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Choosing a PC for Linux


We had a good question in a previous thread on choosing a distro for a given machine. Maybe I'll make a few comments on choosing a machine for a good experience with a particular distro.
After years of multibooting and testing in virtual machines, I have concluded that the best experience for a new Linux user is to get a used PC exclusively for Linux. That way you can have fun without potentially messing up your daily driver. Now you can install some version of Linux on anything made in the past 15 years, but probably something made in the 2010s will be your best bet. Some suggestions:
Desktops - look for a mini tower as those are easiest to work on. Dell Optiplex, Acer Veriton or Lenovo Thinkcenter are good choices. If you can get one with an SSD so uch the better.
Laptops - Dell Latitude, HP Elitebook, or Thinkpad T420/430 are great possibilities. These are all commercial grade machines.
Now if you have anything sitting around which ran Windows 7 or above successfully, it'll likely be a good candidate.
Older desktops from the 'aughts may work but they'll likely need a RAM upgrade. Anything that has DDR or older memory might be a problem. Netbooks may work but I wouldn't go out of my way to get one.
Good places to find these PCs are thrift shops, recyclers and refurbishers. If there is a bricks and mortar store near you that is all the better. You don't want to pay to ship a used desktop across the country.
This particular post is being typed on a custom built 2013 desktop with an old school quad core AMD A8 processor, and a cheap SSD. It does everything great in Linux.
I can get into particular specs if you want, but hopefully this gives you some ideas.


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