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There are a few posts like this one out on the internet, this one jumped out because the advice is similar to the advice I give
With other operating systems, you would simply select a new PC based on the specs that piqued your interest. However, when it comes to a Linux distribution like Ubuntu, a little more care is needed.
Many Ubuntu users try to use a made-for-Windows PC as the target installation setup. In some instances, this translates into unique challenges when trying to install Ubuntu. While Ubuntu supports 98 percent of the PC and notebook hardware available, sometimes select sound cards and wireless devices can create frustrations.
I’ve found that the easiest way to avoid this is not to purchase computers built for Windows. This seems painfully obvious to me, as there are plenty of top-notch vendors available (Google “Ubuntu pre-installed”) willing to sell you a computer built with Ubuntu Linux in mind. However, if you choose not to take that approach, I would suggest looking for the following hardware:
The best approach to avoiding this hassle is to pay a visit to LinuxWireless.org. There you will find a decent list of wireless chipsets, integrated options, and external dongles that will work out of the box with most popular Linux distributions.
If using this site seems a bit overwhelming to you, then I suggest you look to Intel wireless solutions. From old to new, Intel wireless chipsets will almost always work out of the box under Ubuntu. For those looking to USB solutions, I’ve had success with Atheros and Ralink-based USB dongles. But you will want to look to online shopping sites like Amazon for the best results. From the search box on Amazon, try searching for Ubuntu Wireless, then click on USB network adapters. From there, look closely at the reviews. Oftentimes, you will find other Ubuntu users listing their experiences with these devices. For example, one user stated that the Airlink101 AWLL5088 dongle not only avoids the use of those annoying chipset revision numbers, but it also provides solid 802.11n speeds up to 150 Mbps depending on your power managementsettings.
Any time you come from another platform, there are always going to be a few software applications that you really miss—whether it’s Microsoft Office, iTunes, specific video editing software or something else. The key to easing this pain is in finding comparable alternatives that are easy to use and provide you with the same result. For example, LibreOffice helps many users looking for a decent Microsoft Office alternative. If however, one of the included programs (such as Outlook) isn’t adequately substituted in a way that meets your needs, consider using WINE. It could help to run the legacy application without too much hassle.
WINE is useful for running select Windows applications in Ubuntu without relying on an actual Windows installation. For everything else, check out the Ubuntu software center and search for the task you are looking to achieve with your new Ubuntu installation.
Out of the box, the power management for notebooks under Ubuntu is horrid. However, there is a great and easily installable application for anyone who is looking to run Ubuntu on a notebook. This excellent little app is called Laptop Mode Tools.
To fully appreciate just how bad power management is for notebooks out of the box, first installPowerTOP. This simple command line tool will allow you to see which resources are draining your notebook’s battery. For the sake of testing, you can toggle many of these functions from “Bad” over to “Good” with just a few key presses.
Now that you have seen firsthand which features are hurting your power usage, go ahead and install Laptop Mode Tools from Synaptic. In Ubuntu, you won’t need to adjust anything. As a matter of fact, with Laptop Mode Tools installed it’s best that you don’t touch the configuration file at all unless you’re familiar with what it does. Right out of the box, this utility will detect when you’ve stopped using AC power and enact the changes you made using PowerTOP previously. Best of all, Laptop Mode Tools will do this for you automatically.
To check how well Laptop Mode Tools is working, unplug your notebook from AC power after Laptop Mode Tools has been installed and you’ve rebooted the computer. From the terminal, run PowerTOP again. Now, look to the “Tunables” section and note how many items are now set to “Good” instead of “Bad.” With casual usage, you will notice how much longer your battery is lasting with Laptop Mode Tools installed.
The last suggestion I’ll leave you with is using select indicator applets built for Unity. These applets aren’t as critical as some of my other suggestions; however, I’ve found them to be extremely helpful in controlling my desktop experience.