Best Linux laptop for 2023

I’m in the market for a new Linux laptop. My current machine is a 2018 i7 with 64GB of RAM, a 4K screen, 1TB of storage, 2x USB-C and 1x USB-A.

I’m looking for something that can match my current specs but brings great battery life, modern Wi-Fi, and a fingerprint reader. I don’t have to have 4K, and may actually prefer lower resolution for the battery savings.

I’d love to hear some recommendations for a machine built within the past 12 months. Thanks in advance for your feedback!

melroy Admin ,
melroy avatar

I'm trying to aim for the Framework Laptop 16. Coming out soon. Should be very modular.

DisietSma ,


melroy Admin ,
melroy avatar

Nice :) I'll keep us all posted about this upcoming 16" version.

Jesus_666 ,

Same here. There’s really no reason why I should have to throw away the whole machine if the keyboard goes marginal after a few years or I decide I want a faster CPU.

melroy Admin ,
melroy avatar

Exactly!! I also want to run Linux only on this laptop. Just like on all my machines at home.

melroy Admin ,
melroy avatar

Talking about the devil.. 🎂 I just received an email for pre ordering.

melroy Admin ,
melroy avatar

Owno.. the price tag... :\

melroy Admin ,
melroy avatar

Nevermind almost as expensive as Lenovo.

TheButtonJustSpins ,

But once you’re in the environment, upgrades will be much cheaper than getting a new machine.

melroy Admin ,
melroy avatar

True that!.. I actually pre-ordered the Framework 16 now.

melroy Admin ,
melroy avatar

Pre-order is placed!

boonhet , (edited )

Note: This might not work for your needs if you NEED the core OS to be Linux. It’s also not optimal if all the software you need to run is x86-only.

The Macbook Pro with M2 Max comes with up to 96 GB of RAM and a ridiculously high battery life. It comes at the price of… a very high price. And Asahi isn’t all that ready IMO, you’d have to run your Linux stuff in a VM or docker container. But for the most part I’ve found that MacOS doesn’t actually stop me from doing anything compared to Linux - the OS is less customizable, but software to run on the OS is still plentyful, especially if you use virtualization or containers (or containers + virtualization).

There’s just no real competing ARM laptop out there right now. Not at this performance level. I wish there was, I’d love this kind of performance/power consumption ratio on Linux where I could also eke out more battery life by customizing my kernel. It would be especially awesome if it could be something like a Framework where you can swap out the board for one with a better SoC in 5 years. But for now, the best laptop processors are Apple’s.

Thanks to Rosetta, I can also easily run AMD64 containers, so I have access to both ARM and x86 Linux software. The latter isn’t as efficient of course. But overall, I feel like there’s nothing I can’t do on my two Apple Silicon Macs that I could (and need to) do on Linux.

3v1n0 ,

/me waiting for ThinkPad T14 Gen 4, with amd cpu.

drdnl ,

No sure about 64gb, but for performance/watt and reliable Linux I can really recommend the Amd p16s and t16(s?) machines from Lenovo. Have about seven in the office and they are excellent.

I too, as someone in devops, am wondering what you need that much memory for. Do you simply really like VMs? :)

Also, have you considered doing the really heavy stuff remotely? Whenever I need desktop type power (16 physical cores and 128gb memory) I simply wake the desktop, ssh into it and do it there.

TheOtherJake ,

Just got a new gigabyte. The bootloader is shit combined with shitvidia to make a terrible combination to avoid. I expect most companies are doing the same bullshit with TPM/Secure boot. Everything proprietary is criminal theft.

melroy Admin ,
melroy avatar

Avoid at all costs

tieme ,

No advice on a new one, sorry. But if you decide you want to get rid of your current one cheap let me know :)

Aurailious ,

System76 makes their own distro called PopOS. Their laptops right now are rebadged, but I’m sure they support them well. They are in the process of designing their own and I’m waiting to see how it compares to something like Framework.

Skiptrace ,

PopOS kinda sucks nards. Don’t use it.

pkulak ,

You absolutely don’t have to. They will support you no matter what distro you have. All their custom bits are in the AUR and Nix, for example.

nutlink ,

What’s wrong with PopOS?

Hellebert ,

Look up any model you are considering on the following websites and if it’s listed it should tell you everything you need to know about Linux support. I’d say you’d be safe with most laptops these days though.

Acid , avatar

If you’re genuinely looking for Linux Laptops I’d take a look at

There’s also

ede OP ,

That StarFighter looks crazy. I too bad it’s 5 months out. Thanks for the recommendation!

gkpy ,

the starlabs machine looks awesome! is it only me or does the chassis look like the framework, specifically the bottom part?

Acid , avatar

I haven’t seen all of them in person, but the other day someone showed me the StarLite which is their budget laptop and honestly it really surprised me. The only thing with similar build quality I’ve seen at such a low price was the google pixel book go which can be had used absurdly cheap.

I think they’re the company I’d use to buy Linux laptops if I used one daily, these days I use a MacBook Air m2 simply because the battery life beats all and for how I work that’s what I need most.

Barzaria ,

You try’na sell that laptop whenyour get the other one?

ede OP ,

I’m keeping it as I still need more machines for testing. Sorry!

Valmond ,

That seems quite top of the line even today.

For battery life, the screen, the screen, the GPU (seems you use an IGP), the size of the screen, and the CPU are the main culprits.

64GB RAM will use some battery do you really need that much?

Hopefully your 1TB is an SSD otherwise an SSD is a nice upgrade.

There are also fat fat powerbanks for power users far away from a 110/220volt line!

I Am curious, most often power hungry laptops are gaming ones… What do you do with yours?

ede OP ,

I’m in DevSecOps, and do a lot of heavy development and testing, as well as PoCs. Ideally, I’d have 128GB of RAM but laptops aren’t quite there yet. The HD is a Samsung SSD.

I usually have the GPU set to integrated graphics unless I’m doing some heavy load in which case I’ll switch over to the nvidia GPU. I also switch between power modes depending on my use case at the time.

There’s not a lot I can do with the CPU other than the optimizations I’ve done thus far. It’s actually one of the main reasons I’m looking to upgrade so I can have better performance per watt and take advantage of various cores depending on workload.

Morphior ,

What OS are you primarily using? I’d imagine Kali for pentesting if you do that, but what do you use everyday?

Valmond ,

Interesting, thanks for sharing!

albsen ,

If your OK with arm I’d say the macbooks and especially the macbook air are ready with asahi for daily use. I’m personally considering getting to run linux on as daily driver.

ede OP ,

That’s an interesting point. I could buy my wife a new Air and update her M1 to run Linux. Thanks for the suggestion!

jcarax ,

Check the status of Asahi Linux, they’re making a lot of progress on Apple silicon, but it’s very early. I wouldn’t recommend it, at this point.

Do you actually need 64GB of RAM? The Thinkpad T16 AMD would be a good choice, but the T14s AMD has just stupidly low fan noise in Notebookcheck’s review. You definitely want to focus on AMD, Intel’s efficiency is… not great right now. As an added benefit, you get AMD graphics from the APU, so none of the Nvidia driver fuckery, and better performance than Intel.

Personally, I’m waiting for the T14s Gen 4 AMD. The 7840u is zen 4, GCN 3, and TSMC 4nm over the 6850u’s zen 3, GCN2, and TSMC 6nm. The T14 and T16 just hit Lenovo’s model database ‘psref’ earlier this week, so I’d expect them out in the next couple months. The T14s hasn’t been seen yet, I’d guess it hits psref in the next couple weeks. But, I’m prepared to wait into Q4, if need be, and some think I will be.

ede OP ,

Yeah, the RAM is a hard requirement. I’d like more if I could. My desktop is AMD so I’m not against using them at all if it makes sense to do so. I’ve also enjoyed Lenovo in the past but couldn’t find a well enough equipped unit for my liking.

spartanatreyu , avatar

What are you doing that makes having 64gb ram useful?

ede OP ,

I develop software and do a lot of PoC with VMs and containers.

areyouevenreal ,

They already answered this:

I’m in DevSecOps, and do a lot of heavy development and testing, as well as PoCs. Ideally, I’d have 128GB of RAM but laptops aren’t quite there yet. The HD is a Samsung SSD.

spartanatreyu , avatar

I can’t see your comment about heavy dev and testing.

I’m curious about what exactly is chewing up that much RAM. Do you have a ridiculous amount of containers running? Or a big ram disk or something?

areyouevenreal ,

It’s not my comment. You are talking to the completely wrong person. Go look at their comments.

jcarax ,

Ah, I think to get 64GB from a Thinkpad you’d have to move up to a P series, and even the P16s and P14s that are based on the T16 and T14 will be significantly warmer and louder than those others. They’re very much tuned for performance. Unfortunately, Lenovo is soldering RAM far more on their AMD models than the Intel models, so you won’t be able to run above spec.

boonhet ,

Asahi is kinda unfinished, you’d need to run MacOS on it to get that sweet 10-25hour battery life probably. Many things don’t work yet either.

InternationalKnee69 ,

Have you looked into the Framework Laptop? It’s highly customisable, upgradable, and repairable. I don’t actually know how well it plays with Linux but as it is appealing to techy people who like to tinker I would imagine the community to be rather active.

ede OP ,

Yup, it’s absolutely on my list. I’m specifically interested in the 16”, but it’s not available yet. Additionally, the soonest I could get the 13” is Q4. I’m wanting something before then.

Thank you for the feedback!

alamani , (edited )

Take this with a grain of salt since I’m not a framework owner (but very interested in getting one), but heads up that I consistently hear its battery life isn’t the best. The modularity makes it less efficient or something, iirc.

Edit: see the replies to me for better info!

zeerooth , avatar

Apparently nowadays they were able to extend the battery life quite a bit with the new generation of 61Wh batteries (instead of the previous 55Wh)

alamani ,

Ah, good to know.

jrgd , (edited )

The battery indeed by no means (at least on intel 11th, 12th gen cpus) is what I would call exceptional (4-9 hours on a i5 1240p with two USB-A, two USB-C passive modules). Some expansion modules such as the microSD reader can be a detriment to battery life overall as well as some modules (like the older revision of the HDMI module) have issues not powering off for power saving properly.

For the HDMI module, Framework has published a guide for those that wish to mod their older revision HDMI modules to get power saving to work like how it does on the new revision. As such, there is hope that for those skilled enough to do their own repairs that the worse off modules today may be able to be made better tomorrow rather than thrown away for a new revision.

alamani ,

Noted, ty for the info!

alamani , (edited )

Noted, tyvm for the info!

Edit: sorry for sending this thrice, had network issue

alamani ,

Noted, tyvm for the info!

Nuuskis9 ,

If you like open source bios and trackpoint along with hot swappable mechanical keys, then take a look at System76 Virgo.

ede OP ,

I like the idea of a System76 machine, but have never used one IRL. Nor do I know of anyone who has one. As a result, I’m hesitant on making the leap without some level of expertise/experience to back up the decision.

Skiptrace ,

I wouldn’t use one. They made PopOS, and it’s just crappy Ubuntu with a bunch of garbage changes.

thejevans , avatar

I wouldn’t expect this in the next year at least.

Joker ,

I was in the same boat before Framework launched and ended up with a ThinkPad X1 Extreme.

It’s a solid machine - easy to upgrade the SSD and RAM, easy to repair, very good premium support available for an additional fee. I paid for the support and had to replace a touchpad that started acting weird. They were at my house within 24 hours and made the repair at my dining table. So much better than AppleCare.

The Linux support is great. Everything works. The build quality is good as far as pc laptops are concerned. Lots of USB ports, HDMI out, and an SD slot. That’s the next best thing to the customizable ports on the Framework. The battery is a little better than the Framework. Really can’t go wrong with either one.

ede OP ,

I’ll take a look. Thank you for the recommendation.

rambaroo ,

You can never go wrong with Thinkpad. Both of mine are 10+ years old and still running and they do with realyl well with Linux

cupcakezealot , avatar

Was looking at a Thinkpad; how well does Linux run in a web developer/graphic designer element? Is it pretty easy, specs wise?

drdnl ,

I had an extreme, as nice as it was it kind of sucked on Linux due to all the dual gpu weirdness (working hdmi or battery longevity, pick one)

Has this changed recently? Because it used to be due to the wiring of hdmi though the external gpu

docler ,

I have a gen4 with Nvidia 3050, and with the newer cards/drivers the support for power states is actually decent. On arch I don’t need any of the trickery you used to have to do to power off the card, if the card is not used for some time (less than a minute) it properly shut downs, and powertop reports something around 9w of power usage if you don’t fire up the CPU for compilation or such. When a program needs it, it powers back on. You still have some of the Linux/Nvidia headaches (with Wayland etc.) but it’s much better than it used to be

Skiptrace ,

I’d seriously keep waiting for the 16" Framework. It’s definitely going to be worth it.

yessikg , avatar

It does have official support for some Linux distros, and their forum is full of Linux users

ichbinjasokreativ ,

Framework laptops are, as far as I know, certified for Ubuntu. Meaning that any distro should run just fine, if maybe with some slight modifications, but Ubuntu (and its derivates) will work perfectly.

ede OP ,

To add, while I still enjoy my laptop, my biggest issues are battery life and heat. This thing could fry an egg when it’s under load. At best, I get 3 hours of usage on battery even with a lower resolution, low brightness, power management utilities optimizing performance, and running on my integrated GPU vs the nvidia GPU.

NightOwl ,

Is installing Linux as simple a process on Mac M1s or M2s as it is on other devices?

entropicdrift , avatar

With specs like those, have you considered buying a desktop or server PC and setting up Sunshine/Moonlight? That way you can use a thin client laptop and have amazing battery life.

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