Best Linux laptop for developers?



I’ve noticed that a lot of developers who were using OS X are saying they are now switching to Linux (because of recent updates (or lack of!) to the Mac) so just wondered what kind of kit is out there - know of any you’d recommend?

What are your opinions on the new Macs Apple announced today?
Elixir Forum 2019 Update!

Welcome to Linux !!! I’ve been using Dell XPS 13 for awhile - just love it. IMHO Xubuntu is a great developer OS - the GUI is very configurable & scriptable. XFCE has been stable which means all the investments I’ve made in scripting and customization continue to pay dividends w/o having to rewrite. Check out the console program terminator I think it is excellent.


razer notebooks might be worth a look, on the build quality side really hard to find replacement for Apple though.


Better start with virtualization if you already have powerful machine. Try different distributions and see what fits.


In my opinion, the most important thing is hardware compatibility. It is much better today than it was 10 years ago, but there are still laptops or parts available, that do not have linux-support available.

This is also true for laptops that are sold as “linux compatible” (but much less likely).

I have already seen the exact same models, which one of worked and the other was without WiFi, just because it had another WiFi chip.

So I really can’t give any advice, but I have to say, just try it.


Remember though that sometimes you may have trouble installing correct drivers under windows, and on Linux you just “plug and play”. I had very troublesome usb WiFi card that with each windows update had trouble with drivers (7 -> 8 -> 10). But on linux through all those years it just works. Same with Logitech mouse and OSX. I have to install third party open source software to make it work right, and on linux… just works :wink:

So i guess It’s just a matter of luck. Make a research, run live linux distro from usb drive before buying given notebook, and check if everything works as it should.


I have the opposite problem being stuck on windows. Couple of weeks back I sat down to do some dev and 10 minutes in I got a message stating that my machine is getting a forced reboot with updates in 20 minutes. Those updates took just short of 2 hours and I when finally got back on I got the bad news I had been upgraded to the anniversary edition and now my WiFi connection drops every 15-30 minutes for unknown reasons! Not to mention the constant rerender of my toolbar, which seems to really lag for reason.

Needless to say I didn’t get anything done that evening.


Thanks for the replies everyone - it was Dean and Andy’s (re)tweet that inspired this thread:

I think I might start a thread about Linux distros for developers too :003:


if only Adobe would finally port it’s apps to linux


I didn’t know that they weren’t available for Linux :icon_eek:


XPS 15 is my goal right now. Thinkpad work great too.

For devs i advice Fedora, good old Ubuntu or Arch usually.


Dell XPS 13 user too :slight_smile: I would recommend Ubuntu for the beginning. In most cases You will have to install only wifi drivers by yourself. Everything else works out of the box (PS. You may order a Dell product (XPS) with already installed and configured Ubuntu).

As a big fan of Debian distribution, I wouldn’t recommend it for the new generation laptops.


I’ve got an XPS 13 as well. I got it with Win8 on it and Win8 was such total garbage that I installed Bodhi Linux on it and haven’t looked back. Bodhi is a distribution based on Ubuntu–nice minimal distro.


It depends what you need. Battery life, cpu performance , size. so much to choose from.

Personally I am using a Asus ux305ca. it allows me to work a full day, and is small and light enough to bring anywhere.
I`m using Antergos (basically a arch linux with installer). and its working flawlessly.

the XPS 13 and 15 are also good choices. but if I was on a budget and wanted value for money I`d go for a Dell inspiron 7000.
on any linux distro look into laptop tools and powertop to optimize batery life


OhGodThatHappensAtWorkAllTheTime! I friggin hate Windows 10… >.>

Why does it take 2 hours to install a tiny piddly update when my linux desktop downloads, installs, updates, everything, without rebooting?!? Gah!


I know it’s seriously annoying! Now add that on top of Microsofts new “update optimisations” that apparently improve things (I’m thinking mainly for Microsofts own bandwidth) it’s a total nightmare.

tl;dr for that link, basically Microsoft updates are now delivered peer to peer! :worried:


I’ve been using Linux Mint on a Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 for a long time now. It’s a bit old, the keys have worn off a little, but the computer still works great. When this computer is at the end of its lifecycle, I am strongly considering to buy a Lenovo machine again, because at least when I bought this computer, it was a very good price <-> quality relation, especially compared to Macintosh computers.

Also, it has a numpad. Cannot live without it :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:.


I would say Linux loves to work on DELL :slight_smile:
If you need something fancy dell xps 15 2016


I’m just a bit concerned about the high res screen, and ui scaling etc.

Anyone who can share some experience? :slight_smile:


There is also lower resultion version HD 1920 x 1080 matte