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April 8, 2024

Top 6 Linux Desktop PCs to Buy in 2024


If you’re in the market for a desktop Linux PC, you might have realized that your choices are not as many as they would have been for a Windows 11 desktop. Linux PCs are not as prevalent as their counterparts, and installing Linux on some PCs can be quite arduous. Due to these challenges, it’s important to opt for a machine that allows you to efficiently load and launch Linux. The good news is that there are a few quality desktop PCs that come with a Linux distro pre-installed – you only need to plug in the unit and you’re good to go.

However, it can be tricky to locate these products as they’re often overshadowed by heaps of Windows 11 desktops. If you need a hand navigating this process, we have assembled a concise list of our top desktop Linux PCs to aid in your quest. In addition to our top overall choice and the best premium pick, we have also featured a couple of our favourite Linux mini PCs due to their immense popularity and versatility. You will find that many of these products come from renowned brands like HP and Dell, ensuring longevity and reliability.

Without further delay, let’s delve into the best desktop Linux PCs of 2024.

The HP Z2 G9 Tower Workstation is a fantastic choice for Linux, priced under $1,000 and meeting high standards. Interestingly, this model comes with Ubuntu already installed. Alternatively, you could choose a version that’s “Linux Ready” or one that is combined with Windows 11.

Ubuntu, in addition to being a typical, full-featured desktop, is equipped with an Intel Core i5-12500 Processor that can reach up to 4.6GHz with Boost. It also comes with 16GB RAM that ensures seamless multitasking. If these specifications are not satisfactory for everyday tasks, you’ll appreciate the fact that this PC is completely customizable. The memory can be enhanced up to a phenomenal 128GB RAM and the ultra-premium Intel Core i9-13900K, if your budget allows.

Though the GPU, an Intel UHD Graphics 770 card, isn’t the most thrilling, and the 256GB SSD is sufficient for this cost, the HP Z2 G9 Tower is an excellent choice for Linux notwithstanding these weaknesses. If you require additional storage, you have the option to augment it up to 4TB before purchasing. However, making use of external drives to save some money might be a wiser decision.

The Lenovo ThinkCentre Neo 50q Gen 4 Thin, which is less than half the price of the Z2, is a recommended choice for budget-conscious shoppers. Although its performance isn’t mind-blowing, it gives steady results and costs less than $500.

While the Intel Core i3-1215U processor isn’t the most powerful, it is adequate for most daily work needs. Those interested in writing demanding programs or venturing into video editing may need to look elsewhere. Apart from this minor setback, the Neo 50q has robust specifications, including 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and a small footprint that allows placement in even the most confined office space.</p

This model is readily available with Ubuntu Linux installed, which saves you the trouble of uninstalling Windows 11 and setting up Ubuntu. Simply activate the PC, and Ubuntu will await your instructions. If you are making purchases with budget constraints, this Linux PC is undeniably one of the top picks.

However, if budgeting is not an issue, then the Dell Precision 5860 Tower Workstation can’t be beat. Thanks to its superior specs compared to other models on the list, this PC stands out but comes with a hefty price tag of over $6,000.

Aside from the price, this Linux PC is a goldmine for those involved in state-of-the-art software, machine learning, or heavy-duty photo or video editing tasks. The Intel Xeon W5-2465X, known for its impressive performance and ideal for handling considerable workloads, replaces the standard Intel Core series. In addition, stress testing the PC over the years will not degrade its performance thanks to enhanced longevity. The package also includes Nvidia RTX A4500 and 64GB RAM, making it capable of tackling even the most demanding tasks.

Completing the high-end Linux PC package is a 1TB SSD together with Ubuntu preinstalled. Dell allows you to tailor-make your PC’s configuration by swapping out elements such as GPU, CPU, SSD, RAM before purchasing. And if you think that’s still not enough, a switch from Ubuntu to Red Hat Linux Enterprise is also possible.

Linux enthusiasts often prefer Mini PCs, and the Beelink U59 Pro offers a fantastic balance of cost and performance. One of its major points of appeal is the preinstalled Ubuntu on this compact PC. Therefore, users are spared the hassle of attempting to install it over Windows 11.

The U59 Pro’s compelling feature is its ability to pack a substantial punch within a minute space and at a low cost. Just slightly over $200, it’s considerably more affordable than any other option in its category, and even surpasses our preferred budget-friendly Linux PC! Despite the modest cost, it boasts a staggering 500GB SSD and 16GB RAM, a remarkable feat for such a compact device.

Along with an Intel N5105 processor and Intel HD Graphics 550, the U59 Pro also offers a variety of ports for all your accessory requirements. These include four USB ports, two HDMI ports, and an audio jack. If you’re in search of an economically priced, portable PC that can easily fit into a backpack or onto a congested desk, be sure to explore this one further.

If you’re attracted to the concept of a mini PC but desire more power than the U59 Pro can provide, the SER5 Pro is a commendable substitute. Although significantly pricier at over $400, it nevertheless offers excellent specs at a reasonable cost.

Despite the fact that this mini PC does not come preloaded with a Linux distro, it functions seamlessly with Windows 11. Transitioning to a Linux environment from the existing OS should not pose any significant issues for most. Our guide on how to install Ubuntu on a Windows computer can assist those who are unfamiliar with the process.

Setting the minor limitation aside, this mini PC is indeed a powerhouse. With price tag less than $500, Beelink offers 32GB RAM, a 500GB SSD, and a robust AMD Ryzen 7 5700U processor. The SER5 Pro model is designed for multi-screen execution, courtesy of its numerous ports and remarkable internal components. Beelink also presents variations of this mini PC, inclusive of a Ryzen 9 6900HX package or a more budget-friendly choice featuring a Ryzen 5 5560U. Therefore, if the initial specifications seem daunting, Beelink almost certainly provides a model that suits your processing requirements.

Linux users are typically enthusiasts who enjoy exploring computer elements and pushing software to its limits. The advantage of cost-effectiveness, being a strong feature of Linux distros over pricy Windows software, might lead you towards assembling your own Linux-oriented desktop PC.

The process of creating a Linux desktop is akin to that of a Windows PC. It requires some technical knowledge but is nevertheless straightforward – the essential steps being cable connections and some screwdriver work. The compatibility of your components must be ensured, but there are abundant online resources that provide assistance through the process. For additional direction, refer to our guide on how to build a PC.

Linux’s flexibility lets you build your PC to your precise requirements. Since Linux-ready prebuilt PCs are rarer compared to Windows ones, creating your machine might be the most suitable way to own a desktop computer that perfectly fulfills your needs. Not to mention, this method could save you money as assembling various components like the CPU, GPU, RAM, SSD, motherboard, and more, often costs less than purchasing a ready-made one.

While it’s true that Windows overwhelmingly rules the PC market, it doesn’t mean that Linux-supported products are non-existent. However, many Windows PCs can complicate setting up Linux correctly, making it a task best left to technology experts or those willing to devote a significant chunk of time to research. The easiest option for most is to opt for a PC that has Linux distro preinstalled. Of course, there are other critical factors to keep in mind. Let’s discuss how we finalized the above selection.

At the core, a desktop PC meant for Linux, first and foremost, needs to support Linux. Ideally, it comes from the manufacturer with Linux preinstalled or simple to sideload. Regardless of whether you choose Ubuntu or Mint, setting up your software should be a smooth sailing process.

In the end, the optimal Linux desktop PC shares similarities with its Windows counterpart. This includes a powerful processor and abundant RAM for rendering all your tasks efficiently without any slowdowns. An ideal system will house a latest-generation processor from Intel (preferably an i5, i7, or i9), or AMD (Ryzen 5 and above), paired with a minimum of 8GB RAM – possibly more depending on your specific requirements.

Storage is often a stressful factor with PCs, especially for those who are avid gamers or engage with sizeable files like photos and videos. It’s not out of the ordinary to see Linux PCs equipped with 1TB SSDs, however, 512GB versions are also adequate if they are capable of easy expansion through ports for extra drives or available slots for more SSDs. In another scenario, you can choose to utilize cloud storage, making inbuilt storage less problematic.

Luckily, most PCs are designed to be opened and customized to your preference. This ensures that your setup stays current without needing to spend on an entirely new PC. Some items can even be modified before you buy them, allowing alterations in their processor, SSD, or RAM prior to committing financially. It’s simple to find something that caters to your requirements. In simple terms, if you come across a Linux PC that nearly fits the bill, ensure to scrutinize further to check if the maker allows to adjust its configuration before adding to your shopping. A lot of products on this list can be tinkered with before buying, so you can adjust them to ideally suit your workload. Some even give you the liberty to select the Linux distro you want to operate.

Let’s be honest, certain PCs are overpriced considering what they offer. When assembling this list, we ensured that each product was of excellent value to the customer. That implies you won’t encounter any exorbitant prices or excessive features that aren’t crucial for your routine tasks. Instead, this list comprises popular models that come with fair price labels. Naturally, some features are exclusive to premium machines, but we’ve ensured you’re paying a decent price for everything incorporated in these Linux PCs.

Selecting brands that are lesser-known can be risky, given that many of these makers have patchy quality histories. While a PC might look impressive spec-wise, it could be cheaply assembled and susceptible to malfunctions. Therefore, we primarily chose brands that have proven their durability over time. Corporate giants like Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, and others were all evaluated for this list, guaranteeing you a rig that’s built to last before any serious issues occur.

This article is managed and created separately from the Digital Trends Editorial team.

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