Often people wanting to know if Ubuntu will run on a potential hardware purchase are advised to use the LiveCD, perhaps in-store, to check hardware compatibility. For example, this answer suggests drivers will usually not be an issue if they work off the LiveCD, but it also says to test "extensively".

Given that if you do this in-store, you'll have a limited time period to do the testing, what is the most efficient way to test the computer? For example, after running a program like vlc to check video and audio...is it then necessary to try a music player too? What settings should be checked?

Let's assume I am interested in all the usual laptop functions (suspend, hibernate, wireless), in addition to things like built-in webcam, microphone, etc.

Also, if the laptop doesn't have an optical drive (like some of the newer thin laptops), then I would have to boot from USB. Is this just as reliable as testing from the CD? (I feel silly asking this, but I know some laptops behave differently booting from USB, e.g. Apple)

  • practically it is impossible ,because live cd /dvd need more resource than hdd installation ,still system testing app is helpful
    – Tachyons
    Apr 16, 2012 at 1:54
  • howtogeek.com/howto/16666/…
    – Tachyons
    Apr 16, 2012 at 1:59
  • I see no reason why you couldn't design a persistent USB drive to do this. You could preload it applications and audio/video of your liking. Testing wireless would be a piece of cake. The only thing I imagine might be a hangup would be graphics, as those types of changes are not persistent.
    – Huckle
    Apr 16, 2012 at 2:00
  • Suspending is accomplishable, but you must set the USB as the first boot device in bios.
    – Huckle
    Apr 16, 2012 at 2:01
  • 1
    I do not think there is a quick way. You identify the hardware, boot Ubuntu, confirm the hardware is or is not working. Most problems arise from video cards, wireless cards, and less often audio or web cams. So, when you boot, does X work? is the resolution correct, can you connect to wireless, and stream audio. Bring a test file on a flash drive and play it. Try the webcam. Should be straightforward.
    – Panther
    Apr 16, 2012 at 3:46

2 Answers 2


The best way would be to run through the Ubuntu Friendly Test Suite. Simply search for "Friendly" in the Apps lens, and run the "System Testing" app. This already has all hardware related cases, and is a quick, easy way to test through all hardware enablement test cases. More info can be found here: https://friendly.ubuntu.com/participate/

  • Hi Chris. Looks good! +1 for now... I'll accept this after I check this out. Apr 30, 2012 at 23:46

You need Checkbox test suite in this case: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Testing/Automation/Checkbox

Also create a hw-probe of the computer to investigate system logs for hardware related errors.

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