Linux on the desktop


historically, thinkpads are the go-to linux portable. i’ve used a few. everything’s supported, and they’re pretty durable and repairable. i’m still using my old r61i–the same one i used to play the monomeet show five years ago. thinkpads generally don’t need the weird efi/firmware workarounds that macbooks and chromebooks do.


same here, and I’ve been looking for this as well the last days/weeks.
as @ioflow already mentioned thinkpads seem to be a good option.
Although 12inch only, I think I’ll start with a x200 thinkpad.
These seem to be an interesting option, too:


+1 for thinkpads. My main machine is an X201. I bought it used two years ago for less than 200€, dropped in an SSD i already had, and voilà. At first it was supposed to be a take-anywhere disposable netbook to me, but the form factor grew on me. It’s the size of an A4 paper.
Before that i had a 13.3" laptop that i just find huge and bulky in comparison.
I have a docking station in the studio, and a power supply in two other places. (Battery life is still good but i actually use the CPU, so a plug is needed after a couple of hours).


+1 for thinkpads. mostly using a t430 right now (still!) and must admit a certain lust for that skinny X1.


Hmmm… as minimal as I can get the process is to use wpa_supplicant’s Qt gui to edit my /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf (or with some text editor if you’re used to appending ssid/auth combos) then use dmenu to type in the wpa_cli command for my usual networks’ index (wpa_cli select_network 0). I default to the gui again if I’m visiting an unfamiliar network.

EDIT: and like others, goin on my 5th thinkpad :slight_smile:


It’s funny you mention that, I upgraded the kernel on my x230 a couple days and now my firmware loading is reallllly wonky. Takes the interface almost a minute to show sometimes and I have to start wpa_supplicant the service manually after throwing a watch on ifconfig.


Im currently using ubuntu (in vmware on mac) as a build machine… but sounds like perhaps arch linux (64bit) with a tiling wm (awesomewm?) , sounds like it might be a much lighter VM to run.

also ive got an old (and battered) macbook pro, how is the linux support for this… again, perhaps just as a build machine. (Im thinking perhaps dual boot it mac os/linux … dont need macOS really, as Ive got other more up to date macs for music etc, so only dev)


The problem I always get with running a tiling window manager in a virtual machine is that they really need a dedicated prefix key assigned to them (e.g. the cmd/win key), when you’re in a VM it’s really hard to find such a key that doesn’t interfere with the host OS.


What about ratpoison? :slight_smile:

Prefix: CTRL-T.


After all the good words about thinkpads I’m about to get one very soon :floppy_disk:
First I was looking for x200 models but the x201 model mentioned above comes equipped with an i5/i7 instead of a Core 2 Duo CPU which defintely makes it more interesting than a x200 :race_car:
Are there any downsides compared to a x200?
From a more experienced view, which thinkpad model would guys recommend for a beginner?

Any feedback/help is much appreciated!!


Made the switch from stumpwm to dwm. Almost totally painless - dwm boots quicker, possibly switches focus even snappier (hard to call), but most importantly it actually has a useable floating window implementation, whereas stumpwm really seems to be not quite right in this respect.

stumpwm is more ‘emacs-like’, which I initially loved due to familiarity. It’s also a lot better for initially experimenting to figure out the ideal set of keybindings. But two days after the switch my only feeling is happy to actually be able to run kicad, gimp, puredata & ardour seamlessly. All of these programs have major useability issues when the WM rigidly enforces tiling behaviour.


Really stoked that you gave it a try and it’s helping you be productive! DWM makes using the computer so painless.

I totally agree, I’ve found that Pure Data especially sucks in a tiled environment.


I guess it’s time I give DWM a try!


absolutely ecstatic after installing DWM.

thank you all for the suggestion!


ok i am obsessed with this now:


30 seconds in and I’m already intrigued. If my coworkers adhered to the “suckless philosophy” I’d be working for a very very different company…


Xubuntu user here for the last few years. I really like Xfce, it just gets out of the way. I was a FreeBSD user from the 2.2.x days (1990s) and favored IceWM.


thanks for the tip. i’m going to fool around with this, maybe get it running on a beaglebone black


Reading around the 'net, various forum discussions about it. Sounds like it isn’t always rosy. I guess that’s the price for having such a strong point of view. I’m getting the impression it is a good fit for embedded systems where userland is expected to remain small.


i am one for strong points of view!