Buying Portable Laptop For Programming Purposes




I've been doing hours of research today in order to educate myself on what Linux is and all the different distro's that are available. I've heard that for Web Development[WD], Linux is at an "advantage" over the other operating systems. I've also heard that for the most part, it doesn't matter what distro you go with for WD purposes, so I'll chose Ubuntu (or Mint).

I've debated on whether I should choose a Macbook Pro as my laptop (personal preference) or go with a normal laptop and run Linux. Q: Should I bother buying a laptop with Linux being the factory OS?

. . .

But then I realized that this laptop will mostly serve 1 purpose for me, and that's WD/Programming. I want all the benefits that come with Linux for web developers but still run Windows OS. I don't plan to do a lot of programming on my main desktop computer, or any for that matter.

I've heard that you can still run Windows or Mac as the main OS and just run/boot Linux from a CD/Drive but will this give me any problems in the future? Are there any restrictions/limitation to doing this? Or do you have any recommendations or alternatives to what I'm proposing if any?

Any suggestions or solutions are appreciated!



Run linux from a CD/USB drive is an useful feature but only for testing or some no regular task purposes.
You can perfectly setup a dual-boot configuration with windows and linux installed together, and run any of them as you like. The only limitation is your hard drive space.

I don't know where you are buying the laptop, but where I am there is no decent laptops with linux as factory OS, so you probably will have to install it yourself.

I suggest you test first one or some distributions in a USB drive, check that everything is fine and you like the enviroment, and go ahead and install it.

I find little annoying be changing every time to one OS to another. So, maybe at the end, you will get catched by linux :p

Check these links: (for Ubuntu)
Try ubuntu using USB drive:
Install ubuntu:
Install ubuntu- with windows dual boot:

And there are many more info in

PD: The title of the topic looks more like you're asking which computer buy :S


As far as laptops with linux installed, there's System76 and Zareason.

At my shop, we just buy commodity laptops and install Ubuntu. It's not because Ubuntu has some special quality, but because it's got generally good support for most laptop hardware.

I started on a commodity laptop. That was fine when doing Java builds using NetBeans. I still use it for some stuff, but I switched to a higher-end system because I do a lot of system software - kernels, X11, Android, and so on. These things can suck up all your resources.

If you're doing web development, you don't need an expensive high-end system IMAO. You want disk space, and memory. If you get a laptop with USB3.0, and USB3.0 external drives, you can solve the disk space problem - these will keep pace with the internal. So the last thing is memory. Processor speed and core count is probably going to be a secondary concern for you.

Finally, I'd recommend using the distro running on the hosts you plan to deploy to. There's some minor dissimilarities between distros, using the same distro as the deploy hosts will just make the path smoother for you. On the other hand, using a distro/install that puts things in wildly different locations will force you to learn to be careful about paths, etc. It's a discipline you need to cultivate.

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