What does your Linux setup look like?

What does your Linux setup look like?

8 Linux users share what laptops, desktops, and other devices they use every day.

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For reasons related to human psychology, we love to compare. In the tech world, people want to know what other people's laptop stickers look like, what text editors and distros they love (and hate), and, of course, details about their Linux setups. Our friend Steve Ovadia has a whole blog dedicated to the question "What's your Linux rig?"

We got in on the action by asking our writer community to share. We want to know what your Linux setup looks like, too. Here's what they said. Share yours in the comments.

Jim Hall: I run Fedora Workstation on a Lenovo X1 Carbon laptop, with an ASUS 24" external display. That gives me a dual-display configuration that lets me work in one window on the larger display while having a separate space to run my music player or other apps. I love my Perixx ergonomic keyboard and my Microsoft Classic Intellimouse. When I'm feeling nostalgic, I swap out the ergo keyboard with my replica IBM Model M keyboard by Unicomp; the buckling spring keys are really easy to type with. My printer is an HP color LaserJet, which works seamlessly with Linux.


Tony McCormick: I fly a System76 Galaga iCore7 solid-state laptop that came prebuilt with Ubuntu, dual 22" monitors, and HP LaserJet 1536dnf MF (requires HPLIP driver support). It works perfectly for both printing and scanning using XSANE. I use any 'ole wireless micro mouse, and I use the laptop's keyboard which is awesome.


Alan Formy-Duval: I've always built my own PCs. My latest desktop is just over a year old with the following specs:

OS: Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS (64 bit)
Motherboard: Microstar Mortar Z270M
CPU: Intel Core i7-6700
RAM: 16GB G.Skill
HDD: Samsung 850 PRO SSD
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
Monitor: ASUS 27" @1920x1080x144
Mouse: Logitech MX310 (replaced G500 that died)
Keyboard: Mitsumi AT (Yes! AT) with AT-PS/2 adapter (replaced USB keyboard that died)

Everything works well and is very stable!


Steve Ovens: We are an Arch house primarily. In active use right now we have (not counting the home lab, router etc) three desktops and three laptops.

Laptop 1: Dell Inspiron Gaming 15 (7557)
OS: Arch
CPU: Core I5
RAM: 8GB G.Skill
HDD: 250G Samsung 850 PRO SSD HDD2: 250G Kingston SSD
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050/Intel Graphics

Laptop 2: System 76 Gen 1 Galego Pro
OS: Arch
CPU: Core I7
RAM: 8GB G.Skill
HDD: 250G Intel SSD
Video Card: Intel Graphics

Laptop 3: Asus Republic of Gamers 17"
OS: Arch
CPU: Core I7
RAM: 8GB G.Skill
HDD: 250G Intel SSD
Video Card: NVIDIA 460GTX

Desktop 1: Custom build (4 24" Asus LCD)
OS: Arch
Motherboard: Asus Z97-WS
CPU: Core I7 4790K
RAM: 32G GSkill
HDD1: Intel 120G SSD
HDD2: Crucial 512G SSD
HDD3: Segate 2TB
Video Card: NVIDIA GTX 970
Optical:  Asus Bluray reader

Desktop 2: Custom (1 24" Asus LCD)
OS: Arch
Motherboard: Asus H87M-Pro
CPU: Core I5-4440
RAM: 16G GSkill
HDD1:  Patriot 240G SSD
HDD2: OCZ 256G SSD
Video Card: NVIDIA GTX 1060

Desktop 3: Custom
OS: Ubuntu 16.04.5
Motherboard: Asus P7P55D
CPU: Core  i7 860
RAM: 12G various ram manufacturers
HDD1: ADATA 128G SSD
HDD 2-6: Seagate NAS 4TB hard drives in a ZFS Raidz-1 (16TB usable space)
Video Card: NVIDIA GT 610

This computer drives our entertainment center. It is hooked up to an HD projector and a Sony 7.1 speaker surround sound system (general purpose receiver, not computer speakers). We have also a trusty Samsung C410 laser printer which has been awesome for its Linux support. My home lab consists of 144G of ram 18 cores and 3 TB of SSD storage spread over 4 machines (I won't bore you with the details).


Jay LaCroix: I have a System76 Galago Pro (latest model) and a custom-built water-cooled desktop, both running Pop!_OS. I have an older System76 Lemur that runs Arch most of the time. My Ansible configuration automatically sets up my servers, as well as my desktops and laptops (using the method I wrote about in an earlier article series). I use Syncthing to synchronize files between my machines, with FreeNAS as the central place each computer syncs to. FreeNAS itself synchronizes to Backblaze B2 weekly for off-site backup. (I have a YouTube video about the rest of the software and tools I'm running.)

I often distro-hop but I've been staying on Pop!_OS LTS for quite a while now, and I intend to stay there for the foreseeable future. At least, until my ADHD takes over and makes me switch.


Matthew Helmke: In active use right now I have (not counting work-provided equipment):

Laptop: Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A 13.3" ultrabook
OS: Fedora 29
CPU: Core 1.7GHz i5
RAM: 4GB (soldered to the motherboard...prevents upgrading...grr)
HDD: 128G M.2 SSD
Video Card: Intel HD 4000

Workstation: HP Z800
OS: Ubuntu 18.04
CPU: Twelve 6-core 3.47GHz Xeon x5690 with hyperthreading
RAM: 48GB
HDD1: 250GB SSD
HDD2: 1TB don't remember brand
HDD3: 950GB  don't remember brand
HDD4: 4.6TB  don't remember brand
Video Card: nVidia GeForce GTX 260

Desktop*: ZaReason
OS: Ubuntu 18.04
CPU: 2.67GHz 6-core Xeon x5650 with hyperthreading (orig. first gen. Core i7 960)
RAM: 8GB G.Skill
HDD1: 465GB don't remember brand
HDD2: 1.4TB don't remember brand
Video Card: nVidia GeForce GTS 450
*this one is old and used in the living room by the family

The latter two machines run Ubuntu because it is far easier to set up the nVidia graphics. We have a Brother DCPL-2540ODW laser printer/copier/scanner which has decent Linux support. And there are additional laptops for family-use (each kid has their own as does my wife) that I do not manage. These run a mixture of various Linux distros, ChromeOS, and at least one Windows machine.


Craig Sebenik: 90+% of my time is spent on my laptop or my desktop. However, there is a mix of Raspberry Pis and random other things I play with occasionally.

Laptop: MacBook Pro 15"
RAM: 16GB
HD: 1TB
Scanner: Fujitsu ix500 scanner

Desktop: Intel Hades Canyon (32GB, 250GB SSD)
Monitors: 27 in Apple monitor, 27 in Dell monitor
OS: Fedora 29 beta (29 supported dual monitors "out of the box")
Keyboard: DAS 4 Pro for Mac (blue)
Mouse: old crappy Logitech mouse (w/ scroll wheel)
Printer: Brother B&W printer

The Linux box just replaced an old Mac tower. So, I haven't had time to hook up the scanner to it yet. FWIW, a few months ago I had an older Intel NUC. But, it didn't have a thunderbolt adapter and connecting thunderbolt to HDMI sucks. On that same desk, I also have a small 19in HP monitor with a Roku hooked up to it. I use that to watch Youtube, TV, etc. while I am "working". Lastly, I should note that about 50% of the programming I do is actually "on" an AWS EC2 instance and that the above computers only serve as a monitor and keyboard.


Patrick H. Mullins: In my home office I have a Lenovo TS140 ThinkServer (32GB RAM, 4TB RAID1, Quad-Core Xenon) that is running ESXi 6.5 and is loaded with every imaginable kind of Linux virtual machine. At the moment you can find VMs on it that are running Pop!_OS, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, etc. Next to the ThinkServer, you will find a seven-node Raspberry Pi cluster (28 Cores, 7GB RAM, 112GB HD) that is running the latest version of Raspbian. Finally, on my MacBook Pro, I run Pop!_OS as a full virtual machine (4GB RAM, 4CPU) alongside MacOS.


Ricardo Gerardi: Here's my setup.

Personal laptop: Lenovo Thinkpad X220
OS: Archlinux
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2520M CPU @ 2.50GHz (Quad-core)
RAM: 8GB Samsung
HD: 128GB SSD
Audio: Intel Integrated
Video card: Intel integrated
Window Manager: i3

Business laptop: Lenovo Thinkpad T460s
OS: Fedora 28
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-6600U CPU @ 2.60GHz (Quad-core)
RAM: 12 GB Samsung
HD: 256 GB SSD Intel
Mouse: Logitech M325 Wireless
Audio: Intel Integrated
Video card: Intel(R) HD Graphics 520
Window Manager: i3
External display 1: Acer 21" VGA 1600x900
External display 2: RCA 24" HDMI 1900x1080
*note: With 2 connected external displays I have a triple-display configuration that is great and works very stable by using "xrandr"

Desktop (working as a KVM Server): Custom built
OS: Archlinux
Motherboard: ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0
CPU: AMD FX(tm)-8150 Eight-Core Processor @ 4GHz (overclocked)
RAM: 32 GB G.Skill
HD 1: 1TB x 7200 rpm Seagate
HD 2: 256GB SSD OCZ
Audio: Not used
Video card: GeForce 9800 GT
Window manager: None (Text console only)
Display: RCA 24" HDMI 1900x1080
Network card: Realtek RTL8111 Gigabit Ethernet
* note: I have this box working for 7 years.

I have a Canon Printer, but I am still trying to get it working on my Linux machines (I haven't tried much).


Tell us what your Linux rig looks like in the comments.

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Jen Wike Huger - Jen has been an editor on the Opensource.com team for six years. In that time, she's worked with countless developers and engineers, helping them with the magic of turning their technical expertise and experience into written form. On any given day, you'll find her managing the website's publication schedule and editorial workflow (on kanban boards), as well as brainstorming the next big article.