The 5 Best Linux Distros for Laptops

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The 5 Best Linux Distros for Laptops

Maybe you just bought a fresh new laptop. Perhaps you have an old laptop languishing in your closet that you’d want to resurrect. In any case, the best Linux distros for laptops are those that have superior driver support and can handle the performance of most laptops.

These distributions should be suitable for your laptop, whether you use it for software development, graphics, gaming, or office work.

The Best Linux Distros for Laptops

New laptops have CPUs that are as powerful as, if not more powerful than, many desktop computers.

Desktop PCs feature components that may be swapped out if they are incompatible with a particular Linux distribution. That is not the case with laptops. Because components are often soldered directly to the motherboard, effective driver support is critical.

The Linux distributions listed below offer the greatest support for graphic and sound cards, cameras, wireless adapters, and other peripherals. Many are also quite light, making them ideal for older computers.

1. Manjaro Linux

Manjaro Linux is an easy-to-learn open-source Linux distribution. It’s intended to function immediately out of the box, with a broad range of applications pre-installed.

Manjaro Linux is widely renowned for having excellent hardware compatibility, owing to its device identification manager.

Manjaro is based on Arch Linux, a popular and highly configurable Linux operating system. There are several compelling reasons to install an Arch Linux distribution such as Manjaro. Vanilla Arch could be an excellent choice if you’re a Linux expert who isn’t frightened of the command line. They even have a wiki page dedicated to configuring it on a laptop.

Without any complicated troubleshooting, you can quickly update the kernel. Arch Linux-based distributions also allow you to choose your own components. This means you may tailor it to the precise laptop on which you’re installing it.

And if you ever need assistance, Manjaro has a fantastic community. You may use the Arch Wiki and, of course, the Manjaro forums.

Best of all, if you really want to go full-on Manjaro, they’ve worked with various hardware manufacturers to provide Manjaro-installed computers and even cellphones.

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Download: Manjaro Linux

2. Ubuntu

Ubuntu is an obvious pick for the best Linux distribution for laptops.

It’s certainly one of the most well-known and popular Linux distributions, which implies it has a big user base and good online support.

Canonical, Ubuntu’s creator, collaborates with hardware manufacturers to certify equipment for Ubuntu. If you want to be sure your laptop will operate with Ubuntu, go through the list. If you’re in the market for a new laptop, System76 and even Dell sell models that come pre-installed with Ubuntu.

But what makes it particularly beneficial for both new and old laptops is that it is free, lightweight, and provides great driver support for most hardware.

Generally, Ubuntu will accept whatever gear you attach to your laptop. Because the majority of manufacturers give Ubuntu drivers.

You can discover free software for almost every job on your laptop in the Ubuntu Software Center.

It runs nicely on older machines from a few years ago, although it does demand more RAM than many other lightweight distros. If your laptop is rather old, you may want to try one of the other Linux distributions on this list. Consider the Xubuntu alternative, which runs on less powerful hardware by using the Xfce desktop.

However, many individuals think that Ubuntu does many tasks much better than Windows. It’s also the distribution of choice for dual-booting a Chromebook with Linux. All of these factors combine to make it an excellent alternative operating system for laptops. Here are some of the most recent Ubuntu features.

Download: Ubuntu Desktop

3. Elementary OS

Elementary OS is an Ubuntu-based system. Pantheon is a stunning, bespoke desktop environment that comes with it.

Aside from being visually appealing, it’s also well-known as a strong operating system that can perform whatever you’d need to do with a laptop, even an old one you’ve dug out of storage.

The Elementary OS community designed the operating system to be as light and efficient as possible. As a result, it operates well on a wide range of low-end laptops (or even desktop computers if you choose).

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Elementary is unusual in that it uses a “pay what you want” methodology to fund the project. You may get it simply inputting your desired amount on their main page.

As with its parent distro, Ubuntu, it includes the majority of the drivers that low-end computers will need to get up and running straight away.

When utilizing your laptop in low-light areas such as a student lounge or a library, the display utility features a night light option.

It also allows for easy scaling and mirroring of your display if you’re using your laptop to deliver a presentation on a bigger screen.

Elementary OS is regarded as one of the finest alternative Linux distributions for those transitioning from Windows or macOS. And if you’re a Mac user, it’s even better since the desktop has a Mac-like design.

For good reason, we’ve placed Elementary OS in our list of the best Linux distributions to install. If you run into any problems, the Elementary OS community forum is a great place to get support.

Download: Elementary OS

4. openSUSE

Major corporations such as B1 Systems and AMD support the Linux openSUSE distribution (and of course, SUSE).

It is also well-liked among system administrators and computer science students. Why? Because it gives you control over a wide range of tasks and services without requiring you to learn or recall any sophisticated instructions. It’s available in both the cutting-edge Tumbleweed and the stable Leap flavors. The one you’ll most likely want for day-to-day use is Leap.

This is due to YaST, one of the greatest and most capable system setup tools available for any Linux distribution.

This means you can simply adjust the operating system to fit the specific laptop system you’re installing it on without having to change configuration files spread across the /etc directory.

It has excellent driver support and works flawlessly straight out of the box. With the capacity to handle even the most cutting-edge hardware, you can be certain that openSUSE will run just as effectively on any of your older computers.

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If you run into any problems, openSUSE has a whole part of their Wiki dedicated to assisting users in installing and using openSUSE on laptops.

Download:openSUSE (Leap)

5. Linux Mint

Linux Mint, like Elementary, is based on Ubuntu, but since it is so lightweight, many users choose to install it instead.

It also seems more comfortable to those who have used the Windows user interface. It includes various apps that Ubuntu does not provide by default.

It contains, for example, the codecs required to play DVDs. During installation, Ubuntu provides the option to install third-party programs for this purpose, although such choices are not enabled by default.

The advantage of running Linux Mint rather than Ubuntu is that it is a lighter OS that works on older computers. However, you will still have access to the Ubuntu software repository to acquire any new programs or tools that you may need.

Download: Linux Mint

Choosing an Ideal Linux Distro for Your Laptop

It is extremely essential to consider what is important to you when choose which Linux distribution to install on your laptop.

If you have an older laptop, choose a lightweight distribution such as Manjaro, Elementary OS, or Linux Mint. If you have additional computing power, Ubuntu and OpenSUSE are also viable possibilities. If you’re dead set against dual-booting or paying the “Windows tax,” you can even purchase laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed.

If you want to install Linux on an older PC, desktop, or laptop, there are various lightweight Linux versions that will provide excellent performance.

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