Laptop recommendation

David Christensen dpchrist at
Sun Feb 19 02:53:06 UTC 2017

On 02/18/17 13:34, Sergei Akhmatdinov wrote:
>> When I bought my laptop back in 2007, I blew it -- it has a wireless
>> networking card with a Broadcom chipset that is not FOSS-friendly. Debian
>> has a work-around using proprietary firmware, but I would prefer a laptop
>> with 100% FOSS-supported hardware.
> Perhaps I am going off on a tangent, but most of the time you can buy
> an Aetheros card online and replace it.
> I currently use 11-STABLE on an Acer Inspire V3-571. It comes with
> some Broadcom card preinstalled, but I swapped it out for an
> Aetheros AR9285.
> Once the wireless networking card is replaced, everything else works
> out of the box in STABLE. RELEASE currently lacks full Elantech
> touchpad support. Suspend to RAM works too, suspend to disk doesn't,
> but I hardly ever use suspend anyway.

Swapping the WiFi adapter for a FOSS-friendly model is a good suggestion. currently has 5 WiFi adapters available:

Mine looks like this:

Three others look similar to mine (e.g. not encouraging).

But, this one is marked "Intel Model WM3945ABG":

grep'ing /usr/src/sys", it looks like my FreeBSD supports the Intel 
adapter via the 'wpi' device driver (?):

dpchrist at freebsd:/home/dpchrist $ grep 3945ABG /usr/src/sys/dev/wpi/if_wpi.c
  * Driver for Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG 802.11 network adapters.
  * The 3945ABG network adapter doesn't use traditional hardware as
	{ 0x8086, 0x4222,    0x0, "Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG" },
	{ 0x8086, 0x4227,    0x0, "Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG" },

I'll start a new thread to discuss it.

>> Probably the best strategy is to boot a live CD of your FOSS of choice on
>> whatever computer you are considering buying, and then take a look at dmesg,
>> etc.. Typically, this limits your purchasing options to the local geographic
>> market.  But, you might be able to find a savvy eBay seller who will send
>> you dmesg output.
> With FreeBSD, suspend support is still one of the big questions,
> so I would check that when doing a live CD test.

I installed Xfce.  Shutdown, Restart, Suspend, and Hibernate were broken 
OOTB.  I got Shutdown and Restart working.  I have yet to pursue Suspend 
and Hibernate.

>> This is not a new question.  Over the years, people have tried starting
>> businesses dealing in hardware for FOSS and/or existing businesses have
>> offered products with FOSS.  They never seem to last.  STFW and see what you
>> can find currently.
> Why, the businesses that do that still exist. Minifree and System76
> come to mind. The problem is that you will be severely overpaying
> for what they offer.

System76 seems to ship Ubuntu:

<title>System76 - Ubuntu Laptops, Desktops, and Servers</title>

Ministry of Freedom seems to ship Debian:

Minifree provides secure, privacy-respecting computers with 100% free 
and open source software, including the Libreboot BIOS replacement and 
Debian GNU+Linux operating system.

Do you have a link to a manufacturer that ships laptops with FreeBSD?


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