Do you have an old laptop? Or new? No matter, there is a Linux distribution for every type of laptop, so let’s see what the best options are.
One of the best things about Linux is that there is a distribution for everyone, no matter what hardware you have. You can take an old laptop you keep in the garage, dust it off, and install some Linux distribution.
But there are so many Linux distributions available that it is difficult for newer users to choose one and distinguish the differences between them. That's why we have selected certain ones and given you suggestions on what you can install on a specific type of computer or laptop. Of course, you can do something else if you think it's better. But let’s look at what we have chosen for you.
See Also: 12 Reason why you should try Linux
Best Linux Distribution for old laptop: Lubuntu
Let’s start with those older laptops (and computers) that you have at home and collect dust in the corner of your room. Linux has a reputation for being able to “breathe” new life into computers with old hardware, and Lubuntu is one of the best choices in that case.
Lubuntu, as you can guess from the name, is a derivative of Ubuntu. It just uses a different desktop environment. Lubuntu uses lightweight and much faster LXDE instead of GNOME. The result is a good Linux distribution that you can run on an older laptop.
Lubuntu "requires" is 1 GB of RAM, but you can run it on only 512 MB of memory. From the CPU, a Pentium 4 or Pentium M and an AMD K8 are enough. We tried Lubuntu, and we have no complaints. Basic things like creating documents and surfing the Internet run pretty smoothly.
Best Distribution for mid-range laptop: Linux Mint
Linux Mint is probably the best choice for those who are new to Linux and who have a solid computer. Mint comes with a bunch of good apps, and besides, it’s pretty user-friendly, it’s stable, and doesn’t consume a lot of computing resources.
Interestingly, Mint can scale depending on your hardware. The minimum requirements are low: 1-2 GB of RAM, a dual-core processor with 2.0GHz, and 20 GB of disk space. But if you have more powerful hardware, you'll get more out of it.
Let’s mention that you have several desktop environments to choose from, and you’ll also get an application repository with several thousand applications.
Linux Distribution for high-performance laptops: Solus
Solus is a versatile Linux distribution that will work great on a more powerful and newer laptop. You can run all the distribution on a less powerful laptop, but in full glory, it will shine only on good hardware.
Furthermore, Solus comes in several editions, including Solus Budgie. It is a multi-feature distribution, a luxury desktop that uses modern technology. There is also Solus Plasma which declares itself to be a “sophisticated desktop version”. But aside from the editions. Solus is excellent in any form and comes with a bunch of popular apps in its repository.
The base number of apps that come installed is small, but you can install other apps practically in a minute. It’s best to install what you need yourself rather than having the distribution come cluttered with apps you won’t use. In addition, this OS is constantly being upgraded and has a solid package manager.
So if you have a machine with 4 or more GB of RAM, a good 64 bit Intel or AMD processor, be sure to try it. We believe you will not regret it.
Linux Distribution for Ultrabooks: Elementary OS
Ultrabooks are often very nice laptops that may or may not have powerful hardware in them. These computers are purchased to be lightweight and portable and that you can do the job you need. They are often used by students while studying because they are cheap and affordable. But the question always arises - what to install on them? Our choice, in the world of Linux, would be Elementary OS. One of the most beautiful distributions on the market!
But no matter that the Elementary OS has too good an interface, it’s more important that that OS can. It's not an OS that will suit everyone, but it comes with a wide range of drivers, you can install it, as we said, on a wide range of hardware, and it comes with a lot of installed applications. That is enough applications. If you are missing something, you can install them yourself. Elementary OS has a web browser, email client, and standard tools.
We have a feeling that the Ultrabook, in combination with the Elementary OS is a "cheaper" alternative to MacOS and MacBooks. Unfortunately, Apple products are expensive. This way, you can have a nice laptop with a beautiful OS for a lot less money.
In terms of hardware, the recommendation for the Elementary OS is an Intel i3 or some similar AMD 64-bit processor. Plus, 4+ GB of RAM and a solid SSD. If you try to install the Elementary OS on a weaker machine, you will not be able to get the most out of it.
Linux distribution for gaming laptop: SteamOS
If you have a gaming computer or laptop and don’t want to use Windows, don’t worry. You can use the official SteamOS Linux distribution. SteamOS is a Debian-based distribution, which comes with support for the Steam gaming platform. Out of the box, you should get all the necessary drivers, display configuration, and more. Install it, log in to your Steam account, and you’re ready to use it.
Of course, this distribution also has its drawbacks. If you want to play a game that isn’t on Steam, you won’t be able to. You can't "raise" Wine and play something else. On the other hand, you can do a dual-boot, but then you will only get more complicated.
Anyway, if you play games that are on Steam, this is a good distribution for you. The hardware recommendation for SteamOS Linux is a 64-bit Intel or AMD processor, a minimum of 4 GB of RAM, and a 200 GB disk.