Installation suitability for Dell laptop

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Installation suitability for Dell laptop

Thanos Katsiolis
Hello,

I am a new user of Debian and Linux in general. I am planning to install Debian on a Dell laptop, Inspiron 5570 in particular.

I have started reading the installation guide on Debian webpage which mentions many points to consider during the procedure. I would like to know if the laptop is appropriate for Debian and if there is something that I should pay attention to specifically. Of course, all tips are welcome.

I have also checked the list of laptops that run linux:


and doesn't have this machine.

Regards,
Thanos.
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Re: Installation suitability for Dell laptop

ghe-2
On 9/16/19 11:15 AM, Thanos Katsiolis wrote:

> I am a new user of Debian and Linux in general. I am planning to install
> Debian on a Dell laptop, Inspiron 5570 in particular.

I've never had much of a problem running Debian on Dell laptops. Right
now, Buster is (reasonably) happy on my Dell Latitude 5414. Sound works,
DVD player works, etc.

The BIOS is a bit odd -- it's the size of gcc; you have to set it to
legacy and figure out what it's talking about. I did, anyway...

--
Glenn English

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Re: Installation suitability for Dell laptop

Georgi Naplatanov
In reply to this post by Thanos Katsiolis
On 9/16/19 8:15 PM, Thanos Katsiolis wrote:

> Hello,
>
> I am a new user of Debian and Linux in general. I am planning to install
> Debian on a Dell laptop, Inspiron 5570 in particular.
>
> I have started reading the installation guide on Debian webpage which
> mentions many points to consider during the procedure. I would like to
> know if the laptop is appropriate for Debian and if there is something
> that I should pay attention to specifically. Of course, all tips are
> welcome.
>
> I have also checked the list of laptops that run linux:
>
> https://www.linux-laptop.net <https://www.linux-laptop.net/>
>
> and doesn't have this machine.


Hi Thanos,

I have no answers to your questions but you can try Debian Live images
on the laptop:

https://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/current-live/amd64/bt-hybrid/

If you have not bought the laptop and you are not going to play games on
it then I would recommend Intel CPU with integrated video card. Drivers
for Intel hardware are fantastic.

HTH

Kind regards
Georgi

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Re: Installation suitability for Dell laptop

Felix Miata-3
In reply to this post by Thanos Katsiolis
Thanos Katsiolis composed on 2019-09-16 20:15 (UTC+0300):

> Inspiron 5570

That is a series of models, not a model.

Laptops that offer Hybrid graphics (Intel+AMD) or Optimus graphics (Intel+NVidia)
cause a lot of people a lot of grief. Pure Intel graphics and pure AMD graphics do
a fine job without similar grief. If you need dual graphics for gaming, I suggest
to go with Intel+AMD, which is less trouble, doesn't require kernel tainting for
best performance.
--
Evolution as taught in public schools is religion, not science.

 Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409 ** a11y rocks!

Felix Miata  ***  http://fm.no-ip.com/

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Re: Installation suitability for Dell laptop

Étienne Mollier
On 16/09/2019 20.13, Felix Miata wrote:
> Laptops that offer Hybrid graphics (Intel+AMD) or Optimus graphics (Intel+NVidia)
> cause a lot of people a lot of grief. Pure Intel graphics and pure AMD graphics do
> a fine job without similar grief. If you need dual graphics for gaming, I suggest
> to go with Intel+AMD, which is less trouble, doesn't require kernel tainting for
> best performance.

Furthermore, not having to deal with closed source driver allows
to use the Secure boot mode with Debian 10.  Having tried to use
a Debian 10 machine with the proprietary NVidia driver, and UEFI
Secure Boot active, UEFI prevents loading the driver somehow.

I haven't had the opportunity to test, does someone know if UEFI
prevents unsigned "driver" or "firmware" loading ?  (or both?)

Kind Regards,  :)
--
Étienne Mollier <[hidden email]>
Fingerprint:  5ab1 4edf 63bb ccff 8b54  2fa9 59da 56fe fff3 882d


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Re: Installation suitability for Dell laptop

deloptes-2
In reply to this post by ghe-2
ghe wrote:

>> I am a new user of Debian and Linux in general. I am planning to install
>> Debian on a Dell laptop, Inspiron 5570 in particular.
>
> I've never had much of a problem running Debian on Dell laptops. Right
> now, Buster is (reasonably) happy on my Dell Latitude 5414. Sound works,
> DVD player works, etc.

Latitude  != Inspiron

Latitude is the better product line, though there are also bad Latitude
machines.

Inspiron is cheaper == worse hardware

@OP avoid older AMD gpus, though Dell is using mostly Intel.

regards

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Re: Installation suitability for Dell laptop

didier gaumet-2
In reply to this post by Étienne Mollier
Le lundi 16 septembre 2019 21:00:04 UTC+2, Étienne Mollier a écrit :
[...]
> does someone know if UEFI
> prevents unsigned "driver" or "firmware" loading ?  (or both?)
[...]

it forbids it if SecureBoot is activated:
 https://wiki.debian.org/SecureBoot#Secure_Boot_limitations

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UEFI Secure Boot lockdown effects (Was: Installation suitability for Dell laptop)

Étienne Mollier
Didier Gaumet, on 2019-09-17:
> Le lundi 16 septembre 2019 21:00:04 UTC+2, Étienne Mollier a écrit :
> [...]
> > does someone know if UEFI
> > prevents unsigned "driver" or "firmware" loading ?  (or both?)
> [...]
>
> it forbids it if SecureBoot is activated:
>  https://wiki.debian.org/SecureBoot#Secure_Boot_limitations

Bonjour Didier,
Merci pour le lien!

So, as far as I understand, if Secure Boot is enabled, then
Linux enters in a lockdown mode effectively preventing the use
of third party drivers, as long as they are unsigned, or their
signature is not validated by the firmware (as in "UEFI firmware
of the motherboard").

Pushing further in the documentation, I haven't seen any mention
of the signature of third party firmware (as in "CPU, or GPU,
microcode" this time), so I /suppose/ that once the valid driver
is loaded, it /might/ have enough permissions to proceed to a
microcode upgrade of the component it is responsible for.
Having had a look at the various capabilities being disabled,
I haven't seen anything likely to prevent this particular kind
of manipulation.  Most entries seemed related to more or less
direct interferences from user land to the hardware at run
time.  It is interesting to note that hibernation is not usable
in conjunction with Secure Boot.

I see there is a possibility to bring our own signing keys into
the UEFI firmware using "mokutil", upper in the web page.  It
seems worth investigating, since I tend to play a lot with
Frankenkernels.  My current motherboard is a decade old
(so, good old BIOS is still alone on the firmware), but I am
slowly beginning to consider a refresh of my configuration, one
day.  In which case, I am seriously considering sticking to UEFI
Secure Boot, not exactly for security, mostly to have a general
idea of how things work, by practice.  (Having to drop 16 GiB of
RAM because of the general move do DDR4, or probably upper if I
wait long enough, is kind of sad though; it can wait a few more
years perhaps… )

With my apologies for the drift from the original thread…
Kind Regards,  :)
--
Étienne Mollier <[hidden email]>
Fingerprint:  5ab1 4edf 63bb ccff 8b54  2fa9 59da 56fe fff3 882d


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Re: UEFI Secure Boot lockdown effects (Was: Installation suitability for Dell laptop)

didier gaumet-2
Le mardi 17 septembre 2019 22:00:05 UTC+2, Étienne Mollier a écrit :
[...]
> I am seriously considering sticking to UEFI
> Secure Boot, not exactly for security, mostly to have a general
> idea of how things work, by practice.
[...]

I have not tested it myself (only KVM/Ovmf but without SecureBoot) but in case it could of interest to you, apparently one can simulate a SecureBoot environment in KVM/Qemu with Ovmf, albeit the beast does not react entirely like the real thing:
 https://github.com/puiterwijk/qemu-ovmf-secureboot
 http://www.linux-kvm.org/downloads/lersek/ovmf-whitepaper-c770f8c.txt

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Re: UEFI Secure Boot lockdown effects (Was: Installation suitability for Dell laptop)

Étienne Mollier
Didier Gaumet, on 2019-09-17:

> Le mardi 17 septembre 2019 22:00:05 UTC+2, Étienne Mollier a écrit :
> [...]
> > I am seriously considering sticking to UEFI
> > Secure Boot, not exactly for security, mostly to have a general
> > idea of how things work, by practice.
> [...]
>
> I have not tested it myself (only KVM/Ovmf but without
> SecureBoot) but in case it could of interest to you, apparently
> one can simulate a SecureBoot environment in KVM/Qemu with Ovmf,
> albeit the beast does not react entirely like the real thing:
>  https://github.com/puiterwijk/qemu-ovmf-secureboot
>  http://www.linux-kvm.org/downloads/lersek/ovmf-whitepaper-c770f8c.txt
Thanks, that should be a nice addition to my todo list.
Kind Regards,  :)
--
Étienne Mollier <[hidden email]>
Fingerprint:  5ab1 4edf 63bb ccff 8b54  2fa9 59da 56fe fff3 882d


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Re: Installation suitability for Dell laptop

Thanos Katsiolis
In reply to this post by Thanos Katsiolis
Thank you for your responses,

I also thought, as Georgi suggested, of first trying to use the live edition before proceeding to the actual installation. I should check more thoroughly the hardware specifications, as Miata suggested Inspiron 5570 is a series of models.

You also mentioned of choosing drivers. Aren’t those specific depending on the hardware, or it gives me options to choose from?

Glen I am not getting what you mean exactly, I may do when I will try to install the system.

Regards,
Thanos.