So by the end of the year, I will buy an ultrabook to replace my heavy laptop which I have to carry almost everyday. I sure hope that Microsoft doesn't lock Linux users out with their secure-boot on x86 devices. Anyway, when I started using Ubuntu, I didn't understand a lot about Linux, but it was strange for me to see so many people complaining on the Internet about issues with drivers, graphic cards, overheating while using Ubuntu. I never had such problems, ever since I installed Ubuntu (started on 11.04), it always adapted just fine on my Toshiba Laptop.

Then I realized that Ubuntu works great out of the box on my laptop because I have Intel dual-core and onboard graphics, which means I have a system that has no proprietary drivers, Intel drivers are not closed. I understood that it is very important to pick carefully the manufacturers in order to have a great experience with Ubuntu and avoid some headaches with incompatibilities (as NVIDIA for example).

So, besides Intel, which other hardware manufacters are more friendly to Linux (Ubuntu in particular)?

  • I've evidently not stumbled over Intel's GMA500 GPU, or Intel's PRO Wireless 4965. :~) – mikewhatever Dec 28 '13 at 6:27

As you mentioned, Intel is great with open-source drivers:

  • For their integrated graphics
  • And for the other most common source of Linux driver hell, internal wireless adapters
    • I would be sure to get a laptop (upgrade the configuration if necessary) to get one of the Intel Centrino adapters -- either the 1000-series, or somewhat higher-end 6000-series is OK.

The other aspect is the entire system, especially dual-graphics, which aren't well supported in Linux for either AMD or Nvidia (and you will have to get one of them if you want discrete graphics). For that, I'd recommend you consider getting a Lenovo Thinkpad, preferably the T, X or W series (which have their heritage in IBM). They have excellent Linux compatibility, and their BIOS includes dual-graphics options many laptops do not which give you some degree of control over when the discrete card (and hence more battery!) is used. Thinkpads also have an excellent user support community for Linux hardware here.

  • Nice, it is great to see a manufacter devoted to Linux. I sure will add Lenovo on my list. Yes you're right about wireless adapter, mine is Realtek and it's the only problematic component that sometimes gives me trouble on Ubuntu 12.04, once in a while I lose wireless connection and have to reboot to get it back. I will pay attention to Intel Centrino as well. – Neptunno Jul 27 '12 at 22:22

The other source of Linux driver hell not mentioned above is printers. Some manufacturers are great, some don't even bother.

In the 'great' category I would put HP and Brother. HP created a lot of the software and standards for Linux printer drivers and protocols, so you would expect them to be good.

Ironically, in view of the comments above concerning laptops, Lenovo are useless when it comes to printers. I bought one once, and got it home before I discovered there were no Linux drivers for it, period. I had to take it back to the shop, and I ended up exchanging it for an HP.

So, it's worth checking driver availability for a printer before you part with the readies.


You should check Partners at Ubuntu website.

It provides extensive info regarding:

  • Certified hardware
  • Canonical partners
  • Certified software

Canonical partners help to ensure that Ubuntu will always be compatible with the latest hardware and software. And they provide a range of services from implementation support to specialist tools.


You might consider buying a laptop from a dedicated Linux distributor such as ZaReason or System76.

Not only will you get hardware that you can be sure will work well with Linux, but you will also have the benefit of professional support that understands Linux.

Instead of contacting a support hotline that will put you on hold for an hour and then tell you to reboot & reinstall windows, you can speak immediately to a Linux expert who understands the hardware on your system and can help you troubleshoot your hardware, advise you about peripherals that will work well with that hardware, etc. Besides, it's probably good to support these little guys, particularly as the big manufacturers move towards locking down boot loaders, etc.

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