Linux is perhaps the most versatile OS available. Capable of being installed on a variety of devices, the open source operating system is used in a variety of uses, from running self-driving cars and web servers to desktop computing and gaming.
The most expensive aspect of installing Linux is in sourcing the hardware, not the OS, so if you’re looking for a new Linux project, or want to install it but don’t have any hardware that you consider to be “suitable”, take a look at this list of devices you can install Linux on.
Windows Desktop/Laptop and x86 Tablets
Most Linux users install the OS on a computer. While the other devices in this list will have problems running most versions of Linux, you can be relatively confident that your chosen Linux distro will run on a standard desktop PC.
The same can be said for laptop computers (notebooks and ultrabooks, as well as the
largely obsolete netbooks
), which over the past few years have become far more suited to running Linux (mainly thanks to manufacturers providing device drivers).
How To Use KDE's Netbook-Optimized Interface [Linux]
How To Use KDE's Netbook-Optimized Interface [Linux] One of the major benefits of the Linux desktop is the ability to customize literally every aspect of your computing experience. If you want an ultralight and speedy desktop, you're covered. If you want a...
You’re probably aware of Windows tablets. These fall into two categories, those with an ARM processor and those with a traditional Intel x86 processor. Unfortunately it isn’t possible (yet) to unlock the bootloader on ARM devices, so these remain beyond the reach of Linux. However this isn’t the case with the x86 tablets, which range from devices such as the
Surface Pro series
to the less prestigious
The Laptop And Tablet Killer: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Announced
The Laptop And Tablet Killer: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Announced Available for pre-order on May 21 and hitting store shelves on June 20 is Microsoft's brand new Surface Pro 3. The device features a 12-inch 2160x1440 display, significantly larger than the previous Surface Pro 2's.
Acer Iconia W700 series
. The rule of thumb is simple: if your tablet has a 32-bit or 64-bit processor, you should be able to install Linux on it without much trouble.
Acer Iconia W7 Windows 8 Tablet PC Review and Giveaway
Acer Iconia W7 Windows 8 Tablet PC Review and Giveaway Slimline, sleek, sexy and silver - but you can’t have everything. The Acer Iconia W7 is a Windows 8 tablet priced between $799 and $999 (depending on the chosen model) that looks as though it...
If you’re having trouble with installation, don’t worry. You can also
install Linux on a USB stick
and run it from there.
Running Linux from USB: Are You Doing It Right?
Running Linux from USB: Are You Doing It Right? Did you know that can keep data persistent, or even do a full install for Linux, on a USB drive? Take computing totally mobile -- stick a Linux USB PC in your pocket!
Don’t Forget Mac OS X
It isn’t just Windows computers that can be used as a home for Linux. The OS can be
installed on old PowerPC devices
, booted as
Are There Still Any Legitimate Uses For a PowerPC Mac?
Are There Still Any Legitimate Uses For a PowerPC Mac? Not sure what to do with your old PowerPC Mac? Here are some ideas.
a live OS from USB
, and installed on modern Mac computers
How to Create and Boot From a Linux USB Drive on Mac
How to Create and Boot From a Linux USB Drive on Mac There are a few ways to get a create a live Linux USB drive that will boot on your Mac: you can do it with freeware, or get your hands dirty with the command line.
such as the MacBook Pro Retina
How To Install Linux On A MacBook Pro Retina
How To Install Linux On A MacBook Pro Retina MacBook Pros come with some very nice hardware, but some people want more. Some people want Linux.
Android Smartphone or Tablet
If you’ve fallen in love with Linux and want to take it everywhere with you but don’t have a suitable laptop computer, then consider installing it on your Android smartphone or tablet. The best way to find out if your device will run Linux without too much trouble is by visiting
www.xda-developers.com and performing a search such as “linux for [device name]”.
Some devices have been targeted by developers. For instance, the Nexus 5 (2013) works with
a special release of the Ubuntu Touch OS
How To Dual Boot Your Android With Ubuntu
How To Dual Boot Your Android With Ubuntu
As Android is built upon Linux, it is very rare to find an Android device that won’t run the OS. However, it is far easier to get the command line version of Linux to run rather than the GUI.
Linux on an Old, Non-Android Smartphone or Tablet
Got a few quid spare? Perhaps you have some old phones or tablets lying around that you have overlooked? You see, not all smartphones and slates are created equal. Some have special features, hardware and software that enables increased compatibility with other operating systems
Two examples that spring to mind are the HTC HD2 Windows Mobile smartphone and HP TouchPad tablet. Both of these devices can run Android (the
HTC HD2 runs Ice Cream Sandwich
Install Android Ice Cream Sandwich On The HTC HD2 In Minutes
Install Android Ice Cream Sandwich On The HTC HD2 In Minutes Last week I was challenged to install Android Ice Cream Sandwich on the HTC HD2 in as little time as possible. The reason? It was my client’s lunch hour; she was sick of Windows Mobile...
the HP TouchPad
) as well as Linux distros. Both devices are available for a fraction of the original price on eBay, and
How To Install Android Ice Cream Sandwich On The HP TouchPad In Minutes
How To Install Android Ice Cream Sandwich On The HP TouchPad In Minutes As slick, smooth and functional as webOS is on the HP TouchPad, and wherever the future of the platform may lie, there remains a problem – the shortage of apps. The fact remains that there...
the HP TouchPad can run Ubuntu
alongside Android and Web OS.
How To Install More Operating Systems On Your HP TouchPad
How To Install More Operating Systems On Your HP TouchPad Several months ago I turned my very nice tablet, the HP TouchPad, from a pleasant-to-use device into a handheld computing god thanks to the Android CM9 port of Ice Cream Sandwich. Since then, the device...
VIDEO Raspberry Pi
No list of devices that run Linux can overlook the fantastic Raspberry Pi, the British-developed and built mini-computer that has versatility in spades. While the Debian flavored
Raspbian is the OS of choice
, other options exist, such as
Optimize The Power Of Your Raspberry Pi With Raspbian
Optimize The Power Of Your Raspberry Pi With Raspbian As befits a man with too much tech on his hands, I’ve been playing with my Raspberry Pi recently, configuring the device so that it works to its fullest potential. It continues to run as...
Arch Linux and Android
, not to mention various
11 Operating Systems Your Raspberry Pi Can Run
11 Operating Systems Your Raspberry Pi Can Run The Raspberry Pi's hardware is only one side of the coin. Here are some different Raspberry Pi operating systems you can install.
media centers built on Raspbian
. Oh, and a version of Windows 10 will run on the Raspberry Pi 2.
The Easiest Raspberry Pi Media Centre, With RasPlex
The Easiest Raspberry Pi Media Centre, With RasPlex
The benefit of using Linux on the Raspberry Pi is that it enables anyone to get started very quickly, simply by
flashing an SD card with a disk image
, before inserting the card and getting on with things. Our list of
How to Install an Operating System on a Raspberry Pi
How to Install an Operating System on a Raspberry Pi Here's how to install an OS on your Raspberry Pi and how to clone your perfect setup for quick disaster recovery.
10 Raspberry Pi disk images for weekend projects
should illustrate just how easy this is.
10 Raspberry Pi Disk Images You Can Install This Weekend
10 Raspberry Pi Disk Images You Can Install This Weekend If you're looking to get started straight away with a project, all you'll need to do is download these images to your SD card, insert into your Raspberry Pi, and power up.
various competitors to the Raspberry Pi
have appeared since its launch in 2012, the man behind the project, Eben Upton,
Pi Overdose? Here's 5 Raspberry Pi Alternatives
Pi Overdose? Here's 5 Raspberry Pi Alternatives You've mastered the Raspberry Pi - now what? Here's 5 of the best Pi alternatives to have a go with next.
doesn’t fear these alternatives
and the release of the
Raspberry Pi's Father Speaks: Eben Upton On The Future of Technology And More
Raspberry Pi's Father Speaks: Eben Upton On The Future of Technology And More Enthusiasm radiates from Eben Upton. He's the driving force behind the Raspberry Pi, that small computer that has been revolutionising hobbyist computing since its launch in 2012. Tall, and dressed casually, the founder of the...
Raspberry Pi 2
demonstrates the confidence in the computer. In many ways, the Raspberry Pi is the ultimate Linux device, mirroring the OS’s innate versatility.
5 Things You Can't Do With Raspberry Pi 2
5 Things You Can't Do With Raspberry Pi 2 With a quad core CPU and boasts of being able to run Windows 10 – is the Raspberry Pi 2 really all that? Here's 5 things the Raspberry Pi 2 still can't do.
Linux on Games Consoles
Games consoles are also friendly homes for the Linux OS. The XBMC media center project (
now known as Kodi
) began life as a Linux-built media center for the original Xbox console, while Sony’s games consoles have all been hacked to run Linux.
How to Set Up Your XBMC Media Center
How to Set Up Your XBMC Media Center XBMC may have evolved into Kodi, but if you have an old version installed this guide will help you set it up and get started.
Meanwhile, Nintendo Wii can also be hacked to run Linux. Here’s a demonstration on installing Ubuntu on the Nintendo Wii:
Amazingly, it is also possible to install Linux on the PS3, although this is only possible with devices running the older firmware prior to version 3.2.
So, 10 devices that you can install Linux on and do anything from running a web server to playing games. Did we miss one? Tell us in the comments.