[talk] FreeBSD laptop advice

Mark Saad nonesuch at longcount.org
Fri Oct 9 14:25:39 EDT 2020

 In a similar vein as Pete I have a Thinkpad x250 i picked up second
hand on ebay for about 200 USD. It runs FreeBSD and OpenBSD with much
issue. The biggest
headache is the touchpad.  See this site for some good advice on
FreeBSD on the x250 but much of it applies to other models in general.
Other than that it came with a 1440x900 something lcd and 250G
spinning disk. I swapped out the LCD for the 1080p which I found on
amazon for ~75USD
and I used my old desktop SSD . All in all I spent about 250 - 275 I
don't exactly remember.  But in short I am happy with this Thinkpad as
a FreeBSD laptop. I have used HP, Dell and Acer
laptops in the past, I personally think the Thinkpad had the least
amount of weird crap .

On Thu, Oct 8, 2020 at 3:16 PM Pete Wright <pete at nomadlogic.org> wrote:
> On 10/8/20 11:13 AM, Brian Reynolds wrote:
> > As luck would have it my laptop died at the beginning of Stay At Home.
> >
> > I'm looking for advice on a laptop to buy that will run FreeBSD
> > RELEASE.  I know about the FreeBSD wiki Laptop page, and NYC BUG's
> > dmesg site, but I'm hoping to hear additional real world experience
> > from folks running FreeBSD as their daily machine.
> >
> > This laptop will mostly be used for web browsing, command line email,
> > and administrating my home network.  I expect to boot ZFS (hence
> > FreeBSD), and tinker with virtualbox, jails, and maybe bhyve, but I
> > have a desktop for any heavy lifting.
> >
> > I want an IPS display with a resolution of at least 1920x1080.  I'd
> > prefer a 15-inch display, but might settle for 13-inch.  I need
> > wireless to work.  The whole point is to be able to take the laptop
> > around the house, and not be stuck in my computer room.  I also want
> > suspend/resume to work.
> >
> > I don't care if bluetooth works.  I guess if the trackpad is crappy
> > enough I'd use a wireless mouse, but I don't mind using a Logitech
> > mouse with one of their non-bluetooth USB dongles.  I really want a
> > three button mouse/trackpad, so I could wind up with a wireless mouse
> > even if the trackpad is OK.  Integrated graphics are fine.  It would
> > be nice if it's user upgradable, but I don't mind soldered RAM and
> > storage so long as I know in advance, and can change my configuration
> > when purchasing.
> >
> > My older daughter has a Dell Latitude 5490 from school that I know
> > does not work (at least with FreeBSD 12.1-RELEASE).  Dell also has
> > Modern Standby (hibernation) issues with the XPS line.  (At least
> > under Windows 10 closing your Dell XPS 9570 and then putting it into a
> > bag will void your warranty.
> > <https://www.dell.com/community/XPS/FAQ-Modern-Standby/m-p/7514448#M55308>)
> >
> > I've heard good things about Lenovo, especially the Thinkpad X1
> > Carbon.  However it looks like their current wifi is not supported on
> > FreeBSD.  Lenovo recently announced support for Linux on all their
> > machines, but their website only lists four models, and of course
> > Linux support doesn't mean FreeBSD works.
> I have a Lenovo Thinkpad P43s that I run CURRENT on as my daily driver
> for work.  It is an interesting system b/c it has 2 GPU's, and
> integrated Intel this is the primary one and drives the display as well
> as a secondary Nvidia GPU which can be used on a per app basis.  I've
> got this working pretty good with some out of tree patches that I'm
> hoping to get merged at some point.
> Now to be honest I wouldn't recommend this as a general purpose laptop
> though due to the Nvidia secondary CPU - *but* I can report that pretty
> much all the hardware in that laptop including the wireless NIC is well
> supported.  So it might be worth seeing if there is a comparable system
> in the "mobile workstation" range from Lenovo without the second Nvidia
> GPU that is in your price range. In terms of hardware durability, the
> screen and battery life it's a Thinkpad and still has the build quality
> you'd expect IMHO.
> There is also System76 who has some interesting gear.  Unfortunately
> they are very Linux-centric but they have hardware that is mostly
> compatible with FreeBSD at a good price point.  I'm not sure about their
> Coreboot implementation supporting FreeBSD, but I had a Gazelle with a
> traditional BIOS and it worked well.
> Cheers,
> -pete
> --
> Pete Wright
> pete at nomadlogic.org
> @nomadlogicLA
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mark saad | nonesuch at longcount.org

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