If a holiday or a special occasion is coming up, or if you just want to give a random gift to a Linux user, this gift guide will help you choose the best gift for someone who users (and likes) Linux.
We’ll include multiple gifts and split them up into categories, budgets, and occasions, so there’s a perfect fit for everyone. In this Linux gift-buying guide, you’ll find:
- Best Low-Budget Gifts for Linux Users
- Best Midrange Gifts for Linux Users
- Best Expensive Gifts for Linux Users
- Best Christmas Gifts for Linux Users
- Best Gifts for Linux Users for Valentine’s Day
- Best Birthday Gifts for Linux Users
- Best Gifts for a Long-Distance Boyfriend/Girlfriend/Friend That Uses Linux
Best Low-Budget Gifts for Linux Users
You can spend about (up to) $10 and still get a great, memorable gift for a Linux user.
Stickers – $1
You can get Linux stickers everywhere, including Amazon and AliExpress. But, arguably, the best packs (and the cheapest) are from StickerMule. You can get a pack of 10 stickers (the photo above) for $1, including free shipping. The 10-sticker pack for $1 includes stickers for Arch Linux + Git + Vim + Python), Vim, Git, Python, Official Bash, Linux Tux, Debian, Arch Linux, Linux Inside, and GoLang. Amazon has metal Linux stickers which go up to $5 per one sticker if you want to get something specific and higher quality.
Pins and Buttons – $3-$10
Pins and buttons/badges are pretty cheap – you can find them starting at $3 and all the way up to $10 per pin. The image above is a pin from Amazon. Redbubble has a lot more options and choices. Pins and buttons go anywhere – including clothing and backpacks/bags.
Magnets – $5-$10
Magnets are a great idea for a gift for Linux users. You can buy them anywhere, but Redbubble has the most options to choose from.
Shirts – Up to $10
There are lots of options when it comes to shirts. You can get Linux shirts at pretty much any online marketplace (Amazon, AliExpress, Zazzle, Redbubble, Etsy, eBay) or even specialized shirt stores. The photo above is from a shirt at GearBubble. But there are A LOT more options at Amazon. Some Linux distros officially sell their own shirts (through a partner), so if you know what distro the person that’s getting the gift is using, you can check the official website of the distro and see if they sell their own shirts. That way, you’ll also support the distro. The average price of shirts is about $10. There are cheaper and more expensive ones depending on the quality, style, and the store selling them. There are “serious” Linux shirts (with logos), and there are jokey/meme shirts. You need to choose the best option based on the occasion and the person that receives the gift, but a shirt is a great idea for a gift.
Mugs/cups – $10
Again, like shirts, there are thousands of options for coffee mugs/cups. You can get them at any online marketplace or store. Amazon, AliExpress, Redbubble, Zazzle, GearBubble, etc. The photo above is from GearBubble, where you can add your custom text along with the Linux mascot Tux. It costs $12, although the price may be cheaper or more expensive at other places. This one is a great idea for a gift because you can customize the text. You can add something like “WORLD’S BEST [DISTRO] USER”, or “I USE [DISTRO] BTW”, or just the person’s name.
Books – $1-$30
Books are a great gift, even if the person you’re buying them for doesn’t read books. They’re a great way to learn Linux. Most Linux books are meant for learning anyway, they are not stories or fiction, which is why someone doesn’t have to be an avid book reader to read a good Linux book. Books also come in different formats, including e-books, it doesn’t have to be a physical copy. You can check the best Linux books here. E-books are cheaper than physical copies (some are $1). Audiobooks are also available. The physical copies are more expensive, but if you get them in a bundle, they’re cheaper.
There are other fun ideas to consider as Linux gifts, such as:
- Phone cases
There are lots of Linux-related designs available, and they fit into the low-budget/cheap category.
Best Midrange Gifts for Linux Users
We’re now getting in the mid-budget territory, where gifts can go up to $100. You’ll get more options here, and some more quality gifts.
USB Flash Drives – $5-$100+
There are A LOT of options when it comes to USB flash drives, and the price varies depending on the capacity, type, and brand. This gift can go to both the low-budget and mid-budget categories, depending on what flash drive you get. Choosing the best flash drive is a whole different topic. You need to look out for the brand, capacity, USB type, speed, portability, etc. There are a lot of USB flash drives on Amazon. You can also get them at AliExpress, eBay, Walmart, BestBuy, or any other marketplace/store that sells tech. Depending on what you’re looking for, a flash drive of 1TB may be overkill, but a flash drive of 32GB may be too small. This all depends on what you think they will use the drive for. It’s a great gift for a Linux user, especially if they are a distro hopper. A flash drive always comes in handy for installing or testing out new Linux distros. A flash drive with 32GB capacity should be fine for installing and testing most Linux distros. A bonus tip, if you are tech-savvy, would be to install Ventoy on the flash drive and set up multiple Linux distros to be ready to be installed or tested. Even if they are not a distro hopper, the drive will still come in handy.
Raspberry Pi – $35+
Raspberry Pi are small computers that you can customize and basically add stuff to. By “adding stuff” like storage and RAM, the price can go up. There are base models, and complete, already set-up kits. You can check their official website for more info. This is a great idea for a Linux gift because of its modularity and customizability. Most Linux distros can easily run on a Raspberry Pi, especially the lightweight distros.
External drive – $50-$150
External drives, similarly to USB flash drives, differ a lot. They come in different types (SSD, HDD), different capacities, different connectors, and different brands. You need to be careful when choosing an external drive. Check the reviews, check the brand, the type of connection, speeds, capacity, etc. An external drive is super-useful for Linux users. For installing and testing distros, as well as dual-booting Windows and Linux. An external drive can come with a USB cable connector, which essentially makes it very similar to a USB flash drive, but the external drive is much more durable, stable, faster, and better as compared to a USB flash drive. Again, like any other tech, there are a lot of external drive options at Amazon, but you can also get them at eBay, AliExpress, Walmart, BestBuy, and pretty much any store or marketplace that sells tech.
Mini PCs – $200-$1000
Similarly to Raspberry Pi, there are other mini PC options you can buy. Mini PCs are already set up and ready to use, as opposed to a Pi which would require more manual work (if you’re not buying the already set-up Kit). There are specialized Linux mini PCs that come pre-installed and set up with a Linux distro of your choice, like Byte from Star Labs. You can find other mini PCs at Amazon or other companies that sell Linux hardware. We’ll do a detailed comparison and roundup of Linux mini PCs soon, so stay tuned for that. For now, we can recommend Byte – it’s all set up and ready to use with Linux and a perfect gift for a Linux user. The price varies a lot depending on what you’re buying. The brand and the hardware itself make up most of the price. The more bleeding-edge hardware, the more expensive. This gift can also go into the expensive category if you wanna get the best of the best.
Other products worth mentioning that fit in this budget:
- Computer mice
- Water bottles
- Authentication keys
Lots of Linux designs are available online.
Best Expensive Gifts for Linux Users
This is the most expensive category of gifts. It will mainly be specialized Linux hardware.
Laptops – $500-$2000+
Laptops are a great gift for anyone, but for Linux users, a perfect gift would be a laptop with a Linux distro pre-installed. Or any laptop that’s compatible with a Linux distro. We have a detailed guide and comparison of the best Linux laptops here. The image above is from Star Lite – a portable, compact Linux laptop worth $479. But the price of a laptop depends on the size, brand, hardware, and more. Laptops can go up to $3K. The most expensive laptop in our guide is $2,212.54
Phones – $150-$1200+
Before deciding to buy a Linux phone as a gift – make sure the person you’re buying it for is a true Linux enthusiast. Linux phones are not meant to be used as daily drivers yet. However, they are super fun to test and play with as a Linux user. We have a detailed guide for Linux phones here. The phone from the image above is a PinePhone, but there are other options too. None of them are recommended as a daily driver though, so, again, be careful. This phone is not meant as a replacement for an Android or iPhone that you’re using on a daily basis. Technically, you can use a Linux phone as a daily driver, but it has its drawbacks.
Tablets – $100-$600
Linux tablets are a great gift for Linux users too. They are fun, and great to experiment with. We have a detailed guide for Linux tablets here. The tablet in the photo above is a RasPad and it costs $349.
Other expensive gifts that would be great for a Linux user:
- A whole PC, or just some hardware that can be added to a PC (like RAM, storage)
That’s the gist of the gift ideas I had. You can buy pretty much any hardware, gadgets, or tech for a Linux user and it will be a good fit.
Now let’s move on to occasions/holidays.
Best Christmas Gifts for Linux Users
Again, any gift from above can be a good Christmas gift as well, but some special Christmas-themed gifts would be perfect for Linux users:
Tux Christmas ornament – $10
Great gift for Christmas. This ornament is available at GearBubble for $10.
Tux cookie cutter – $7.90
This is a great gift if you give the cookie cutter itself, but you can also get the cookie cutter yourself, and make Tux cookies as a gift. This cookie cutter is available on Etsy.
Merry Christmas Linux Mug – $10
We already included a Mug in a different category, but this is also worth a mention. A nice “Merry Christmas” mug that’s only $10. Available at GearBubble.
Best Gifts for Linux Users for Valentine’s Day
Like any other holiday or occasion, all of the gifts from this post will fit for Valentine’s day too. However, there is a special Linux gift you can get for Valentine’s Day:
Tux Plush – ~$16
Instead of getting the cliche teddy bear for Valentine’s Day as a gift, you can get a plush Tux at TUXEDO Computers.
Best Birthday Gifts for Linux Users
All of the gifts in this post are a great fit for a birthday, however, it may be a good idea to order or make a custom birthday cake. Here’s one random idea from Pinterest:
If the product allows it (like some of the products we recommended in this post), you can also add a custom message saying “Happy Birthday” or something like that. For example, the Mug we recommended is customizable with a custom message.
Best Gifts for a Long-Distance Boyfriend/Girlfriend That Uses Linux
This is a special category of “virtual” gifts or gifts you can give and send online. Again, you can just buy any physical product and send it over to them, or ship it directly to them when buying it. Aside from a gift card, you can also get these gifts to your long-distance friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, or whoever else online.
Servers – $5+ per month
If you know that the person can use it, you can get a pretty cheap VPS (like $5 per month). It’s fun to experiment with, it’s fun to learn stuff with, and a Linux VPS is a great gift. We compared the best Linux VPS providers here.
We already included books in our recommendations, but don’t forget that e-books and audiobooks can be sent and given virtually.
There are lots of Linux courses that are paid (not free), so if the person you’re buying this for is a beginner and wants to learn Linux, a course is a great fit idea. We recommended some courses in our where to learn Linux article, but there are a lot more available online.
If the person you’re buying a gift for is a gamer, this would be a perfect virtual gift to give. There are lots of games that are compatible with Linux.
And that’s about it. We included pretty much all gift ideas. You can easily find a great gift that fits your budget and occasion.
Most of these gifts are specialized Linux gifts, not general gifts
Every product or service we recommended here is directly related to Linux, so these are all niche gifts. You can, of course, get a “general” gift like a bike, a toaster, or whatever you have in mind, and it still could be a great gift for a Linux user.
Other developer or “nerd” gifts would also be a good fit for Linux users
If you come across other gift ideas online that are meant for developers, nerds, programmers, or sysadmins, those gifts would also be a great fit for Linux users. Most technology, gadgets, and hardware are good gifts for a Linux user, the chances are very high that they are interested in those types of gifts.
The pricing of a gift doesn’t affect how good the gift is
A cheap $1 gift can be just as good as a $1000 gift – but this is a whole different topic. The point is that the gift should be special and meaningful to the one you’re giving it to. So make sure to choose the right gift for the person you’re buying this for. Don’t decide on a gift just on the price alone, consider the person’s likes, hobbies, goals, and other Linux-specific interests.