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- Can I buy an installation CD from EmperorLinux?
- Can I compare keyboard layouts and sizes?
- Can I get a laptop without Windows? (Can I avoid the "Windows tax"?)
- Can you give me any helpful hints for installing Linux on my own laptop?
- Do I have to use Fedora, or will you put on other distributions?
- Do you have a brochure that I can print out?
- Do you offer dual-boot configurations? Is that extra?
- Do you offer extended support contracts?
- How do you partition the disk? Can I get custom sizes?
- How do you pick new laptops for your product line?
- Is there a warranty? For hardware? For software?
- Is there a way for me to easily compare all the system specifications, prices, etc. at the same time?
- Some of your laptop systems don't have internal CD's! What's up with no CD's?
- What do I get with an EmperorLinux laptop?
- What if I bought a laptop before I found out about EmperorLinux? Can you still help me?
- Why don't you offer my favorite laptop or distribution?
- Why don't you provide prices in your ads? Why don't the prices in your ads match your website?
- Why don't you sell accessories to people who aren't buying a laptop?
- Why would I have you do my Linux install rather than doing it myself?
|Q:||Can I buy an installation CD from EmperorLinux? ( by ldurey on Oct 11 04, 14:44 ) |
At this time, we don't sell a CD with the required Linux modifications for
laptops. There are two reasons for this. The first is that we offer so many
distributions customized for so many
machines. The second is that our install customizations (like the kernel) change very frequently.
We do offer a depot install service, or
you can try to roll your own, too.
|Q:||Can I compare keyboard layouts and sizes? ( by elf on Jan 31 05, 11:50 ) |
Yes. We have posted pictures of the keyboard and mouse layouts of each of our systems.
Small views make it easy to compare everything at a glance or click on the thumbnails to get a larger view annotated with the dimensions of the laptops' features.
For the few systems missing images, we'll post new keyboard photos as soon as they become available. If only one system within a family is pictured, it's generally safe to assume that the dimensions for all systems in that family are close or identical.
|Q:||Can I get a laptop without Windows? (Can I avoid the "Windows tax"?) ( by elf on Feb 07 07, 11:54 ) |
Yes. Dell and Lenovo are now offering some laptops that come without any operating system pre-installed by the manufacturer. This lets us offer the systems to you with only the Linux distribution of your choice installed and without the "Windows tax." Contact our sales staff to find out which machines are currently available under this program.
|Q:||Can you give me any helpful hints for installing Linux on my own laptop? ( by ldurey on Oct 11 04, 15:49 ) |
Of course! Many people contact us wondering if we can help them install Linux on a machine they have. Our depot install service has saved many of these Linux enthusiasts much time and frustration.
The reason many newer laptop and notebook systems don't work well with the
standard Linux distributions is that the base distribution kernel is never
up-to-date enough to support the ever-changing hardware in cutting edge portable systems. Particularly problematic items include Wireless ethernet (WiFi),
APM and ACPI for power management (suspend and hibernate under Linux),
FireWire connected drives and docking stations, getting hardware accelerated XFree, using PCMCIA expansion cards, the list goes on…
Our systems enjoy support for all the latest hardware primarily because we put
so much effort into the empkernel.
We are always looking out for new patches for exotic hardware support.
If you want to put a Linux laptop system together yourself, you will have to:
- recompile the kernel to get all the latest code
- patch your kernel up with various goodies (FireWire, WiFi, ACPI, swsusp, …)
- compile ALSA to get sound, perhaps adding xmms plugins
- compile and update your PCMCIA services for expansion cards
To accomplish the above, the following may be helpful:
kernel from (kernel.org),
lots of patches from SourceForge.net,
PCMCIA from (pcmcia-cs.sourceforge.net),
alsa-sound from (alsa-project.org)
A whole lot more than that goes into the empkernel, but that should get you started.
|Q:||Do I have to use Fedora, or will you put on other distributions? ( by ldurey on Oct 11 04, 14:42 ) |
Fedora is not the only distribution we will install for you. EmperorLinux will happily install the distribution of your choice on your new Linux laptop.
Fedora is, however, the most popular Linux distribution on our systems. It exists at the middle ground of Linux, not the easiest to use, and not the hardest either. Not the closest to the machine, and not the farthest either.
For more comments on what distribution we might put on a Linux laptop for you,
see our distributions page.
|Q:||Do you have a brochure that I can print out? ( by ldurey on Oct 11 04, 14:26 ) |
Yes. You can download a PDF brochure that provides a good summary of our services and the current batch of available systems. There isn't any pricing information, however, so that the brochure can remain accurate for as long as possible; the best place to look for prices is our system comparison chart. Feel free to call us or e-mail us if you have any additional questions.
|Q:||Do you offer dual-boot configurations? Is that extra? ( by ldurey on Oct 11 04, 14:46 ) |
Yes, we offer dual-boot installations at no extra charge. See Dual-boot for details.
|Q:||Do you offer extended support contracts? ( by elf on Feb 28 05, 11:19 ) |
|A:||Yes, EmperorLinux offers extended support contracts in one year increments. Just contact our order staff for details.|
|Q:||How do you partition the disk? Can I get custom sizes? ( by ldurey on Oct 11 04, 15:32 ) |
Our systems typically come with:
- / on 8-12+ GB,
- /rescue on 220 MB,
- swap on 1GB - 2GB, (based on RAM size)
- opt: /win 8-12 GB (min), or up to half the disk (your choice),
- opt: /data 2+ GB for data interchange with the windows OS
- /home on the rest.
Experience has shown these to good sizes and a good partition layout. The root
partition is big enough to let you add lots of extra software. Having
/home on a separate partition gives you the freedom to format
/ if you want to install a fresh distribution of Linux in the future,
without having to worry about your personal stuff. Separate /tmp and /var are
not really needed on a portable system.
If you have us leave the windows OS on your system, we'll happily resize it to
any size you choose, and put Linux on the rest of the disk. Many customers get
something in the 5-10 GB range. Also, as most windows installations come on
NTFS formatted partitions, your Linux kernel will not be able to write to
/win (but you can read it). The optional /data partition is
formatted as FAT32, so both OS's can read and write it.
|Q:||How do you pick new laptops for your product line? ( by elf on Jan 20 05, 15:35 ) |
Our research department pores over industry data to determine the best possible name-brand laptops for compatibility, price, and performance. Customer requests are also a factor; if we're asked about a machine often enough, we'll bring it in for testing. When we find a laptop we like, we put it through its paces, testing:
- The usability of the display in X (resolution, XV, and 3D support)
- The processor, memory, and disk speeds using in-house benchmarks
- Battery charge lifetime
- PCMCIA card handling (hot swapping)
- USB device support (mice, floppies, printers, Zip drives, etc.)
- FireWire device support (CDRWs, hard drives, Zip drives, etc.)
- Port usability (including parallel, serial, VGA and IrDA)
- Palm Pilot connectivity
- and many other facets of Linux performance
When we are satisfied (and we've played with it for a few days), we offer these systems pre-configured on our website. At the same time, we announce it to the world through our mailing lists and news section.
|Q:||Is there a warranty? For hardware? For software? ( by ldurey on Oct 11 04, 15:34 ) |
Yes! All of our systems come with the full manufacturers' warranties.
This means that if you have any hardware-related problems, you deal directly
with Dell, Lenovo, Panasonic, Sony, or Sharp. We are not (yet) a hardware company, just a
About software: Linux, of course, is free, and is covered by the GNU-GPL.
That means that, among other things, we can sell it to you but can't claim we
wrote it. Linus wrote Linux. So we won't guarantee that our systems will
solve global hunger or wash your socks. We DO guarantee that our Linux
installation and configuration is the best there is anywhere for portable computing. We back this up with a 30-day money-back guarantee, even if
you just didn't like the setup. Also, all our systems come with expert
toll-free technical support from people who use Linux on our laptops every
|Q:||Is there a way for me to easily compare all the system specifications, prices, etc. at the same time? ( by ldurey on Oct 11 04, 14:27 ) |
The answer to this question is now, "Yes." You can take a look at the
Compare Systems page for a single table summarizing all the system specifications and their current pricing
information. Just click on the heading of each column to sort by
Click on the column heading again to reverse the ordering of the sort.
For all the details of system configuration options, you
can look at individual system description pages, or compare up to three models detailed specifications side-by-side. You can also compare specifications for each model family graphically.
You can compare systems' screen resolutions and their keyboard layouts and sizes, as well.
|Q:||Some of your laptop systems don't have internal CD's! What's up with no CD's? ( by ldurey on Oct 11 04, 14:34 ) |
Well, an optional CD
is always available, but for the most part you won't ever miss it. Stick with
me here. These are meant to be ultra-portable, carried to class or the library
or the board meeting in one hand. You can put your EmperorLinux Laptop and
three O'Reilly books in your backpack; many of these laptops are smaller than
your books. You won't miss the weight. I know; you want tunes! Well, 1GB of
MP3's is 16 hours of music. You'll get your tunes, just bring some nifty
ear-bud-phones. Leave those 16 jewel cases at home. "I'll need it to get
software." No, a wise man once said, "The network is the computer." These
machines are easily and powerfully net-enabled. Any software worth having is
|Q:||What if I bought a laptop before I found out about EmperorLinux? Can you still help me? ( by ldurey on Oct 11 04, 14:29 ) |
See our depot install service, where we install Linux on your laptop and provide technical support like we do for our regular laptop offerings. Or, if you would like to live the adventure, we can give you a few hints as
to how to roll your own Linux laptop.
|Q:||Why don't you offer my favorite laptop or distribution? ( by elf on Jan 14 05, 13:27 ) |
The short answer is that in order to keep our support burden reasonable, we need to limit our offerings to some extent. At this writing, we offer laptops from over ten different families of systems from five manufacturers with your choice from among six different Linux distributions.
That's a lot of different combinations!
To address the specific point, we choose our laptops based on the laptops' individual merits, past history with the manufacturers' laptops, and your requests. We added Ubuntu to our distribution offerings based on exponentially increasing customer requests, and now its one of our most popular installations.
If you're not willing to wait to see if requests convince us to add a system to our normal product line, you are also welcome to contact us about putting together a custom laptop order.
|Q:||Why don't you provide prices in your ads? Why don't the prices in your ads match your website? ( by ldurey on Oct 11 04, 15:53 ) |
There are two related answers to this question. The first is that the
lead-time for our artwork to reach the publisher is
generally two to three months before the magazine issue is published. The
second is that we like to change our laptop and notebook prices when the
machine manufacturers do. When these answers are taken together, it is very
difficult for us to estimate what the prices of our systems are going to be far
enough in advance to meet the printing deadlines. Therefore, we prefer to
point you to our website, where we can easily provide you with up-to-date
|Q:||Why don't you sell accessories to people who aren't buying a laptop? ( by elf on Jan 12 05, 17:56 ) |
We restrict the sale of accessories to EmperorLinux laptop and notebook customers, because we want to ensure that we can provide the best possible Linux support environment for those accessories. This requires that:
- The laptop already has the additional configuration files and packages that are installed by EmperorLinux that go above and beyond the base distributions.
- The laptop is running the empkernel, a customized Linux kernel compiled by EmperorLinux.
As a result, the EmperorLinux support staff will know the configuration of the machine being used with the purchased accessory. This will assist them in providing the quality of technical support we strive to maintain.
In any case, you are welcome to use the EmperorLinux accessories page as a reference for devices which pass our Linux compatibility check.
|Q:||Why would I have you do my Linux install rather than doing it myself? ( by ldurey on Oct 11 04, 15:34 ) |
Many Linux users have had previous experience with installing Linux on their personal laptop, and remember it as days or weeks of frustration and lack of success as they strive to find the software and configurations that they need in order to make all of their laptop hardware run. The goal of EmperorLinux is to let Linux users avoid that lost time and those frustration levels by buying a laptop whose hardware is guaranteed to work in Linux from the moment they take it out of the box.