Have a look at the market, you will find many brands with various models of laptops. Despite that, there are only a few operating systems, most famous: Windows and Mac-OS. They have been there for decades. Windows and Mac-OS have been continually upgrading to fit the need of the new hardware. However, Linux is the younger brother that has been around since the 1990s. Initially, Linux was reserved for technical users who understood the complexities of the code and open-sourced natures. Still, with time, it became popular among ordinary users as well.
Linux is versatile and has a powerful computing experience with zero restrictions. The number of people who are switching to the Linux operating system is increasing day by day. It has become so popular that now even some laptops come with Linux as the default OS. That may give you a few options. You will get rid of installation headaches but not give you the optimal experience. It’s good to install it yourself and buy a suitable laptop that perfectly meets the requirements of Linux. Let’s dive into the list of best laptops for Linux.
Best Laptop For Linux 2021
- Apple MacBook Pro M1 Chip
- ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14
- Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme
- HP Elite Dragonfly
- Dell XPS 13 11th Gen
- Acer Swift 5 Intel Evo
- ASUS ProArt StudioBook 17
- Lenovo ThinkPad P53s
- Lenovo Legion 5
Our Top 3 Picks
1. MacBook Pro M1 Chip
Display: 13.3″ (2560×1600) IPS
RAM: 8GB DDR4
2. ThinkPad X1 Extreme
Display: 5.6″ (1920×1080) IPS
RAM: 16GB DDR4
3. HP Elite Dragonfly
Display: 13.3″ (1920×1080) IPS
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Frequently Asked Questions about Linux OS
Who needs Linux and Why?
Actually, Linux is an open-source and community-developed operating system. It is supported by computers, servers, mobile devices, embedded systems, and servers. Whether it’s x86, x64, ARM, or SPARK, every major platform of the computers supports it. So, you can say that it’s one of the most widely supported operating systems in the world.
Linux is so popular across communities because its customization. You will find a distro for every kind of user and task. It doesn’t matter if you use it for servers such as apache, network operation, scientific use, or learning. You can make it very simple to run a specific task.
Performance-wise Linux is the best operating system because you can select the preferred Distro for your work and leave out all the extra functionality. For example, suppose you want to run a database or compute a giant cluster. In that case, no other operating system can run it more efficiently than Linux.
The most crucial part is that Linux is the most secure operating system to date. It is recommended by the leading security firm to use if you have confidential work. Leading firms like Google, NASA, and the US department of defense use Linux operation systems.
Is it safe to dual boot Windows and Linux?
Actually, dual booting is safe, but if you’re using Windows and Linux, the likelihood of the malware affecting the Linux environment increases. Also, operating systems other than Windows, Linux, and OSX don’t like to play with dual booting. They will slowly take ownership of the boot, and you will need to fix it from time to time.
So, dual booting is only advisable for students who are trying to learn the Linux operating system. Suppose you are working in a leading firm where Linux is used because of security reasons. In that case, we don’t recommend using duat booting.
What Apps Can You Actually Run on Linux?
There are much popular application and software that offers their Linux variants. Popular Softwares like skype, Spotify, and slack are available for the Linux operating system. These applications were built on web-based technologies and can easily be imported to Linux. Popular chatting apps like Telegram and Discord can also be used on the Linux operation system.
There is an open-sourced Windows Compatability layer called Wine that helps in running the windows programs on Linux without installing the window OS.
What are the Drawbacks of Using Linux OS?
There are some common disadvantages of the Linux operating system that come to mind.
- Popular Windows programs will not run on Linux: Since Linux doesn’t have the major share of the market. This makes it the least favorable for developers to develop software for it. Popular windows software (Photoshop, Proteus, etc.) is difficult to find on Linux operating system. This may not seem big, but it’s a problem for most businesses. These days a lot of programmers are making alternatives to this software to add to the Linux community.
- Limited Market Share: We all know about the superior error detection quality of Linux, and also it is so much secure. Now a question arises, why Linux isn’t so popular then. The main reason behind this is that Linux doesn’t target home users as windows do and that causes Linux to lose a big market share to Windows.
- Limited Hardware Drivers: Before you buy any component for your Linux system, you should make sure that certain hardware has a driver for it. Most hardware manufacturers usually write drivers for Windows. Not all the brands that you see write a driver for Linux operating systems. You need to be aware that some of the hardware you usually use, like printers, scanners, and others, may not be compatible with the Linux operating system. So, if you are buying a printer or scanner, make sure that it does have Linux drivers.
- The Support Issue: Operating system like Windows have their own support team that you can contact any time if you have any problem without any charges. In the case of open-source operating systems like Linux, it’s an issue. Opens source operating systems are run through support channels, and you will have to pay for support if you have any issue with the Linux OS. However, the issue can also be resolved through forums. These blogs are created for supporting Linux, but you will need a good Linux administrator for that. Because it’s not easy to find the solution in these forums.
What are the Popular Linux Distributions?
We have picked some of the most used and popular Linux distributions. Let’s have a look:
- Nitrux: This distro is for users who are new to Linux OS. if you are a beginner, you must start with this Linux distro because it sports some of the most stable and respected open-source programs that you can find. Projects like Ubuntu and KDE plasma are put together to suit the new Linux users.
- Zorin OS: This distro is entirely focused on providing the best user interface to its users. If you are addicted to Windows OS and want something similar, Zorin OS can be the perfect alternative.
- Pop!_OS: This Distro is mostly favored by gamers because of some of the interesting features that it provides. It is developed and maintained by the Vendor System76 and is free to download. If you are a gamer and want to shift to Linux, Pop!_OS is a perfect choice.
- Kodachi: if you have work that requires privacy and security. Kodachi would be the perfect choice to choose because it is specially built for users while keeping privacy and security in mind.
- Arch Linux: This distro is for professional Linux users. It’s one of the most sought out distros by the professional because it’s specially designed for them. if you are a power user and need a perfect distro that answers all your needs, no other distro is better than Arch Linux OS.
Best Linux Laptop 2021
1. Apple MacBook Pro M1 Chip
MacBook Pro is equipped with the latest M1 chip which gives up to 2.8x CPU performance and also gives 5x GPU performances. Apple has taken their most popular MacBook Pro model to whole new level with chip. Now, you don’t need to buy those bulky laptops for heavy tasks. MacBook Pro can work perfectly for installing the Linux operating system because it has the power to tackle any challenge. Moreover, the laptop is designed tremendously slim, well durability and long lasting battery makes it the most sought out laptop on the market these days. However, as we all know that Apple product are expensive, so we suggest it if you have enough budget. Overall, MacBook Pro with M1 Chip can be regarded as the best laptop for Linux because of its great design, ultimate portability and extreme performance.
Pros: Bright + Colorful Display, Long Battery Life, Performance + Keyboard
Cons: Dated Design, Limited to 16GB RAM, Supports one External Display
2. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14
Linux is mostly used by programmers and coders. The operating system itself may not require a powerful laptop but the work you are going to do need power. Based on the power, comfort and graphics that Asus ROG Zephyrus provides, you can say that it perfectly fit the category of best Linux laptops. You can easily install Linux on this laptop and run any kind of programs and tasks without having any performance issues. Furthermore, the laptop isn’t not only powerful but also has a comfortable keyboard with enough key travel and actuation force. Last but not the least, it do comes with killer looks features a stunning display and thin bezels with makes it one of the most good looking laptops. So, you can clearly say that it is the most deserving laptop to list in the Laptop list.
Pros: Lightweight and stylish, Sturdy + durable build, Gorgeous display + speakers
Cons: No Webcam, Poor Backlighting, Bad Fingerprint
3. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme
Lenovo has made its name for producing some of the finest laptops on the market. They specifically target business and work laptops. With their new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme, they have added some power to their lineup. ThinkPad Extreme is one of the finest laptops on the market with a jaw-dropping display, sturdy design and a fantastic performance. All this power is packed in a sleek chassis and feels exceptionally comfortable to use. ThinkPad X1 Extreme has got everything to make it the most suitable laptop for Linux Operating system. We all know the efficiency of the ThinkPad series for office and work use. So, it doesn’t matter, if you are a programmer, student or want to use it in office because ThinkPad X1 extreme provides portability, comfortable keyboard, sturdy design and high quality performance. So, considering it would be a very wise choice.
Pros: Staggering 4K Display, Comfortable Keyboard, Wonderful CPU Performance
Cons: Short Battery Life, Loud Fans, Expensive
4. HP Elite Dragonfly
Look can be deceiving, as it is said that don’t judge a book by its cover. You will feel the same when you look at the HP Elite. It looks extremely premium yet it is so durable. HP Elite Dragonfly can handle beating, high temperatures and dust. So don’t be swayed by its adorable design, it packs a lot of power inside that can handle almost any task that you need to perform on HP Elite Dragonfly. If you are looking for something that runs Linux smoothly plus have stunning looks and portability then no other laptop can beat HP Elite Dragonfly. Furthermore, the laptop also has the other entire requirement that you will need from a perfect work laptop whether it’s comfortable keyboard, smooth touchpad or stunning display. Based on these wonderful features, design, portability and power, HP Elite Dragonfly truly deserves a spot in the best laptops for Linux.
Pros: Great and Beautiful Design, Long battery life, Ports + Security
Cons: Expensive, Performance, Keyboard
5. Dell XPS 13 11th Gen
Running Linux Operating itself isn’t that tough task. Any laptop would be able to run the Linux OS but real deal is the professional work you do on that laptop. Professional software needs a powerful laptop that meets the requirement of the regarding software and can handle the burden. Dell XPS 13 is a laptop with the latest processor on the market and packs all the regarding power that will surely meet the requirement. Furthermore, the laptop is designed tremendously with extremely light weight, comfortable keyboard, wonderful display and amazing touchpad. Furthermore, it have all the important ports, speakers and things that you will need for your work. If you are a professional that works at a specific firm and needs a good laptop for running Linux OS then no other laptop can best the likes of Dell XPS 13. So calling it the best Linux laptop won’t be wrong.
Pros: Powerful Performance, Thunderbolt 4, Epic Design + Look + Display
Cons: Poor Webcam, Stingy on Ports, Expensive
6. Acer Swift 5 Intel Evo
Acer Swift 5 is one of the finest laptop used by the professional in the office, schools, colleges and other places. Running the Linux operating system will be a piece of cake for this laptop. Swift 5 has got everything whether its power, design or portability. It will never disappoint you in the regard of performance. Acer Swift 5 is one of the most suitable for Linux because of its stunning wide display that makes it so easy to multitask. If you are a professional and need multitasking, Acer Swift 5 is the perfect opportunity for that. So, you can say that Acer Swift 5 is one of the best laptop for Linux OS based on its internal features, power and more. Furthermore, the laptop comes with a good keyboard, touchpad, all the important ports and provides a wonderful performance.
Pros: IPS display, Lightweight + Ultra-thin, Wonderful Performance
Cons: No RJ45 port, Not an innovative design, No Thunderbolt 3 port
7. ASUS ProArt StudioBook 17
Pro Art StudioBook is a great laptop for all professionals out there with the massive 17 inch display. It is a wonderful opportunity for hard core workers that need a bigger screen for multitasking and powerful laptop to run all the heavy software’s on the laptop. This laptop can easily run the Linux operating system. Based on the wonderful design that it offers, durable build, powerful internal components and more, makes it the perfect choice for the best Linux laptop. Furthermore, since it has been specially designed for professional, you can expect a very comfortable keyboard, great tracking pad and all the important ports that you will need. Lastly, the laptop provides wonderful performance when used with a Linux operating system and makes sure that you get the best out of it.
Pros: 16: 10 ratio screen, Good for Video Editing, Ultra-Portable and Thin
Cons: Keyboard, Touchpad in numeric keypad, Single thunderbolt 3
8. Lenovo ThinkPad P53s
Lenovo ThinkPad P53s is more portable mobile version from the Lenovo that houses stunning display with 100% RGB coverage. When you look at the laptop, you will instantly realize that it is perfectly meant for business. Installing Linux operating system on this laptop will be the best thing to do because of its professional keyboard, wonderful trackpad, long lasting batting and powerful internals. The performance of the laptop is good enough for running heavy software on the Linux OS. So, you can say that, Lenovo ThinkPad P53s have everything from portability to comfortability to high level performance. Last but not the least, it house Quadro graphics which is specifically meant for running professional software’s. So, you can say that it’s one of the best laptop for Linux based on its design and performance.
Pros: Great CPU Performance, Fan Control + Wi-Fi 6, Extremely Professional Keyboard
Cons: Expensive, Battery Life, Webcam + Weight
9. Lenovo Legion 5
Lenovo Legion delivers all the power that you need. No only it’s good for professional work but you can also use it for gaming in your free time. Legion is the combination of power plus style and who doesn’t need that. Each one of use wants to brag to our colleagues about our gadgets. So, running Linux Operating system will be a piece of cake for this laptop. It has got everything to be the best professional laptop with Linux OS. The keyboard of the laptop is super comfortable and has soft trigger switches with hair-trigger inputs. Furthermore, the laptop comes with dual burn support that brings together both GPU and CPU to work better. Legion Coldfront 2.0 makes sure that your laptop never gets hot while doing extensive work. So, when you have a Lenovo Legion, you have unlimited possibilities which makes it the best Linux laptop on the market today.
Pros: Comfortable Keyboard, Bright 144Hz Display, Ports + Performance
Cons: A bit Bulky, Plain Design, No SD card Port
How to Choose the Best Laptop for Linux?
Well, Linux doesn’t have special requirements, so it’s effortless to choose a Laptop for Linux. Linux is quite a versatile operating system. Before you decide, you need to know that not every Distro will support all the hardware. For some, you may need additional drivers to be installed, while others may not support some features. To avoid such issues and have a clean installation. You have to be careful about choosing your best laptop for Linux.
Go For Specifications that Meets Your Requirements
The specification is significant while choosing a laptop for Linux. This OS is quite flexible when it comes to hardware. You can look for hardware that meets your unique requirements. This depends on the type of work you do. First, you need to focus on your requirements and consider common issues with your previous system. After you are totally clear about your need, then choose a laptop that exceeds those needs.
Most important specification includes RAM, Processor and Hard drive, etc. For Linux, you need to be very careful about all these.
Is Your Laptop Compatible with the Linux Distro?
After buying a good Laptop for Linux Operating System, you need to check the Linux Distro requirements you are going to install. Each of the Distro has its own requirements and tested laptops where you will not face any issues. This will eliminate the risk of any uncertainty. Software related issues will not be a big problem because you can find a quick solution available online.
For issues related to your Linux Distro, there are specific forums where users share their problems and troubleshoot them together. You can always go there if the issue you face is already tackled there and find the solution.
Do you Need to have a Big Budget?
Honestly, you don’t need to have a big budget to get a suitable laptop for running Linux smoothly. Actually, Linux is relatively light and can be operated on a budget laptop. Of course, higher specs have their own fruit, but a good budget laptop can also run Linux quite efficiently. All of it depends on what you need to save money and get a laptop that works fine for you. You can choose a light Distro that can run on even as small as 256MB of RAM.
Pre-Installed Operating Systems
In today’s world, most of the laptop comes with pre-installed operating systems. Linux can work on these devices. In this case, you have two options, dual boot or remove the current operating system and install Linux OS. If you want to keep the pre-installed operating system, you still have the option to run Linux. As we know that Linux is lightweight and you won’t have problem for dual boot. To deal with that, you will need to partition your hard drive and dedicate some space to Linux. This will enable you to switch between the two operating systems.
Laptops with Pre-Installed Linux
This one is for people who are still confused and avoid the issue related to the comparability of Linux Distro with Laptops. These Laptops are Linux ready, and you can choose a laptop with your favorite Distro. As different manufacturers offer laptops with varying flavors of Distros. The main benefit of Linux ready laptops is they don’t need you to set them up. Simply, just turn it ON, boot Linux and use it.
Coming to the downside of pre-installed Linux Laptops, they may not support all the features you want. Linux is all about customizability and various Linux Distros. Linux ready laptops come with some of the popular Distros. They may be fully compatible with the hardware but may not offer as much customization you want. Before going for Linux ready laptops, you must consider these issues.
In the end, we conclude that no matter which laptop you choose, the only thing that matters that it fulfills your needs. Our list of best laptops for Linux has laptops for each kind of user. We have included laptops that offer full specifications, great design, comfortable keyboards, and the budget to meet your needs. Good Luck!