UPDATE October 15th: I’m back to using Ubuntu due to the touchpad issue with Linux Mint. I still have no solution for the multiple screen problems or for the video problems with Ubuntu.
Running linux on my Acer Aspire V3-571G laptop turned out to be harder than I thought it would be. I don’t think I’ve settled on a distro yet, but here are my experiences so far:
Being the most popular distro (lingo for linux distribution), I tried Ubuntu first. It seemed to work well enough out of the box, but I had problems using multiple displays. I like to hook my laptop up to a second screen but for some reason only half of the screen would show. I spent hours and hours researching the problem and solutions to it. The fact that the laptop has two graphic cards, one from Intel and one from NVIDIA, leads to a ton of problems. Supposedly, the new nvidida prime drivers should make life easier, but they didn’t work for me.
I also have problems playing videos. Playing any video will in most cases cause the laptop to freeze.
Kubuntu is a variant of Ubuntu with another type of desktop. It never worked for me at all. I could log in, but the desktop wouldn’t launch.
Lubuntu is a very light weight version of Ubuntu, using the small desktop LXDE. It worked well. It was very fast, and easily customizable. It’s the distro I still use on an old 13″ netbook I have. The reason I didn’t stick with Lubuntu is that it is indeed very lightweight. A lot of features I’m used to having weren’t there, and though I guess I could’ve spent some time trying other window managers and whatnot, I went on to try something else.
No. Too close to the metal for me. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t even manage to install it correctly. It looks like several people are running Arch with this laptop though, so don’t be discouraged by my impatience.
I like Linux MInt with the Cinnamon desktop. It’s the distro I’m using right now, while writing this post. The only issue, and it might actually be reason enough to try another distro, is that my touchpad stopped working after the first reboot. The drivers won’t load. I can point and click with it, but scrolling won’t work. So far using an external mouse has gotten me through the day, but if I can’t find a solution to this problem then I’ll try something else.
One thing that annoyed me at first is that I can’t log in to wireless networks that require a username and password by clicking on the network in the list of available networks. It’s not an issue though, when I discovered that manually adding the network by connecting to a “hidden network” worked.
I’ve also tried linux mint with the MATE and Xfce desktops without much luck.
I’ll keep updating this post as I try new linux distros on my Acer Aspire V3-571G laptop.