[GLLUG] Recycling computers with Linux

Alain Williams addw at phcomp.co.uk
Thu Nov 10 10:37:02 UTC 2016

On Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 08:08:59AM +0000, Greater London Linux UUG wrote:

> Hi Neil,
> Im a newbie to Linux and still struggling a bit.....
> Do i understand that you have redundant laptops with linux
> installed? I have a PC for my mail running linux (unsuccessfully at
> the moment) and i want to experiment with a linux (only) laptop to
> be run alongside my mac while i get my head around linux. I dont
> want to spend £5-800 (which is what the entry level to linux seems
> to be) and installing linux myself on a laptop is very difficult
> (BIOS locks these days)
> So i would welcome the opportunity to buy a ordinary laptop with
> running linux on board...... Let me know if you have one. (for cash)
> Im in Croydon area.

I bought a couple of laptops last month from Tesco; installed Linux Mint on them
they work very nicely. There are a couple of BIOS tweaks needed:

To install: copy Mint ISO to a USB stick and insert into the machine.

Get a real power off (reboot is not enough)

Press power switch
Press F2 every second for ~10 seconds to get into BIOS menu.

1) Choose 'boot' menu; set boot mode to Legacy

2) On another bios tab change 'trackpad' from advanced to basic

3) Set boot order so that the memory stick is first (reset this after you are
done installing)

Save BIOS (F10 or something)

Boot of USB stick.

(F12 will take you to a boot menu if you try hard enough, also needs to be enabled
in BIOS.)

Install Mint -- there are a few prompts, easy enough to follow, accept defaults
where offered.

Should be done in 10 mins.

£180-ish. Price has gone up in the last fortnight:


2 GiB RAM - but that is enough for much usage. Runs 8+ hours on battery.

Alain Williams
Linux/GNU Consultant - Mail systems, Web sites, Networking, Programmer, IT Lecturer.
+44 (0) 787 668 0256  http://www.phcomp.co.uk/
Parliament Hill Computers Ltd. Registration Information: http://www.phcomp.co.uk/contact.php
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