Sun. May 26th, 2024

Linux will work on nearly any PC. I imply that actually. Keep in mind the Intel Pentium 4 processor? It is nonetheless supported by Debian Linux. That mentioned, Linux runs higher on some laptops than others. Lately fairly just a few big-name PC makers even supply official help for Linux, which means you may have someplace to show if issues go awry.

That can assist you determine the perfect Linux laptop computer to your excellent rig, I have been putting in (or making an attempt to put in) Linux on each laptop computer I’ve examined for the previous three years. Nearly all of them labored nice, however some had been simpler to get working than others. Various of my favorites include Linux proper out of the field.

You should definitely try our different shopping for guides, like Greatest Laptops, Greatest Low-cost Laptops, Greatest MacBooks, and How you can Select the Proper Laptop computer.

Desk of Contents

Greatest for the MinimalistBest for the MaximalistBest RepairableBest for HackersBest for SysadminsIf Your Price range Is TightWhat to Look For in a Linux Laptop computer

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Dell’s XPS 13 Developer Version was one of many first big-name laptops to ship with Linux and it stays the lightest, smallest laptop computer with Linux put in. This configuration sports activities a Twelfth-Era Intel i7-1250U processor, 32 GB of RAM (soldered), and a 1-TB SSD. It ships with Ubuntu Linux 20.04, however in my testing, it should fortunately run any distro from Fedora to Arch (Dell help applies solely to Ubuntu although). If you’re on the product web page, be sure to select Ubuntu Linux 20.04 LTS as your working system (it defaults to Home windows). 

For extra particulars on the {hardware}, see our overview of the Home windows model (6/10 WIRED Evaluate). Whereas efficiency was not nice with Home windows, I’ve not discovered the identical to be true utilizing Ubuntu. The principle disadvantage to this machine is the shortage of ports. There are two USB-C ports, one in every of which is your charging port. There is not even a headphone jack. 

If the Dell’s lack of ports leaves you wanting, that is the laptop computer for you. System76’s Pangolin (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is a 15-inch, AMD-powered monster of a laptop computer with each port a sysadmin might hope for. This config ships with an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U, 32 GB of RAM (soldered), and a 250-GB SSD. You possibly can configure the Pangolin with as much as 8 TB of storage.

The battery life is nice for the scale—it lasts all day in most use instances—nevertheless it’s not so good as the Dell. The keyboard, however, is implausible and an actual pleasure to sort on. The one draw back is the quantity pad, which makes the trackpad off-center. The port choice is the place the Pangolin actually shines. There’s Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0, a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 Sort-C port (with DisplayPort help, however not Thunderbolt), three USB-A ports, a 3.5-mm headphone/microphone combo jack, and a full-size SD card reader. 

Most Repairable and Future-Proof

If you would like a laptop computer you may improve, Framework’s Laptop computer is the perfect Linux rig for you. There are just a few flavors obtainable. I examined the second launch of the 13-inch mannequin (8/10, WIRED Recommends) and cherished it. Proper now you may preorder an AMD Ryzen 7 7040 or Intel Core Thirteenth-Gen collection system with 32 GB of RAM, a 2-TB SSD, and whichever mixture of ports fits your wants for round $1,400. That can ship with no working system. When it arrives you may set up Linux your self (or choose to ship it with Home windows if you must twin boot). The one catch is that the AMD mannequin ships within the third quarter of the yr, although the Intel model will ship in June. Should you’re okay with the previous-gen chips, you may seize one in the present day.

I examined Ubuntu, which Framework helps, and Arch Linux, and each labored nice (although Framework doesn’t formally help Arch). My solely gripe about utilizing the Framework is my gripe about virtually any Linux laptop computer: Battery life could possibly be higher. 

The System76 Oryx Professional is available in both 15-inch or 17-inch fashions with Twelfth-Gen Intel processors and Nvidia graphics (both the 3070 Ti or 3080 Ti GPU). There are alternatives for a shiny, OLED 4K display screen, as much as 64 GB of RAM, and as much as 8 TB of SSD area. It is not low-cost, however the Oryx Professional is by far essentially the most highly effective laptop computer on this web page. Just like the Pangolin above, the Oryx ships with both System76’s Pop_OS! or Ubuntu Linux. Not like the Pangolin, the Intel chip within the Oryx Professional means it ships with Coreboot, and open supply firmware.

OK, OK, it is corny, however there’s one thing concerning the Lenovo X1 Carbon Linux version that makes me wish to set up Kali Linux and begin probing the espresso store Wi-Fi. Regardless of the case, it is a slick laptop computer for these of us who suppose ThinkPads are, ahem, slick. That slickness comes at a severe worth although. For nearly double the value of our different picks, you get a Thirteenth-Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, and a 256-GB SSD (a lot of that is customizable). 

On the plus aspect, you do get a pleasant 2K (2,880 X 1,800), OLED, anti-glare display screen. I’ve not had an opportunity to check this newest mannequin, however I actually just like the earlier launch (8/10, WIRED Recommends,) and the brand new model is primarily a spec bump. It is steadily on sale.

{Photograph}: Lenovo

One of many beauties of Linux is that it requires fewer assets and maintains help for older {hardware} far longer than Home windows or macOS. Which means you need not lay our a fortune on a brand new laptop computer; you may breathe life into an previous one or seize a used laptop computer off eBay. I’ve been doing this for years, working my method by way of Lenovo’s X-series laptops (beginning with an X220, now an X14 Gen 1), however previous Dell and Asus laptops are additionally nice for Linux. Should you choose to purchase used, take a look at our information to purchasing used on eBay to be sure to get a superb deal.

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