Question Recommended Used Laptop for Linux

mmitsch

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I want to buy a used laptop that has some expansion capability for RAM and an SSD drive that I can put linux on. Would any of you have some suggestions on well made machines that may be somewhat of a bargain on the used marked that will be friendly to Linux?

Thanks!
 

ktriebol

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I think any laptop that is running Windows would work just fine. The hardware requirements for Linux are minimal. If it ran Windows, it will run Linux. Find a Windows laptop with the features that you like at a good price and go for it. I recently tried out Linux Mint on my Intel 7th gen laptop, and it worked great. Response was noticeably quicker than with Windows 10. While Intel 7th gen isn't exactly new, an even older processor would work fine as well. One suggestion I have is before installing Linux, save an image of your C drive so you can restore it if needed.
 
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mmitsch

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What Linux distro do you want to use?
We had an Acer cloud book that was useless due to speed & space and I got that working with Mint for our son. He preferred Unbuntu so he’s using that. My recent project is on my Acer Chromebook C720. I have that working on a dual boot mode and with Gallium OS and Chrome. Gallium seems cool and is pretty well supported.

I’m impressed with Linux and the life it’s brought to these machines. I’m thinking Moe RAM and drive space can possibly give me options like running more apps, games, etc.

I’ve also read (not sure if correct) that it might even be possible to install Windows in some partition under Linux to get the use of Windows apps.

Not too picky on the distro - but am wide open to suggestions.

Thanks for getting back to me too!
 

mmitsch

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I think any laptop that is running Windows would work just fine. The hardware requirements for Linux are minimal. If it ran Windows, it will run Linux. Find a Windows laptop with the features that you like at a good price and go for it. I recently tried out Linux Mint on my Intel 7th gen laptop, and it worked great. Response was noticeably quicker than with Windows 10. While Intel 7th gen isn't exactly new, an even older processor would work fine as well. One suggestion I have is before installing Linux, save an image of your C drive so you can restore it if needed.
Thanks for the response!

What is the best way to get an image before pushing forward?

I’ll check out some 7th generation laptops too. If it worked for you it’s a good start!

How much disk space & RAM did you have? What kind of graphics? And what distro / Linux version did you use. Great to know something that works!

Mike
 

USAFRet

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We had an Acer cloud book that was useless due to speed & space and I got that working with Mint for our son. He preferred Unbuntu so he’s using that. My recent project is on my Acer Chromebook C720. I have that working on a dual boot mode and with Gallium OS and Chrome. Gallium seems cool and is pretty well supported.

I’m impressed with Linux and the life it’s brought to these machines. I’m thinking Moe RAM and drive space can possibly give me options like running more apps, games, etc.

I’ve also read (not sure if correct) that it might even be possible to install Windows in some partition under Linux to get the use of Windows apps.

Not too picky on the distro - but am wide open to suggestions.

Thanks for getting back to me too!
Chromebooks and these 'cloud' things are a special case.
Avoid at all costs, severely underpowered.

Any semi-recent Windows capable laptop would work.
The more RAM the better.

Brands? Lenovo is a good place to start.
Possibly Dell Outlet as well.

Specific model? Depends on budget, and what is available in your used market on a particular day.
 
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ktriebol

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Thanks for the response!

What is the best way to get an image before pushing forward?

I’ll check out some 7th generation laptops too. If it worked for you it’s a good start!

How much disk space & RAM did you have? What kind of graphics? And what distro / Linux version did you use. Great to know something that works!

Mike
I think the best (and free) way to save an image of your Windows disc before pushing forward with Linux is to download the free edition of Macrium Reflect 8. You can get it at this link:
Macrium Reflect 8 Free Edition
When you get to that site, page down until you see the link to download Reflect 8 Free and take it from there. Once you have it running on Windows, you will need to do two things:
  1. Use Macrium Reflect to save an image of the Windows disc on your new laptop. You will need to save that image somewhere other than on that disc itself, so that means on another disc in the laptop or on another computer over your LAN. Note: You can't save an image to a USB drive.
  2. Use Macrium Reflect to create a Rescue Disc. You will need the rescue disc because once your laptop is changed over to Linux, Macrium Reflect will no longer work because it only works under Windows. So, once you are using Linux, you have to boot your computer using the Macrium Reflect rescue disc, and that will give your computer enough brains to restore your Windows Image. There are instructions on the Macrium Reflect web site explaining how to perform all of the above steps.
Of course, if you are brave, you can install Linux without backing up Windows first. It's up to you. Then, if you want to get back to Windows, you would just have to download Windows from Microsoft (for free) and re-install it. You would lose all of your data, though, and would have to reconfigure everything.

I installed Linux Mint 20.2 Cinnamon. The specs of my computer aren't important because if you have at least the minimum hardware requirements, it will work fine. Minimum hardware requirements for Mint 20.2 are:
  • 2GB RAM (4GB recommended for a comfortable usage).
  • 20GB of disk space (100GB recommended).
  • 1024×768 resolution (on lower resolutions, press ALT to drag windows with the mouse if they don’t fit in the screen).
My laptop has integrated graphics with the CPU rather than a discreet graphics card and it works well.
 
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mmitsch

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I think the best (and free) way to save an image of your Windows disc before pushing forward with Linux is to download the free edition of Macrium Reflect 8. You can get it at this link:
Macrium Reflect 8 Free Edition
When you get to that site, page down until you see the link to download Reflect 8 Free and take it from there. Once you have it running on Windows, you will need to do two things:
  1. Use Macrium Reflect to save an image of the Windows disc on your new laptop. You will need to save that image somewhere other than on that disc itself, so that means on another disc in the laptop or on another computer over your LAN. Note: You can't save an image to a USB drive.
  2. Use Macrium Reflect to create a Rescue Disc. You will need the rescue disc because once your laptop is changed over to Linux, Macrium Reflect will no longer work because it only works under Windows. So, once you are using Linux, you have to boot your computer using the Macrium Reflect rescue disc, and that will give your computer enough brains to restore your Windows Image. There are instructions on the Macrium Reflect web site explaining how to perform all of the above steps.
Of course, if you are brave, you can install Linux without backing up Windows first. It's up to you. Then, if you want to get back to Windows, you would just have to download Windows from Microsoft (for free) and re-install it. You would lose all of your data, though, and would have to reconfigure everything.

I installed Linux Mint 20.2 Cinnamon. The specs of my computer aren't important because if you have at least the minimum hardware requirements, it will work fine. Minimum hardware requirements for Mint 20.2 are:
  • 2GB RAM (4GB recommended for a comfortable usage).
  • 20GB of disk space (100GB recommended).
  • 1024×768 resolution (on lower resolutions, press ALT to drag windows with the mouse if they don’t fit in the screen).
My laptop has integrated graphics with the CPU rather than a discreet graphics card and it works well.
Thank you very much! I will appreciate the tips on both the image and on Linux Mint 20.2 Cinnamon. Looking for a laptop now.
 

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