If you use Linux on the Laptop, you might have some issues here or there with warranties or even proper support from a vendor. But, there are some vendors out there, that do support Linux and some of them even ship their machines with Linux.
Let's check out some awesome Linux Laptop combinations. Shall we? Oh, and it's more than you might think.
Before going into the comparison, there are some conditions that need to be fulfilled before a vendor can be listed here. Each of the shown vendors must:
- ✅ offer a laptop (these clamp shell thingies)
- ✅ officially support Linux on the machine
- ✅ provide an x86 architecture (Intel or AMD)
- ✅ power recent CPUs (not older 2 years)
- ✅ ship machines either with Linux pre-installed or w/o OS
Now, that this is out of the way, let's move on.
TUXEDO is a Germany based vendor for Linux Laptops, Desktops, and Accessory. Each device is individually assembled to your liking and demand. Therefore, you can offer a wide range of machines from ultraportable to gaming oriented.
You can get the machine pre-installed with some Ubuntu based flavors, like Budgie or Kubuntu.
Furthermore, they offer their own, customized operating system TUXEDO OS. It is based on Ubuntu LTS and ships with some Kernel tweaks and drivers to make the devices even better.
The major market is Germany, but they do offer international shipping. The costs for the same can be pretty rough, though.
Slimbook is based in Spain and offers similar Notebooks to TUXEDO. But, they do focus more on lightweight solutions. Anyway, the TUXEDO Infinity Book and Slimbook Executive are almost identical machines. That does not mean, you should buy a Tuxedo machine instead, quite the contrary.
Slimbooks can be ordered with a wide variety of Linux operating systems pre-installed, including Ubuntu, Debian, KDE Neon, Fedora or OpenSUSE. Additionally, Slimbook offers some special editions, which are branded with your favorite operating system, too. If you always wanted to get your hands on a machine with the Fedora, KDE or Manjaro Logo, you might like the branded variants.
Shipping internationally is possible, but can be expensive, depending on the country you are located in.
System76 is another Linux Laptop vendor. You might know them for their operating system, Pop!_OS. They do offer Linux laptops, desktops, and even servers. They even have their own keyboard brand to make the package complete.
Most of the offered devices also support coreboot as the underlying EFI/Bios controller, which is desired by many Open Source enthusiasts. Pop!OS has also grown to a well known Linux derivate, which is moving towards an even more customized experience. Pop!_OS and Ubuntu are also the only supported and configurable operating system. Anyway, I am sure many other derivates should work fine, too.
Shipping is available internationally, with different shipping prices per country. For US based citizens, it might be the best option, since System76 is located in Denver, Colorado.
StarLabs is another Laptop vendor that focuses exclusively on Linux machines. They offer a couple of laptops and one mini desktop machine. They do offer something special with the StarLite, though. It's a detachable tablet/laptop format, which is pretty outstanding.
As the operating system, you can choose between different Ubuntu based flavors and Manjaro Linux.
Furthermore, all the devices are supported via LVFS, which allows you to update firmware without any hassle. Yes, they also use coreboot for their UEFI/Bios, and even disabled Intel Management Engine.
Shipping is available internationally, but taxes and delivery costs may vary from country to country.
Purism is a bit outstanding in this list. They started with the Purism Librem 5 phone. The device is designed to be secure and protect your privacy. Well, nowadays, they also offer more devices, including a Laptop that might be interesting for you.
It looks very pleasing, but the hardware specifications are a bit dated. Not saying it is old, but it's also not up-to-date, though. Anyway, you will dig into an entire ecosystem, including servers, tablet devices, phones and secure keys. All designed to be secure, privacy focused and Linux compatible of course.
As the operating system, Purism started their own approach with PureOS. It is based on Debian, but adds some security and auditing features, but also improvements to fully support the Purism ecosystem.
Another, pretty special vendor is Pine64. They purely focus on ARM devices. With the Pinebook, they do offer a Laptop, equipped with ARM, for a very affordable price. The Pinebook Pro is the larger variant of the same device, but also super cheap, with only $220.
When it comes to other devices, you can find single board computers, mini PCs, Smartphones, Tablets, and even wearable devices in their shop.
For the operating system, you are mostly on your own, but the community can help you to choose the right one. The Manjaro community is especially known to provide support very fast, but also with some edges you can cut yourselves.
Now, what about Framework? For me, they do offer the most promising set of hardware today. The company is very focused on shipping machines that can be repaired by you. Therefore, you can replace the memory, SSD and basically everything in the laptops.
They do offer a 13" and 16" machine with recent Hardware, even AMD if desired and lots of interesting features, like swappable connectors. So, sustainability is their major focus, but it does not stop there. They also work very closely with the Linux community to make coreboot work or support Fedora Linux.
You want to upgrade your machine with the newer mainboard? There are options for the same. You need some special device that is not available yet? The specifications are so detailed, the community came up with custom extensions, enhancements, and even their very own designs for spare parts or recycling.
Shipping is available worldwide, but shipping costs may be higher for your country.
Dell, mostly the Dell XPS series, is known to provide some Linux support. You will get maintenance and help for the prepared Ubuntu on the machine, but might find missing drivers with other operating systems.
HP also started to ship some Linux devices with Linux pre-installed, but is also pretty new to this idea.
Lenovo 🇭🇰 🇨🇳
What, Lenovo is based in China? Like Huawei and all the other "bad" brands? Well, yes. Anyway, they are making exceptional machines for business use cases and are well known among Linux users.
As an owner of the Dell XPS 9315, I have to admit that I am not very happy with the machine. Yes, it works, in general. The webcam needs extra drivers, the fan is a joke but loud like a truck and the battery is ok, on idle.
Still, the machine does its job for me. If I needed to buy something else right now, it might be a Slimbook Executive 14" or Framework 14" AMD machine. But, my Dell will last for at least one or two more years, for sure.
What about you? Which machine do you like the most? Do you have one of them? Have I forgotten to include a vendor that must be here? Please let me know!