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Chromebooks and Laptops Pre-Installed with Linux

Castle Robin

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My current laptop from 2011 has Windows drivers that have since corrupted, but I’m thinking of switching to a laptop that has Linux as part of a Chromebook or pre-installed with Linux.

The dilemmas I have are as follows:-

Chromebooks – Everything is reliant upon Apps within a Google account, which is fine, except that I’d need to be sure that all formats are supported, rather than some be “Read Only”. I gather 256 GB is the largest storage capacity for the higher priced Chromebooks;

Also, is Libre Office one of the Apps?;

Is it easy to install Linux?;

What’s the simplest and quickest way to install Linux in a Chromebook?;

Can specifically MX Linux be installed?;

Do Chromebooks require Linux users to Only use the Command Line to run anything in Linux via a Chromebook?

I gather that inserting a pre-installed Linux distro on a USB stick wouldn’t work on a Chromebook, but that USB Sticks, Portable Hard Drives, Mobile Phones and Cameras can be recognized and documents, videos, etc don’t necessarily have to be installed only in the Cloud?

Laptops pre-installed with Linux

Are there any UK sellers that have laptops pre-installed with Linux?;

Can they be purchased via PayPal?

Does anyone have any positive experiences of buying a pre-installed with Linux laptop online?

In terms of this country, probably only the very large cities like London would have shops that sell laptops pre-installed with Linux, whereas most other areas would be pre-installed with Microsoft Windows or Apple Mac.

Businesses that sell Linux pre-installed, where they advertise that they sell specific Linux distros, and specific versions of Linux (eg MX Linux), are they fixed on which versions they install?, or if a business states it has Linux computers with MX Linux KDE version, would they also install MX Linux XFCE?

I’ve yet to find any UK or overseas businesses that pre-install the XFCE version of MX Linux.
 
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kc1di

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Hello @Castle Robin,
Chromebooks can be difficult to install Linux on. Not impossible but difficult. First you will do better if you get a chromebook that has intel processors instead of Atom. And Not all functions may work after you install. Another problem is that many chromebooks are basic and intended to run most apps from online. So they do not have the storage space really needed to run Linux correctly. But with all that said. here is a page that will tell you how to do it.
You will most likely be better off buying a laptop with linux already installed. Here are a couple links to machines that may be available in the UK. But there are other on this forum that live in the UK and may be better advised about what is available there.
Not sure how many of those can be found in UK but worth looking into.
I have had very good success buy refurbished Lenovo Thinkpads and installing linux on them they mostly work well with Linux.
Good luck in your search.
 
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wizardfromoz

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Two Davids in the same Thread ... snap! ;)

@Castle Robin - David I have had the most success with Dells, bought over the last 20 years and 12 years of those with Linux, and free delivery to my door.

That being said, my laptop prior to this Dell was a Toshiba Satellite which quite comfortably ran 46 Linux on 8 GB RAM.

We have a number of Members here with Lenovo experience, but also a number of Chromebook users who have come to us with problems. I cannot say whether that was to do with Chromebooks, or the person behind the keyboard.

Chris
 

Brickwizard

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Firstly, are you looking for a new or re-used laptop,? I must point out that the newest laptops with cutting edge components may not have Linux drivers available at the moment, If you are looking for a re-used laptop with Linux, your best bet would be find a good local independent sales/repair shop, and ask them if they could wipe a Windows laptop and install Linux for you, as a rule of thumb, laptops under 4 yrs old would be best with MX-AHS and older ones MX-64, Most laptops can be reasonably easy to install Linux to yourself, Personally I would avoid Chromebooks completely, Mac, Lenovo [inc Medallion] are usually most problematic, the latest dell's also give some cause for concern, My personal choice would be a 5-8 year old dell, they rarely give cause for concern, and are well-built.
If you go it alone and purchase a grade A or B pre-used machine and install MX yourself, there are plenty to choose from on the web you can pick up a good I5 dell latitude 3/4 yrs old for around £500 or a 7 yr old one for around £200.
 
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Castle Robin

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Hello @Castle Robin,
Chromebooks can be difficult to install Linux on. Not impossible but difficult. First you will do better if you get a chromebook that has intel processors instead of Atom. And Not all functions may work after you install. Another problem is that many chromebooks are basic and intended to run most apps from online. So they do not have the storage space really needed to run Linux correctly. But with all that said. here is a page that will tell you how to do it.

You will most likely be better off buying a laptop with linux already installed. Here are a couple links to machines that may be available in the UK. But there are other on this forum that live in the UK and may be better advised about what is available there.

Not sure how many of those can be found in UK but worth looking into.
I have had very good success buy refurbished Lenovo Thinkpads and installing linux on them they mostly work well with Linux.
Good luck in your search.
Hi kc1di

Going by your comments, and after thinking through all my options, I think I'll now pass on Chromebooks after all, but I'll note the links for future reference in case I ever purchase a Chromebook in due course.

I'll keep my options open, but I agree that a general computer would be best to make the most out of Linux.
 
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Castle Robin

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Two Davids in the same Thread ... snap! ;)

@Castle Robin - David I have had the most success with Dells, bought over the last 20 years and 12 years of those with Linux, and free delivery to my door.

That being said, my laptop prior to this Dell was a Toshiba Satellite which quite comfortably ran 46 Linux on 8 GB RAM.

We have a number of Members here with Lenovo experience, but also a number of Chromebook users who have come to us with problems. I cannot say whether that was to do with Chromebooks, or the person behind the keyboard.

Chris
Hi Chris

Lots of good options from everyone including you here.

If possible, I'll purchase a laptop from a UK seller, but I've also seen some excellent reviews of overseas ones too.
 

Brickwizard

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there are 2 on UK line sellers of re-furbished lappies I trust, but they are not bargain-basement.
 
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Castle Robin

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Firstly, are you looking for a new or re-used laptop,? I must point out that the newest laptops with cutting edge components may not have Linux drivers available at the moment, If you are looking for a re-used laptop with Linux, your best bet would be find a good local independent sales/repair shop, and ask them if they could wipe a Windows laptop and install Linux for you, as a rule of thumb, laptops under 4 yrs old would be best with MX-AHS and older ones MX-64, Most laptops can be reasonably easy to install Linux to yourself, Personally I would avoid Chromebooks completely, Mac, Lenovo [inc Medallion] are usually most problematic, the latest dell's also give some cause for concern, My personal choice would be a 5-8 year old dell, they rarely give cause for concern, and are well-built.
If you go it alone and purchase a grade A or B pre-used machine and install MX yourself, there are plenty to choose from on the web you can pick up a good I5 dell latitude 3/4 yrs old for around £500 or a 7 yr old one for around £200.
Ideally, I'd purchase a new laptop, but I'll keep all options open.

When I previously used a Desktop, it had an AMD processor which worked fine with MX Linux 17, about 3 or 4 years after I bought the computer.

MX Linux is my top favourite Linux distro.

I'll either ask a computer seller to wipe Windows over with Linux, or if any exist, I'll ask one to pre-install MX Linux for me. I just want to get as high spec laptop as possible (my existing one goes up to 446 GB.

I've never owned a Dell, but have seen them on occasions in person.

Depending on the model and specs, that sounds like one of the best options for my needs. :)
 
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Brickwizard

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Castle Robin

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I have dealt with both in the past
I have to admit that I'd not heard of those, but I will have a meander through those two links for further potential ideas of laptop purchases.
 

wizardfromoz

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Three other Brits here whom I can think of off the top of my wizardly pate are

@arochester , @JasKinasis and @MikeWalsh - by mentioning them I have alerted them, and they may have some ideas on computer sellers as well.

Cheers

Chris
 

JasKinasis

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Regarding UK companies selling machines with Linux pre-installed - I have no idea offhand! I've never been in the position to be able to afford to buy a brand new PC.

I usually just buy cheap, second hand/reconditioned PC's/laptops from Ebay, or local classified ads and then install Linux on them myself.

I definitely wouldn't recommend using a Chromebook, or a netbook. The HDD's/SSDs on them are typically very small. Not very much storage on them at all. And if you're going to dual boot with Android, that will leave even less space for applications.

Personally I'd recommend a fully fledged laptop, or a desktop PC.
 

ML_113

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Why don't you try MX, antiX ... on your current laptop, before rushing out buying a new
machine ?
Corrupt Windows drivers don't have any relation with Linux.
 
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