The faculty provides all members with a standard desktop computer that is managed by us. However, some people prefer to additionally have a notebook, e.g. for travelling.

Buying a Notebook

As the funds of the faculty itself are limited, there is no way that the faculty can buy everyone a notebook. However, there are some funds available for faculty members to buy notebooks, see the hardware allocation guideline.

Additionally, people with their own funds can buy any equipment they like, which includes notebooks. However, please make sure that you are actually allowed to buy the notebook with your funds. In case you don't know whether you can do this, please contact the project service team!

If you need help, please contact Thomas Leitner - he can provide help in choosing a notebook as well as order the notebook for you.

Supported Notebook Models

If you want to buy a notebook, we are not limiting your choices. However, please be aware of the following points:

  • A good monetary limit for buying a laptop is around 1.500 EUR. If the limit is lower, say 1.000 EUR, you won't have many business class notebooks that are thin and light. With the mentioned limit you can get (for yourself or your project members) very good hardware.
  • If you plan to use Microsoft Windows on your notebook, you have to make sure that a MS Windows license (~100 euro) is included in the purchase. Otherwise you are not allowed to use the enhanced Windows version of the university.
  • If you want to have a Windows notebook that is managed by us (as opposed to managing everything yourself), most notebooks will work. The models from the u:book sale and generally all business class models from Lenovo and HP work fine.

    You can buy other models but then we cannot guarantee that we are able to manage the notebook on your behalf! If the selected notebook model was never integrated by the ZID before, it may take longer than usual since then we possibly need to take it to the ZID for integration.

  • We recommend notebooks from the u:book sale that takes place two times a year (once in mid February and once in mid September). All non-Apple models have been thoroughly tested to work as managed devices, include three years of warranty and Linux is working flawlessly on nearly all of them.
  • If you want to buy a Linux notebook and really don't like the available u:book models, please make sure that Linux supports the hardware of your specific model. Most problems that may occur arise from the graphics or (wireless) networking chip. If the manufacturer also sells the laptop with Linux pre-installed (whatever distribution like Ubuntu, RedHat, Fedora, SuSE, ...), that usually means that also other Linux distributions will work on this model. It is your responsibility to watch out for problems before making your decision! math:IT services will not be able to develop hardware drivers...

Windows on Notebooks

You have the following two options:

  1. (Recommended) We install the notebook for you (with Windows 10).

    This is the recommended option because then the notebook will get the necessary security updates automatically. The notebook's disk will also be encrypted to ensure conformity to GDPR. For software installations you just need to order the software and it will automatically be installed. You still can have an administrative account for installing custom software etc.

    The base installation usually takes a few days. Please note that our installation will only work well if you are able and willing to connect the notebook to the university network (or VPN) regularly (at least every 2-3 weeks) for installing updates! Please see this page for further details.

  2. Support Windows by yourself.

    The notebook has to come with a pre-installed Windows version. We will install the University version of Windows 10 to make sure the base installation is GDPR compliant. After that you will get the notebook and you can then install the software you need. Free software can be downloaded from the internet. If you need non-free software, follow the software ordering instructions for 'unmanaged clients'.

Linux on Notebooks

You have the following two options:

  1. (Recommended) We install the notebook for you (Ubuntu).

    We install the same Ubuntu version on the notebook as is used at the Faculty and make sure that this base installation is GDPR compliant (e.g. disc encryption).

    This usually takes just a few days. Please tell us in advance if you need some special packages. We will install all the usual packages like Firefox, LibreOffice, LaTeX environment, etc. Please note that after installation we do not offer support for these laptops. Take care of software upgrades yourself when the system notifies you. Root access to the laptop will of course be granted so you can install other software packages later on.

  2. Install and support Linux by yourself.

    There are many different Linux distributions available for free. We recommend Ubuntu (or Linux Mint) for laptops because they come preconfigured well for most laptop hardware configurations and are very user-friendly (depending on the desktop environment, there are specialized distributions you can choose from; Kubuntu includes KDE as default desktop, Xubuntu includes Xfce etc.). Almost all software available for Linux is directly installable via the Ubuntu software center (and an Internet connection). If you need non-free software (e.g. Mathematica, Matlab, ...), follow the software ordering instructions for 'unmanaged clients'.

    Important note: If you install the notebook yourself, you will have to ensure that it is GDPR compliant. This means, at the minimum, using full disc encryption.