This is an email thread, regarding Linux Mint install on an HP, I received from a friend of mine in the USA (I am in the Philippines).
Please read the following:
On the Linux Laptop thing:
I try to stay away from HP computers in general. They use to have factory here in Houston.
The market had stronger demand for Dell’s. Texas wasn’t big enough for two computer manufacture’s and HP closed up shop.
Brand name computers tend to use proprietary architecture so you have to buy hardware from them. Compaq (HP), Dell, etc.
made all their hardware, cables, etc. to be proprietary at first. Then people strayed away from them because it was too much
of a hassle just to upgrade to a SSD with off the shelf hardware. The companies changed their machines to accept off the shelf hardware later on.
So the first thing to check would be if the machine is compatible. I’ve a Lenovo Laptop that broke the DVD drive in the upgrade to Windows 10, so
it’s not limited to Linux when it comes to hardware support. If the manufacture doesn’t want to support an older machine, they won’t. Also not all
hardware manufactures support Linux. An example is my MOTU (Mark of the Unicorn) USB audio interface. It works fine on the plug and play, but there’s features that
are supported in Windows that don’t exist for Linux, but it’s functional enough to do most of what I want and people are developing software to access
more and more features every day, but the company doesn’t support it beyond the USB specification plug and play requirements.
This is not the only list, you could check HP, but start here to see if it’s listed:
If it’s not there, go to an HP site and see if they have Linux support listed.
The HP website has information (FAQs) on Linux with links to Linux versions and installation here:
Information on your machine can be obtained from the HP website by entering your serial number here:
Usually Ubuntu is supported. It usually detects hardware on install.
Arch Linux, if listed, is a bit difficult to install due to the drive partitioning being a manual operation.
Red Hat or CentOS (the free version of Red Hat) by default only configures ethernet hardware that supports 1GB speeds or higher.
I’ve used CentOS before and had to search for a driver for my onboard motherboard’s 100MB ethernet network port. I got it to work, but it was a pain.
There was a notice a year ago that CentOS support was being dropped by Red Hat, but I think the community is still supporting it.
I would recommend Ubuntu, it is Debian based and has the best support. They have an HP Laptop certified page here:
Computers in general:
I only buy Public surplus computers anymore. Here in Houston, there’s so many city government agencies, offices, and schools that change out their machines every 3 - 5 years
that go up for auction and I’ve been able to pay $40 on auction for machines worth several hundred dollars. But they come without a hard disk and sometimes no cables, keyboard, or mouse.
But $40 for an i7 intel machine is a good bargain.
A $40 computer, a $60 SSD, a free Linux distro, and in a couple of hours I’ve got a working computer waiting for the next lightning strike. LOL
Here’s the link for Public surplus, you can filter by region and agency. I will say that Laptops tend to get more abuse than the desktop’s.
Most of the desktop, or slim line Dells, show very little use at all. Like, do those people do anything? And they seem to come from dust free environments.
You have to register, pay online, and go pick up the machines, but you can have someone else pick it up for you if you wanted.
They would have to have the receipt.
5 or 6 years ago I bought a whole office setup with a Dell server, tape backups, 15 monitors, 4 workstations, keyboards, cameras, mice, wifi extenders, modems, video interfaces, etc.
I barely fit it all in my truck and it cost me only $140 dollars. But it was listed as miscellaneous electronic equipment.
I put hard drives into a couple of the computers and sold them to friends for $40 on one and $60 on the other.
Sold a toner cartridge for $60 on ebay. So all it cost me was gas money for all the rest. … until my friends experts started showing off their computer savvy.
Big mistake, too many service calls. After a couple of years, the problem child had her house exterminated and the computer fan sucked in the pesticide and it wouldn’t reboot.
Problem solved. I had been warned, but I figured with Linux they would be able to F them up. They found a way, usually lost credentials on email, changed IP address, etc.
Again, no hard drives, but those are cheap if you buy the spinning ones and not SSD’s. SSD’s are $60 for 500GB, which is plenty.for most people. They may be cheaper now.
Windows 11 is out and it won’t run on most older hardware. It requires System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable, which seems to be the biggest hurdle, but there’s also TPM 2.0.
I don’t know what TPM 2.0 is, but I’ll be waiting for a while to upgrade, if I upgrade.
Anyway, that’s about all I have to offer about LInux, Laptops, and cheap computer sources in general at this time.
Let me know if you have any other questions.