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11 Mini PCs That Come With Linux Pre-installed

Looking for a Linux-based mini PC? Here are 11 options that let you replace your traditional bulky desktop with a compact yet powerful mini PC.

When looking for a Linux computer, most people consider either a laptop or a desktop. But there’s a relatively new type of gadget in the same segment of the market, the mini PC.

Mini PCs, in my opinion, will take over from traditional desktop computers in the near future. A traditional desktop has a bulky CPU that takes a lot of space with its fan running like a blower. Mini PCs, on the other hand, are tiny and compact. Barely 4″ or 5″ in size, they can be easily placed on a table.

Linux Based Mini pc

Moreover, these mini PCs are fanless, which is an added virtue. Of course, you can buy fanless regular desktops, but their space consumption is still an issue. Personally, I also find the mini PC cute in looks. If you’re thinking of buying a new desktop PC and you don’t need to use it for serious gaming, I highly recommend that you buy a Linux-based mini PC.

Mini PCs are tiny, but a lot more powerful than tiny single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi. They can replace traditional desktops as their specs are on par with most desktops on the market.

If you’re considering following my recommendation and buying one, you might wonder what options you have. Worry not. I’ll list some of the best Linux mini PCs you can buy today.

Best mini PCs preinstalled with Linux

Please note that some of these gadgets are manufactured in small quantities and run out of stock periodically. Therefore some might not be available to order all the time and you may have to wait a little.

The list is not in any particular order of ranking. Some of the links may contain affiliate information. Please read our affiliate policy here.

1. Intel NUC

Intel Nuc Minipc

Most of the other mini PCs listed here are based on Intel’s NUC – so it’s worth mentioning it as one of the alternatives as well. It may not have Linux built in, but you can choose to install Linux on it. So it makes for a good Linux-based mini PC.

You can either opt for a full-fledged mini PC, or get a NUC board at a lower price to DIY (similar to a Raspberry Pi).

Specifications Overview

  • Intel 8th gen processor
  • Radeon Vega Graphics
  • Intel Optane Memory (16 GB)
  • HDMI port
  • USB Type-C port
  • 2 LAN ports
  • 1 TB HDD
  • WiFi & Bluetooth

The specifications will differ depending on what NUC product you’re going with. We recommend that you check out all the NUC mini PCs available on their official site.

Price

It starts at 300 USD (approx), but depending on what you choose (an NUC kit board or a mini PC), it can be in the range of $1000. You can find all of its variants on Amazon.

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09/26/2022 07:35 pm GMT

2. Meerkat by System76

System76 Meerkat Mini PC

System76 is a computer manufacturer exclusively dealing with Ubuntu-based desktops, laptops and servers. System76 announced an Ubuntu-based mini PC, Meerkat, last week. Let’s take a quick look at its specifications:

Specifications Overview

  • Processor: Intel i3/i5/i7
  • Up to 2 TB of storage (M.2 SATA SSD)
  • Up to 32 GB RAM
  • Graphics Intel HD 5500 and Intel HD 6000 for i3 and i5 respectively
  • 4″ x 4″ in size
  • WiFi
  • 1 Gb NIC
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports

Price

Starts at $599.

3. MintBox Mini 2 and Mini 2 Pro

MintBox Mini 2

The MintBox Mini range is the ‘official’ hardware offering of (almost) everybody’s favorite, Linux Mint.

The MintBox Mini 2 and Mini 2 Pro come with an Intel Celeron J3455 processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 120 GB SSD. To pump up the muscle, Intel HD Graphics 500 is included, with HDMI+miniDP support. The difference between the two models is the size of their SSD.

The MintBox is housed in a full metal casing, which provides improved heat dissipation. The unit is also fanless and completely silent. It’s also dust- and humidity-resistant and designed to operate in industrial atmosphere. It comes with a 5-year unconditional warranty.

Although it comes with the latest Linux Mint, any other Linux distro can be installed on it. Windows 10 can also be installed on the MintBox Mini Pro.

If you love Linux Mint then the MintBox is the perfect mini PC for you. By buying a MintBox you directly support Linux Mint, as part of the sale goes straight to them.

Specifications Overview

  • Processor: Intel Celeron J3455 processor
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 64 GB SSD for Mini 2 and 120 GB SSD for Mini 2 Pro
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 500
  • Operating system: Linux Mint 

Pricing

$299 for MintBox Mini 2 and $349 for MintBox Mini 2 Pro. They go out of stock pretty quickly. You can try to buy one on Amazon or check out the manufacturer’s website.

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4. Utilite2 

Utilite2 Linux based mini PC

Utilite2 is an Ubuntu-based mini PC by the same manufacturer behind MintBox. It’s an ARM desktop PC running Ubuntu LTS. With a size of 3.4″ x 2.3″, Utilite2 has modest features and a modest price.

Specifications Overview

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 (APQ8064) quad-core CPU 1.7GHz
  • 2 GB RAM, eMMC with optional 32 GB mSATA storage
  • Graphics with Qualcomm Adreno™ GPU
  • 1080p video playback and capture
  • Dual-antenna WiFi 802.11 and Bluetooth 4.0
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 4 x USB2, USB OTG
  • Cellular modem support

Price

$192 for the regular model, $229 with SSD storage. Shipping costs extra.

5. Endless Mini

Endless Mini PC

Endless is another Linux PC manufacturer with their own Linux distro. You might have heard of Endless OS, which is a home use-centric distro. Endless offers a range of minicomputers that run on the Endless OS.

Endless Mini is a cost-efficient little machine and can be used for lightweight computing tasks. Endless is an inexpensive mini machine, which automatically implies that it’s not something that you should go for if you have demanding tasks planned for the PC.

Specifications Overview

  • Processor: Amlogic® S805, Quad Core, ARM® Cortex A5
  • RAM: 1 GB/2 GB
  • Graphics: Mali®-450 GPU
  • Storage: 24 GB/32 GB SSD
  • Operating system: Endless OS

Pricing

Around $79 to $99. 

6. Endless Mission One

Endless Mission One mini PC

Another Endless Mini computer, but built with a stronger Intel Celeron CPU clocked at 2.17 GHz, and suitable for more demanding tasks. It’s the slightly pumped-up sibling of the Endless Mini.

The box has a nice design and is pleasing to look at.

It also has decent storage space and is a good deal for the price.

Specifications Overview

  • Processor: Intel Celeron N2807
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Storage: 500 GB hard drive storage
  • Operating system: Endless OS

Pricing

Pricing starts at $249.

7. OnLogic CL100

Logic Supply CL100

CL100 is a fanless, dustproof, industrial mini PC from OnLogic (previously known as Logic Supply). Ubuntu is offered as the main operating system on it.

CL100 can be configured according to your requirements but this means the price will go up if you go for a high-end hardware configuration. It also has two years’ limited warranty.

Specifications Overview

  • Processor: Intel Celeron N3160 or Pentium N3710
  • RAM: Minimum 2 GB
  • Storage: Minimum 32 GB SSD
  • Operating system: Ubuntu

Pricing

Starts at $357. 

8. TUXEDO Nano V8

Tuxedo Nano V8 Mini PC comes with Linux preinstalled
Tuxedo Nano V8

Last year, we talked about TUXEDO Nano V8 when it launched. To give you a brief, TUXEDO computers help you build custom PCs and notebooks.

TUXEDO Nano V8 is a Linux-based mini PC (comes with Ubuntu/Ubuntu Budgie).

With an 8th gen Intel processor coupled with 32 GB of RAM, it’s as powerful as a mini PC can get. Of course, you can opt for a low-end configuration if you don’t want a lot of computing power. It also supports the addition of an M.2 SSD for faster storage along with an HDD.

Need to connect two 4K screens to this mini PC? Sure, no problem.

Specifications Overview

  • Processor: i3-i7 (7th/8th Gen)
  • GPU: Integrated Intel HD graphics
  • 4 x USB 3.0 ports
  • Up to 32 GB of RAM
  • M.2 SSD slot
  • WiFi & Bluetooth 4.2
  • 2 x HDMI2.0a 4K capable

Price

It starts at 445 Euros for the low-end configuration and goes up according to the hardware specs you choose.

9. Slimbook ONE v2

Slimbook's Linux Mini PC
Slimbook Mini PC

ONE is a compact Linux-based mini PC that packs in a lot of power with an 8th gen Intel processor.

With M.2 SSD storage support up to 500 GB and the option to crank up the HDD storage to 2 TB, this should be a great mini PC. It can be coupled with up to 16 GB of RAM and is 4K-ready, with an HDMI port available as well.

You can choose to have a Linux OS pre-installed (Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Manjaro, etc). Or, if you want to use it as a multimedia center, you can elect to have Ubuntu Multimedia Center pre-installed instead.

Specifications Overview

  • Intel i5 or i7 processor (8th generation)
  • GPU: Intel UHD 620 (4k support)
  • Up to 16 GB RAM
  • M.2 SSD up to 500 GB
  • HDD up to 2 TB
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • WiFi
  • HDMI port
  • USB 2.0 (x2), USB 3.0 (x2) & USB Type-C (x1)

Price

The lowest configuration starts at 449 Euros.

10. Entroware Aura

Entroware Aura Mini PC with Linux preinstalled
Entroware Aura

If Slimbook’s ONE v2 didn’t impress you enough and you’re looking for more computing power, Entroware’s Aura will be a perfect fit.

It also offers an Intel 8th gen processor (i3, i5 or i7). In addition to that, you get the option to crank the RAM up to 32 GB at 2400 MHz. If that wasn’t enough for a Linux mini PC, you can add an SSD of up to 2 TB (M.2 or SATA). Fret not, it also supports additional HDD storage – if you need.

You only get the option to have Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or Ubuntu MATE pre-installed.

Specifications Overview

  • Intel 8th gen processor (i3, i5 or i7)
  • DDR4 RAM up to 32 GB @ 2700 MHz
  • SSD storage up to 2 TB (SATA/M.2)
  • Additional HDD storage up to 2 TB
  • WiFi & Bluetooth
  • GPU: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2 (x4)
  • Micro SD card slot
  • HDMI port

Price

This mini PC starts at 499.99 Pounds.

11. Olympia by Juno Computers

Olympia Mini PC from Linux system vendor Juno Computers
Olympia Mini PC

Olympia is yet another impressive Linux-based mini PC which is a bit cheaper than some of the options mentioned above. It can come pre-installed with Elementary OS, Ubuntu 18.04 or Ubuntu 19.04.

It offers an Intel 8th gen processor coupled with up to 16 GB of RAM. Also, you get support for up to 1 TB of SSD storage (M.2/SATA), and an SD card slot.

Specifications Overview

  • Intel 8th Gen processor (i3, i5 or i7)
  • RAM up to 16 GB @ 2133 MHz
  • Storage: SATA or M.2 SSD up to 1 TB
  • SD Card reader
  • WiFi & Bluetooth
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2 (x4)
  • HDMI 2.0 port

Price

This mini PC starts at 403 Pounds.

What’s your pick?

I have deliberately not included the Raspberry Pi or other Linux microcomputers such as Intel’s Compute Stick. This is because I don’t think micro-computers fall into the same category as mini PCs.

What do you think? Are you tempted to replace your desktop with a mini PC? Is there another player that I missed from this list of best Linux-based mini PCs? Do share your views.

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