Best Mini PC for Linux in 2022


Mini PC for Linux

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Mini PCs are a great choice for installing Linux. Due to their compact and small design, they take up significantly less space than the standard PCs and can be easily put on a shelf or desk.

The Linux-compatible mini PCs mentioned here can even outperform your standard desktop PC. You can use them as a Linux Desktop for general usage or turn them into personal Linux servers.

Note: Although you can install Linux on Raspberry Pi, I have not included it on this list.

Here’s a summary of the best Mini PC for Linux:

Linux Mini PCLink to Product
MINISFORUM EliteMini HX90See details at Amazon
System76 Meerkat (meer6)See details at System76
Beelink SER5See details at Amazon
Intel NUC 11See details at Amazon
MINISFORUM DeskMini UM350See details at Amazon

Before you proceed:

1. Although the Mini PCs mentioned in this list work with most Linux distros, I can’t vouch for every Linux distribution.

2. Make sure to double-check the WiFi chipset before purchasing any mini pc for Linux. The manufacturers tend to change the WiFi chipset without changing the model number/name of the Mini PC itself.

3. Most Mini PCs mentioned here are also available in barebone (No RAM, No SSD) version. If you already have RAM and SSD lying around, then you can choose this version to reduce the cost of your Linux Mini PC and add the RAM and SSD yourself to complete the build.

Best Mini PC for Linux

1. MINISFORUM EliteMini HX90

MINISFORUM EliteMini HX90 Mini PC for Linux
Source: www.minisforum.com
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 9 5900HX (8 Cores/16 Threads)
Memory32 GB (Upgradable to 64 GB)
Storage512 GB
GraphicsAMD Radeon Graphics
WiFi ChipsetMediatek MT7921K

The first Mini PC for Linux on this list is the MINISFORUM EliteMini HX90. It is bundled with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor that has 8 cores/16 Threads and a max boost clock of up to 4.6GHz.

It is available in many RAM and storage variants. The one I am mentioning here has 32 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD storage. You can upgrade the RAM to a maximum of 64 GB.

As for storage, you can get it up to 2 TB SSD. Moreover, you can add HDDs for more storage with the included two 2.5-inch SATA (3.0 6.0Gb/s) HDD slots. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about the lack of storage capacity.

EliteMini HX90 has Integrated Radeon Graphics along with two HDMI and two Display ports that can output to 4 displays with 4K resolution at 60Hz.

When it comes to networking, EliteMini HX90 has a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port and supports WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. Apart from that, this mini PC has 5 x USB3.0 ports (Gen1), 1 x USB-C Port and 2 x MIC included.

Thanks to the premium liquid metal compound on the CPU and a wide degree of open ventilation, the HX90 is able to perform at its best.

With all the great features this Mini PC has to offer, the price will be higher than most Mini PCs mentioned on this list. However, if you want a powerful Mini PC for Linux, then there is no better option than the MINISFORUM EliteMini HX90.

Shop now at Amazon

2. System76 Meerkat (meer6)

System76 Meerkat Mini PC for Linux
Source: system76.com
ProcessorIntel i3, i5, i7 (11th Gen)
MemoryUp to 64 GB
StorageUp to 8 TB SSD (short)
GraphicsIntel UHD or Iris Xe Graphics (Dependent on CPU)
WiFi ChipsetIntel Wi-Fi 6 AX201

Meerkat (meer6) by system76 is a great Linux Mini PC. You can customize the configuration of this Mini PC according to your needs before purchasing. It is available in 11th-generation Intel i3, i5 and i7 CPU variants.

Meerkat is available in many RAM and storage variants. The RAM ranges from 8 GB to a maximum of 64 GB and storage from 128 GB to a whopping 8TB.

As for the graphics, you’ll get integrated Intel graphics depending on the CPU you choose while designing your system. If you chose the i3 CPU, you’ll get the Intel UHD graphics, whereas, if you chose the i5 or i7 CPU, you’ll get the Intel Iris Xe Graphics.

When it comes to networking, Meerkat has a 2.5 GbE Ethernet port along with support for WiFi 6 and Bluetooth. The other ports include – 3 x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A ports, 1 x USB 2.0 Type A, 1 x USB 4 / Thunderbolt 4 (Type C) port, 1 x USB 4 / Thunderbolt 3 (Type C) port, 2 x HDMI and 2 x DisplayPort (1.4a) via USB Type C.

The best part, you can choose between Pop!_OS or Ubuntu as a pre-installed OS for your Linux Mini PC. Ubuntu and Pop!_OS lovers will get a working Linux distro out-of-the-box.

Shop now at System76

3. Beelink SER5

Beelink SER5
Source: www.bee-link.net
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 5600H (6 Cores / 12 Threads)
Memory16 GB (Upgradable to 64 GB)
Storage500 GB SSD (Expandable Up to 2 TB)
GraphicsAMD Radeon Graphics
WiFi ChipsetMediatek MT7921K

Beelink SER5 Mini PC is bundled with AMD Ryzen 5 5600H processor that has 6 cores / 12 threads and a max boost clock of up to 4.2 GHz.

It is available in many RAM and storage variants. The one I am mentioning here has 16 GB RAM and 500 GB SSD storage. The RAM can be upgraded to a maximum of 64 GB and you can get SSD storage of up to 2 TB.

The GPU of Beelink SER5 is AMD Radeon Graphics and supports 4K video playback. You can connect up to three screens using the 2 x HDMI port and one USB Type-C port which supports video output.

As for networking, the SER5 has a single 1 Gbps LAN port along with support for WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. Apart from the LAN, HDMI and Type-C ports mentioned previously, there are other ports on Beelink SER5 which include 3 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0 and 1 x Earphone jack.

The proper heat dissipation is carried out by the large fan and the dual heat conduction technology. It keeps the system cool and allows better performance.

It is a great Mini PC for Linux, there is even a Manjaro Edition of the Beelink SER5 Mini PC, that ships with Manjaro Linux pre-installed.

Shop now at Amazon

4. Intel NUC 11

Intel NUC 11
Source: intel.com
ProcessorIntel Core i5-1135G7 (4 Cores / 8 Threads)
Memory16GB (Upgradable to 64 GB)
Storage512 GB SSD
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe Graphics
WiFi ChipsetIntel Wi-Fi 6 AX201

Intel NUC 11 is the official Mini PC by Intel. The one I am mentioning here is sold by GEEK+ on Amazon. It is equipped with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor that has 4 Cores/8 Threads and a max turbo frequency of 4.20 GHz.

Just like other Mini PCs on this list, this one is also available in many RAM and storage variants. You can choose the 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD storage variant and upgrade the RAM to 32 or 64GB (maximum) if the need arises.

Intel NUC supports four displays through its HDMI, USB-C and Mini Display ports. It also has integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics with 8k support.

As for networking, it has one LAN port and Intel Wireless-AX 201 chipset that provides support for WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2. Also, it has 3 x USB 3.2 Gen2 ports, 2 x Thunderbolt 3 ports and a headphone jack.

Intel devices are supported by Linux, and their graphics and wireless drivers are already integrated into the Linux kernel. If you are planning to install an OS that is updated to the latest kernel version, then most of the time it will work without any driver-related issues. Hence, Intel NUC is a great choice as a Mini PC for Linux.

Shop now at Amazon

5. MINISFORUM DeskMini UM350

MINISFORUM DeskMini UM350
Source: www.minisforum.com
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 3550H (4 Cores/8 Threads)
Memory16 GB
Storage512 GB SSD
GraphicsRadeon Vega 8 Graphics
WiFi ChipsetIntel AC-7265

The last Mini PC for Linux on this list is the MINISFORUM DeskMini UM350. It is integrated with AMD Ryzen 5 3550H (4 Cores/8 Threads) and has a max boost clock of up to 3.7 GHz.

The UM350 mentioned here has 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD storage. However, you have a variety of RAM and storage variants to choose from. The RAM can be upgraded to a maximum of 64 GB and the SSD storage can be expanded up to 2TB.

DeskMini UM350 has triple-display support through the HDMI, USB-C and display port. Moreover, it is powered by the Radeon Vega 8 Graphics and can render in 4K resolution at 60Hz refresh rate.

When it comes to networking, this Mini PC has 1 x RJ45 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet Port. Unlike other Mini PCs on this list, UM350 ships with an Intel AC-7265 chipset that doesn’t support the latest WiFi 6 standard. You’ll get WiFi 5 along with Bluetooth.

Apart from the display and LAN ports, this mini pc also has 3 x USB3.1 Gen2 Port, 1 x USB3.1 Gen1, 1 x USB-C Gen2 port and a headphone/microphone jack.

DeskMini UM350 is a small and powerful Mini PC. It is designed with a press and pop-up clasp for easy upgradation. Since it’s a DIY-friendly box, you can easily upgrade to a WiFi 6 chipset.

Just like the Beelink SER5 Mini PC, this one also has a Manjaro edition, which comes pre-installed with Manjaro Linux. It is a great Linux Mini PC and that too at an affordable price.

Shop now at Amazon

Linux Mini PC Buying Guide

Selecting a Linux-compatible WiFi chipset is the most important part that you should focus on when buying a Mini PC for Linux. Other components like RAM, Storage, and CPU (Intel and AMD), most likely don’t pose any issues.

The WiFi chipsets used in the above-mentioned Linux Mini PCs are:

WiFi ChipsetWifi TechnologyLinux Kernel Version
MediaTek MT7921KWiFi 6E5.19+
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201WiFi 65.2+
Intel Wireless AC 7265WiFi 53.3+

If you are using the appropriate Linux kernel, then the WiFi will work out of the box. If needed to install drivers manually, then you can download the drivers from the Mini PC manufacturer’s website or from MediaTek or Intel website.

Conclusion

This concludes the best Mini PC for Linux list. Not all Mini PCs mentioned here ship with a pre-installed Linux system. You have to install your favourite Linux distribution like Ubuntu or Linux Mint via dual-booting or after removing Windows.

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Rahul R Nair

Rahul is obsessed with technology and programming. He is also the founder of TechSphinx. Being a technophile, he is always busy doing some techy stuff or learning about the latest technologies. When not busy with his usual routine (staring at the computer screen) he likes to write and share his knowledge with the world.