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I'm newbie to Ubuntu. I have a laptop. This is designed for Windows 7. Anyway I want to install Ubuntu here.

I used Ubuntu Server several times, but all in the virtual machines. So installation on physical machine is first time now.

In Windows 7, I had to install many drivers to make it perform well. For example, Intel's chipset driver, storage driver, NIC driver, and Atheros' WLAN driver. Actually WLAN didn't even detected without the driver.

Should I install something like that driver on Ubuntu to make it perform as its designed performance? How about WLAN? I can't figure out how can I make the LAN & WLAN NICs.

I'm using Ubuntu Server 10.04 LTS. x64.

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2 Answers 2

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What you need to install depends completely on the hardware. Most things should work out-the-box and those that don't or have other drivers available should suggest the drivers that can be installed.

In the case of a wireless chipset, this can mean you need a wired connection to download the driver but my experience of Atheros is largely positive (just works, no additional drivers required).

You can look up to see if things will work but frankly, that's a lot of time unless you're using a very popular SKU (eg macbook, certain dells, etc) and there's a single page about it. By all means Google for your laptop model with "Ubuntu" in the search.

But I would suggest testing the LiveCD. You can burn a CD and be running in a real Ubuntu environment without installing anything. You'll see first-hand how much is working and how well it works.

Two things about what you're installing though:

  • 10.04 is old in technology terms. Yes, it'll be supported for a while yet but driver improvements don't always find their way back to older versions. Try the LiveCD first. If everything works out the box, ignore me. If it doesn't, try the LiveCD of 11.10 and if that makes a large difference, I'd go newer.
  • Server? I'm not entirely sure why you're going to install a text-mode operating system on a laptop. There are valid reasons so I won't hark on about it too much but if this is your first real install, server isn't going to hold your hand as much as the desktop install process will.
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Thanks. Actually I just need a server :) As you said, my Ubuntu installation detected most of them automatically! –  Eonil Dec 21 '11 at 13:14

ubuntu should automatically detect if there are third party drivers for your system. If so, then Go to System \ Administration and then click on Hardware drivers. I will will there see if ubuntu detected drivers for your systems. You must manually activate them. If I am right, it will also begin download it, if not already done. If you do not have a WLAN connection because the drivers must be install first, then you will have to connect your PCs wired first until you get at least the drivers for the WLAN adapter. But I already installed lots of computer (laptop / desktops) with ubuntu 10.04 up to 11.10 and never had the problem that it makes problems with WLAN or LAN drivers... If your laptop is new, then take ubuntu 11.10 and enjoy...

hth

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