14 Places To Buy A Laptop With Linux Preloaded

Posted on in Categories Hardware, Open Source last updated March 29, 2017

Linux preloaded
I want a Linux system without having to pay a Microsoft tax. The hardest part of using Linux is to find out the correct hardware. Hardware compatibility and drivers can be a big issue. But where one can find Linux desktops or Laptop for sale? Here are fourteen places to buy a preinstalled Linux Desktop and Laptop.

1. Dell

Dell sells a high-end Redhat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu Linux-based laptop for business use, developers and sysadmins. If you are a developer and tend to travel a lot, give it a try to “XPS 13 Developer Edition” powered by Ubuntu Linux. Dell also offers precision workstations class laptop with RHEL or Ubuntu operating system. Precision workstations are designed for CG professionals, or as small-scale business servers.

Dell Laptops With Linux
Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Sample config:

  • Dell XPS 13 developer edition
  • CPU: 7th Generation Intel Core Processors
  • RAM: 8 to 16GB (On board/fixed/No extra slot)
  • SSD/HDD: 128GB to 512GB ssd
  • Gaphics: Intel integrated graphics (HD Graphics)
  • Wireless: Broadcom BCM4352 802.11ac
  • Screen: FHD (1920 x 1080) or UltraSharp QHD+ (3200 x 1800) InfinityEdge Touch Display
  • Preloaded distro: Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Proprietary driver required: Yes and supported by Linux
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS: No
Shipping: Worldwide including USA and Europe
More info: XPS 13 Developer Edition​ Preloaded With Ubuntu

Dell also offers new 7th generation Intel Core and Intel Xeon processors and workstation GPUs its lineup of Precision workstations powered by RHEL or Ubuntu Linux. These are extremely high-end devices.

Related: The Novice Guide To Buying A Linux Laptop

2. EmperorLinux

This vendor sells Linux laptops with full hardware support under Linux. You choose the type of machine you want. You choose the distribution you want. You can choose to have a dual-boot machine too. You can specify your partitions and more. EmperorLinux sale Linux laptop from Panasonic, Dell, and Lenovo.

Emperor Linux-laptop
Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: Yes and supported by Linux
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS: No
Shipping: USA (international shipping available on request)
More info: http://www.emperorlinux.com/

3. System76

This vendor sells Ubuntu Linux based laptop, server, and desktop computer. It is one of the most recommended brand by Ubuntu forum members.

system76-laptop
Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: Yes (for Nvidia based GPU)
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: No
Shipping: USA and 55 other countries.
More info: system76.com

4. Linux Certified

This vendor sells Linux services including robust and cost-effective Linux laptops.

LinuxCertified
Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: Yes
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: No
Shipping: USA
More info: linuxcertified.com

5. Los Alamos Computers

This vendor sells Lenovo laptop preloaded with Linux operating system. You will find the laptop as per your needs such as performance, everyday computing, ultraportable and economy version.

Los Alamos Computers
Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: Yes
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: No
Shipping: USA
More info: laclinux.com

6. Purism

This vendor sells Linux preloaded on the Librem 13 and the Librem 15 laptops. Purism claims to follow a strict belief in users’ rights to privacy, security, and freedom.

prism-laptop
Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: No
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: No
Shipping: USA and worldwide
More info: puri.sm

7. ThinkPenguin

This vendor sells a laptop with GNU/Linux. The vendor also does test laptop with OpenBSD but only ships with Linux distro.

think penguin
Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: No
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: No
Shipping: USA
More info: thinkpenguin.com

8. ZaReason

This vendor sells Linux-based laptop based on rock solid R&D. You can get easy-to-use free and open source software for with each laptop or desktop or server.

zareason-laptop
Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: Yes (for Nvidia based GPU)
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: No
Shipping: USA and Canada
More info: zareason.com

9. Minifree

This vendor sells GNU/Linux laptops that are certified to Respect Your Freedom. It means your laptop is 100% free from binary blobs. It runs the FSF-endorsed Trisquel operating system and libreboot firmware on hardware. You can buy an ultracompact or workstation grade laptop from Minifree. Personally, I’m using Libreboot X200 model. Apart from laptops, they have desktop and server grade computers too

minifree-laptop
Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: (a) Libreboot T400:

  • CPU: Core 2 Duo P8400 2.26GHz processor
  • RAM: 4GiB to 8Gib (replaceable)
  • SSD/HDD #1: 160GB HDD to 240GB SSD (replaceable)
  • SSD/HDD #2: 160GB HDD to 240GB SSD (replaceable)
  • Graphics: Intel GMA 4500MHD
  • Screen: 14.1″ 1280×800 TFT LCD
  • Gigabit ethernet as standard
  • DVD/CD RW drive included (only if not selecting 2nd HDD/SSD)
  • Weight: 2.2 Kg
  • Upgraded with an 802.11n wireless card (Atheros AR5B95, AR9285 chipset), ensuring full compatibility with free drivers in Trisquel GNU/Linux-libre.
  • Backlight (brightness) control is fully functional in libreboot on this laptop.
  • The Intel Management Engine (ME) firmware is 100% removed and inoperable
Proprietary driver required: No
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: Yes
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: Yes
Shipping: UK and worldwide
More info: minifree.org

10. Libiquity

This laptop vendor certified to Respect Your Freedom. It means your laptop is 100% free from binary blobs. It runs the FSF-endorsed Trisquel operating system and libreboot firmware on hardware.

Taurinus-x200
Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config:

  • CPU: Intel Core2 Duo
  • Graphics: Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
  • Screen: 12.1″ 1280×800 TFT LCD
  • Wireless: Qualcomm Atheros 2.4-GHz 802.11b/g/n or Qualcomm Atheros 2.4/5.0-GHz 802.11a/b/g/n with long-range Signal Sustain Technology (SST)
  • Bluetooth: Broadcom (some models)
  • Ethernet: Intel Gigabit Ethernet
  • RAM: 2GB to 8GB (replaceable)
  • HDD/SDD: 160GB – 240GB ssd or hdd (replaceable)
  • Preloaded distro: Trisquel GNU/Linux
Proprietary driver required: No
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: Yes
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: Yes
Shipping: USA (for international shipping try minifree)
More info: libiquity.com

11. Entroware

This vendor provides Ubuntu Linux based laptop and desktop solutions including Skylake/Kaby Lake processors .

entroware-laptop
Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: Yes
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: No
Shipping: UK and other European countries.
More info: entroware.com

12. Vikings

Yet another vendor that sells FSF certificated laptop, servers and desktop products.

vikings
Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: No
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: Yes
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: Yes
Shipping: Germany, other European countries and rest of the world.
More info: vikings.net

13. Litebook

A new cheap Linux laptop called “The Litebook”. It is a 14-inch notebook with an Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core Braswell CPU, a 1920 x 1080 display, 4GB of RAM, and a Elementary OS Linux software.

Litebook
Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes comes with Elementary OS
Config: Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core, 4GB RAM, replaceable SSD, USB 3.0, Ethernet port, Wifi 802.11N, HDMI, Intel HD with 1920 x 1080 display, and 9 hours battery life
Proprietary driver required: No
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: No
Shipping: USA and rest of the world.
More info: litebook.store

14. Tuxedo computers

TUXEDO Computers from Germany sells laptop and desktops preloaded with Ubuntu Linux. Open your laptop for cleaning and switching parts is covered by their warranty policy.

tuxedocomputers0
Linux pre-loaded Laptop: Yes comes with Ubuntu OS
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: Yes
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS/firmware: No
Shipping: Germany.
More info: tuxedocomputers.com

Bounce: Lenovo

Lenovo ThinkPads, especially X and T series are popular choices for Linux users, sysadmins and developers. Most ThinkPads offers out of the box Linux compatibility. Here are some of the systems that I’ve used so far:

  • ThinkPad X200 CentOS 6.x
  • ThinkPad X220 CentOS 6.x
  • ThinkPad X230 RHEL 6.x
  • ThinkPad X240 RHEL 7.x
  • ThinkPad X131e Fedora 20-23
  • Thinkpad T400/T440p/T500/T520/T530/W5{10,20,30,4} CentOS and RHEL 6.x or 7.x

Unfortunately, Lenovo does not sell laptop preloaded with Linux to the end users. You need to visit their Linux Certification page. This vendor included here due to popular demand.

lenovo-laptop-linux
Linux pre-loaded Laptop: No but highly recommended and supported by GNU/Linux community
Config: Various
Proprietary driver required: Yes and supported by Linux
Certified by the Free Software Foundation: No
Open source Libreboot BIOS: No
Shipping: Worldwide
More info: Linux for Personal Systems | Lenovo store (US)

Conclusion

Dell Precision and Latitude machines have worked for me over the years. Original IBM Thinkpads too. Currently, I’m using the following systems:

  1. Lenovo x230 with OpenBSD (personal system)
  2. Dell m6700 workstation with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Linux (my work laptop issued by my employer)
  3. Minifree Libreboot X200 with Gnu Trisquel Linux (my travel laptop)

System76 looks better with excellent hardware, and high quality too. You can just buy it and start working on it. No need to worry about drivers or suspend issue. Same with other vendors mentioned in this post. The FSF only recommends the Minifree or Libiquity vendor. Both of them sell modified ThinkPads. So the hardware is pretty reasonable, and you get 100% binary blob free environments.

What laptop do you recommend for use with Linux? Please add your advice on what to avoid. Any horror stories about particular vendors?

//Image credit: TUX Linux by deiby-ybied

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

36 comment

  1. Lenovo – I can’t understand anyone buying a computer manufactured in China. Do you think that it will come spyware free?

    1. Tested with FF again NoScript and Privacy badger and uBlock origin. You need to allow s0.cyberciti.org which is a static CDN domain for this site. Try it and let me know. If you still have any problem, email me directly at webmaster@cyberciti.biz send me your IP address or VPN address. So that I can look into my server log. Some IPs are blocked automatically for spam or abuse. It is possible that yours is one of them. Rest is assured I do not block javascript users.

  2. Fine, but could see you site without activating JS. I didn’t. I think you site should degrade gracefully, especially if you are targeting privacy conscious users…

    1. I just checked without Javascript enabled in Firefox 52 and there was no problem in rendering. May I know more about your browser and operating system?

  3. What kind of a list it is without LInuCity.com ?
    You will find there more products more options and better prices..

  4. If you’re looking for a huge number of Linux laptop and desktop customization options, I’ve just launched the latest version of my online computer store: https://jccss.ca

    We specialize in Linux, and any free Linux distro you want is available with every system, as well as dual boot configs at no extra charge. If you order from JCCSS, Microsoft seriously doesn’t get paid unless you opt for Windows.

    I don’t normally like to spam, but am looking for some exposure in the right places, as the site was just completely rewritten and the new version launched yesterday.

    Shipping world-wide from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

  5. I bought my laptop here http://www.mysn.co.uk/

    I must say: It is amazing. You can customize your laptop, and cancel the Microsoft OS.

    That’s what I did. I got the laptop just with the BIOS, and I installed debian.

    MySN is a German company which basically uses the Clevo cases and build up custom PC’s.

    AlienWare when it first came out, used Clevo cases and added further customization.

  6. Ive had nothing but trouble with HP laptops and Linux, i have no idea why its easier to work with Scientific/ CEntOS on Dells than it is for something as usable as Ubuntu on an HP machine

  7. The Linux laptop company isn’t on this list, but I certainly am loving my Lenovo yoga 2-in-1 from them! thelinuxlaptop.com

    1. My employer bought one of those for me in spring, I simply love it. Not many laptops you can buy with 64GB RAM and can house two extra M.2 SSDs!

    1. Yes for Linux sake . I actually like that lenovo shipped a malware for windows system, here we see the power of Linux again, just put any piece of garbage code and the community will look for you everywhere with torches and shovels in hand

    1. Mate, thanks so much! Really hard to find decent Linux laptop sellers in UK & this is a very financially viable option, whereas importing from the US isn’t. Never heard of these guys before, looks like a decent package for the money…

  8. How do some of those companies obtain laptops like Lenovo without Windows? Isn’t your Windows-tax just hidden in the price because they’re wiping Windows and installing Linux?

    1. They are Lenovo business partners. They can have laptop with or without Windows. They also get tons deep discounts as they ordered lots of devices.

        1. Believe me, the business partners use very different channels than consumers to discuss about buying stuff in bulk.

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