If macOS or Windows-based systems no longer intrigue you, laptops that come with Linux pre-installed are definitely something to check out before deciding. While the Linux OS may have a bit of notoriety for being technical and complicated, tons of Linux distributions are perfect for beginners and will make the transition much easier. Also, Linux is open-source, free, and more secure. Being mainstream and popular makes Windows a target for viruses and cyber threats.
You can install Linux on almost all laptops, but even better is that you can get it pre-installed on the laptops we will list here. Without Dell’s exception, there aren’t any popular laptop vendors that provide Linux as the base operating system. Leaving us with smaller manufacturers who have built a specific niche for themselves as they exclusively offer the best laptops with Linux pre-installed.
The underlying issue with installing Linux on a laptop is that it might be hard to find support for your hardware. Finding appropriate drivers for your machine is always a hassle, and not to mention having Windows installed in your laptop previously cost around a hundred bucks.
The point is that laptops that ship with Linux pre-installed are a credible choice if you don’t want hardware support complications and want to save a bunch of money, and if that interests you, this is the list for you!
Best Laptops that ship with Linux pre-installed
1. System76 Serval WS
System76’s Serval WS is the unrivaled laptop fireball. Offering a screen display of 15-17 inches and several choices from the 9th generation Intel Core processors, the Serval WS establishes itself as one of the best Linux laptops out there. Like all System76 models, Serval WS is shipped either with the company’s very own POP!_OS (based on Ubuntu) or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.
Serval WS has up to 12 TB up to disk space with 64 GB of RAM on hand. A bunch of Nvidia GeForce graphics cards is also available, and it allows the user to choose between 4K or Full HD display. Both of these features make Serval WS a promising choice for the gaming fanatics out there as well.
Furthermore, Serval WS features optimal connectivity with its ports. Overall, its a powerful beast of a machine which therefore warrants its hefty price and weight. The 15-inch model weighs about 3.4kg (7.5lbs), and you’d be carrying around 3.9kg (8.6lbs) for the 17-inch one. The price for the basic design laptop starts at 1999$.
2. Dell XPS 13 7390
Dell’s continuous support for Linux on a flagship laptop is respectable. While their XPS 13 7390 may not be the uncontested champion of Ultrabooks anymore, it is easily one of the best Linux laptops in the market. As with most Dell products nowadays, your options for reconfigurability of the laptop are limited, but there are still some solid ones you can opt for. The basic Dell XPS 13 7390 model comes with 8 GB RAM (LPDDR3) running at 2133MHz. However, for a $100 bill, you can increase it up to 16 GB.
There are two options available to the user for the hard drives, 512 GB or 256 GB, both of which are solid-state. The more expensive choice of display is the InfinityEdge touch screen. It is 4K and offers a resolution of 3840×2160. The other relatively cheaper configuration is a 13.3″ InfinityEdge non-touchscreen which runs with Full HD and a resolution of 1920×1080. It is also worth noting that the heavier display will be more demanding of the CPU and GPU, affecting the battery life.
Dell XPS 13 7390 allows for 3 different style choices for Windows, but Ubuntu only has one, namely the platinum silver, featuring the carbon fiber (black) palm rest. Honestly speaking, the Ubuntu config is definitely the most dashing one.
3. System76 Galago Pro Laptop
Like System76’s other machines, the Galago Pro laptops run either its own POP!_OS or Ubuntu. But what really makes it stand out how cheap it is. In fact, the Galago Pro is one of the cheapest Linux laptops you can find!
The basic model of the Galago Pro comes with the 10th generation Intel Core, either the i7-10510U or i5-10210U. Dual-channel 8 GB of RAM (DDR4) is available, which runs at 2667MHz. However, this can be upgraded to even 64GB. Hard drive choices start from 240 GB (solid-state). This too upgradable to a SATA 6TB storage. The System76 Galago Pro is a lot lighter than the previous System76 laptop mentioned, Serval WS. The base model of the Galago Pro tips the scale at a low 1.3kg (2.89 lbs), and the price starts at $950. It is a great Linux laptop that comes with many useful features and a much more affordable price.
4. Purism Librem 13
Purism set about to build the most secure machine ever, opting for the Linux distro PureOS for the laptop. This journey was born the Purism Librem 13, one of the top Linux laptops in the market.
Librem 13 comes with solid hardware configurations, those including 8 to 32GB of DDR4 (2133MHz) RAM and Intel Core i7-6500U for the processor. The storage features an Intel SSD of 120GB, which is expandable upon the user’s wishes. The display is a 13.3 inch, 16:9 aspect ratio with a screen resolution of 1920×1080. The Librem 13 may appear like a standard and ordinary laptop, but there’s much more to it than what meets the eye. One instance is the company designing the laptop’s motherboard itself, rather than using an external one.
Instead of spending its resources on going mainstream and advertisement, Purism made developments with the crowdfunding community and raised $430,000 to strengthen the ethics of their company especially considering the rights of the user, privacy, and security. The same cannot be said for most other companies and firms, showing that Purism is committed to their cause for security. Librem 13 weighs a light 1.4kg (3.09 lbs), and you can get it for the cost of $1468.
5. System76 Oryx Pro
Oryx Pro has got looks, power, and strong hardware configuration, making it another gem of a Linux laptop from System76. Like the other System76 machines, it also comes with either POP!_OS or Ubuntu 18.04.
Built from aluminum (lightweight) and rocking a matte finish (black), Oryx Pro offers two screen sizes, 17.3 inches or 16.1 inches. On the inside, it runs a 9th gen Core i7-9750 H, which ranges from 2.6 to 4.5GHz. Additionally, you get 12MB cache with it as well. The user has two options for the RAM: DDR4 dual-channel 64 GB (2667 MHz) and the other 32GB DDR4 dual-channel, which runs at 3000 MHz. Oryx Pro is also a neat choice for gamers and programmers since the graphic card options are Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, 2070, or 2060. Furthermore, its two hard drives (SATA), both of which add up to a total of 8 TB, cover the storage concerns easily.
System76’s Oryx Pro is lighter and more stylish than the Serval WS mentioned earlier, accounted for by its reasonable weight of 2.09kg (4.6lbs) for the 16.1-inch model and 2.5kg (5.51lbs) for the 17.3-inch version. Overall, the Oryx Pro is a promising Linux laptop that does not disappoint, and you can get it for $1699.
6. Dell Precision 5530
Precision 5530 is the second Linux laptop from Dell on this list, and like the previous one, it is a powerhouse and a beast. Perfect for heavy and processor-demanding workloads, Dell Precision 5530 is available in multiple configurations and ships with Ubuntu pre-installed. It finds its application in running heavier Linux distros for the user and does heavy tasks smoothly.
Precision 5530 has a 15.6 inches UltraSharp Full HD display and a screen resolution of 1920×1080. Inside, the Linux laptop is powered by a 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-8300H quad-core processor and has 8 GB DDR4 RAM running at 2666MHz. Its storage is the hybrid natured, formed from 256 GB SSD and a 500 GB HDD. Precision 5530’s keyboard and trackpad are almost identical to the ones offered by the Dell XPS mentioned above, meaning to say they can endure incessant pounding from your hands, and they’d hold their own easily.
Furthermore, Dell Precision 5530 has a dual-fan cooling system to ward off heat as you work. All in all, Precision 5530 is a solid machine that ticks off most requirement boxes for most users.
7. Penguin M3 Linux Laptop
Penguin M3 is a neat Linux laptop offered by ThinkPenguin, which holds Linux very dearly. It comes with out-of-the-box support for Ubuntu 18.04 and Fedora 31, and almost all other new distributions like Debian 11, CentOS 8, etc.
Penguin M3 has strong system specifications, including CPU options of Intel Core i5-10210 U extendable to 4.20 GHz and has 6 MB cache. The screen is a 15.6 inches Full HD IPS Matte and has a resolution of 1920×1080. You can have your RAM up to 32 GB, DDR4, of course. As for storage, Penguin M3 has an M2 2280 SSD. The keyboard features multi-color illumination and allows the user 15 colors to select out of. Furthermore, the integrated touchpad has features such as multi-gesture and scrolling functions. Penguin M3 tips the scale at a light 1.6 kg (3.7lbs) and is definitely a solid choice as a Linux laptop.
8. System76 Lemur Pro
Lemur Pro is a swift and portable Linux laptop offered by System76 and features brilliant display and support. It’s wafer-thin and weighs very little, increasing its portability. Like other System76 Linux laptops, Lemur Pro runs either POP!_OS or Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release, both 64-bit. It is powered by a strong 10th generation Intel Core i5 – 10210 U, ranging from between 1.6 to 4.6 GHz. Also, it has 6 MB for the cache. The display is a small but handy Full HD 14 inches with a matte finish and a screen resolution of 1920×1080. You can get up to 40 GB DDR4 RAM at 2666MHz. For the storage, Lemur Pro offers two M.2 SSDs, which add up to 4 TB in total, making it a powerful small laptop.
Furthermore, it offers great connectivity, a nice backlit keyboard, and a multi-touch keypad. System76’s Lemur Pro weighs in at about 1.09 kg (2.4 lbs), making it one of the lightest laptops mentioned on this list. The price starts at $1099.
9. System76 Darter Pro
System76’s Darter Pro is yet another amazing powerhouse of a laptop, and it comes with POP!_OS or Ubuntu pre-installed in it. Darter Pro features an exceptionally long and durable battery life and eases remote work. It has a lightweight and ultrathin chassis that blends mobility and style beautifully.
Darter Pro is powered with the 10th generation i5-10210U (1.6-4.2 GHz) or the i7- 10510U (1.8-4.9 GHz). The former with 6MB cache and the latter with 8MB. The display is a Full HD 15.6 inches with a matte finish and features a screen resolution of 1920×1080. RAM is upgradable up to 64 GB dual-channel (DDR4) running at 2666 MHz. You can get an SSD (PCIe NVMe) or M.2 SATA adding up to 2 TB in total for the storage. The Linux laptop has a multitouch pad and a multicolor backlit keyboard. System76 Darter Pro weighs a handy 1.6 kg (3.6 lbs), and the relatively low price starts at $949.
10. System76 Bonobo WS
When it comes to Linux laptops, System76 have pretty much established themselves as the name of the game, and what better way to end this list than to recommend their new beast Bonobo WS. This laptop holds within its insane power and gives desktops a run for their money.
Enough praise, let me tell you the specs so you can see for yourself what I mean. Bonobo WS offers 3 processors that you can choose from, the first being 10th gen Intel Core i5 – 10600 k (4.1 – 4.8 GHz), which comes with 6 cores and 12 MB cache. The second is Core i7-10700 k (3.8 – 5.1 GHz) with 16 MB cache and 8 cores. Lastly, we have the ultimate 10th gen Core i9 – 10900 k (3.7 – 5.3 GHz) with 20 MB cache and a solid 10 cores! Graphics options include Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER, RTX 2070 SUPER or RTX 2060. The display is 17.3 inches Full HD, or you can get the 17.3 4K UHD too. Bonobo WS offers its users up to 128GB of RAM, which is quad-channel and DDR4. For the storage, you have 4 M.2, those adding up to 26TB in total.
Now you know what I mean, and for such a hefty beast, there is a hefty weight and price tag. The Bonobo WS weighs about 3.8 kg (8.38 lbs), and the pricing starts at $2499.
We have concluded our list of the top ten Linux laptops that ship with Linux pre-installed. System76 laptops have been a kind of a trend throughout the list and for a good reason, as you’d have seen. Like the Dell Precision 5530 or the XPS 13 7390, there are other alternatives, if that’s your thing. All-in-all, hopefully, you will have found a credible choice for your Linux laptop through this list.