (or bigger) screen. Compatible graphics card (no vesa) and sound card should at least do audio out. Also it should have a compatible wireless network card. If CD-burning is possible in Haiku, then the CD drive should also be compatible.
Is this possible? Any suggestions?

Thanks
Peter


#2

Burn the latest Haiku nightly and take it with you to a PC reseller. Tell them that you are looking for a Haiku supported laptop and want to boot the Haiku live-cd to see if everything is supported.


#3

Hi,

I did just that, but no one would allow me to boot using a live cd.

I can’t say that I don’t understand them with all the viruses etc. Also shop sales people don’t seem to have a clue about what Haiku/Beos is, which makes them even more suspecious concerning my intentions.

/Peter


#4

[quote=ptrlsn]Hi,

I did just that, but no one would allow me to boot using a live cd.

I can’t say that I don’t understand them with all the viruses etc. Also shop sales people don’t seem to have a clue about what Haiku/Beos is, which makes them even more suspecious concerning my intentions.

/Peter[/quote]

Yes, they prefer not booting into another OS. Afraid you are trying to damage the laptop or spread a virus. Most are just sales people & know little about computers. When my brother went to get a laptop he was asking them questions and they could not answer him. We had to find the info ourselves because they know general info and are only hired to sell.

Tell them that Haiku is an alternative operating system like Linux but with less hardware support. If they want to sell you a laptop that you have to test it out with Haiku first. That might get you farther.

If you list which laptops you’re looking at then I can kinda tell what should work and what won’t. For instance, AMD 6xx & 7xx motherboard chipsets are not working. AMD 8xx may work but you’ll have to test to know for sure otherwise should avoid them. You will have to buy a laptop with Intel or Nvidia chipset.


#5

Yes, mostly possible to do but better if you can test the laptop out before buying. You likely will get VESA. Just about all graphics drivers are for older hardware.

You should avoid Dell. I bought a Dell (Intel chipset) because I like them. Very nice looking laptops but few issues with Haiku. In Haiku, keyboard does not work (Haiku bug which requires using usb keyboard), vesa graphics & few supported resolutions (all 4x3), wifi not supported (I use wired so still ok for me).

Seen two or three people with laptops where mouse & keyboard don’t work, etc. The more locked down a laptop is; the greater chance you’ll face an issue.

Vendor & device IDs help to check against Haiku code to see if supported and can be found in Windows Device Manager (if you can’t use Haiku’s listdev).
Example:
ATI Radeon HD 4600 Series
PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_9495&SUBSYS_0028174B&REV_00\4&1FEB96E4&4&0008

ie, Vendor ID=1002, Device ID=9495


#6

Thank you for the info.

How and where do I check vendor and device ID’s in the haiku code?
If I look at that file (or files) that I check the vendor and device ID’s against, will I then be able to see all supported devices? If so, then I could make a list of supported CPU’s, chips sets, graphics, sound and wireless network cards that I could take with me to the stores and then check it against whats listed in Windows Device Manager on the computers that I find interesting.

/Peter


#7

http://haiku.it.su.se:8180/source/

You should search with device ID because vendor ID could get multiple hits. You should put 0x in front. ie, 0x1002, 0x9495, 0x9612

In some cases search may not work if not updated. Try 0x9612 and new search with 0x9611. List should look like this:
http://dev.haiku-os.org/browser/haiku/trunk/src/add-ons/kernel/drivers/graphics/radeon_hd/driver.cpp#L39

But search is finding older version (line 38) of driver:
http://haiku.it.su.se:8180/source/xref/src/add-ons/kernel/drivers/graphics/radeon_hd/driver.cpp

You also must check if the driver is in a recent Haiku nightly image. ie, working. Some drivers are in the source repo but not working and excluded from Haiku image/ISO.

Haiku works with AMD & Intel CPUs - not the issue. It’s chipsets (Northbridge/Southbridge) you have to watch out for. Haiku has trouble with AMD chipsets like the 600, 700 & maybe 800 series.

Most AMD laptops come with AMD chipsets. ie, AMD laptops likely won’t work and have to be tested for sure. The IDs help for graphic cards, network cards & sound cards. But HDA (sound) driver does not use device IDs (works with codecs) and most graphic drivers are for outdated cards.

List 3 of your laptop choices here for general comment.

Testing is really THE BEST AND ONLY WAY to avoid any unforseen issues before buying!!! ie: you might get laptop & the keyboard &/or mouse don’t work in Haiku. Or limited to very few 4x3 VESA modes, or no sound, or WiFi conflict issue, or won’t boot, etc. Impossible to know for sure until you try it.

Do the testing when they’re not looking or near you and if they catch you just say you use Haiku, not Linux or Windows and have to check if it works with the laptop. If they give hard time, tell them they can either let you test it now or return it to them later for refund. And still no, ask to talk to a manager and they likely will let you try it out.


#8
List 3 of your laptop choices here for general comment.

I simply don’t know what to buy, so I don’t have any preferences. I have been looking at HP and ACER, but their web sites does not state what model wireless network card etc. they use.
I found one HP with an Intel i3-380M, Intel HM55 chipset, 4 GB DDR3 RAM, 500 GB SATA 5400 rpm hard drive, LightScribe Super Multi dvd±r/rw dual layer CD/DVD drive, Intel HD graphics card, 17" 1600x900 resolution screen. But even if all of this would work, how can I know if the wireless network card, keyboard and touch pad will work?
I guess there is no alternative to trying it out in the stores which is almost impossible without being seen and thus not be on friendly terms with the people at the shops :frowning:

/Peter


#9

I guess there is no alternative to trying it out in the stores which is almost impossible without being seen and thus not be on friendly terms with the people at the shops :frowning:

I don’t know the situation in your country, but here in Germany we can return stuff without even having to give reasons within (I think) 2 weeks. If a shop-drone wouldn’t let you try out a Live-CD/USB, you’d just tell him you’d be forced to take the notebook home, unpack it and then return it the next day to get the next model. And you’ll do that all week… :slight_smile:

Regards,
Humdinger


#10

“you’d just tell him you’d be forced to take the notebook home, unpack it and then return it the next day to get the next model. And you’ll do that all week… :)”

LOL I’ll check what the rules are where I live… If they are similar to that of Germany, i’ll do just that.

/Peter


#11

http://www.haiku-os.org/documents/hardware


#12

http://www.haiku-os.org/documents/hardware


#13

14 days in Canada for return of electronics/computers and 30 days for everything else. Check with your retailer about their return policy. Sucks doing this but if they give hard time for testing laptop out then that’s what you’ll have to do. Try talking to manager first about testing the laptop out. Sales people only look to sell but managers try to make customers happy. If manager says no then go the return route.

For keyboard + touchpad you can only tell by testing. For wireless card, you can get vendor & device ids (from Windows) & check if driver in Haiku for that card. ie, if no driver for that card then you know it won’t work but if driver in Haiku source + image then it should work in theory but in very small # of cases there could be IRQ conflict stopping it from working. That’s why testing is only way to know for sure but wireless could need firmware first (from internet) to work in Haiku.

"Intel i3-380M, Intel HM55 chipset"
Should work well & boot. My Dell laptop is also Core i3 with same chipset & boots haiku using usb keyboard.

"Intel HD graphics card"
No graphics driver. Will use VESA modes. You may get stuck with 1024x768. Depends on resolutions supported by the video bios of that laptop. Different laptops may use standard (from Intel) or custom video bios and thus have different vesa modes.

intel_extreme driver only supports these Intel graphic cards right now:
http://dev.haiku-os.org/browser/haiku/trunk/src/add-ons/kernel/drivers/graphics/intel_extreme/driver.cpp#L38


#14

Hi,

I found a shop in my area that has a 14 day return policy even if I have unpacked the computer and started it up, so I’ll go to them soon and tell them what has been suggested here.

One questions: I can start the screen preflet and hover the mouse over the blue screen and see if it uses VESA or the correct graphics driver. I can also put a sound file on a USB stick to test if sound out is supported. But what is the easies way to test if the wireless network card works (I have an iPhone which I can use as a wireless hot spot)?

Thanks
/Peter


#15

for wifi read:
http://haiku-os.org/guides/daily-tasks/wireless

You should play around with Haiku in desktop or laptop system with wifi to get a feel for it. Or at least VirtualBox (without wifi). I think you have but in case you have not.

audio, graphics & network are also listed in /dev. Use terminal and cd /dev. then go into the proper folder & look in there. For graphics, you’ll always see VESA + any accelerated 2d driver if available. You can also go through preferences to double check audio, graphics & network.

For wifi, you can 1) look under /dev/net (wired + wireless in there; make sure you know which is which) 2) ifconfig 3) check network preflet
wifi card may not work without firmware (or show up?). I haven’t tested wifi so can’t say.