So you’re interested in where to buy your next Linux computer? Fair enough, perhaps your existing PC is dying or maybe that “Made for Windows” sticker on it got the best of you with a problem sound card or some other component issue. Whatever the driving force happens to be, finding a computer with your preferred Linux distribution pre-installed is going to make life a lot simpler. Just as it does with Windows or OS X installed, it’s really kind of common sense if you think about it.
But I like to do it myself!
For desktops, okay, I can see the advantages here. You are free to have a wide selection of which video card, motherboard, etc that you want as you want it. And let’s face it, if you shop around a DIY setup can often be substantially cheaper than buying an off the shelf model. Especially if you can provide the HDDs and DVD-Burner. But if you’re talking about replace a notebook or a netbook, you pretty much end up buying an all inclusive package regardless. Why not spend a little more and support vendors that are trying desperately to support you? And no, not Dell. I mean real vendors such as those who sell desktop Linux solutions exclusively.
Where to buy from and why?
I generally have select sources that I recommend, but I want to be all inclusive as possible and provide a short list of companies I know to be safe and reliable.
– EmperorLinux: Not for the kiddies, definitely for folks that are exclusive, expert Linux users not needing to rely on a cheap machine. Their notebooks are high-end, awesome, but pricey. On the plus side, they’ve been supporting and delivering stand-up quality solutions to hardcore Linux users for many years. So if you’re a long time (4+ years) kind of user who has already invested countless hours into Linux, know this is where you are going to be until your dying breath, this is the vendor for you. They offer some fantastic stuff.
– System76: Having purchased multiple machines from these guys, including my desktop and notebook, I can say without a doubt that not only does everything work out of the box as it should, they maintain this support long after you buy it. If Ubuntu drops the ball, they offer a special driver package themselves to fix the problem. Now one thing to be aware of is their affinity for 64bit Ubuntu. For people, this isn’t such a big deal anymore as we FINALLY have a workable Adobe Flash release working for this architecture without any crappy coding work-a-rounds. But on a rare occasion, you may encounter software not offered by Ubuntu elsewhere, that only works for 32bit Ubuntu. Just something to be aware of, but otherwise I highly recommend these guys.
Zareason: If a company could be presented with saint like status, I guess it’s going to be Zareason. A solid provider of quality notebooks, they also are extremely active in making sure those less fortunate has access to computers whenever possible. In true Zareason fashion, you select your choice of distribution of Linux from a pull-down menu and they’ll provide it. Want Linux Mint or Fedora instead of Ubuntu? They’ll make that happen.
LinuxCertified: I group these guys into the same class of provider as EmperporLinux based on the fact that they too, were among the first providers out there long before Ubuntu even mattered. In addition to providing good laptops, they also specialize in Linux training and Linux services for hire.