My iMac is aging and since I’ve been investigating Linux (via VM) lately I think I want to purchase a new computer that Linux would love to run on and just jump over to Linux full time. I guess I’m looking for best brands and/or specs to watch for when purchasing a computer for Linux use. I’m leaning toward a desktop pc, but laptops wouldn’t be out of the question, I just don’t really need to travel with it. Anyway, I’m at the beginning of my hardware search and was just looking for ideas on what works best. Thanks!
These are Laptops. It’s not really necessary to list desktop computers, because the vast majority of them will work without issues. The only thing you should look out for, is that AMD graphics cards seem to be more reliable and more compatible with Linux, than NVIDIA ones.
These links give you a fairly broad idea of what is available.
Depending on your budget, and the specifications you would prefer.
It might be worth your while to consider a refurbished computer, such as an Intel Skylake chipset model.
I don’t really think there is a best computer for any OS to be honest as we all have different requirements. Do you want a laptop or desktop. What memory and disk type do you want what sort of internet connection and perhaps more importantly what is your price range. Most new ones will come bundled with stuff unless you go down the self build root and that is fairly easy to do these days. Novatech - https://www.novatech.co.uk in the UK are one of the places you can go to for that sort of thing and there are other places if you do a search. When I got my laptop 4 years ago I went with best match I wanted and then added to things like memory and an ssd to get what I wanted - I personally have never had any problems with any pc or laptop that I’ve installed Mint on regardless if they were AMD or Intel. So my advice is to do a list of what you want and then see what you meet those requirement and if you can get the best possible deals. Remember there are some that come Ubuntu installed, but they seem a bit pricey to my mind
Over the last ten years or so, I’ve gone to using only laptops with great results, at least for my situation. I do need portability from time to time, so being able to lift a laptop off of its dock and take it with me is great. On my return, I pop it back onto the dock and it’s all good. For my office desk, I have a laptop on its dock and it is connected to a 24" display sitting next to it, giving me the dual-display I simply could not get along without. I have a wireless keyboard on my desk’s slide-out. No need to ever fool around with connecting/disconnecting anything when using a dock. My wife has no need for dual displays, so her laptop is neatly tucked into a shelf under her desk and connected (againi, on a dock) to her 24" display and keyboard on her desk. It serves as a desktop, plus she can slide it out of the shelf to take on her occasional trips.
One more thing that’s a Big Deal for us is that we live in a forested area where every winter we have power outages from trees dropping on power lines. A laptop has its own backup battery system, so when the power goes off we have three hours or more to properly close apps and power it down before we lose everything that was open as we would without the backup.
And the final reason is that for us, laptops do everything we need them to do. We both do a lot of photo manipulating work, My wife runs her business, I run mine as well as build my own web sites. We run Ubuntu 18.04 on all four of our home, office and studio.
Oh yeah, one more reason: I’m cheap. I see absolutely no reason to buy a new computer, ever. All four of our laptops are Dell E6420’s that were high-end, best optioned when new and will still keep up with most ordinary new ones and outperform many of them. We run all sorts of apps on them and they are quick, responsive, and cost us around $300 from one of several companies that sell refurbs configured any way you want them, and with a guarantee. The one I’m using now has a 125Gb SSD I use for Windows and a 500Gb SATA drive for Ubuntu in the DVD-drive bay. When I install 18.04 on these laptops, it just installs itself and configures everything on its way and (just about) everything works straight away. I may have to load specific software or search for a different driver for the occasional printer or other peripheral, but usually not. All of our laptops will run both of our wifi printers, too, plus I stream music from this one to our living room Bluetooth receiver.
So that’s one person’s take! Just some food for thought!
Why not convert the mac to linux ?
Runs mint no problem in general but occasional issues with keyboard layout if not english usa but uk @ symbol moves and occasionally wifi cards but if you select install everything at start appears ok
Sadly apple stop supporting older mac machines throughout the rang been doing that too long back to se motorolla throught to imac, powermac, now phones …
Done several mac to mint conversions now breath new life in to older technology
I was “recently” running Xubuntu 16.x on an ancient white iMac (2,1) - coreduo with 2 GB RAM… worked very well (dual boot with OS X, using RFEfind [sic]?) - that is till about 6-8 weeks ago the hard drive started having issues and Xubuntu refused to boot (still boots OS X okay) - and I really couldn’t be bothered cracking the thing open to take a look at the HDD and investigate replacing it… I can remember it was PITA back in the day replacing SCSI drives in motorola CPU Macs (didn’t like you sourcing a HDD from anyone but Apple - there were ways an means to get around that)…
Just drop in to newegg.com and find a barebones system, then add the accessories and memory that you want. Stay away from proprietary boxes and you’ll have a system that lasts for years.
we have a nice range of open source computers with privacy addons:
impressive selection and tails boxes to boot.
i only have a couple laptops so i can’t speak to the desktop part of your request. both of my laptops are thinkpads that run a lightweight form of ubuntu called bodhi with no compatibility/driver issues that i have run into so far. the older T60 is still chugging along with a 32-bit version and just 3gb of ram. of course it does matter what your typical use will be with your system, but i find that my not extreme i5 (3gb max i think) with 8gb of ram T430s is more than enough to deal with my light to moderate use which includes watching dvd’s and netflix, some libreoffice work, email and web browsing.
Find a computer you like and if it doesnt have a broadcom, buy it and install your linux os of choice.
As @01101111 says nice selection here - thanks for sharing them
I’ll second the New Egg advice. They have very reasonable prices. Stay away from the very latest Hardware as Linux takes a bit to catch-up to that. Good luck. Your other option is to look at a machine from Zareason or system76 which will work with linux out of the box.
More like, the very latest Hardware has a hard time keeping up with Linux.
Any of AMD CPUs and boards are easy installs. The latest AMD drivers for the Onboard video should you go that route work really good as well.
Since the '90’s I have been buying either Mfg refurbished, or
vendor refurbished Dell’s, I can’t deal with the rip offs for NEW PC’s just to have the latest and greatest. …Six months later there’s always something better.
So… When there’s a really _GREAT! NEW! SUPER! Can’t live without_, upgrade,
I just wait 6 months and get it refurbished.
Oh, and one HP small factor case which I was disappointed with.( No HDMI connections…) the used monitor I was given, only works with HDMI. So I bought a conversion cable for it… That didn’t work either. Oh Well, Back to Dell! Yeah, Dell’s are what I serviced in IT.
So I have a soft spot in my heart, for them. Hope that soft spot hasn’t migrated North GO Dell !!!
I bought a custom built computer in July of 2018 from JNCS in New York state. They even loaded up Linux Mint 19 for me. They have every computer build you can think of in the price range you want with lost of choices of cases and hardware. This computer has been remarkable, I really love it. They are a top notch custom computer builder that I can’t say enough good about. It wanted to keep my build around $1,000. and was able to get everything I wanted in that range. Check them out at: www.jncs.com
Honestly it has always been my experience that older computers run LINUX best. Remember everything is open source so older systems will have drivers written already as opposed to closed newer hardware an software issues.