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I'm looking for a laptop and would like to avoid the whole 'is this [specific configuration of hardware] compatible with Ubuntu?' process by finding a laptop manufactured with Ubuntu in mind.

I know of system76, but are there any other manufacturers making laptops built to run a standard build of Ubuntu?

I'm not counting Dell, as - from my experience - their 'Ubuntu' laptops/netbooks require their build, and because of that have their own set of compatibility issues. UPDATE: And as mentioned in the comments, Dell is no longer selling systems with Ubuntu to consumers.

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possible duplicate of Which computers are guaranteed to work? –  Jorge Castro Mar 26 '11 at 20:57
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@Jorge Yeah, it's close - but that (at least the answer) includes compatibility lists/testing, which I'm trying to avoid by finding a laptop manufacturer targeting Ubuntu. –  Tim Lytle Mar 26 '11 at 21:08
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I'm not sure I know what you mean by "manufacturer". I know System76 doesn't manufacture anything -- they build and validate the systems as working. I believe the same is true of Zareason. –  belacqua Mar 27 '11 at 4:01
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Indeed, system76 and ZaReason don't manufacture their own laptops. Same can be said of Dell, HP, Gateway, Sony and many others (in some cases they make make some models and contract out others). It's a weird industry: mopo.ca/real-laptop-manufacturers.html –  Mark Russell Mar 27 '11 at 14:28
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@Tim -- according to EvilPhoenix, Dell doesn't even sell Ubuntu-certified systems now (aside from servers, I think). –  belacqua Mar 28 '11 at 13:40

11 Answers 11

up vote 18 down vote accepted

I FOUND IT- Here is a detailed list (by help.ubuntu.com) with all of the vendors (apparently) that have ubuntu pre-installed and what type of computers they sell with ubuntu pre-installed. https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuPre-installed

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System 76 and Zareason are the big two with Dell only really giving Ubuntu token offerings. Depending on your location and requirements have a look at these sites:

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ZaReason .

Building computers that are optimized to work with Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Fedora, Trisquel and others!

enter image description here

Reviews

ZaReason Teo Pro Netbook: Test Drive Ready for Takeoff

ZaReason Terra HD

On Zareason

My ZaReason Laptop

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Personally, I'm a fan of system76 and own a Pangolin Performance myself. Their support is excellent as well as their policies. Heck, they have their own forum on Ubuntuforums.org. Outside of system76, however, the vendor you want to look at is ZaReason.

ZaReason offers their laptops pre-installed with Ubuntu, Kubuntu, or Edubuntu in both 10.04 and 10.10 editions, as well as Linux Mint 10, Debian 5, and Fedora 14. I've heard only positive things about them as a company and about their products. Definitely worth checking out.

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They look good - I'm not trying to avoid system76, just want to get a better idea of what's out there. –  Tim Lytle Mar 26 '11 at 21:09

The handcrafted Steampunk notebook for 5000$

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Dell has ties with Ubuntu ; here is a link on the Dell website with more information: Dell/Ubuntu .

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However (as I mentioned in the question) - Dell doesn't seem interested in creating hardware that can run Ubuntu - they're interested in creating their own Ubuntu that can run on their hardware. –  Tim Lytle Mar 26 '11 at 22:14
    
@Tim I guess I'm not following you on your Dell comments. Are you saying you had a Dell, and couldn't install a different version of Ubuntu on it? I've liked some Dells and disliked others (likewise with every vendor I can think of), but I've never had an issue running Ubuntu on a Dell beyond the occasional wifi driver issues common to Linux systems at the time. –  belacqua Mar 27 '11 at 4:15
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Dell stopped production of machines that are shipped with Ubuntu. They've stopped this for a while now. –  Thomas W. Mar 27 '11 at 5:53
    
@jgbelacqua, the Dells I've used came with a very customized install - which didn't (that I could find) update through Ubuntu's repositories, and couldn't do a distribution upgrade. Even in the 'certified' list, many Dell's are only certified for the pre-installed OS, not a standard Ubuntu distribution. –  Tim Lytle Mar 28 '11 at 2:00
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@Tim: I've got a business-line Dell Latitude E6500 with Ubuntu 10.04 on it, it works with 99% compatibility. –  Thomas W. Mar 28 '11 at 21:10

HP certifies their business laptops with SLED (Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop). Not Ubuntu, but it's the same kernel, so hardware-wise things will be fine.

You can configure FreeDOS or SLED pre-installed depending on the model.

Linux certification and support matrix - HP notebooks .

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Also consider using ThinkPenguin.

Not only will their products work with Ubuntu, they will work with other free as in freedom software too, as the components have been selected to require no proprietary drivers.

Think Penguin actively supports free software, and by inserting libre into the front of their url, your purchase on their website will result in a donation of part of the profit to the free software project Trisquel. ThinkPenguin is endorsed by the Free Software Foundation, though the project receives no money from this endorsement.

(Trisquel is based on Ubuntu, but uses the linux-libre kernel instead and removes all non free as in freedom repositories / software.

Other companies endorsed by the FSF which should have computers that can run GNU/Linux distributions in general are:

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Check out OMG UBUNTU's list of notebooks and netbooks that comes with Ubuntu preinstalled.

I personally like the MeeNee 13.1″ Pro (black); clean and sleek look with decent specs and the cheapest piece on the list.

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Asus with Ubuntu 12.04

image from vendor website

image from vendor website

For a modern netbook, Asus have quietly launched its own 12.04 compatable netbook.

Let's hope its the first of many.

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Looks interesting, I'd need something a bit larger - however, great to see another manufacturer try shipping something with Linux. –  Tim Lytle Jun 26 '12 at 15:20

I did a quick search on Dell's website for "Ubuntu" and got this list.

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Have you even clicked on any of those links in your list? Because you can't customize them to get Ubuntu on those systems (the data there is old) –  Thomas W. Apr 1 '11 at 4:58

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