Ask HN: What's a good laptop for software development in –$2000 range

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  • ExpansionCards

    Reference designs and documentation to create Expansion Cards for the Framework Laptop

    Have you considered System76?

    Another one i found interesting is the framework laptop. Its completely modular.

    And apparently their firmware is opensource.

    That said if you are looking to play games or have a dedicated graphics card your options will be severely limited.

  • framework-laptop-formula

    Salt formula for setting up Ubuntu on the Framework Laptop

    I can vouch for the Framework. It doesn't feel beta at all. I'm running Xubuntu 21.10 on it an it rocks. Someone created a repo with salt scripts which works all the kinks of the laptop under Ubuntu. The only thing I needed it for was to fix the touchpad issue after resume from sleep (it would be at max acceleration) and to enable hibernate (just note that you must disable secure boot first).

  • InfluxDB

    Collect and Analyze Billions of Data Points in Real Time. Manage all types of time series data in a single, purpose-built database. Run at any scale in any environment in the cloud, on-premises, or at the edge.

  • nixos-config

    My NixOS configurations.

    Parallels on M1 here! I followed mitchellh's guide to setup NixOS [0]. He runs an X server on the machine and works entirely within that (minus mail, etc.). I tried that at first then decided against.

    I'm now running the machine headless in the Parallels VM, and using VS Code on the host to Remote SSH into the machine. It's absolutely incredible and I highly recommend this workflow. My rationale is here [1].

    Fair warning I haven't tried to get any OS other than NixOS installed. Not sure how usable Ubuntu ARM or others are.


  • linux-surface

    Linux Kernel for Surface Devices

    >> Avoid Microsoft Surface Laptops, which require patches to run Linux,

    > But that screen on the Surface Laptop!

    I've been considering the Surface Laptop for the 3:2, high PPI screen. According to this [0] so long as you have a recent stock kernel, the only things that don't work are pen and touchscreen (touch screen requires kernel patches). I can live without both.


  • TLP

    TLP - Optimize Linux Laptop Battery Life

    I cast another vote for Framework. I understand the hesitation when it comes to betting on a new company, because I was also slightly anxious when I ordered my laptop. But now that I have it in my hands, I'm really happy with it. I've also done programming with the keyboard and it feels nice.

    Concerning battery life: There are various tools like TLP[1] that help you optimize your energy consumption without much configuration. I get more than 6 hours of my machine when I'm coding on the go. However, I only have a few terminals with Vim and a web browser open. Some IDEs might need more power.


  • Rectangle

    Move and resize windows on macOS with keyboard shortcuts and snap areas

    It's this kind of response that motivates me to post on HN about topics like this! I use Rectangle[0] for tiling, and I'm quite happy with it, but have not explored SKHD yet. Will give it a try now, thank you!


  • ath11k-firmware

    Firmware files for ath11k, a mac80211 driver for Qualcomm Technologies 802.11ax devices

    I have a 9310 32gb model with the ax500. With a 5.17 kernel and the WLAN.HST.1.0.1-05266-QCAHSTSWPLZ_V2_TO_X86-1 ath11k firmware, the machine has been flawless. Well maybe not the fingerprint reader.. i installed some updates and that broke but I never really used it so I haven't bothered trying to fix it.

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  • System76 Power Management

    System76 Power Management

    I don't know if this is what you're looking for, but I use the system76-power extension ( to toggle between the integrated Intel Xe unit and the dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 in my Galago Pro. While at first glance it might seem that it's a System76 utility for a System76 distribution on System76 hardware, I'm currently using it on Fedora, and the hardware itself should be pretty standard despite the System76 branding. Using the glxgears graphics demo, I can invoke 'glxgears -info' to use the Intel GPU, or '__NV_PRIME_RENDER_OFFLOAD=1 __GLX_VENDOR_LIBRARY_NAME=nvidia glxgears -info' to force use of the dGPU. You don't get the fancy-shmancy menu that you do under Pop!_OS, but it has a perfectly workable CLI.

  • lima

    Linux virtual machines

    Second this.

    If you want a laptop for development - get MacBook. I used to be a die-hard Windows guy about 10 years ago. After that switched to Linux on my Desktop and used it for a year. When I switched job they gave me MBP 2011 model, I hated it. The OS, but not the laptop. The new 2015 MBP were complete garbage, but I got used to macOS. The M1 laptops are the only laptops I would suggest to anybody. The battery life is so amazing, no overheating issues, I love it.

    My work also depends on Linux, I have my own company, that provides tools for monitoring Kubernetes, OpenShift and Docker. Only OpenShift is sketchy on arm64, everything else works great. is a great tool to run Linux VM. Also Docker for Mac and Rancher Desktop both work perfectly!

    But switching to Mac could be a challenge. I was always big fun of Thinkpad laptops, especially X1 Carbon. My wife uses it (she is Windows geek). But obviously this laptop is a laptop, not a computing machine. If you need computing power, just go to Costco and get yourself a gaming laptop with good video card (3060 would be in your price range). Read this to see which laptop provides enough power to the graphics card. But of course those gaming laptops are more like desktops you can easily move. The power bricks are huge, and laptops are heavy.

    Another option to consider is to get a Desktop, you can buy used Workstations/Servers from companies like I got from them 2 x Nvidia Quadro M4000 8GB, Dual Xeon E5-2680V4 2.4GHz 14C, 256GB RAM for about 4k. For 2k I am sure you can find something that can fit your budget.

  • komorebi

    A tiling window manager for Windows

    Hey thanks for the attention, I think the project is awesome and when it works I feel right at home.

    Two big issues I encountered today running 0.1.8 installed with Scoop on Windows 11 Education N:

    1. The empty space around apps gets smaller as you move them to new workspaces not primary (this is with Komorebi's workspaces, not Windows' Virtual Desktops which you have indicated have poorly documented APIs). It seems to be this issue [1] but that issue was closed as fixed

    2. Sometimes apps left empty spaces when they were minimized. That might have been VS Code or Spotify (or Slack?). Spotify when visible didn't resize appropriately.

    All my user-installed apps if that is helpful:

    - KeyPirinha

    - Mochi

    - PowerToys

    - Slack

    - Telegram Desktop

    - TickTick

    - Ubuntu on Windows

    - VS Code

    - Thunderbird

    - Ditto

    - Everything

    - 1Password


  • Mac

    Utilities and Scripts usefile for Macs (by keithbarrett)

    Modern Macs are fine as terminals I suppose, unless you travel a lot or are on metered Internet. If so, then you have a lot of stuff to turn off. See:

    I haven't used a Mac full-time for years, but the straw that broke the camels back for me was when I was traveling through multiple countries (including in New Zealand and on flights) and I could not get my damn Mac to stop sucking down, well, whatever it was doing. The number of default services running seems to have gotten even worse since then by the looks of these scripts...

  • nix

    Nix, the purely functional package manager

    Appreciate the anecdata! Have they straightened out the issue(s) with a read-only root directory, and installation / uninstall?

    > seems to be an issue of macOS and the root dir being read-only

    > Took me a month to finally remove Nix from my macOS

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