I am running Ubuntu on my laptop.

In case if I lose my laptop or it gets stolen, is there any way to locate it?
Do I have to install any application beforehand to find my laptop?

  • 3
    +1 for a really useful question, yet missing on AU.
    – jobin
    Jan 26 '14 at 5:03
  • This would greatly depend on the malice of the one that took the system away. IMO there's no software infallible solution.
    – Braiam
    Mar 29 '14 at 1:53

Yes, you will be able to find your lost Ubuntu laptop if prey was installed on it beforehand.

Install prey with one of the methods below:

  • Via the Software Center, click the below button:

    Install via the software center

  • Run the below commands in a terminal to install prey,

    sudo apt-get install prey
  • Install from a .deb file.

After installing prey, make an account and you're done.

The free account allows you to use prey on 3 machines. If you need more functions or more machines you need to pay for the pro version of prey.

Prey can only be uninstalled if the thief knows the administrator or super user password. To prevent him from doing so they encourage you to add a BIOS password and disable booting from removable devices on your PC, so that the thief will be forced to boot into the previous installation and thus, not be able to format your hard disk easily.


For any further questions about prey, see: FAQ – Prey.

UPDATE: Prey version(0.5.3) available in the Ubuntu repository is not working properly, so download .deb file of prey(version 0.6.2) from the link I mentioned above.

  • 2
    This will need to be installed before you get your computer lost, wont it? Information on how prey works would be helpful.
    – kiri
    Jan 26 '14 at 9:57
  • Don't forget to enable universe repository to install prey. Jan 26 '14 at 12:18
  • 11
    A smart thief (do they exist?) would 1. use a custom password to get past the BIOS or reset it from the board and 2. format the harddisc before doing anything else. Well I would ;)
    – Rinzwind
    Jan 29 '14 at 18:00
  • 2
    @Rinzwind They do exist, but I would hazard a guess that most laptop-grabbing thieves aren't in that group.
    – Moshe Katz
    Jan 30 '14 at 18:45
  • 5
    guys. It's important for you to know that the version of Prey available from the Ubuntu repos (0.5.3) is not working properly and you won't get any location data from it. You'll need to manually install the DEB file available here for it to show your laptop on the map. Source: I work at Prey ;-)
    – Fabián
    Apr 14 '14 at 2:38

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.