What’s the world’s cheapest *Linux compatible* laptop? Wasn’t there one for like $100?

(You): What’s the world’s cheapest *Linux compatible* laptop? Wasn’t there one for like $100?

(Andries): OLPC – but you need to buy in huge bulk. The $100 one I think is now a little more expensive, but it depends on the deal, I think.

(You): where can I find OLPC? Are there resellers who sell them one-at-a-time? Is the $100 one that has a hand crank?

(Andries): don’t think you can – you need to buy a couple of thousand machines plus to gain access. some of the $100 I think had a hand-crank, yes – not sure whether they were sold, though.

(You): rats. Thanks.

(Andries): thought about craigslist for a second hand one?

(You): that’s my normal process, but the hard drives tend to die quickly on those. I now have 4 laptop “bricks”. Of course, with an external drive, maybe…

(Andries): yes, still needs to boot… :-(

(You): some laptops can boot from an external drive, but not all of them. And that’s a difficult question to email someone who’s trying to get rid of a $75 laptop.


(Alexander): There is the “One Laptop per Child”-projekt [http://one.laptop.org/]. The laptop itself was buyable. Seems that currently its not.

Anyway nearly every modern laptop should be -comaptible with linux. In my experience dell and ibm are good choice – a used machine should not be that expensive.

Asus eeepc are fully comaptible as they run native linux.

Compatibility list (for ubuntu) can be found here:


(You): thanks. Are machines that run Windows CE also Linux compatible? Those are usually the cheapest ones, but I think they use speciality drivers or something.

(Alexander): I would say it depends on the distribution you want to use.

Linux itself, the kernel which is the base of any linux distribution, supports different hardware archictecures like x86 or ARM. So does WIndows CE.

Some yeas ago there was a lot of succeeding hacking to bring linux on windows ce phones and pds.

(You): do you know where I can find that? That’s what I need!

(Alexander): There are some tutorials and articles about installing linux on ce devices, most of them concern pdas or smartphones





Anyway I found this website where you probably could search for cheap windows ce netbooks/laptops. When you have spot a specific model it should be easy to find out if the hardware is fully compatible to linux.

(Alexander): http://www.windowsfordevices.com/

[Vark assigned category: laptops, more details]

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