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Hardware Devices that Support GNU/Linux

by John Sullivan Contributions Published on Mar 25, 2005 01:12 PM
Find devices which support fully free distributions of GNU/Linux

Knowing which hardware devices support GNU/Linux is important not only for practical reasons — you want your hardware to work with the software that you want to use — but also for ethical and political reasons.

You can help the free software movement by purchasing hardware from manufacturers who support our goals and not purchasing from those who don't.

For example: the Free Software Foundation only purchases desktop machines which support coreboot. As a result, all of the workstations used by the FSF staff have a free BIOS. Where support for a free BIOS is not yet possible, or is limited, some companies have made the decision to sell computers running fully-free distributions of the GNU/Linux operating system.

Further hardware resources

To purchase new hardware that is supported without the need for proprietary drivers or firmware, check the following resources:

  • H-Node is a directory of hardware that is supported by the Free Software Foundation's recommended list of GNU/Linux distributions. Many common distributions are not on this list, although the hardware should still be supported.
  • The FSF has an endorsement program for devices that use 100% free software. Such a device Respects Your Freedom. Check here first to find hardware that is good to buy. You can learn about the certification requirements for the Respects Your Freedom program here.
  • If you're looking for a single-board computer (SBC) that supports free software, read this article about the SBCs available today. Some have workarounds, but some are fatally flawed and none are fully free.
  • If you're looking for a motherboard that is compatible with a free BIOS / boot firmware, see the list at coreboot.org. Note that some of the motherboards on that list may still require proprietary CPU microcode; you will need to do additional research to avoid that.
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