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REcompute Help

Information about Linux, our process and what you can expect as a recipient of a laptop.


Linux is a free operating system.

Most laptops in the REcompute program come installed with Linux Mint. It is a simple but very powerful operating system, and comes preloaded with lots of useful software, such as LibreOffice, an office suite which will open and save documents compatible with MS Office, as well as Firefox for web browsing, Thunderbird Mail for email, and much more.

If the laptop you have received is an older one, with, for example, less RAM, it might have installed on it a different Linux 'distro' (distribution) better suited to make the best of its specifications.

Examples of other Linux distros might be

Find out more about Linux.

Our Process

Every laptop we receive immediately has the hard drive wiped and Linux installed on it.
Please read about our full process.

It is inspected to make sure all its features work - CD-ROM drive; USB ports; HDMI ports; power; and everything else.

Assuming all its features are operational, we re-install Linux Mint but as OEM, so that when you first turn it on, you create an Administrator account and the laptop is "yours."

Unused desktop or tower computers are not really practical for this program, so I'm afraid we cannot accept them.

Please use the contact form to let us know what you can donate.

What You Can Expect As A Recipient

When you receive your laptop, you will need to plug in the power cable first, and switch it on.

The power switch might be on the side of the laptop, it might be above the keyboard, or it might be on the front.

You will receive a simple page of instructions relevant to your laptop when you get it. This page will also include the REcompute ID number of your laptop, which must be referenced if you need any help from If you have any problems with the laptop you receive, REcompute will provide assistance for six months from the date you receive your laptop. We can be contacted at this email address or through Salt & Light.

After turning on your laptop, you will be asked to create an Administrator account, with a password you will have to remember. Only Administrator accounts can install software or run updates.

You can create user accounts for family members which are not Administrator accounts, so they can use the software on the laptop, but cannot install software or run updates.

Your Linux Mint installation will have a Software Manager, which you can find by clicking the round "LM" icon at the very bottom left of the screen, and typing 'Software Manager' into the search box.

The Software Manager allows you to choose from thousands of free programs, so you can explore music editors, graphics editors, video editors, programming applications, desktop editing software, CAD software, and much, much more. Again, all free.

Find out more about Linux.


Let's get in touch. Send us a message if you have a laptop to donate, or you are interested in Linux for yourself:

Champaign, IL USA


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