Open Source Musings


You can't buy a computer with Linux pre-installed. How many times have you heard that refrain? I've heard it a lot over the last 20+ years. And still do every so often nowadays, believe it or not.

While that statement might have been true at one time, it's a patently false one today. There are a number of vendors from whom you can buy a Linux-powered laptop, desktop, mini, or server.

Here's a list of some of them:

Seller Types of Computers
System76 Desktops/Laptops
Star Labs Laptops/Minis
Laptop with Linux Laptops/Minis
SlimBook Laptops/Desktops/Minis
Purism Laptops/Minis
Kubuntu Focus Laptops/Minis
Entroware Desktops/Laptops/Servers
Tuxedo Computers Laptops/Desktops
Vikings Store Laptops/Desktops/Servers

Some Points to Remember

Note that:

  1. The list in this post isn't meant to be an exhaustive one. I know there are other vendors out there, but I'm most familiar with the ones above.
  2. Because I included a company in the list isn't an endorsement of it. If you have problems with any of those companies, please don't share those problems with me.
  3. I don't earn any money for either sharing those links or if you buy anything from the companies I've listed.

And, yes, what those companies charge is more than what you'll pay for a computer at your local big-box retailer. Why? Economies of scale, which smaller makers and sellers aren't able to take advantage of. No one is trying to rip you off.

Scott Nesbitt

#linux #hardware

At the end of last year, I decided it was time to get a new laptop — my workhorse Galago from System76 was in a slow, steady decline after many years of use.

Before pulling the trigger, I looked at the offerings from a few vendors, including Laptop with Linux and System76. In the end, I decided to go smaller, opting for a StarLite from Star Labs.

A few days after Christmas, 2021 I placed the order for the StarLite. Due to COVID and supply chain issues, it took almost 6 months for that laptop to reach me. You can be sure that I was a happy boy when the courier handed it over to me on that Tuesday morning in May.

I've been using that StarLite exclusively since mid-May, 2022. Let's take a look at it.

(If you're looking for unboxing video, you're out of luck. I don't indulge in that sort of silliness. That said, the packaging was well done!)