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4 Reputable Linux Hardware Makers for Open-Source Enthusiasts


It's a great time to love free and open software, free apps that don't try to exploit you for profit. For years, if you've wanted to use a free and libre operating system, such as Linux, then you've had to install them yourself.

Now there are a growing number of machines you can buy that come with Linux pre-installed, with hardware makers appealing to different types of free software users and different wallet sizes. Here are three companies and one charity attracting admiration from FOSS enthusiasts and growing attention from the broader public.

1. Raspberry Pi Foundation

The Raspberry Pi is the most mainstream consumer device that comes with a genuine GNU-based free and open source desktop interface. Whether you're making a set-top box, building a robot, or crafting your own Game Boy, a Raspberry Pi is ideal.

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That's because the Raspberry Pi is a highly-functional computer with everything you need contained on a single board. You can buy one for around the price of dinner for two at a restaurant. You can upgrade to a more powerful model for the cost of appetizers and dessert.

With newer models, the specs have reached a point where you could use a Raspberry Pi as your desktop PC. Word processing and similar office work is not a problem. You can browse the web with numerous tabs open. Music and video stream just fine on the Raspberry Pi 4, even at high quality.