An actual Linux question?

Daniel Fussell dfussell at
Wed Mar 27 15:40:34 MDT 2013

On 03/25/2013 05:57 PM, Charles Curley wrote:
> On Mon, 25 Mar 2013 18:17:50 -0500
> "S. Dale Morrey"<sdalemorrey at>  wrote:
>> I need to dual boot a fairly recent HP laptop into some flavor of
>> linux and I need it to have X (because I like GUIs)
>> I like Ubuntu but I hate unity and frankly battery life is a real
>> concern on this laptop.
>> Is there a lightweight distro with really good power management out
>> of the box? Perhaps a distro designed specifically for laptops?
> I can't speak to specific flavors of power management, but a few
> thoughts...
> I agree on Unity, et al. I use XFCE on Debian Stable. Power management
> seems to be pretty good on my Lenovo T61. It's a light weight small
> footprint desktop that does the job. Debian stable, as the name
> suggests, is exactly that. Some of my machines have been running
> continuously since I put it on them almost a year ago, except for the
> occasional kernel upgrade.
> If you don't mind spending money, try dropping a solid state disk in to
> your laptop. It helps reduce power consumption, and will speed the
> thing up considerably.
I'll second Debian.  I've got it running with XFCE on my old Celeron 600 
MHz laptop, and my wife has just started using it as a journal.  I can't 
say anything for power management, except that it doesn't overheat (but 
it never did).  My battery has been basically shot for years, so nothing 
there.  Until recently, it even ran VLC and MythTV fairly well.  I think 
it's using maybe 600 MB out of a 6GB disk.

I'm also using Debian on my current HP business class laptop (all retail 
laptops suck nowadays), and the power management has been the best I've 
ever seen with any OS.  My previous hardware/OS combinations have been 
alternately stable and flaky for power managment.  My last laptop I ran 
OpenSUSE and about 10.3 power management started to work (most of the 
time).  Long before that, I ran WinXP SP2 on my desktop, and suspend 
worked well; after SP3 it never worked again)

I have had at least 5 Debian stable machines from Sargent on make it 
well past 1000 days uptime.  I suspect I could have gotten at least 
another 50 machines there as well, but my power provider has problems 
every August, and I didn't have enough UPS to keep them all going at 
once.  So my mean uptime is around 300 days or so.


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