Ubuntu-based mobile video-editing workstation

Hello there!

I’m writing this as a mental and planning experiment so I can, with your help, have a logic behind most of my future purchase decisions when it comes to my work equipment.

I’ve been familiar with the existence of Linux and FOSS since the late 90’s, mostly because of the efforts of SUSE and Red Hat to serve my country’s corporate market and recruit computer science and engineering students into the FOSS folt. I’ve been familiar with the Linux desktop experience since 2011, when I sat down on an unused computer in my then-girlfriend’s office… It was Ubuntu. However, I have just been daily driving Linux for almost two months on my 2007 iMac. Needless to say, I fell into this lovely rabbit hole right away.

Context aside, I want to buy a new computer, a mobile workstation to be more specific. So here are some of the basic needs I’ll have to cover.

  • I’m a content creator first, then a casual gamer.
  • This year (2021) I switched my video editing workflow from Adobe Premiere to DaVinci Resolve… And I’m not going anywhere else.
  • A good colour-accurate display is a MUST (16:10 ratio is desirable)
  • Since it will be my only computer, I’m going to need a good expansion capability, like Thunderbolt connectivity.
  • I also need it to be easily serviceable, repariable and upgradable.
  • Decent battery life
  • Ubuntu-ready with as little troubles as possible.

With that in mind, after some research I’m narrowing my options to these three laptops.

  • Dell XPS 17 9710
  • Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme Gen4
  • Lenovo Legion 7i

I’m quite open to any other suggestion, as long as it meets the aforementioned criteria.

The plan is to buy a separate M.2 SSD to install Ubuntu from scratch, leaving the out-of-the-box SSD aside in case I resell the computer.

So, I need to run DaVinci Resolve under Ubuntu (there are quite good instructions on Pop!_Os’s site that are applicable to Ubuntu) with as good codec support as possible. I need to be able to use a Thunderbolt dock to connect external peripherals, a USB mic, and an external monitor. And, last but not least, I need to be able to run some games (especially Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath).

What would work better for me?

How shall I proceed in order to have a seamless workflow using Ubuntu as my main (and only) OS?

Shall I go for the LTS Ubuntu or shall I go the cutting-edge route?

How does this relate to Ubuntu Desktop?

This site is not a user-forum (https://ubuntuforums.org/ fills that role) but you’ve placed this post in the Desktop area; ie. for discussion about Ubuntu Desktop.

Your question doesn’t appear to be about Ubuntu Desktop, but about your own machine & purchase decisions?

The introduction to this site says

Welcome to the Ubuntu Community Discourse, a site for co-ordination of the Ubuntu project.

This community resource is for people working at all levels of the stack on Ubuntu. We welcome discussion of Ubuntu itself and other closely related topics. We welcome your site feedback.

This site is not for technical support.

so how does your question relate to the Ubuntu Community? or Ubuntu Desktop projects? Your question (at least to me) belongs on a user forum (there are other choices too, but some don’t allow hardware purchase questions).

1 Like

Is more about the tweaks I’ll need to make in order to makr things work as seamless as possible.
I’m quite aware using Resolve on any debian-ased distro takes a bit of work but, what else?

Is the lack of codec support on DaVinci Resolve more about the program than the distro (So I’ll need to purchase the licence to the Studio version)?

Can it be solved by installing the restricted extras?

I’d like to know what it takes so I can plan ahead.

Try this site for technical support.
Ubuntu Questions
Refer to the @guiverc statement above.
Thank You


Per a PM, @jcas0058 has moved the question to ubuntuforums.org

For future readers, this was a good decision. Ubuntuforums.org is set up to handle opinion-based questions like hardware recommendation far better than this venue.