best and reasonable linux system for openframeworks?

hi all,

after some deep thought and other things happening in my life, im deciding to move over to linux. this is due ton that linux or windows is good for oF, not so much osx. mainly driver issues. plus as well, i fancy making some drastic changes :slight_smile:

so as the title suggests, this is what id like some info on. im not a linux user yet, though have played with it a lot before on older machines, so i know whats its about etc.
but im looking to replace/add another computer. but im also planning to have a hackintosh as well to replace the macbook pro i have now.
but as far as systems for linux laptop systems go, im stumped. but know full well that its going to be used heavily with oF and other code based things but for finding the right one, for the right price is jaded.

so i figured to ask here, as this is the place where im residing a lot now, and would like to read peoples opinions. even to say to wait for new systems to come out.
the main goals of the system would be for both audio and visual works, linking to several programs. needs to allow loads of ram [8/16gb], and ssd [mainly as i saw it on other machines which made everything faster]. but also as well, a great graphics card.

if any of you know of great/very good laptops which would be useful, then plese do post up and let me know. the price for what im looking for is not an option right now, as ive just started saving. but do want to get to a good price for something, rather than paying over the odds. i was thinking somewhere around the realms of £700/800, though im open for people to say more.

many thanks

just doing a little reply to knock this to the top :wink:

nobody has any suggestions?

I know you’re looking for a laptop, but to start with here’s a good general guide:

Most of the problems you get with Linux are hardware related, so choosing the right device is often important. Particularly if it’s really new, in which case support for it might take a little while to arrive.

If you’re a Linux newbie, I recommend buying a 100% compatible Linux machine, so that you don’t have to deal with any nasty issues. As more people move to Linux, more pressure will be put on the manufacturers to support Linux, and better the hardware will be in terms of compatibility. Already in the time I’ve been using Linux hardware support has improved dramatically, so this is not just a fairy tale :slight_smile:


If you can get hold of it, I would also highly recommend the Dell Sputnik:

Lenovo (previously IBM) Thinkpads are well regarded as Linux laptops, and I can confirm this having had one.

Personally, I have a Samsung NP900X3C. It has some issues (battery state not always detected properly, suspend problems) but I love it nonetheless. Super light, really great screen, very stylish (I get loads of comments). Probably would not recommend it to someone who doesn’t know how to configure Linux though.


I’m a long time Linux user and a recent oF enthusiast.
Every Linux distribution has its cons and pros. I use Ubuntu 12.04 with Gnome Shell for now as i don’t have time to tweak and spend much time to make things works.

I encounter some difficulties using oF in linux. Well not exactly : i have problems to make things to work when using external library like ofxUI (see my recent posts)

I want to try OpenSuse as i think it chould be a good platform for developping under Linux.

Anyway, if you want to try oF i think the best choices for a start are : Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu or Arch as there are some scripts included with oF for installing and configuring the IDE for these platforms.

If you are new to linux, maybe Ubuntu should be the easiest one.

For the hardware part, some manufacturers have some computers with linux preinstalled so i think they try to make best choices among hardware to be fully compatible with Linux.

Dell makes a nice one :

Or you can check here for nice Linux computers :

i have looked at ubuntu on an old dell xp system and liked it, it was fun and felt really nice. very much like osx, with a windows feel.
the system76 computers look nice and have specs which match [and some exceed] my requirements. i figured that a linux system would not be 100% safe with projects and oF patches, thats a given. but the drivers for linux are a lot more fruitful than osx. not sure about windows though.

i could go for a windows system. but ive done windows [though that was lastly xp], so want to try something new and different, more so in the fact that its open source and completely away from this draconian way of working with developers… *cough* apple.

i will still be sticking with an osx system, but its purely going to be hackintosh. dont see the point in spending what i could on a car [about £2500], when i could just do a work around and have cash left :wink:

but thanks for the reply back. ill look more and more into this

Ubuntu these days does feel very much like a mix of Windows and OSX. That’s due to some of their user interaction and GUI paradigms being absorbed into Linux desktop development, with the best ideas sticking. This is what I like about Linux, it’s very user driven, and bad ideas soon get voted down, with the good ones bubbling up to the top.

If you’re making a hackintosh, keep in mind that you can then fairly easily dual or even triple-boot (OSX/Win32/Linux), giving you multiple options for the one machine.

ive actually decided to just go for linux now. i might go back to mac, but now, im selling all my mac based stuff except my computer [as i can still do music/c++ on it]

here is my posting if you see anything you may want

Hi @leed, I’m using Ubuntu OS by a number of years and i feel very comfortable with it. I tried also OpenSuse a bit and i think maybe it’s a bit better in certain cases. For multimedia you can also install the UbuntuStudio distro. I would advice you of some contro in the linux side if you buy an Optimus Nvidia video card. because there aren’t linux proprietary driver,but luckly exist the Bumblebee project. This is the only thing that hurt me . Because it is a source of problemes and issues sometimes if you want develop OpenGL application. And also every time you make an upgrade the symbolic link are broken and so you have to check it again and restore it. If you don’t do this every time you want to launch a OpenCL or Cuda app will fail. Also pay attention with intern and extern sound card, before to buy one take all the info about supported drivers for linux. Apart this i’m an enthusiast of Linux!

Great to hear you taking the plunge Lewis!

If you have any questions regarding migrating your workflow to Linux or Linux audio in general, feel free to ask.

In other news, keep a look out for the upcoming Lightworks for linux video editor:

Also (hopefully not vapourware):

There’s also a very reliable rumour that VVVV ( will eventually come to Linux (and OSX)

bitwig, ive been on the waiting list for about 2 years. theyre still in the first stages of beta, and im set for the second stage. which im looking forward to.

thanks for the news on the video editor. i use final cut, but didnt know about any linux ones. the same with vvvv.

thanks again for all your help. im looking forward to leaving things behind and making new things