Best Linux PC of 2022: desktop PCs with Linux pre-installed (2023)

Best Linux PC of 2022: desktop PCs with Linux pre-installed (1)

Having turned 30 last year, Linux (opens in new tab) is now ubiquitous in large cloud datacenters and a key part of corporate IT stacks. Even Microsoft developed its Linux subsystem for Windows (opens in new tab) because of Linux's popularity among programmers. However, most programmers or enthusiasts would say that running Linux on bare metal is the best option.

The hardware compatibility of Linux has increased to a point where most, if not all, popular varieties and distros can be installed on any PC with a 64-bit Intel or AMD processor. Even though basic 2D video graphics drivers work well on most systems, there is always the odd piece of hardware that requires special attention. Sound support was Linux's Achilles heel decades ago, but today you are more likely to encounter problems with faster-than-gigabit wired networking (2.5G, 5G, and 10Gbps Ethernet), 3D GPU drivers, or WiFi-6 which may require fiddling with drivers or manual steps to work properly, particularly if your Linux distro (opens in new tab) of choice is not a "rolling release".

To install or not to install? The preload advantage

The first option is to build your own PC (opens in new tab), or buy a PC preloaded with Windows, wipe the OS, then flip a coin to choose a Linux distribution, cross your fingers, and hope for the best, but good results are not guaranteed. The best way to buy a Linux-compatible PC is to buy one that comes with the software already installed or that has already been tested for Linux compatibility. When this occurs, Linux becomes as smooth as using a PC with Windows.

Best Linux PC of 2022: desktop PCs with Linux pre-installed (2)

Best Linux PC of 2022: desktop PCs with Linux pre-installed (3)

1. Dell Precision 5820 Tower Workstation (Ubuntu)

Best overall: Almost unlimited internal expansion and your choice of graphics cards and storage when buying direct


Linux Distro: Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (EOL: April 2030)

CPU: Intel Xeon w2223 (Quad Core)

RAM: 8 GB DDR4 ECC (1 x 8 GB) (8 DIMM slots, up to 256GB)

Storage: 256GB SSD (M.2 PCIe)

Ports: 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C, Headphone Jack, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A (x6), (one with Power Delivery) USB 2.0 Type A (x1), 2 x 5 USB 2.0 internal header, SATA 6Gb/s (x6) plus 2 for optical, RJ45 Network, PS2, Audio Line out, Audio Line in/Microphone

Reasons to buy


Ubuntu LTS preload with 2030 EOL


Excellent expansion and upgradeability


Three year warranty


Free Shipping in the US

Reasons to avoid


Five weeks delivery time


Not available at popular online retailers

Every passing year Dell's Linux support has increased rapidly: it now has a support page titled "Linux on Dell desktops and laptops" that states boldly: "Dell has no interest in stopping you from installing Linux on any of its systems". Yet, despite the fact that the firm sells both workstations (opens in new tab) and laptops (opens in new tab) preloaded with Linux it's the Linux laptops that are easier to find at online retailers. When it comes to Linux-preloaded desktops, chances are you'll need to go directly to Dell to find them.

It is important to buy a Linux preload version instead of installing Linux on top of a Windows machine if you want to keep its warranty and support. The company states in its support page that "if you purchase a computer and replace its operating system, then your warranty may require you to reinstall Windows if anything goes wrong"

The Precision 5820 Tower Workstation (opens in new tab) comes preloaded with the latest LTS (Long-Term Support) flavor of Ubuntu -version 20.04-. With its quad-core, 3.90 GHz Xeon W-2223 processor, ECC error-correcting memory, and fast PCIe SSD, this PC provides an excellent value for the money. In addition to that, there is plenty of room for upgrading and internal expansion. Since Ubuntu LTS is maintained for 10 years, and official support for the preloaded version expires in the year 2030, this machine will serve you well for many years to come.

In Dell's online store, going to the configuration tab and picking Ubuntu Linux instead of Windows 10 or 11 saves you some money: $111 USD when we tried it on this system at the time of writing. Basic configuration includes a very basic discrete graphics card with only 2GB of VRAM, but you can choose between many options of AMD and Nvidia graphics cards up to an AMD Radeon W6800 with 32 GB of memory or an Nvidia RTX A6000 that triples the price of the machine.

At Dell's ordering page you can choose from dual AMD or dual Nvidia graphics card configurations, although not all combinations of graphics cards are supported by Ubuntu. You will receive a warning once you choose a graphics card configuration that is unsupported by Linux in the configurator.

Storage in this base system consists of a fast 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD, but you can go up to 68TB if you fill all six 2.5" or five 3.5" drive bays and front access storage and PCIe M.2/U.2 NVMe SSDs.

Make sure you add an additional network card -Gigabit Ethernet and 10GbE dual-port NIC are both available- or dual-band Wi-Fi (an additional $40) to your configuration, as the base system includes only the integrated NIC.

Best Linux PC of 2022: desktop PCs with Linux pre-installed (4)

2. Minisforum Manjaro UM700

Best mini PC for Linux: A rolling-release distro, on a tiny and fast desktop capable of driving up to three monitors


Linux Distro: Manjaro Linux 21 (64-bit)

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3750H (Quad-Core)

RAM: 16 GB

Storage: 512 GB PCIe SSD (2.5” Slot available)

Ports: 1x USB-C (front), 1x USB 3.1 Gen-1 (front), 1x USB 3.1 Gen-2 (front), 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, 2x USB 3.1 Gen-2, 1x RJ45 2.5Gbps Ethernet

Reasons to avoid


No discrete GPU

Earlier this year Minisforum won the hearts and minds of Linux users by announcing a version of its popular EliteMini UM700 system preloaded with Linux. To avoid any confusion with the Windows loaded version the firm is referring to it on YouTube as “Manjaro UM700 (opens in new tab)”.

In addition to the ease of having a Linux system working perfectly seconds after pressing the power button, you get it cheaper by not paying for a Windows license: it costs $70 less. Another perk of this version is that its wired networking has been updated to 2.5Gbps Ethernet.

It uses Manjaro (opens in new tab) which is a popular European Linux distribution focusing on user-friendliness and accessibility. It uses the Arch Linux distro as a base and Pacman as its package manager. Pre-installed apps include the Firefox and Vivaldi Browsers, Okular PDF, the VLC media player, the Open Office fork LibreOffice, Steam, Skype, and Crossover One which allows users to run popular Windows applications.

Since Manjaro is a "rolling release" distro, it means your system will always run the latest versions of the kernel and applications and you won't have to "upgrade" to a newer version of Manjaro down the line as happens with distros that use a “point release” development model like Ubuntu.

On the hardware side, this powerful mini PC (opens in new tab) is square and smaller than a mouse pad, so it works well at home for office workers, students, and creative professionals. It looks elegant and discrete on your desk, yet you can hide it from sight if necessary thanks to its mounting plate. Moreover, its small size makes it easy to transport: unplug the cables and place the computer with its power adapter in a backpack to carry it everywhere you go.

AMD's quad-core Ryzen 7 CPU paired with its PCI bus SSD makes Linux run smoothly. You can easily remove the top cover of the computer without a screwdriver if you want to upgrade the memory or storage. Standard SO-DIMMs are used just like in laptops, and a 2.5-inch bay is provided for an internal SSD or hard drive.

On the front of the device are a USB-C port and two USB 3.2 Type-A ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a power button. There are also more USB ports on the back, as well as HDMI and DisplayPort for connecting monitors, making it a great option for those who want a multi-monitor Linux system with up to three displays. It provides excellent connectivity with its dual band Wi-Fi and wired 2.5 gigabit Ethernet port.

Best Linux PC of 2022: desktop PCs with Linux pre-installed (5)

3. HP Z2 G8 Tower

Best for data science: With a ready-to-use software stack, this turn-key Ubuntu workstation designed for number crunchers will save you time and hassle


Linux Distro: Customized Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

CPU: Intel Core i5-11500 (Six Cores)

RAM: 8GB DDR4 (128 GB Maximum memory in 4 DIMM slots)

Storage: 256GB

Ports: USB Type-C (20Gbps) with 3A PD, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A 5Gbps (x2), USB 3.1 Gen-2 Type A 10Gbps (x2), DisplayPort 1.4 (x2), USB 3.1 Gen-2 Type A (x2), USB 3.1 Gen-1 Type A, USB 2.0 Type A (x3), Gigabit Ethernet, USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 (optional), Flex I/O module (chose between extra DisplayPort 1.4 or HDMI 2.0, or VGA port, or dual USB 3.1, or second Gb Ethernet port, or Thunderbolt 3 port)

Reasons to buy


Ready-to-Use software stack


Fully loaded Ubuntu including GPU drivers


Good price/performance ratio




Easy to open


Dust filter

Reasons to avoid


Must order directly to get Ubuntu preload


USB-C ports are optional


Fans can be loud

The company formerly known as Hewlett Packard and now HP released the first version of its Unix operating system "HP-UX" 40 years ago. Unix usage peaked and then was replaced by Windows and Linux. During the rise of Linux, HP was one of the first printer vendors to implement native Linux printer drivers and made them open source, with the influential HPLIP (HP Linux Imaging and Printing) open source drivers project, still alive to this day.

Additionally, HP also manufactures thin clients that run on Linux. It makes sense to expect a pioneer in Unix and Linux to be a major player in preloaded Linux systems. But not quite. The Linux support by HP can be described as lukewarm, or "depends on whom you ask". Yes, most HP servers and workstations are certified by one or more Linux vendors.

Moreover, HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise) has most of its enterprise servers certified for the most popular enterprise Linux distributions, SUSE, RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Oracle Linux and Ubuntu server, but these choices can be expensive. If you are a small business owner looking for a desktop workstation at, Newegg or B&H, just to name a few popular online vendors, you will end up empty handed and will only be able to choose Windows preloaded options.

Introducing "Z by HP", which has its own product managers, brand ambassadors, and Twitter account. According to HP, it aims to serve "Professional creators and power users" by delivering a "curated, personalized solution". Part of this solution are HP systems that come preloaded with Ubuntu Linux. The firm even has a FAQ file (opens in new tab) about its Ubuntu preload.

It starts by saying that "Ubuntu 20.04 will be preinstalled, ready to boot when the unit is powered up". Fine, so you want to order it, what is the SKU? "The Ubuntu preinstall is a separate SKU from Linux-ready preinstall and is not dependent upon Linux-ready preinstall". There is no mention of the SKU in the FAQ. Confused yet? So were we. But perseverance pays off. This is how we discovered the Z2 G8 at HP's US shop (opens in new tab), where Ubuntu appears as an option under Windows 11 as soon as you click "Buy and Configure."

With Ubuntu, the price is discounted by $215 USD, making this system an absolute steal. Don't choose "Linux ready", because that is another thing. According to HP's online FAQ, "Linux Ready" does not equal a preinstall of Ubuntu, and if you choose that option you get a system without a real OS. While the FAQ claims "Linux ready" is the "lowest possible cost" option, it's the same cost as choosing the Ubuntu Linux 20.04 option. Therefore, please select "Ubuntu Linux", not "Linux ready".

In conclusion, we think HP needs to improve the way its customers could purchase Linux-preloaded machines, without so much obfuscation, and with better retail distribution. Getting back on topic, Z by HP offers data scientists a Ubuntu installation with full GPU support, and a ton of developer tools and pre-installed libraries which makes this Z2 G8 an extraordinary option, if you can get one.

The HP Z2 G8 (opens in new tab) is a stylish mid-tower, single-CPU entry level workstation. Depending on your choice, you can find a six-core Core i5 or an eight-core Xeon-W. During HP's order process, you can choose from GPUs, memory -ECC for Xeons - up to 128GB of RAM in four DIMM slots, and storage options. For your information, we list on this guide the configuration most widely available at web retailers (one that ships with Windows)

There are three M.2 slots on the mainboard, one of which is occupied by the system's SSD. Besides the installed video card, there are three other available PCI slots. You can also add a 5.25-inch optical drive and a removable 2.5-inch drive in addition to the two 3.5-inch SATA bays.

Easily remove the side panel by flicking a lever, and its Flex-IO panel allows you to add additional ports such as HDMI and VGA to the system with little interface modules. If purchased directly from HP, these can be added to the system configuration, or they can be purchased later from other online retailers like Newegg and CDW; just search for "Flex IO".

It has two DisplayPort 1.4 ports attached to the integrated video, plus any additional video outputs your video card provides -usually several DisplayPort ports. There are six USB-A ports on the back, split among USB Gen 2, 5Gbps Gen 1, and legacy USB 2.0. Audio input and output are also available, as well as RJ45 Ethernet.

HP's Data Science Software Stack includes the latest versions of Python and R, along with preloaded environments such as Anaconda, PyCharm, Visual Studio and GIT, in addition to Data Science-specific packages such as TensorFlow, XGBoost, Keras and PyTorch. Rapids data science library, docker containers, and Nvidia drivers are also included.

Even if most data scientists and students would be able to manually install these apps, having them pre-installed along with Linux provides a big advantage for number crunchers and statisticians, as well as Linux programmers and data science students in general.

This writer believes it could easily sell thousands more at retail alongside its counterparts preloaded with Windows. Failing that, it would be nice to have a way of converting a Windows preloaded system into the Ubuntu preload version while retaining support and warranty. In any case, HP needs to improve its distribution because this is a killer Linux PC.

Best Linux PC of 2022: desktop PCs with Linux pre-installed (6)

4. Lenovo Thinkstation P620

Best for developers: with its sixteen-cores your software builds will be much faster


Linux Distro: Ubuntu LTS

CPU: AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3955WX 3.9 GHz

RAM: 32GB 3200MHz RDIMM ECC (2 x 16 GB)

Storage: 1TB M.2 SSD

Ports: DisplayPort 1.4 (x3), USB-C 3.2 Type C (x2), USB-C 3.2 Type A (x2), USB 3.2 Type A (x6), 3.5mm audio, RJ45 Ethernet

Reasons to buy


Top notch 16-core CPU


The CPU that made Linus Torvalds switch to AMD


Superb internal design and expandability


Customizable to the max


10Gb Ethernet

Reasons to avoid


Long lead times for a custom build

By mid 2020, Linus Torvalds made unintentional headlines when he switched from an Intel to an AMD Threadripper CPU (opens in new tab) as his personal development system, after fifteen years of only using Intel processors. He stated at the time that test builds of the Linux kernel were now three times faster than before.

The Lenovo ThinkStation P620 (opens in new tab) is a compact workstation that will let your software builds be as fast as Linus’ own. A little smaller than a typical ATX enclosure it sports a flexible, expandable design that will keep you productive for years to come. AMD's Threadripper CPU with sixteen cores, is incredibly well suited for kernel developers and programmers who compile large code bases as build systems provide parallelization to fill up all the available cores. Regardless of your compiler, programming language or IDE used, the more CPU cores, the faster things go, especially when running several things at once.

The Thinkstation P620 exhibits Lenovo's attention to detail with its front handle that makes it easy to plug cables or perform system maintenance, and all the way to the faultless interior that allows you to replace or add cards without the use of a screwdriver.

Its 16-core CPU runs at a speed of 3.90 GHz and may go up to 4.30 GHz. Another version of the Lenovo P620 comes with a 12-core 3945WX CPU. With its eight memory channels, the processor can support up to 512 GB of system memory, spread over eight DIMMs of 64 GB.

Lenovo surprised Linux advocates by late 2020 when it announced the availability of an Ubuntu 20.04 preload option for a number of laptops and desktop systems, with the ThinkStation P620 at the bottom of the list.

For a small price difference, you can also add storage to your purchase, such as a 2TB PCIe M.2 SSD. It can hold up to five SATA HDDs, which is quite a bit if you fill it with 10TB drives.

Lenovo's online store offers four different configurations, the cheapest with 256GB of SSD storage and a basic Quadro P620 graphics card with 2GB of VRAM. The more expensive P620 configuration (part number 30E1S0FG00) updates the Ryzen Pro to a 16-core version and increases the video card to a NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 with eight gigabytes of RAM. The default SSD storage jumps to 1TB in that configuration. Your development environment and your IDE will influence your decision on which model to use.

There is nothing to dislike about this system, is there? There are lead times. A parts shortage across the industry has affected Lenovo, and your custom-built system can take weeks to arrive.

Best Linux PC of 2022: desktop PCs with Linux pre-installed (7)

5. Thelio Mira (System 76)

Best for power users: If you need a tailor-made system, System76 delivers all the perks, including its own Linux distro and an optional mechanical keyboard


Linux Distro: Pop!_OS 21.10 (64-bit), Pop!_OS 20.04 LTS (64-bit), Ubuntu 20.04LTS (64-bit)

CPU: Intel Core i9-11900K (Eight Cores)

RAM: 8 GB DDR4 (4 DIMM SLOTS) Max: 128 GB

Storage: 1 TB PCI Gen.4 SSD

Ports: HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, USB Type C, USB 3.2 Type A Gen1 x4, USB 3.2 Type A Gen2 x3, RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet, SPDIF digital audio, Line In, Line Out, Mic, Displayport/HDMI

Reasons to buy


Tailor-made when bought direct


Has its own Linux distro


Ubuntu LTS offered


Can be ordered without a GPU


Open Source design


3.1 audio outputs


Optional System76 mechanical keyboard

Reasons to avoid


No front ports


Lots of screws to access internals


One year warranty


Pricey with GPUs

Get to know System76 (opens in new tab) if you haven't already. The company was founded by Carl Richell and Erik Fetzer who began selling computers with Linux preinstalled in 2003. Located in Denver, Colorado, the company creates Linux systems with a unique style and attention to detail that cater to the needs and desires of Linux users.

System76 is unique in making its designs open source. All specifications and drawings can be downloaded from GitHub. Standard parts are inside, but they developed their own Linux-friendly IO board, which controls, among other things, the speed of the cooling fans.

Thelios are a family of machines with many different sizes, and they all have the same look. In between the base Thelio desktop and the Thelio Major, you will find the Thelio Mira (opens in new tab). Due to its wood aesthetics, the Thelios can be mistaken for a speaker if viewed from the side.

With Pop!_OS (opens in new tab), the company offers its own Linux distribution that is based on Ubuntu with a modified Gnome GUI. Nevertheless, they do not force feed it to their customers, you can choose a standard Ubuntu installation if you like. Recently, the company introduced its own mechanical keyboard, dubbed "Launch" and available for purchase through the company's website. While some Thelia Mira PCs are available at third party resellers, the firm's idea is that you buy direct so you can tune it to your needs.

Directly from their Colorado factory, System76 custom-builds your system and ships it via UPS. For $99, Canadian customers can purchase warranty shipping coverage, which covers all shipping back and forth for service. Customers in the USA are able to pay an additional $9 and receive a shipping label to donate their old computers to be responsibly recycled.

This firm's online configurator is on par with heavyweights like Dell or Lenovo. There, the tailor-like design begins by selecting the system model, then the CPU brand: AMD or Intel. AMD costs $150 more than Intel. The system then lets you pick the color and style of your case to match your desk or room furniture: you can choose between walnut brown, birch, dark matter, martian red, and neptune blue. Afterwards, you can add RAM, storage, and GPUs. The final step involves accessories and warranty.

The Intel edition comes with an ASUS ROG STRIX Z590-A motherboard. The AMD Ryzen system comes with AMD's ROG Strix X570-E. The Intel edition's Z590-A is an Asus gaming motherboard with three M.2 slots for SSDs and four PCIe 4.0 slots (3 x16, 1 x4). The CPU in our selected system is a powerful Intel Core i9-11900K with eight cores, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a nVidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU. The storage is provided by PCI Gen.4 SSDs, and we selected a system with 1TB of storage. Buying direct lets you add additional drives as needed.

Thanks to its WiFi 6 and Intel 2.5 Gb Ethernet, connectivity is paramount. It features two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports and a USB Type-C port, along with HDMI 2.0 and Displayport 1.4 outputs connected to the mainboard's built-in video. Visit the company's Tech Specs sub-site (opens in new tab) to delight yourself with tech specs sans PDF.

Lifetime support as well as free shipping (US) for repairs during the warranty period are included by the manufacturer. The Mira comes with a one year manufacturer warranty, and extra protection costs $149 for one year and $249 for two. There's also a lively System76 subreddit to discuss the firm's systems.

Best Linux PC of 2022: desktop PCs with Linux pre-installed (8)

6. Manjaro Computer AIO 23.8

Best all in one: An All-in-One desktop from a privacy-minded vendor


Linux Distro: Manjaro

CPU: Intel Core i3-10100

RAM: 8 GB (16GB Max)

Storage: 240GB SSD

Ports: SD card reader, Mic/Headphone jacks, USB 3.1 (x4), USB 2.0 (x2)

Reasons to buy


Privacy features


Keyboard layout pre-configured by vendor


Standard mini-ITX mainboard

Reasons to avoid


No touch screen

There are desktops with Linux preloaded and laptops with Linux preloaded, but what happens when you prefer an All-in-One computer (opens in new tab)? In that case, you should head to Belgium. Better yet, point your browser to

This Belgium-based company offers the Manjaro AIO (opens in new tab) with a 23.8" Full-HD display and a slim bezel but no touch screen. It contains an Intel quad-core i3-10100, nothing spectacular, but it's better than a Celeron. Memory is adequate at 8GB, though you can customize it to 16GB, while storage is provided by a 240GB SSD. Surprisingly this is not a proprietary system inside but they managed to fit an Asus H310-T mini-ITX motherboard.

In addition to its SD memory card reader, this system offers a built-in Gigabit Ethernet port (intel NIC) and dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi. It supports Bluetooth 5.0 for speakers, keyboards, and pointing devices, as well as 3.5mm jacks for headphones and microphones. Additionally, it offers two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports.

The Amnesic Incognito Live System, or Tails, is an anonymous and security-focused Debian-based Linux distribution. Kodachi (opens in new tab) is another Debian-based distro with an even more extreme security attitude: it changes your MAC Address right away and all network traffic goes through the TOR (opens in new tab) (The Onion Routing) network along with VPN (opens in new tab) support and DNS (opens in new tab) encryption. Kodachi also changes your MAC Address regularly to make third party tracking difficult.

The firm accepts orders from all countries and delivers worldwide within one to two weeks. It claims to send out products in stock within three days. The keyboard layout can be chosen from a menu on the order page, and is available in USA-intl, English, UK, Belgian, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish. Non-EU customers do not pay VAT tax, and the web cart prices are discounted by 21% when entering a non-EU shipping address.

Best Linux PC of 2022: desktop PCs with Linux pre-installed (9)

7. Dell OptiPlex 3080 (ME2)

Best budget option: A good system with room for expansion


Linux Distro: Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS

CPU: Intel i5-11500 (Six Cores)


Storage: 1TB HDD

Ports: 2 USB 2.0 Type-A ports, 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 2 USB 2.0 Type-A ports with Smart Power On, 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, HDMI, DisplayPort, Optical Drive bay, Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack, RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet

Reasons to buy




Good selection of ports


Ubuntu 18.04 LTS is stable

Reasons to avoid


Hard drive instead of SSD

There is always someone else willing to step up to the plate and pre-load Linux when PC manufacturers fail to do so. This is the case with ME2 (opens in new tab), a computer reseller from Oregon that offers customizable computer configurations and ships worldwide. The Dell OptiPlex 3080 (opens in new tab) is professionally upgraded by the company, which offers a one-year warranty with it.

The MT3080 features an Intel i5-11500 CPU with six cores and eight gigabytes of RAM. Its mainboard has Intel UHD 750 Graphics 750, and its configuration is completed by a 1TB hard drive. The achilles heel of this system is booting from a hard drive because SSDs are commonplace now, and booting from a hard drive is not fast. The quality Dell hardware it's based on makes it a good choice for a base system given its very affordable price.

It has four USB ports in the front and four in the back, along with HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs, and Gigabit Ethernet. It is available at Walmart for retail.

How we chose the best Linux PCs

We looked at the market offerings for Linux preloaded desktops, which aren’t that many, to be honest with you. Then we sorted our list of systems based on hardware specs, and picked usage scenarios where they would fit better. Some categories were obvious: for instance the best for data science category. It was driven by HP’s own Ubuntu Linux software stack that caters to the needs of the staticians and number crunchers; no system can come close to that level of flexibility.

The mini PC category was driven by Minisforum’s new Manjaro offering. The best overall and best for developers categories were a contested race, as business level workstations is a market where Linux has had good compatibility historically. System76 steals the race for the best for power users category by basically inventing a new concept PC, together with their own aesthetics and its own Linux distro.

We've also rounded up the best Linux distros (opens in new tab) and the best Linux laptops (opens in new tab)

Fernando Cassia

Fernando Cassia is a freelance Tech Writer living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has also written for Mike Magee's The Inquirer, Theo Valich’s BSN, TechEye, and other online publications. When he's not chasing Phishers, he's procrastinating on Twitter. Find him at @fcassia


What is the best Linux desktop version? ›

1. Ubuntu - Best overall Linux distro for laptops. Ubuntu is one of the most versatile Linux distributions with an active community and long-term supports. It is a favorite among newbies and intermediate users, especially due to the large number of software utilities available.

Which Linux is best for low end PC? ›

The latest Linux Lite 5.0 has added more features to make it work out-of-the-box and give you a better Linux desktop experience. It also now supports default UEFI boot mode. The list of features doesn't just end here; Linux lite is also considered one of the best Linux distros alternatives to Windows.

Which Linux is best for home use? ›

Following are the best Linux Distributions:
  1. Linux Mint. Linux Mint is a popular distribution of Linux based on Ubuntu and Debian. ...
  2. Ubuntu. This is one of the most common Linux distributions used by people. ...
  3. Pop_OS! from System76. ...
  4. MX Linux. ...
  5. Elementary OS. ...
  6. Fedora. ...
  7. Zorin. ...
  8. Deepin.
2 Aug 2022

Which Linux desktop is fastest? ›

Xfce is one of the best desktop environments for old computers. It's simple, lightweight, and fast. Most Linux distributions built to run on older hardware use Xfce as their default desktop environment. If you're looking to run Linux on an ancient computer, try Xfce.

Which Linux OS is fastest? ›

Guest. Well Puppy Linux is by far the fastest out of all Linux distros out there. Another one that I think is very fast is Chrome OS. For a new os, it is surprisingly fast and very quick when it comes to booting up.

Is Linux or Windows better? ›

Linux offers great speed and security, on the other hand, Windows offers great ease of use, so that even non-tech-savvy people can work easily on personal computers. Linux is employed by many corporate organizations as servers and OS for security purpose while Windows is mostly employed by business users and gamers.

Why do people use Linux? ›

Linux is a popular operating system primarily because it's open source. All users can access the source code, watch it for security issues, and alter it to match their requirements. As a result, you can see thousands of Linux distributions made for specific purposes by individual users.

Is Lenovo a Linux or Windows? ›

Then, in 2008, Lenovo decided to no longer officially support Linux on the desktop. There's been a lot of technological changes since, including that Lenovo went back to fully supporting the Linux desktop. There were some hitches, too. Lenovo blew it with Linux on its 2016 Signature Edition PCs.

How much RAM does Linux use? ›

Linux requires very little memory to run compared to other advanced operating systems. You should have at the very least 8 MB of RAM; however, it's strongly suggested that you have at least 16 MB. The more memory you have, the faster the system will run.

What is the fastest Linux distro 2022? ›

Best Linux Distros for 2022
  1. Ubuntu. Ideal For: Professionals, Programmers, and Day-to-day Users. ...
  2. LinuxMint. Ideal For: Beginners and Those Switching from Windows. ...
  3. Pop!_ OS. ...
  4. Zorin OS. Ideal For: Every user. ...
  5. Elementary OS. Ideal For: Professional Creators and Developers. ...
  6. MX Linux. ...
  7. Nitrux. ...
  8. Kodachi.

Is 1gb RAM enough for Linux? ›

The minimum system requirements are 512MB of RAM, 5GB of hard drive space, and a 500MHz processor. Even the recommended specs (1GBB RAM, 10GB of drive space, a 1GHz processor) are rather forgiving.

What version of Linux is closest to Windows? ›

1] Zorin OS

This is perhaps one of the most Windows-like distribution of Linux. It is somewhat a replica of Windows 7, with the Start menu, Taskbar, etc. The speed of the OS distribution is appreciable. Zorin OS comes with a few pre-loaded utility apps that would make your job easier.

What is the most popular Linux? ›

Most Popular Linux Distributions and Why They Dominate the Market
  • Debian. Debian is one of the oldest distributions out there, and some newer, more popular distributions are based on the Debian software. ...
  • Fedora and Red Hat. ...
  • Ubuntu. ...
  • Linux Mint.

Which Linux has best GUI? ›

Cinnamon. Besides GNOME and KDE, Cinnamon is undoubtedly one of the best Linux desktop environments to try out in 2022.

Which is the lightest version of Linux? ›

Tiny Core Linux

The lightest edition is Core, weighing in at just 11MB, which comes without a graphical desktop – but you can always add one after installation. If that's too intimidating, try TinyCore, which is only 16MB in size and offers a choice of FLTK or FLWM graphical desktop environments.

Which is the lightest operating system? ›

As far as you know, the most Lightweight Operating Systems are Linux distros. The benefit of this Linux distro, those are open-source, community-supported, and OSs are super lightweight. All these operating systems mentioned here are capable of running under 1GB RAM and low CPU speed.

Which OS has fastest boot time? ›

Ubuntu 11.10 is the king of quick boots. It was the first fully loaded desktop distribution that could claim the 10-second boot time.

Which is fastest OS in the world? ›

The latest version of Ubuntu is 18 and runs Linux 5.0, and has no obvious performance weaknesses. The kernel operations seem to be the fastest across all operating systems.

Is 2gb RAM enough for Linux? ›

Linux requires at least 2 MB of RAM, but you need to look for a really old version. For recent versions I would recommend somewhere between 1 GB and 10,000 GB.

Will Linux make my computer faster? ›

Performance. Thanks to its lightweight architecture, Linux runs faster than both Windows 8.1 and 10. After switching to Linux, I've noticed a dramatic improvement in the processing speed of my computer. And I used the same tools as I did on Windows.

What can I do on Linux that I can't do on Windows? ›

10 Things You Can Do on Linux but Not on Windows
  • Test a Distro Through Live Boot. ...
  • Choose From So Many Distros and Flavors. ...
  • Use the OS for Free Forever. ...
  • Create Your Own Operating System. ...
  • Use the OS Without Needing an Antivirus. ...
  • Don't Need to Restart the PC at Each Step. ...
  • Use Lightweight Distros to Resurrect Old PCs and Laptops.
15 Mar 2022

Does anyone use Linux anymore? ›

It's just not happening. About two percent of desktop PCs and laptops use Linux, and there were over 2 billion in use in 2015. That's about 4 million computers running Linux.

Does NASA use Linux? ›

“Like supercomputers, Internet of Things devices, and many mission-critical devices, the Falcon 9 flies with Linux.”

Can I use Google Chrome on Linux? ›

But don't panic: Chrome is available for Linux and this guide shows you where to download it from and how to install it. Better yet, it only takes a few seconds to download the Chrome installer and use it to install Chrome on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, and above.

What machines run Linux? ›

Companies like System76, Tuxedo Computers, Juno Computers, Dell, Lenovo and HP are all producing laptops that support or are even fully certified to run Linux. In those early days, if you were to find a company that sold a laptop pre-installed with Linux, the choice was easy. Now?

How do I install Linux on a new computer? ›

How to Install Linux from USB
  1. Insert a bootable Linux USB drive.
  2. Click the start menu. ...
  3. Then hold down the SHIFT key while clicking Restart. ...
  4. Then select Use a Device.
  5. Find your device in the list. ...
  6. Your computer will now boot Linux. ...
  7. Select Install Linux. ...
  8. Go through the installation process.
24 Dec 2021

Is Lenovo good for Linux? ›

If you can find a Linux-ready Lenovo Thinkpad T490, consider yourself lucky. If not, the laptop will still be a great machine that works extremely well with Linux distros. Even the small critical features, such as hibernation and a fingerprint sensor, work really well in this model without any glitches.

What is the highest RAM you can get? ›

The capacities are as follows, permitting you have the physical space to fit the RAM modules.
  • 32-bit systems - up to 4 GB.
  • 64-bit systems - Windows 10 Home supports up to 128 GB. However, Windows 10 Pro, Education, and Enterprise allow as much as 2 TB.
31 Jul 2022

How much memory do I need to install Linux? ›

Your motherboard should include at least 16 MB of RAM for optimum Linux performance. Some users have managed to coax Linux into working on systems with as little as 4 MB of RAM. However, if your system has less than 16 MB of RAM, you probably won't be pleased with its performance.

What is the max amount of RAM you can have? ›

If a computer is running a 32-bit processor, the maximum amount of RAM it can address is 4GB. Computers running 64-bit processors can hypothetically handle hundreds of terabytes of RAM.

Which Linux is best for beginners? ›

The 5 best Linux distros for beginners: You can do this
  • Linux Mint. Best Linux distro for beginners. View now.
  • Chrome OS. Easy-to-use, affordable computing without Windows headaches. View now.
  • Ubuntu. Simple to use. View now.
  • Zorin OS. Easier jump from Windows. View now.
  • MX Linux. Easy-to-learn and lightweight. View now.
26 May 2022

Which is the best Linux distro in 2022? ›

Top Linux Distributions for Students in 2022
  • Linux Mint.
  • Zorin Linux.
  • Academix GNU.
  • UberMix Linux.
  • Elementary OS.
  • Ubuntu Linux.
  • Manjaro Linux.
  • OpenSUSE Leap.
18 Aug 2022

Which version of Linux should I install? ›

So, if you do not want a unique user interface (like Ubuntu), Linux Mint should be a perfect choice. The most popular suggestion would be to go with the Linux Mint Cinnamon edition. But, you can explore whatever you want. Moreover, you might want to look at our tutorial to install Linux Mint from USB.

Which Linux is best for 4GB RAM? ›

  • Linux Lite.
  • Ubuntu MATE.
  • Lubuntu.
  • Arch Linux + Lightweight DE.
  • LXLE.
  • Peppermint OS.
  • antiX.
  • Manjaro Linux Xfce Edition.

Is 4GB of RAM enough for Linux? ›

New Member. MatsuShimizu said: Linux Mint 20 requires 1GB RAM, 2GB RAM is recommended.

Which Linux is best for 2GB RAM? ›

Best Operating Systems (OS) For 2GB or 3GB RAM Computer/Laptop
  • Linux Mint.
  • Kubuntu.
  • Puppy Linux.
  • Xubuntu.
  • Android-x86.
  • OpenThos.
  • Phoenix OS.
  • Bliss OS.

Which is faster Ubuntu or Mint? ›

The Mint Software Manager is faster than Ubuntu's. Mint is also straightforward and provides more usability options, which allows a user to find things quickly. For example, a common mistake for beginners is to mess with the PPA repository while installing third-party software.

Is Linux or Windows 11 better? ›

Linux is performing better than Windows 11 according to this benchmark test. When it comes to benchmarks, most computer users are probably interested in performance comparisons of hardware and software running on the same operating system.

Can Linux replace Windows desktop? ›

Yes. But it's not likely to grow as a direct competitor replacing Windows." He acknowledged the enthusiast population, while also citing the appliance device relevancy and another subsection of Linux users out there. "There is also a large body of users using Linux, who don't realize the fact," he said.

Why do hackers prefer Linux? ›

Linux is the most popular choice for hackers due to its flexibility, open source platform, portability and command line interface and compatibility with popular hacking tools. Windows is a required, but dreaded target for most hackers because it requires them to work in Windows-only environments.

Where is Linux mostly used? ›

Linux is used as an embedded OS for a variety of applications, including household appliances, automotive entertainment systems and network file system appliances. Network OS for routers, switches, domain name system servers, home networking devices and more.

What percentage of people use Linux? ›

Desktop Operating SystemsPercentage Market Share
Desktop Operating System Market Share Worldwide - August 2022
OS X14.39%
3 more rows

Which Linux can run Windows programs? ›

Win4lin, developed by NeTraverse, only allows Windows applications to be used on Linux. VMware is more advanced and works with many operating systems including Windows, Linux [and] FreeBSD. Both of these work by allowing the Linux and Windows operating systems to run simultaneously, side by side.

Is Linux Mint as good as Windows 10? ›

It appears to show that Linux Mint is a fraction faster than Windows 10 when run on the same low-end machine, launching (mostly) the same apps. Both the speed tests and the resulting infographic were conducted by DXM Tech Support, an Australian-based IT support company with an interest in Linux.

Which is better Linux Mint or Zorin OS? ›

Check out the Linux Mint official forum. However, in terms of community support, Linux Mint is the clear winner here. Linux Mint is far more popular than Zorin OS. This means that if you need help, the community support of Linux Mint will come faster.

Is Mint better than Ubuntu? ›

The Mint Software Manager is faster than Ubuntu's. Mint is also straightforward and provides more usability options, which allows a user to find things quickly. For example, a common mistake for beginners is to mess with the PPA repository while installing third-party software.

Which is better Gnome or KDE Plasma? ›

KDE features more applications, customization options, and extra functionalities. However, it can be overwhelming for users who do not want access to any such options. If a user prefers a clean user experience providing a modern look, GNOME can be a better pick.

What version of Linux is best for gaming? ›

Ubuntu. Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distros on the planet. 4% of all computers have Ubuntu installed, putting it up there just behind MacOS and Chrome OS. As a result, Ubuntu is the best Linux distro for gaming, if only because it has the most titles available right out of the box.

Which Linux is most like Windows? ›

1] Zorin OS

This is perhaps one of the most Windows-like distribution of Linux. It is somewhat a replica of Windows 7, with the Start menu, Taskbar, etc. The speed of the OS distribution is appreciable. Zorin OS comes with a few pre-loaded utility apps that would make your job easier.

Which Linux is easy to install? ›

MX Linux

Thanks to its easy installation process and familiar looks, the new users find themselves at home while using MX Linux. With a pretty good hardware recognition and automatic configuration for an out-of-the-box experience, this Debian GNU/Linux-based is also stable for dependable performance.

Is Linux easier to run than Windows? ›

Linux has a reputation for being fast and smooth while Windows 10 is known to become slow and slow over time. Linux runs faster than Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 along with a modern desktop environment and qualities of the operating system while Windows is slow on older hardware.

Is Debian better than Mint? ›

As you can see, Debian is better than Linux Mint in terms of Out of the box software support. Debian is better than Linux Mint in terms of Repository support. Hence, Debian wins the round of Software support!

What is the difference between Linux and Linux Mint? ›

The main difference between Linux Mint and Ubuntu is that Linux mint is more user-friendly which comes with pre-installed proprietary software that enables the users a hassle-free experience. While Ubuntu provides the user with advanced installation options and allows simple installing of dual booting on Windows PCs.

Is Xfce better than GNOME? ›

GNOME shows 6.7% of CPU used by the user, 2.5 by the system and 799 MB ram while below Xfce shows 5.2% for CPU by the user, 1.4 by the system and 576 MB ram. The difference is smaller than in the previous example but Xfce retains performance superiority.

Should I use KDE or Xfce? ›

Conclusion. KDE Plasma Desktop and XFCE are both great desktop environments. For a more minimalist and lightweight desktop, XFCE might be a better option, but for a beautiful customizable desktop environment, KDE Plasma seems to be a better option.

Which is better Xfce or KDE or GNOME? ›

Xfce is faster than KDE and GNOME. If you plan on running multiple applications at once, Xfce gives you optimal performance. After Xfce, KDE is the fastest desktop environment.

Which Linux has best hardware support? ›

Manjaro Linux

The highlight of Manjaro Linux is that it's well known for having amazing hardware support, thanks to its hardware detection manager. Manjaro is based on Arch Linux, one of the most well-known and highly customizable Linux operating systems.

Is it a good idea to switch to Linux? ›

If you like to have transparency on what you use on a day-to-day basis, Linux (in general) is the perfect choice to have. Unlike Windows/macOS, Linux relies on the concept of open-source software. So, you can easily review the source code of your operating system to see how it works or how it handles your data.

Is gaming on Linux better than Windows? ›

If you're playing AAA games with kernel-level anticheat or if you just want the confidence that all games will work out of the box, it's best to stick with Windows. Yes it's a little bloaty and the direction Microsoft is going with it is very questionable, but Windows is still the most supported OS for gaming.

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