Best Linux laptop for developers?

Yea i realised that, but then you are stuck on 8 gigs of ram :unamused: (at least on the 13" model)

I just leave it here…
A world without the Mac Pro

I am using Linux on servers for 10+ years.
But I can’t imaging how it is possible to use Linux on desktop. I have MacBook Pro 13 2011 for developing and internet surfing, Win10 for gaming.

Of course I am a bit upset with new MacBook Pro, but I don’t see any better laptop to upgrade my current one.

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I have the 2015 version with HiDPI screen. I would not buy it again. The laptop has some serious issues, and UI scaling is just one of them. Generally it’s good as long as you stay in terminal + browser + Qt apps or Gnome. But stuff like Gimp scales badly, having tiny icons and huge fonts etc.

Generally, scaling works well if all you need is browser + terminal (like me).

Touchscreen works nice, but I have it disabled since it’s one of the causes of battery drainage. Generally every piece of hardware is hooked up internally using i2c bus. And i2c power management under Linux is well, not so great. I also had to replace Broadcom with Intel wifi card to make it work reliabily. Not sure why they even bothered to sell it pre-installed with Ubuntu, with so many issues.

But again, this is all about 2015 version that I would recommend you stay away from in case you are considering second-hand laptops. I have heard the 2016 Linux compatability has been greatly improved.

On a side note, I have been doing something completely different for last couple of weeks. I’ve moved my dev environment to the cloud machine (Azure to be precise). It’s a bit of hassle to set up and run, start, stop etc, but nothing that can’t be automated (which I’m working on).

Overall, I think I’ll give this laptop to my wife, and will get myself a brand new Acer Chromebook R13 when it’s available in Europe

I guess the other option would be one of the cheap Mac Books (not Pros). Anything that lasts long on battery and can run a browser decently will do. I think this is future.


Guy wrote:

Without a single reason why Linux is a miserable desktop. ;/ Please…

After working for 8 months on Macbook Air 13" There is just one single thing I know, If I ever buy for myself any Apple computer, I sure as hell won’t be using OSX, macOS or whatever they call it now. Linux is much easier to deal with, and does not force down your throat the only true and best apple way of doing things. There is not a single thing that OSX gives you that Linux does not, beside video/photo/audio editing. But hey, I’m a programmer and don’t have to deal with audio/video/photo editing.

  1. If you buy a Linux laptop, make sure it has a high definition display. Programmers stare at text all day and text looks much better on higher resolutions than 1080P.

  2. For me personally, I’ll jump ship if the keyboards haven’t improved next time I’m in the market. I don’t like the keyboard on my MacBook Pro 1015 as much as the keyboard on my MacBook Pro 2011. And the 2016’s supposedly have the butterfly-style keyboard of the regular MacBook and that just sounds awful.


If you have an iPhone, you get message integration. You can send iMessages and even SMS texts from your laptop. Sending messages with a real keyboard is awesome.

But setting that aside, there are two basic camps: the intelligent defaults camp, and the customize everything camp. Apple tends to appeal to the intelligent default camp whereas Linux appeals to the customize everything camp. That to me is a barrier to Linux because I don’t want to invest any time learning and configuring my desktop environment, which I had to do the last time I ran Linux on the desktop (back when KDE was common and Gnome was still unproven).


You can’t think about OS X and hardware products separately now.
Apple provides complete infrastructure for customer:
I am reading same books on MacBook, iPad, iPhone, getting messages, using notes, listening music and etc.

During the first week of using OS X I found it repellent, but than I found articles of productive way of work in OS X and I will not switch from it now :slight_smile:
Of course there are issues, but it just works better, than everything else. I mean Apple’s ecosystem.

Yes it costs. Everything worthwhile costs. Market decides how much.


And about Linux.
Linux is the best OS for servers.

I tried it on laptop/pc and I found myself struggling with OS to find hardware drivers and to solve problems with software. And it is really frustrating to struggle with OS for free :slight_smile:
I solve such problems on work servers and I don’t want to do it on my laptop for developing.

Also GUI is not as good as OS X.

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That’s a very big if. For the same reason I won’t invest my money in macOS, i won’t use IPhone. [quote=“JamboJustin, post:26, topic:2249”]
iMessages and even SMS texts from your laptop
I really don’t know what are iMessages but I guess it’s another Apple only closed platform… so… And as it goes with sms, I find it hard to believe that in 2016 anyone little tech savvy would prefer sms over any other form of written communication, be it email, whatsapp/hangouts/whatever. Anyway, there are multitude linux apps that let you send sms from desktop through your phone.

I wouldn’t have anything against macOS if some of those “intelligent” defaults where easy to override, but some are nearly impossible to override, or even removing ability to customize some of them in never OS versions, and that’s what makes Apple evil.[quote=“dgamidov, post:27, topic:2249”]
but than I found articles of productive way of work in OS X
It’s not that I don’t find macOS unproductive for me, it’s just on Linux I can be productive too, but on Linux i can choose the way i like things to work, and not the way Apple wants them to work.[quote=“dgamidov, post:27, topic:2249”]
Of course there are issues, but it just works better, than everything else
Let’s agree to disagree. If it comes to normal day to day leisure, I find Windows much better. When it comes to work, macOS would be OK if not the annoyances you’ll have hard time to change.

Also, there is the problem of working in one environment and deploying in the other. I happened to have critical parts of code that were linux specific, and app wouldn’t even compile under macOS, you can’t debug it locally either. If you have same development environment as you have deployment environment there are much less surprises.

Do you mean GUI is more eye appealing in macOS or what do you mean by not as good? Because in terms of productivity… well since you can customize much more on Linux I don’t think you mean productivity.

I don’t say macOS is the worst thing on earth. It’s OK’ish, but there are times it annoys the shit out of me. Linux so far just prove how little I know :wink: But in the end “suum cuique pulchrum est”.


I mean that design of OS X leaves holistic impression.
And I don’t feel the same in Linux. I tried as desktop GNOME/KDE in RedHat, SUSE, Ubuntu…

But I am lucky - I have no problem with switching between operation systems :slight_smile:

I spend 35% of time in OS X, 35% - Win 7/10, 30% - Linux (but in terminal).

And about OS specific code… I use VirtualBox.

4 GB in Macbook Air i have is too little to have IDE, Chrome, Slack open and on top of that VM with linux :confused: But I blame Chrome design and that insane trend to write apps in JS on Electron. And if you ask me why do I use Chrome? :wink: I tell you : because, Safari is unusable and Firefox is memory hog as chrome is.


MacBook Air is not powerful at all :frowning:
I don’t use Safari, too :wink: Only Chrome :slight_smile:

My MBA is actually my full time machine now :003: (I used to have a beast of a machine, the Mac Pro, but was sick of being tied to the desk all day).

I was sceptical at first, but when DHH kept going on about it as his full time machine, I just had to give it a go. While the Mac Pro was the most powerful computer I ever owned, this tiny 11" MBA is easily my favourite.

With regards to me moving to Linux, looks unlikely now as I totally hadn’t realised the lack of support in sound and visual production software… however I am sure the thread will be useful for others :slight_smile:

Been using nothing but since 2006. :wink:

I’d say grab “KDE Neon”, install it in a virtual machine, and give it a try (do realize it is a 3d-accelerated desktop and if your VM does not have 3d-accel it will not be as pretty as it is installed, but you can still play with it to see how linux on desktop works). :slight_smile:


If you like web IDEs check . Only few languages are supported for now.
But you can also run vim/emacs in terminal :slight_smile:

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Yep yep, I like systems I can hack up (I’m about to install the new KDE Plasma on my phone I think ^.^).

Entirely. I use Google Hangouts/Voice, I can text fine from my desktop via my phone’s number and receive them as well, been like that for, hmm, 2009 (I still have all my old logs so I can check! ^.^). iMessage is a very locked in thing that likes to break your phone number if you try to switch away from it (personal experience with family).

Yep. Mac OSX is a fine operating system, but it is too locked down for the way I work and what I like to do, it does not have the capabilities I have with Linux.

I find KDE far better to use than Mac (or Windows 10) Desktops’s by far. Or I3, or LXDE/xfce for low-end things, significantly more customizable. I can make KDE look near identical to Mac, or Windows, or something entirely different, or etc… etc…

characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.

Hmm, only if you stay in the Apple App world, try to use anything else and things start to seem different. Try KDE, it unifies all the different standard windowing systems in a single wonderfully-connected whole (again, try KDE Neon).

Things run fine in Wine. ^.^

Plus try open-source versions, you’d find many are as powerful or even more powerful than propriatary. :wink:


It’s been a very long time since I’ve been using Linux for everything, not booting into windows (I have dual boot) even to play games lately, I don’t need to use Adobe stuff though. One of the nice things is less cognitive load since my computer has the same OS as most servers we use :slight_smile:

I mostly use Ubuntu LTS with very few tweaks like Gnome desktop (it’s very stable, didn’t do a fresh install since around 2010). As for Laptop - anything is good these days, major Linux distributions are way better at drivers then few years before, I use a desktop PC and a rather expensive MSI gaming notebook (my wife’s) when mobility is needed, it’s not necessary though, just cool :slight_smile:

I for one can barely imagine using anything but linux


I just want to say, that I am glad to live in the world where are Linux, OS X and Windows :slight_smile:
And I can switch between depending on my needs.
And the existence of different operation systems makes each of them better!


I like to work using Thinkpads. My current T460s is a superb solution in combination with a docking station. Also linux compatibility is quite outstanding. Only thing not yet working is the fingerprint sensor, because its a very new model.

My second choice would be Dell XPS, but what bothers me most about these is the high price of the docking station. Some of my coworkers have some problems with their USB-C Adapters.


I’ve been using a Dell Precision 7510 for about 6 months now. It’s more of a workstation replacement than a laptop, but I enjoy being able to take it to meetings and such. I ordered it with Ubuntu installed, Xeon processor, 64GB of RAM, and the largest battery they offered.

I’m not suggesting it will replace a MacBook Air or anything, but it works well for my uses.