Minimum hardware for laptop to use for 5 years

It depends how you define “bare minimum”. I feel confident that @mbod didn’t mean that “You can’t run a Linux system on less than 4GB of RAM”. That is obviously not the case.

However, if you want to run a reasonable number of applications comfortably including a web browser, you are going to need more than 710MB.

I have run Linux on laptops with 2-3GB of ram and while it works, it isn’t a lot of fun. Plus, the OP is asking for the minimum to comfortably run Linux 4-5 years in the future.

If I was buying new hardware for today, I would strongly recommend getting at least 4GB of RAM and an SSD. If I was buying for 5 years from now I would want a machine with user-upgradable RAM or at least 8GB.

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5 years from now the majority of GUI apps is running with electron :sob: (hopefully not). Get as much RAM as you can…

Get yourself a laptop with a removable battery. They are rare nowadays, but it’s really the most important requirement if you want to use it five years from now. Nothing is as important as that.

Regarding RAM, 8 GB should be enough, more is always better. Any modern processor will still be usable in 5 years. Ideally, you should be able to easily replace the SSD or HDD.

I have a laptop from 2013, with 5 GB of RAM and it’s still working great for what I’m using it, but I replaced the battery twice already.


It amazes me how many laptops have non-replacable fixed storage these days.

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At least with Lenovo they offer to extend the battery warranty for a reasonable price on these newer laptops that have internal batteries.

I’m horrified by the fact that almost all modern laptops have glued in battery.

Just a couple of years ago, you could easily replace RAM, storage, battery on pretty much any laptop…


Just to reiterate, anything built in the past five years will last another five years without issue (batteries excepted, because they are consumable items).


I am not so sure about that. There are tons of laptops built in the last 5 years that are not viable or barely viable today.

Laptops without expandable ram/storage with 16GB eMMCs and 1GB of RAM were available in that timeframe. Stuff built with CPU technology that was already many years old at the time.

Even right now, today, you can get laptops brand new with 2GB of soldered on RAM and an Atom x5-z8350 in it.


True, but that’s not really viable now:sweat_smile:

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That was barely viable 5 years ago. You needed to have really scrimped then to have achieved so little in a new machine.

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Let’s put it this way:

Anything that was good five years ago, and is decent now, will continue to be viable for at least five more years (for Linux, of course, not for M$).

High end laptops should be viable for at least ten years with Linux. Not batteries, though, and possibly not storage. And by “high end” I don’t necessarily mean “gaming laptops”1, but laptops that are great for the purpose they are expected to serve.

1 …or for building packages :rofl:




Great, but when I tried to buy a replacement battery for my 2014 Lenovo I was told it was not produced anymore.

I’m talking about internal batteries that have to be replaced by the depot. Does your 2104 laptop have that?

If you mean those small, button-like batteries, I have no idea. I was referring to the main battery that provides power when the machine is not plugged into the mains.

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