Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 1st May 2007 13:08 UTC, submitted by Jack
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu After yesterday's unconfirmed rumour about Ubuntu being pre-installed on Dell machines, it has now become official. In a joint statement released today, Dell and Canonical announced that Dell will now offer laptops and desktop computers pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux 7.04. The computers will be sold via Dell's web site, said Canonical's director of operations Jane Silber. "We have worked with Dell to get Ubuntu fully supported and fully certified on Dell hardware," she said. "Ubuntu has the full endorsement of Dell." Update: Ubuntu Linux 7.04 Feisty Fawn review by Extremetech.
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mgajda
Member since:
2006-07-20

...my next laptop will be DELL!!!

Wait, they don't plan to support Latitude series yet :-(.
[And I need a small laptop.]

Edited 2007-05-01 13:29

Reply Score: 5

Stock Member since:
2005-08-31

There are other, smaller, companies out there selling 100% Linux compatible laptops. Would you not consider buying from them?

Even the company I work for is going to be selling a 13.3" Widescreen, Dual Core laptop as soon as the stock arrives and we don't even deal with Windows so MS never get a penny from us.

I'm not allowed to link the website as it's being redesigned at the moment, and I wouldn't want to seem to be blatantly self advertising. Anyone interested can e-mail me for details though.

Reply Score: 4

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Same problem tho... those small companies don't tend to offer small laptops....

(and by small I mean under 2kg/4.5lbs)

Edited 2007-05-01 16:36 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Stock Member since:
2005-08-31

My company is in the U.K. but I think we can ship to most of Europe as well. The laptop I've been testing for Linux compatibility today only weighs 2.1Kgs and is fully loaded and (so far) fully compatible.

So I can say there are some small vendors out there trying hard to bring these things to market.

My E-mail address is in my profile if anyone wants details.

Reply Score: 5

kajaman Member since:
2006-01-06

Yeah... I will buy one too when they release Latitude with Ubuntu ;) ... and install Debian imediately ;)

Reply Score: 2

training time !
by coachz on Tue 1st May 2007 13:27 UTC
coachz
Member since:
2006-12-12

Now DELL support just has to learn what a Linux looks like! http://tinyurl.com/328qzj or http://www.engadget.com/media/2006/06/toastylappy.jpg

Edited 2007-05-01 13:28 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: training time !
by Fennec_Fox on Tue 1st May 2007 13:38 UTC in reply to "training time !"
Fennec_Fox Member since:
2006-10-30

I think that the idea behind this move is to offer those who want it an alternative to Windows on a brand name computer... However, with appropriate "caveat emptor" - you better know what you are doing... Either way, I think it's a great thing - with all the shortcomings it actually offers you CHOICE :o).

Reply Score: 4

We shall see
by Devilotx on Tue 1st May 2007 13:32 UTC
Devilotx
Member since:
2005-07-06

if it will be like the "N" series, where the exact same computer with windows was 100 bucks cheaper AND it came with an LCD monitor.

the main thing for me is seeing some sort of palpable savings on the windows/linux front, I'm not looking to see a huge difference in cost, but $40 - $50 bucks would be reasonable.

Reply Score: 4

RE: We shall see
by Lu-Tze on Tue 1st May 2007 14:13 UTC in reply to "We shall see"
Lu-Tze Member since:
2006-01-10

I doubt it will be that much cheaper. As has been reported many times previously, the OEM rate for Windows is very low and most or all of it is offset by the "crapware" loaded on it. If you add to this the investment they have to put in in testing and altering hardware, training people for the linux install, it will possibly be more expensive (at least initially). But there are two optimistic scenarios (a) they decide not to pass everything onto the consumer and just treat their costs as an investment to get into a new market (b) they might find crapware to install on these machines just like any Windows machine e.g. something like the Google pack deal or Real Player should be happy to get on. Which means some of us might have to spend some time getting rid of junk but at least we will get cheaper machines.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: We shall see
by JCooper on Tue 1st May 2007 14:22 UTC in reply to "RE: We shall see"
JCooper Member since:
2005-07-06

At least the hardware will be certified, so (in theory) booting from a fresh Feisty install CD will leave you with a "crapware" free install, with 100% working hardware ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: We shall see
by wirespot on Wed 2nd May 2007 09:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: We shall see"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Ah, but don't count your chickens before they've hatched. We shall have to see about that. I don't see what would stop Dell from including crapware on a Linux laptop.

Which brings us to an even more interesting point: the possibility of introducing spyware and crapware to Linux for the first time, on a big scale. It could bomb in many various ways. Consider the fact there's currently no anti-spyware tool for Linux; I don't WANT there to be even a need for such a tool, ever, but you just watch various nay-sayers scream about how Linux is just so "insecure" over it.

Edited 2007-05-02 09:46

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: We shall see
by tweakedenigma on Tue 1st May 2007 14:25 UTC in reply to "RE: We shall see"
tweakedenigma Member since:
2006-12-27

That might not be a bad thing one thing I see in the Ubuntu forums a lot is how do I install real player. aslong as the pick useful crapware I dont mine so much.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: We shall see
by butters on Tue 1st May 2007 17:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: We shall see"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

That's actually a very good point. If the crapware is proprietary codecs, drivers, and players, then it might actually enhance the OOTB experience for Windows refugees.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: We shall see
by wirespot on Wed 2nd May 2007 09:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: We shall see"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

If it was useful in any way it wouldn't have been called "crapware". It was crap on Windows and it will be crap on Linux.

Reply Score: 1

RE: We shall see
by rm6990 on Wed 2nd May 2007 01:17 UTC in reply to "We shall see"
rm6990 Member since:
2005-07-04

Why exactly would the Linux option be cheaper when Dell makes a profit from the programs that come pre-installed on their systems, and they also have to add further steps into their manufacturing process and testing process to support and preinstall Linux? I don't see K3B, OpenOffice.org, etc etc paying Dell the money that companies like Symantec, Real Networks, etc etc pay Dell.

I'd actually be surprised if the Linux option was cheaper. Would be nice though.

Reply Score: 3

Great news
by unoengborg on Tue 1st May 2007 13:34 UTC
unoengborg
Member since:
2005-07-06

Ubuntu is a very popular desktop Linux flavor, and that should make it easy for Dell to sell their boxes. Let's hope they don't add too many closed source drivers to handle Dell specific hardware, if they don't it will be easy to install any modern Linux on these boxes.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Great news
by kaiwai on Tue 1st May 2007 15:27 UTC in reply to "Great news"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Ubuntu is a very popular desktop Linux flavor, and that should make it easy for Dell to sell their boxes. Let's hope they don't add too many closed source drivers to handle Dell specific hardware, if they don't it will be easy to install any modern Linux on these boxes.


I doubt that they would include many closed source drivers - more testing which means more costs on them. If they dumped this laptop in the form of a desktop, the only closed source driver required would be Nvidia.

Assuming they stick with Intel/Nvidia - they shouldn't have too many problems; problems only start to occur when they go off and start using gear from the likes of Broadcom who steadfast refuse to provide an open source driver or specifications for writing a driver.

When you're a company pushing 20million units per quarter, you're in a good position to start saying "no, we're not going to purchase your hardware, you refuse to provide specifications to Linux maintainers, there fore, we refuse to purchase your hardware - we refuse to use it on either Linux or Windows machines".

When hardware companies like HP/Compaq and Dell start to put down their foot, pay an extra 30cents for their component(s) in favour of components which are fully open sourced supported - and provide specifications for those who ask.

Believe me, if I was a component company, and there was an exclusive contract with Dell and/or HP/Compaq, and all I had to do is open up my specifications so that all operating systems could support it, I'd say thats a pretty damn small price to pay so that I can sell 80million units per year to Dell alone.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Great news
by archiesteel on Tue 1st May 2007 18:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Great news"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Assuming they stick with Intel/Nvidia - they shouldn't have too many problems; problems only start to occur when they go off and start using gear from the likes of Broadcom who steadfast refuse to provide an open source driver or specifications for writing a driver.


Just a quick note: many of the Broadcom drivers are now supported in Feisty Fawn. My laptop's Broadcom 4319 card words flawlessly now - no more need for Driverloader. Yay!

We can only imagine that Dell will pre-configure these so that they are ready OOTB (or right after first boot, to make sure the kernel isn't distributed with pre-linked closed-source drivers).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Great news
by DigitalAxis on Tue 1st May 2007 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Great news"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

I'm sure that's what "we have worked with Dell to get Ubuntu fully supported and fully certified on Dell Hardware" means.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Great news
by kaiwai on Tue 1st May 2007 20:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Great news"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Just a quick note: many of the Broadcom drivers are now supported in Feisty Fawn. My laptop's Broadcom 4319 card words flawlessly now - no more need for Driverloader. Yay!


But it is a driver that has been developed via trial and error; I don't want to put down the huge amount of work done, but I really can't sleep in bed straight knowing that a piece of equipment I rely on was developed via that process.

Why is it important? because what happens when something goes wrong, and maintenance needs to be done, the specifications aren' there, and broadcom aren't providing any engineering help to track down those issues - atleast in the case of the ipw3945 (and its replacement), it has been developed by Intel, fully opensourced and documented (hence we have 3945 support on other platforms).

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Great news
by archiesteel on Tue 1st May 2007 20:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Great news"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Don't get me wrong, I much prefer when the OEM provides their own open-source driver. That said, so far the updated bcm43xx driver has worked flawlessly for me. Apparently, it incorporates some work done by the Apple engineers (in any case, there is a ieee80211-softmac driver also loaded at the same time that is linked to it).

I agree with you, it's not the best situation, but if the driver *is* stable, then it's certainly better than nothing! ;-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Great news
by kaiwai on Tue 1st May 2007 21:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Great news"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree with you, it's not the best situation, but if the driver *is* stable, then it's certainly better than nothing! ;-)


What I find most disappointing, however, is the fact that Broadcom released an opensource driver for their Gigabit Ethernet and yet refused to do likewise for their wireless.

Unfortunately, however, I think that the biggest issue with the driver is this; we end up supporting, via the purchasing of their hardware, their anti-opensource stance, further intrenching their stubborness.

The only way as a community that we can send a clear message to vendors it via using our, be it limited, purchasing power to influence these vendors to change their minds - refuse to purchase their hardware, and when family members come for advice, point them to companies who support equally *NIX and Windows.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Great news
by archiesteel on Tue 1st May 2007 21:48 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Great news"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

True. The problem with Wireless is that you're often stuck with what's available in laptops...it's a hard choice not to buy a particular laptop (which may otherwise fit your needs perfectly) because the OEM has gone with a Broadcom card... ;)

Reply Score: 3

BREAKING NEWS:
by edwardyawn on Tue 1st May 2007 13:35 UTC
edwardyawn
Member since:
2006-11-08

This just in: Bill Gates (of Hell) strongly condemns Dell's decision. Microsoft to consider legal action against Dell, unless Dell immediately ceases all Linux operations. Microsoft founder Bill Gates reached by phone issued the following statement: "I am deeply saddened to hear the news about Dell's decision to offer computers with pre-installed Linux systems. We at Microsoft feel they set a bad example to the young generation of PC users who are eager to learn about the beautiful Windows OS. Unless Dell immediately stops the sale of computers with Linux, we will be forced to sue."

Reply Score: 2

v RE: BREAKING NEWS:
by mabhatter on Tue 1st May 2007 14:22 UTC in reply to "BREAKING NEWS:"
RE: BREAKING NEWS:
by brewmastre on Tue 1st May 2007 14:22 UTC in reply to "BREAKING NEWS:"
brewmastre Member since:
2006-08-01

This just in: Bill Gates (of Hell) strongly condemns Dell's decision. Microsoft to consider legal action against Dell, unless Dell immediately ceases all Linux operations. Microsoft founder Bill Gates reached by phone issued the following statement: "I am deeply saddened to hear the news about Dell's decision to offer computers with pre-installed Linux systems. We at Microsoft feel they set a bad example to the young generation of PC users who are eager to learn about the beautiful Windows OS. Unless Dell immediately stops the sale of computers with Linux, we will be forced to sue."


I'll admit, that this comment is a little off topic, but why are people modding the the guy down? I think the comment is quite funny ;)

On an article related note though, I think that this will be a great deal for everyone involved. I personally use a work-provided notebook and Linux runs beautifully on it, but taking it a step further to ensure that Ubuntu will run correctly and certifying it is good news too. Hey, maybe this will mark the return of Dell. I hope so for their sake.

Reply Score: 3

RE: BREAKING NEWS:
by ebasconp on Tue 1st May 2007 17:10 UTC in reply to "BREAKING NEWS:"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Come on! mod up this guy!

He is not insulting anyone and his comment is very funny.... (I would say his comment has a lot of fun, and a lot of truth).

Reply Score: 2

v RE[2]: BREAKING NEWS:
by Shannara on Tue 1st May 2007 20:39 UTC in reply to "RE: BREAKING NEWS:"
RE: BREAKING NEWS:
by Johnbon on Tue 1st May 2007 17:29 UTC in reply to "BREAKING NEWS:"
Johnbon Member since:
2007-04-14

I will be more likely to buy a computer with linux preinstalled than one with windows ... if only to support dell's cool decision and to support what they are doing .. a big thumbs up from me for dell .. and for ubuntu .. as well off course .. dell pcs preloaded with ubuntu feisty and even more the updates after it will rock this world .. way to go .. dell ...

vista sucks .. why reinvent the wheel .. when it is already there .. and when reinventing do it good .. take a look at ubuntu .. way to go guys ...

ok lol enough for now ..

cheers,

Johnbon

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: BREAKING NEWS:
by apoclypse on Tue 1st May 2007 17:44 UTC in reply to "RE: BREAKING NEWS:"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

the same for me. I'm one of those that likes to build their own pc, but I'm perfectly willing to buy a dell laptop. I was(am) going to buy a macbook when the newer models drop because I wan to focus on music production, which frankly Linux is awful at atm. I can always get a laptop from dell and scrap my plans on building my next pc for the moment. I no longer get as excited over building pc's as I used to be and rather have something thats functional instead of the fastest thing out there.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: BREAKING NEWS:
by archiesteel on Tue 1st May 2007 18:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: BREAKING NEWS:"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Ditto here. If this lives up to the hype my next laptop will be a Dell.

Reply Score: 3

RE: BREAKING NEWS:
by melkor on Fri 4th May 2007 03:47 UTC in reply to "BREAKING NEWS:"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

Whilst this is a humourous take on things, Microsoft will probably try and muscle in and do dirty deals in the background to either stop this from happening, or minimise its effect on Windows sales. Microsoft is after all, a known, convicted monopolist in several countries now.

Good work Ubuntu, and good work Dell. Pity that Dell hardware is so shabby imho - if it was quality gear, I'd be tempted.

Dave

Reply Score: 1

interesting
by netpython on Tue 1st May 2007 13:41 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

Interesting.My next laptop will be dell for sure..

Reply Score: 4

Not only Dell
by unoengborg on Tue 1st May 2007 13:48 UTC
unoengborg
Member since:
2005-07-06

It seams that Toshiba in Italy are considering shipping boxes with Linux to cut prices. See:

http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS9644921792.html

Nothing is said on what OS these boxes would use, it would be nice if it was Ubuntu though.

Reply Score: 2

Too early
by cleenwe on Tue 1st May 2007 13:50 UTC
cleenwe
Member since:
2007-05-01

On the positive, it should now be able to buy a PC from a major manufacturer without paying the Windows tax.
On the negative, it's too early. Don't get me wrong, Ubuntu is nice (haven't tried 7.04 yet, but even the previous version were nice), but not easy enough for regular computer users. I've read the reviews and 7.04 is better than the previous versions (for instance warning you that you don't have the right codecs to play dvd video, and offering the chance to download them), but still inadequate (doesn't play dvd's after installing the codecs, because of the deccs problem). I'm not saying the problems aren't understandable due to the legal situation of such things, but that one can't expect the windows users to just install and play, which is what they expect.
Since this is Dell, I'd expect at least some Windows users to try it, and when they are disappointed that it doesn't work out of the box,they will switch back to Windows and tell bad stories about their linux experience.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Too early
by Maners on Tue 1st May 2007 14:07 UTC in reply to "Too early"
Maners Member since:
2005-07-26

I guess that Ubuntu will be pre-configured by Dell so no hardware problems should occur and codecs will most likely be pre-installed too (the ones from Fluendo which are legal in US).

Reply Score: 5

RE: Too early
by baadger on Tue 1st May 2007 14:37 UTC in reply to "Too early"
baadger Member since:
2006-08-29

In all fairness, Ubuntu will play more video and audio formats out the box than Windows will. None of the OEM machines i've ever bought will play MPEG-4 video or H.264 for example, and they usually ship with the nasty Real and Quicktime players and an ancient and crappy DVD decoder like WinDVD v5.

These days on all friend and family OEM bought Windows PC's I install Real and Quicktime Alternative, remove their offical counterparts, install Haali's Media Splitter (For ogm, mkv and mp4 playback) and the latest copy of ffdshow [for MPEG-4, MPEG-2 (DVD) and H.264 playback]

Reply Score: 5

RE: Too early
by kadymae on Tue 1st May 2007 17:59 UTC in reply to "Too early"
kadymae Member since:
2005-08-02

On the positive, it should now be able to buy a PC from a major manufacturer without paying the Windows tax.

Don't bet on it. I've yet to see a major manufacturer sell a Linux pre-installed machine cheaper than a Windows one.

I remember last year when Lenovo said that they'd be selling SUSE (IIRC) preinstalled on a line of laptops. The cheapest configuration was about $2700 -- same price as the Windows version.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Too early
by archiesteel on Tue 1st May 2007 18:22 UTC in reply to "Too early"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

I'm not saying the problems aren't understandable due to the legal situation of such things, but that one can't expect the windows users to just install and play, which is what they expect.


I think you missed the part where it says that Ubuntu will be pre-installed on these Dell PCs. That should take care of the codecs and decss issues, as well as those of proprietary drivers (as long as the latter are actually installed when the *user* first boots the computer, in order to comply with the GPL).

Reply Score: 5

RE: Too early
by thecwin on Tue 1st May 2007 20:02 UTC in reply to "Too early"
thecwin Member since:
2006-01-04

Are you aware that a plain non-OEM Windows install will not play DVDs either? It's the computer manufacturer's responsibility to bundle a codec, and I would imagine that Dell will do so for Ubuntu too.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Too early
by DrillSgt on Tue 1st May 2007 20:22 UTC in reply to "Too early"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"....but still inadequate (doesn't play dvd's after installing the codecs, because of the deccs problem)."

Well, since this will be a commercial offering, there is nothing saying that Dell can not provide the decss and hopefully take care of the licensing of it for distribution. Could be easily done by including it on a CD separate from the Linux discs, with instructions to run the CD after you set the machine up.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Too early
by rm6990 on Wed 2nd May 2007 01:20 UTC in reply to "Too early"
rm6990 Member since:
2005-07-04

You would actually pay more for the laptop (it will likely be more expensive than the Windows option due to lack of crapware) just so money doesn't go to Microsoft? I mean...I know we all hate Microsoft and all, but give me a break.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Too early
by Supreme Dragon on Wed 2nd May 2007 04:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Too early"
Supreme Dragon Member since:
2007-03-04

"it will likely be more expensive than the Windows option due to lack of crapware"

You think "crapware" pays the entire cost of Vista? Ubuntu is free, it should cost less, not more, even without the "crapware".

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Too early
by diskinetic on Thu 3rd May 2007 17:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Too early"
diskinetic Member since:
2005-12-09

"You would actually pay more for the laptop (it will likely be more expensive than the Windows option due to lack of crapware) just so money doesn't go to Microsoft?"

Within reason, yes. To be utterly honest, it's not just keeping money away from Microsoft (because, really, how much can it hurt them at this point?), but its also about making Microsoft behave more reasonably in the marketplace. They aren't THE pit of evil, they've just had it their way long enough, as far as I'm concerned.

Edited 2007-05-03 18:02

Reply Score: 2

Aero vs Beryl
by islander on Tue 1st May 2007 13:51 UTC
islander
Member since:
2007-04-11

What will be interesting are the benchmarks that will be coming out comparing a Vista Dell to an Ubuntu Dell.

Reply Score: 3

How bout support?
by anduril on Tue 1st May 2007 13:51 UTC
anduril
Member since:
2005-11-11

Its nice that Dell's going to be offering Ubuntu on their systems but I can't imagine how bad the support is going to be. Windows XP is atleast relatively simple to support/manage, and the users atleast generally understand where somethings located.

Having someone who barely speaks english trying to walk you through mucking about in the command line attempting to edit a config file for something that got blown away? Ugh.

Reply Score: 2

RE: How bout support?
by fretinator on Tue 1st May 2007 13:57 UTC in reply to "How bout support?"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

If I understand correctly, the support will come from Canonical. I think that is a great idea. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. Personally, I just hope Canonical and Dell both make money on it, so others will join in.

On a more serious note, I have to figure out how to convince my wife I need a new laptop!

Reply Score: 4

RE: How bout support?
by wyth on Tue 1st May 2007 14:21 UTC in reply to "How bout support?"
wyth Member since:
2005-12-28

But everyone who uses a Windows machine had to once learn where everything was. (And to be honest, the vast majority of avergage users are still just barely cognizant of My Documents, let alone Program Files, system32 and the registry).

My sense is that at first it'll only be people in the know adopting, and eventually their friends/family that those with some knowledge tend to support anyway. Businesses (and it'll start with small business) will lag behind, unless they get some deals from Dell. If it takes, within a couple years there will be a good chunk of people who understand /usr/share as well as they might have C:/Program Files.

So -- is 2007 the year of the Linux Desktop?

Reply Score: 5

RE: How bout support?
by macisaac on Tue 1st May 2007 16:40 UTC in reply to "How bout support?"
macisaac Member since:
2005-08-28

Actually, when I used to do Linux support as a contractor for Sun, I used to hear some of the guys in the cubicles near us who did Windows support for another company.

I'd _MUCH_ rather do phone support for Linux than for Windows. "Ok sir, right click on My Computer and check for properties" "Click on your computer? How'm I supposed to do that??" ugh...

At least with a Linux install there's some chance that the tech might just say, ok, open a terminal, type ifconfig and tell me what number you see. [tech then proceeds to ssh in and fix problem]. And yes, asking the user for their password is fairly normal in this type of support, at least in my experience.

At the very least, it can be easier to just tell folks what to type in letter for letter than it is to have them clicking all around a graphical environment.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: How bout support?
by butters on Tue 1st May 2007 18:30 UTC in reply to "RE: How bout support?"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Agreed 100%. I am so much happier supporting my computer illiterate family members on Linux than I was supporting them on Windows or even MacOSX. I can usually ssh and fix their problems remotely, and even in the worst possible case, when the problem is no networking, it is easier to spell out commands than to tell them to click on things and then tell me what they see. People are so bad at describing their options on a GUI dialog. The most difficult over-the-phone terminal support issue I encounter is explaining that the "vertical bar" is above the enter key while holding shift.

More importantly, I just don't get many calls anymore. My family's computers keep humming along, reading their gmail, importing their photos, and servicing themselves automatically. In a few weeks, to avoid the initial release hiccups, I'll do a round of calls to update them to all to Feisty. It really doesn't need to get that much easier, but it will anyway.

Reply Score: 4

RE: How bout support?
by wirespot on Wed 2nd May 2007 11:12 UTC in reply to "How bout support?"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Windows XP is atleast relatively simple to support/manage, and the users atleast generally understand where somethings located.

Oh yeah. I can give you off the top of my head a few examples of problems with XP that will curl your toes. The kind of problems that appear from nowhere, affect only one of several identical machines for no apparent reason and give you only cryptic error messages to work with (IF you know where to look for them). And no fix in sight short of a complete reinstall.

Please. There's plenty of potential obscurity in both Linux and Windows desktop environments, if the going gets tought. At least in Linux there is a config file you can fix by hand.

Reply Score: 2

I'd like to know
by SlackerJack on Tue 1st May 2007 13:55 UTC
SlackerJack
Member since:
2005-11-12

What are they going to change about the desktop, a bit of branding never hurt anyone I just hope Dell dont start putting crap on like they do Windows machines.

I also hope as well that any new drivers get put in upstream kernel, so Dell machines are the best support for Linux, HP do it as well but I dont know enought about that.

I'd buy HP printers because they support Linux, I will be recommending Dell if all goes well with this.

Edited 2007-05-01 13:56

Reply Score: 5

Just to make it official
by fretinator on Tue 1st May 2007 13:59 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

2007, the Year of the Linux Desktop.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Just to make it official
by REM2000 on Tue 1st May 2007 14:07 UTC in reply to "Just to make it official"
REM2000 Member since:
2006-07-25

i agree, now that the biggest supplier of desktop computers has choosen to supply Linux (ubuntu) surely this heralds the year that linux finally broke into the desktop market in a big way.

Im please with this news as competition helps the consumer and forces companies to start innovating again.

I would also like to see more hardware in PCworld certified for linux (perhaps not all, but the major distros such as ubuntu, redhat (fedora) and suse).

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Just to make it official
by superstoned on Tue 1st May 2007 14:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Just to make it official"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

well, HP just became larger than DELL, but HP's linux support has always been better than DELL's, so that doesn't change the fact this is a great thing ;)

I wish they would offer Kubuntu, though, as it's easier for ex-windows-users to get used to, and more efficient in use (if you're a moderate-or-more user, let's say more than 2 hours a day).

Reply Score: 5

hibridmatthias Member since:
2007-04-11

Superstoned may be an apropo name...

HPs support for linux is horrible as a desktop. Their website first said their nx6325 (and other machines) would be available with Linux installed, then they said they were compatible; I bought one, and the damn wireless card and ATI card still aren't supported well. Not that I am afraid of hacking to get stuff working, but their support for LINUX is ATROCIOUS!!

I called to order it and they acted as if they have never heard of Linux before.

There were also BIOS/fan issues that caused their NX6325 to overheat up! I know! It happened to me! They did set rebuild the machine, update the BIOS,and send it back free so that the problem didnt happen again, but THAT SHOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED IN THE FIRST PLACE, especially WHEN YOU ARE RELEASING A PRESS STATEMENT SAYING THAT YOU ARE SELLING LINUX COMPATABLE MACHINES!

HP. I love their hardware, but their support for desktop Linux users is pathetic.

Edited 2007-05-01 16:00

Reply Score: 2

superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

there are clearly differences between departments within HP, in regard to Linux support. Their printers are top-notch, and they've been supporting linux on servers for quite some time. I dunno much about the desktop, but clearly, it leaves room for improvement ;-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Just to make it official
by stestagg on Wed 2nd May 2007 08:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just to make it official"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Unfortunately, for most normal people, KDE just looks too horrible OOTB to be taken seriously. The benefit of Gnome is that it looks much more professionally designed.

Reply Score: 1

superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

luckily, for most normal people, KDE looks a bit more like a modern Windows than gnome, and doesn't have the depressing colors. Gnome just has bigger buttons which use more space.

My point is - looks don't matter, and even if they did - it'd be pro KDE. It's way too personal anyway. Most ppl I see don't like the gnome look (depressing, they say).

Personally, I like the orange Ubuntu look better than the Kubuntu look, though the latter is much more usefull on a small laptop screen (Gnome can barely fit 3 buttons in there).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Just to make it official
by rm6990 on Wed 2nd May 2007 01:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Just to make it official"
rm6990 Member since:
2005-07-04

i agree, now that the biggest supplier of desktop computers has choosen to supply Linux (ubuntu) surely this heralds the year that linux finally broke into the desktop market in a big way.


Dell is no longer the top seller of computers. HP snatched that spot away a while ago. They are still #2 though.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Just to make it official
by dimosd on Tue 1st May 2007 14:23 UTC in reply to "Just to make it official"
dimosd Member since:
2006-02-10

>2007, the Year of the Linux Desktop.

I remember when I first heard that. I still had all my hair.

Reply Score: 5

fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

>2007, the Year of the Linux Desktop. I remember when I first heard that. I still had all my hair.


And I weighed about 50 pounds less!

I meant it as a joke (I always forget to put the smiley!), however, it would be nice if this was the start of a snowball effect for Linux. I especially hope schools jump on the bandwagon.

But, since I'm playing the part of a slashdotter here:

"All your Buntus are belong to Us"

There, I'm done!

Reply Score: 5

MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

>>2007, the Year of the Linux Desktop.

>I remember when I first heard that. I still had all my hair.

Amazing that someone predicted 2007 so long ago*.

Seriously though, is it ready? In the last few years I've come to the conclusion that Linux is for me. I actually avail myself of the opportunity to change the software I use, and I appreciate the openness. At the same time it's become more obvious that it isn't for everyone.

Windows obviously isn't dead easy to use either, but at least when stuff goes wrong there's support from various hacks in your city or from the folks from whom you bought your computer. I guess if Dell offers some support for Ubuntu.. but then does it become too much of an expense for Dell?

That aside, some people will never get the console or understand Linux internals, but maybe the standard support line can be "reinstall!" as it so often is with Windows once the support call drags on over an hour. If Dell supported it, it would work as well for Linux as it would for Windows, as long as Canonical could avoid any more X11 breakage within their stable distro.

EDIT
*not to say it was very long ago you had hair, you jut seemed to be using that phrase to denote a longer period of time ;)

Edited 2007-05-01 15:20

Reply Score: 3

RE: Just to make it official
by wyth on Tue 1st May 2007 14:25 UTC in reply to "Just to make it official"
wyth Member since:
2005-12-28

Beat me to it!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Just to make it official
by binarycrusader on Tue 1st May 2007 19:38 UTC in reply to "Just to make it official"
binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

2007, the Year of the Linux Desktop.


How? It won't be the year of the Linux Desktop until major hardware manufacturers and Games support Linux "out of the box." So far that has only happened on a very small scale.

If you say it's because Dell is shipping Linux desktops, pish-posh. Bigger manufacturers than Dell have shipped fully supported Linux configurations before now.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Just to make it official
by jaylaa on Tue 1st May 2007 20:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Just to make it official"
jaylaa Member since:
2006-01-17

It won't be the year of the Linux Desktop until major hardware manufacturers and Games support Linux "out of the box." So far that has only happened on a very small scale.

Well it's never going to be the year of desktop Linux if the definition keeps changing. Dell selling pre-installed Ubuntu laptops, not to mention the general state that Linux is in, far surpasses the definition from just a few years ago. I suppose in a few years I'll be hearing "it will never be the year of desktop Linux until MS goes bankrupt"

Reply Score: 5

binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

Well it's never going to be the year of desktop Linux if the definition keeps changing.


My definition has never changed. Perhaps you mean other people's perception of what "Linux Desktop" means? Perhaps the problem itself is that "Linux Desktop" is a loaded term. What exactly, is a "Linux Desktop" might be a better question.

For me personally, it is not the year of the "Linux Desktop", despite the fact that I've been using GNU/Linux and UNIXes such *BSD, Solaris, etc. on my desktop for years and years now...

Reply Score: 3

In Michael Dell's Own Words?
by wyth on Tue 1st May 2007 14:29 UTC
wyth
Member since:
2005-12-28

Has Michael Dell written anything about his experience with Ubuntu? I'd like to see what his experience was, and how that experience made him decide supporting Linux was a wise move. I'd like to know what worked for him, what didn't, and what he found a Linux machine could do with his Dell hardware.

I'd be particularly interested in his take on Linux resource usage on a Dell machine vs. Windows (Vista and/or XP). I'm sure any Dell can do more with less on Linux than it can on Windows, but I want the convert's take, especially since he designed the hardware.

There's an underlying story here waiting to be told. If you have a link, please post away.

Reply Score: 5

RE: In Michael Dell's Own Words?
by timothyha on Tue 1st May 2007 14:33 UTC in reply to "In Michael Dell's Own Words?"
timothyha Member since:
2005-11-10

Cutting off some 50 USD of laptop price when you produce tens of thousands of pieces is a big commercial move.

Also they can rise a little on the Ubuntu hype and get popular among geeks :-)

I have a Compal-made Russian laptop and it's 100%-Linux compatible since Redhat 7.3. I could use all kinds of Fedoras and Ubuntus on my laptop without a problem. But our Russian laptop maker can't use Ubuntu's name to make a rise like Dell :-)

Reply Score: 2

Confirmation
by oxleyn on Tue 1st May 2007 14:38 UTC
oxleyn
Member since:
2005-10-04

I can confirm that Ubuntu 7.04 works very nicely on my Dell Latitude D620 :-)

I have had a Dell laptop in one form or another for the last 4 years now and can't really complain about being able to run most distro's I try on them.

I applaud Dell's decision.

Reply Score: 4

good start
by netpython on Tue 1st May 2007 14:47 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

Hopefully this is a good start to break the chicken egg problem and w'll see increasingly more commercial linux support.

Reply Score: 5

RE: good start
by apoclypse on Tue 1st May 2007 14:58 UTC in reply to "good start"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

Yeah, What we really need to attract users is more games. I'm not a huge gameer but there is no reason why a game company should only rely on one platform, especially these days. Games have become big business, and that renegade spirit that it once had is all but gone. Linux has the tools so that anyone can create something with enough time and effort, its about time we took game making back to those days where pretty graphics weren't an issue and gameplay was what it was all about.

PS: I dare ATI/AMD not to take out better drivers. With dell installing Ubuntu on their machines they will go with what works best, and thats nvidia or intel. ATi better shape up or they will get left out in the dust.

Reply Score: 2

Won't Sell Much
by Don T. Bothers on Tue 1st May 2007 14:53 UTC
Don T. Bothers
Member since:
2006-03-15

I like Linux but I seriously don't see how this will sell. On the one hand, you can buy a Linux system from Dell and save $30.00 at the most. If you are happy without having the option of ever using Windows, you now have saved $30.00. But if you ever want to dual boot or load up Windows, be prepared to pay $200.00 for a full retail version of Windows Vista Home. On the other hand, you can pay that $30.00 extra and legally own Windows Vista. You can nuke it, shrink and dual boot it, or whatever you want, but you will always have the OS in case you need it. And guess what, that Linux system you did not buy at Dell, you can actually download it for free and it won't cost you a thing.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Won't Sell Much
by fretinator on Tue 1st May 2007 15:03 UTC in reply to "Won't Sell Much"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

I like Linux but I seriously don't see how this will sell. On the one hand, you can buy a Linux system from Dell and save $30.00 at the most. If you are happy without having the option of ever using Windows, you now have saved $30.00. But if you ever want to dual boot or load up Windows, be prepared to pay $200.00 for a full retail version of Windows Vista Home. On the other hand, you can pay that $30.00 extra and legally own Windows Vista. You can nuke it, shrink and dual boot it, or whatever you want, but you will always have the OS in case you need it. And guess what, that Linux system you did not buy at Dell, you can actually download it for free and it won't cost you a thing.


#1. I would hope they also offer the dual-boot option which takes care of you Windows discount problem.

#2. Purchasing a pre-loaded Ubuntu laptop from Dell comes with _SUPPORT_. I for one would welcome a fully supported laptop with Ubuntu. I make money with my laptop, and if something goes wrong, I need a quick turn-a-round.

#3. I am so tired of the mentality of "I can get it for free". Remember Free is not free. I want Canonical to make money off of Ubuntu. That's how I get a better Ubuntu. So I'm willing to pay for it.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Won't Sell Much
by SlackerJack on Tue 1st May 2007 15:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Won't Sell Much"
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

Well they do make money, that why the offer Ubuntu LTS version.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Won't Sell Much
by fretinator on Tue 1st May 2007 16:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Won't Sell Much"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

Well they do make money, that why the offer Ubuntu LTS version.


I used 6.06 LTS for a whole year. It didn't require me to pay anymore than any other version. That was one of the points of the article. You can get paid support for any version, thus Feisty Fawn was chosen as the version Dell will sell.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Won't Sell Much
by elsewhere on Wed 2nd May 2007 14:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Won't Sell Much"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

#2. Purchasing a pre-loaded Ubuntu laptop from Dell comes with _SUPPORT_. I for one would welcome a fully supported laptop with Ubuntu. I make money with my laptop, and if something goes wrong, I need a quick turn-a-round.


You'll have to purchase the support from Canonical, which is something you can already do today on any platform.

Dell supports the hardware, the Ubuntu support is left to Canonical for paid support or ubuntuforums for free support.

Ubuntu pre-loading is a convenience if you're an ubuntu user, I suppose, but you won't be getting a higher level of support than you will by researching the hardware for compatibility and installing yourself, other than maybe a break on the price of support from Canonical if you choose to go that route.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Won't Sell Much
by Laurence on Tue 1st May 2007 15:17 UTC in reply to "Won't Sell Much"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

"

like Linux but I seriously don't see how this will sell. On the one hand, you can buy a Linux system from Dell and save $30.00 at the most. If you are happy without having the option of ever using Windows, you now have saved $30.00. But if you ever want to dual boot or load up Windows, be prepared to pay $200.00 for a full retail version of Windows Vista Home. On the other hand, you can pay that $30.00 extra and legally own Windows Vista. You can nuke it, shrink and dual boot it, or whatever you want, but you will always have the OS in case you need it. And guess what, that Linux system you did not buy at Dell, you can actually download it for free and it won't cost you a thing.
"

Or, better yet, keep Linux on there and run the odd Windows application which doesn't have a *nix counterpart under Wine ;-)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Won't Sell Much
by DigitalAxis on Tue 1st May 2007 17:04 UTC in reply to "Won't Sell Much"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

Yes, but I think we're all hoping that eventually these Linux computers will sell to average people who are interested but don't want to risk messing up their computer somehow by installing an entirely new operating system on it.

There are obviously companies that already do that, but none thus far have been as big or famous as Dell. (Does Lenovo ship Thinkpads with SuSE installed, or blank with an install CD?)

It's kinda like how some people build their own PCs and can't imagine doing anything else, while people like me can't imagine trying to assemble a computer from scratch, cool as it sounds.
These would be people who want to try Linux but don't want to try to install it themselves.

Edited 2007-05-01 17:14

Reply Score: 3

Scam
by sb56637 on Tue 1st May 2007 15:15 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

Meanwhile Dell is selling other laptops with terrible Linux hardware support. bcm43xx WiFi, Conexant winmodems, no Fn+hotkey support. I own one myself, and I kicked myself afterwards when I realized it was maimed or crippled under Linux. And in this case it's not Linux's fault.

Reply Score: 2

it's about time
by Mkane on Tue 1st May 2007 15:30 UTC
Mkane
Member since:
2007-05-01

My hats off to Dell for making this change. First they started using AMD CPU's and now they are offering Linux.

I hope they offer the option to have a dual boot pre-installed feature to help people who are not Linux users adjust to Linux while still having XP/Vista.

Reply Score: 1

RE: it's about time
by SlackerJack on Tue 1st May 2007 16:06 UTC in reply to "it's about time"
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

Thats just not right to me, if your going to sell a computer with Linux make it JUST Linux. MS can have there cake and eat it that way.

Installing Linux dual boot with exsisting Windows or the other way around is fine( not on when you brought the computer), but dual boot is wrong to me by default, does this mean you have to pay more or Windows is free?

Edited 2007-05-01 16:09

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: it's about time
by raver31 on Wed 2nd May 2007 07:24 UTC in reply to "RE: it's about time"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Sorry.. replied to the wrong person...

Edited 2007-05-02 07:26

Reply Score: 2

roger64
Member since:
2006-08-15

There are already a lot of people who own an XP version and who will be happy to use it when buying a Linux box. Add to this true Linux fans (more and more of them) and you have a potential market that they will be the first ones to tap.

The most important point is price. Anything over 30 dollars cheaper than a Vista box will be enough, I think.

And selling a pre-installed Linux will make a lot of difference. How many people are just afraid to try Linux, just because of this...

I really think it has a sustainable chance.

Reply Score: 3

raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

That cannot work.

Linux can dual boot because it can see and resize Windows partitions.

Windows on the other hand refuses to acknowledge that Linux exists, so it will not see Linux partitions.

This was a Microsoft marketing decision.

Therefore, if a laptop comes preconfigured with Linux, if you put your XP or Vista disks anywhere near it, it will overwrite the existing Linux partitions. Thereby negating any reason to preinstall Linux in the first place.

Reply Score: 2

Dell Still Sucks
by Marquis on Tue 1st May 2007 16:00 UTC
Marquis
Member since:
2007-01-22

I guess Dell thinks that they will sell more computers if they install Linux. Will this make there hardware any more stable ? Will this make their customer support any better ? Would any one want to even use a Dell'ified Ubuntu ? Will it come with Music Match jukebox and other crap ware? To be totally honest, dell should just give you the ability to have you box setup with no software. Better yet just don't buy dell.

--Dude your gonna get stuck in crap hardware Hell !

Reply Score: 1

RE: Dell Still Sucks
by DigitalAxis on Tue 1st May 2007 17:08 UTC in reply to "Dell Still Sucks"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

Well, Dell might actually make more profit off these systems, since with Windows they have a low OEM rate on the OS + cost of hardware + cost of maintaining support centers; with Ubuntu Linux they have no OEM rate + cost of hardware + cost of paying Canonical for support.

It's marginal yes, but the entire thing is built on low profit margins.
So possibly no crapware.

The hardware's still an issue though, and why I probably still won't buy a Dell ever again.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Dell Still Sucks
by DrillSgt on Tue 1st May 2007 20:43 UTC in reply to "Dell Still Sucks"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"Will this make there hardware any more stable ?"

I have had no trouble with Dell hardware myself. Been using Dell for years. They seem to use brand name high quality parts. Maybe you had bad luck, I don't know.

"Will this make their customer support any better ?"

When I call I get excellent support ever since they moved the operation back to the US. I don;t know about the on-site as I have never used that for home, but for work they are always on time the next business day.

YMMV of course, though blanket statements like that are normally not true for everyone, so just wanted to toss in my experience with Dell.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Dell Still Sucks
by Marquis on Tue 1st May 2007 21:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Dell Still Sucks"
Marquis Member since:
2007-01-22

With Dell I had the same next day turn around; but "it was the suck". It seemed like I was always on the phone with them.

I have to hand it to DELL they do have a great viral marketing campaign. Part 1. Make your hardware not very reliable, this causes you the, customers, to call in and get replacement parts mailed to your locations, and remark about how good they were at fixing you problem. Part 2 have every box from DELL branded with a Giant logo.

Result: Allot of people see and Hear Dell all day long.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Dell Still Sucks
by fretinator on Tue 1st May 2007 21:17 UTC in reply to "Dell Still Sucks"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

I was going to mod this down, but I just couldn't find any specific thing it violated. OK, I'm going to give you Slashdot points instead:

+2 Vacuous

Reply Score: 3

Formidable
by hraq on Tue 1st May 2007 16:13 UTC
hraq
Member since:
2005-07-06

One powerful feature in ubuntu is that a very unknowledgable person can install applications from online repositories in an easy way:
1.search for the application: (lets say you need xine)
2.Accept dependancies which would be thankfully automitacally choosed for us: (lets say libxine,....)
3.Wait for the application to download and install.
4.See result of the installation: successful or not. If not then simply you click on the button which will show you the console reason for failure; then its time for customer support telephone call, or genious friend call time as of today.

This is the most powerful think that really help customers like linux.
I know that ubuntu has serious issues with hardware support especially nvidia, ATI graphics cards, and other hardware, but this can easily be solved by Dell, when they start co-operating with ubuntu team to get their hardware certified.
Net income of this is good for both us the customers and OEM Dell.
Good Luck!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Formidable
by Luminair on Tue 1st May 2007 18:05 UTC in reply to "Formidable"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

You lost me at a very unknowledgable person needing xine. I don't even know what xine is, and you can't search for a word you don't know! ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Formidable
by hraq on Wed 2nd May 2007 02:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Formidable"
hraq Member since:
2005-07-06

"I don't even know what xine is"

Xine is the most stable, most flexible and the best in browser-plugin supported multimedia engine on linux.

If you install it with all the plugins then you can possibly watch any kind of video on the internet.

I used it reliably for around 3 years without a single crash; even GNOME, KDE are crashable, xine when properly installed will never crash.

Trying to install it by compiling and linking and other methods is more like a developer job than an administrator, so ubuntu made it easy to install it and all of its libraries and other applications that work ontop of that engine like xine-ui, gxine,... etc

Its not this but if you need more applications then Add/Remove applications will help you almost install all free appz on your system with little effort assuming you have a decent Broadband connection.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Formidable
by DigitalAxis on Wed 2nd May 2007 02:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Formidable"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

I'd avoid xine-ui. The fonts are HUGE and hardcoded, and the only thing apparently done about it recently is to reduce the size of the default font.

Reply Score: 2

good to ubuntu
by collinm on Tue 1st May 2007 16:30 UTC
collinm
Member since:
2005-07-15

i hope ubuntu will be better with this dell support

any news for kubuntu?
i think kubuntu is a better choice for windows user...

kde is more similar
http://www.laboiteaprog.com/article-85-5-linux_kde_vs_windows

now *buntu need to reduce bug (a lot in kde only appear in kubuntu in not in other linux distribution), improve boot speed (arch do very well)
, more ui responsive (arch do very well)
add tool to manager software, hardware like mandriva and suse

Reply Score: 4

RE: good to ubuntu
by Moochman on Tue 1st May 2007 18:32 UTC in reply to "good to ubuntu"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

It might especially be a good idea to include KDE considering that whatever decision they make, they will probably want to stick to.

Flash to 2010:

"Hey, I just bought one of those Dell-buntu computers everyone's been talking about."

"Oh yeah? I've had one of those for the past couple of years. My son set me up with it, it's great."

"Really? Maybe you can help me set it up."

"Okay, let me take a look. Wait a second, are you sure this is Ubuntu? Where are my Applications and Computer menu at the top? Why is everything so damn colorful? I'm sorry, I can't help you out, looks like Dell totally changed the system they install."

Okay, overdramatization... ;) . Still, consistency counts, and I feel like KDE4 will be the rockin' DE of the future.

Reply Score: 3

Where will ubuntu make money
by sanctus on Tue 1st May 2007 16:35 UTC
sanctus
Member since:
2005-08-31

I think working with a hardware supplier to make your OS run, plus the cost for the support, etc. It cost a lot. Where ubuntu will make profit?

Only on corporate licence support?

Anyway, if I dont buy another Mac, ill go with the linux offer.

Reply Score: 1

Damned if they, damned if they don't
by Dubbayoo on Tue 1st May 2007 16:44 UTC
Dubbayoo
Member since:
2006-02-09

Dell can't win with most of you guys no matter what. Regardless of whether YOU would buy a Dell Linux box it IS a positive step that they are at least making the effort.

I wouldn't mind buying an Optiplex pre-configured but not a Dimension.

Reply Score: 2

Sorry I couldn't wait
by Jon Dough on Tue 1st May 2007 16:55 UTC
Jon Dough
Member since:
2005-11-30

I am sorry that I couldn't wait to buy a Dell laptop with the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distro pre-installed. My computer died a few weeks back, and I had to scramble to get a replacement pronto. Long story short, I ended up with a Gateway MT6456 with Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium pre-installed. I do like Vista, but it's a dog when it comes to performance.

The good news is that I downloaded the "Feisty Fawn" 4.07 version of the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distro, and burned it to a CD. It seemed like it detected all my hardware (not sure about the Marvell Draft N Wireless), and it runs faster than Vista! I'm looking into how to dual-boot it without hosing Vista; I want to have a choice in which OS I run.

Reply Score: 2

Fixing bugs
by DigitalAxis on Tue 1st May 2007 16:58 UTC
DigitalAxis
Member since:
2005-08-28

It's going to be very interesting to see what effect this agreement with Dell will do to Linux and especially Ubuntu.

For starters, if Canonical is going to provide support, they're probably going to have to hire a lot more support personnel.

Also, all those annoying little bugs Ubuntu can never seem to fix, like the widescreen detection on laptops, or suspend/ACPI working properly... well, they've now got the third largest PC manufacturer looking over their shoulder trying to sell this product, and I bet there will be a LOT of pressure to find and fix these kinks- especially as they relate to the hardware Dell sells.
And given the nature of open-source, all these updates and fixes (I presume Dell ought to know how Dell impliments ACPI in their own BIOSes) will filter back into the community and improve Linux as a whole.

And I doubt Dell will tolerate updates breaking X, as has happened at least twice in the last year.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Fixing bugs
by Coxy on Tue 1st May 2007 20:09 UTC in reply to "Fixing bugs"
Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

'they're probably going to have to hire a lot more support personnel.'

-- Yeah, like one, two, or maybe even three people.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Fixing bugs
by elsewhere on Wed 2nd May 2007 14:43 UTC in reply to "Fixing bugs"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

It's going to be very interesting to see what effect this agreement with Dell will do to Linux and especially Ubuntu.

For starters, if Canonical is going to provide support, they're probably going to have to hire a lot more support personnel.


That's assuming dell customers opt for the paid support from Canonical, which I suspect will not be very many.

Also, all those annoying little bugs Ubuntu can never seem to fix, like the widescreen detection on laptops, or suspend/ACPI working properly... well, they've now got the third largest PC manufacturer looking over their shoulder trying to sell this product, and I bet there will be a LOT of pressure to find and fix these kinks- especially as they relate to the hardware Dell sells.

And given the nature of open-source, all these updates and fixes (I presume Dell ought to know how Dell impliments ACPI in their own BIOSes) will filter back into the community and improve Linux as a whole.

And I doubt Dell will tolerate updates breaking X, as has happened at least twice in the last year.


This is where I suspect people are over-estimating Dell's commitment here. If X breaks, it's not Dell's issue. It's either the Ubuntu community's or Canonical's, because that's where customers are being directed for support. Dell will only be supporting the hardware, if it breaks they'll fix it, which is something they already do.

For issues like ACPI etc., Dell doesn't have that much control. In one of the Dell blogs leading up to this, they've already indicated that certain hardware that is not linux compatible (ie. winmodems) will not be supported by their linux pre-installation (which at the time was still unannounced). So this won't be any sort of a magic bullet. I agree the best we can hope for is that Dell tries to pressure it's component suppliers into providing better linux support. As far as contributing, Dell does submit, there are patches in the kernel specific for Dell, so they certainly are an OSS capable org. How that translates into their consumer desktop efforts, however, still truly remains to be seen.

Reply Score: 3

extreme tech "review"
by qwerty2k on Tue 1st May 2007 17:57 UTC
qwerty2k
Member since:
2007-04-08

they say they want to like it as they did in the past yet pan it on things it never did in the past?

flash not installed by default...neither does windows but they don't pan windows for it?

can't play encrypted dvd's out of the box, neither can windows ootb.

nvidia drivers, restricted driver manager->tick box = installed, not difficult?

Reply Score: 5

Ubuntu 7.04
by hitest on Tue 1st May 2007 18:05 UTC
hitest
Member since:
2006-10-28

I did a clean install of Ubuntu 7.04 on an old IBM Netvista, a P4 1.5 GHz with 684 MB RAM on Sunday. I had the system up and running in 30 minutes, it was effortless. The Netvista runs very well.
My preferred distros are Slackware and Debian. I think this is a good choice for Dell.
This is an exciting day for Linux:-)

Reply Score: 3

v No Dell for me
by Southern.Pride on Tue 1st May 2007 19:08 UTC
v JUNK
by Southern.Pride on Tue 1st May 2007 19:09 UTC
debian?
by Iron on Tue 1st May 2007 19:30 UTC
Iron
Member since:
2006-12-15

Jebus,why wouldnt they just put Debian on there,one then would have multitude of options for desktop linux via the many debian offshoots dedicated to just this point and click option.
Lame,I will be buying a laptop with no OS and do it my way.
I really dont even see why *buntu is so damn popular,its not the end all desktop solution,just overhype and marketing.

Reply Score: 0

My current laptop...
by Johann Chua on Tue 1st May 2007 20:11 UTC
Johann Chua
Member since:
2005-07-22

...is an Acer Aspire 5570. Had Linpus Linux pre-installed, but the shop installed Vista Starter for free, and I installed Ubuntu 7.04 at home. Ubuntu had trouble with the widescreen resolution and sound (have to find tghe mixer settings and turn them up). Having Ubuntu pre-installed would've likely avoided that sort of thing. Definitly looking at Dells next time I need to buy a laptop (hardly ever see their desktops in the Philippines, for some reason).

Reply Score: 3

that's amazing
by SK8T on Tue 1st May 2007 20:32 UTC
SK8T
Member since:
2006-06-01

that's really really cool!

And it shows what a great release feisty was. But there is a big responisbility on Canocial now. If they programmed a lot of crap the chance for linux on the desktop is gone for years.

But I hope Dell takes the chance to fit a preinstalled ubuntu exactly to theier computers. That could be a big chance in days of vista and leopard.

Reply Score: 1

What a terrible review...
by kaiwai on Tue 1st May 2007 20:48 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

What a terrible review from ExtremeTech - these are apparently meant to be 'technically knowledgable' people?

Interesting, he deducted off 7 points out of 10 because of Didn't install and configure video drivers, Windows Migration tool didn't work?

Firstly I installed Windows Vista on my old Toshiba laptop - does that mean Windows Vista is crap because it didn't install and configure my Nvidia go 7300 out of the box with the correct drivers? of course not! it was just a matter of downloading them off the Toshiba website and installing them, no different to installing them via apt-get.

As for migration tool - someone expects *flawless* migration? please, I've yet to see a single 'migration tool', either open or closed source which can cleanly migrate settings and files without majorly ballsing up atleast something in the process.

Its like upgrades, don't expect smooth sailing - because no matter how many times people have had a flawless upgrade, its almost a certaintity that according to murpheys law, everything will go hay wire.

What I would also like to quesiton is how on earth the author justifies deducting 7 points off for two, quite frankly, very minor inconvinences. Sure, deduct 7 points *if* the installer didn't start - but the fact is, everything worked as expected, and what he had to go through was no more strenious than what the average Windows upgrader might have to go through.

Reply Score: 5

RE: What a terrible review...
by siki_miki on Tue 1st May 2007 22:53 UTC in reply to "What a terrible review..."
siki_miki Member since:
2006-01-17

Yep, a really bad review. Driver (auto)configuration problem, only real problem in that review, is still a legacy of Xorg/XFree and is finally about to be addressed. And unlike Mac, which runs on strictly defined set of hardware, Linux basically produces many graphic drivers without any help from hardware companies.

For other problems maybe he should now that: Ubuntu doesn't default to install Flash player by policy (neither do Firefox or IE on Windows). And btw. not all people prefer to have that installed automatically. DVD playback is not there because of possible law issues, but it can be installed very simply. Ditto for codecs.

So that guy probably got some bucks to make a negative review, but it ended up extremely poor.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What a terrible review...
by kaiwai on Wed 2nd May 2007 12:14 UTC in reply to "RE: What a terrible review..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Yep, a really bad review. Driver (auto)configuration problem, only real problem in that review, is still a legacy of Xorg/XFree and is finally about to be addressed. And unlike Mac, which runs on strictly defined set of hardware, Linux basically produces many graphic drivers without any help from hardware companies.


But the issue was with the shipped standard, non-3d accelerated driver; when you install it, it is very conservative about what it allows as to ensure that the maximum amount of hardware is supported out of the box - thats no different to Windows XP or Windows Vista defaulting to 800x600 on first boot.

If he wanted higher resolution - install the Nvidia driver from Nvidia, follow the instruction - problem solved.

For other problems maybe he should now that: Ubuntu doesn't default to install Flash player by policy (neither do Firefox or IE on Windows). And btw. not all people prefer to have that installed automatically. DVD playback is not there because of possible law issues, but it can be installed very simply. Ditto for codecs.

So that guy probably got some bucks to make a negative review, but it ended up extremely poor.


But the stupid thing, it isn't as though you have to set up special repositories - load up the add/remove and follow the instructions - that's a damn site easier than having to trawl through he net downloading the various CODECS and players one needs for Windows.

For me, I downloaded all that I needed, and I was away ripping music using FAAC and synchronising with my ipod within seconds. Thats a damn site easier than with Windows - everything supported out of the box, bar the webcam which was a tar vzxf followed by a sudo make install, followed by a reboot, and my webcam is all working.

Reply Score: 3

RE: What a terrible review...
by Johann Chua on Wed 2nd May 2007 03:23 UTC in reply to "What a terrible review..."
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

ET's staff seems to be mostly hardware/Windows geeks.

Reply Score: 2

Winmodem support?
by ozonehole on Tue 1st May 2007 21:57 UTC
ozonehole
Member since:
2006-01-07

It would be nice if Ubuntu installed on a Dell laptop offers full Winmodem support. I don't think I've ever seen that on any Linux laptop.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Winmodem support?
by Johann Chua on Wed 2nd May 2007 03:28 UTC in reply to "Winmodem support?"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

How the good is Linux's USB modem support? My laptop doesn't have a serial port, so if ndiswrapper can't get the built-in modem to work, I have to stick to using Windows on the go.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Winmodem support?
by leech on Wed 2nd May 2007 21:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Winmodem support?"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

If it came right down to it, you could always get a usb to serial cable and plug a serial modem into it that way. These do work quite well (I use one to connect my MythTV box which also doesn't have serial ports to my DirecTV receiver so that it'll change channels.)

Reply Score: 3

v Dell & Ubuntu
by Southern.Pride on Tue 1st May 2007 22:37 UTC
The ExtremeTech "Review"
by tristan on Tue 1st May 2007 23:40 UTC
tristan
Member since:
2006-02-01

This review is nonsense. Other than the issue of the Nvidia drivers not selecting resolutions correctly -- which affects me too and is very annoying -- all his other "complaints" are just fluff.

What's more interesting though as a general trend is that as Ubuntu/Linux gets better, so people's expectations rise. Minor flaws that a year ago would have been ignored in favour of reporting all that's good are now touted as major problems.

A couple of years ago Ubuntu was getting positive reviews despite lacking features like the LiveCD installation, a migration assistant, a codec installer, and any way to install accelerated 3D drivers without dropping to the command line. Now those things are there, and the response is more measured, or even -- as in this case -- unduly critical.

What's also interesting, particularly on this website, is the rise of the anyone-but-Ubuntu brigade, of which this reviewer seems to be a member. These are people who support free software and are generally anti-Windows, but who seem resentful of the popularity and attention directed at Ubuntu. Witness the number of comments to any Ubuntu story that goes "Ubuntu is rubbish, you should use Xandros/PCLinuxOS/Debian/OpenSolaris/PC-BSD instead -- I've never had any problems with it".

I'm not sure I completely understand this mentality -- for the first time since IBM were marketing OS/2 Warp in the early 90s, a non-Microsoft, non-Apple operating system is getting mentioned in the mainstream press. So who cares if Ubuntu isn't the flavour you happen to like best? If Ubuntu succeeds in getting into the mainstream, you can bet that a dozen other distros will be riding on its coat-tails.

(Edited paragraph layout)

Edited 2007-05-01 23:58

Reply Score: 5

RE: The ExtremeTech "Review"
by Johann Chua on Wed 2nd May 2007 03:31 UTC in reply to "The ExtremeTech "Review""
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Right on!

Reply Score: 2

a new era
by gsmd on Wed 2nd May 2007 08:14 UTC
gsmd
Member since:
2007-02-02

Guys, you just don't get it ;) .
WinXP was really one-size-fits-all, but not Vista. Why on earth would business customer want THAT?!
But here comes Ubuntu, which looks and feels right, is virus-free, grealty manageable, etc. See now?
Dell rocks.

Reply Score: 1

No "Windows tax"?
by da_Chicken on Thu 3rd May 2007 14:25 UTC
da_Chicken
Member since:
2006-01-01

I'll buy a Dell laptop if (and only if) every hardware component supports Linux and also iff the Ubuntu version is cheaper than the version that comes with Windows. "No Windows tax" will be the decisive marketing point for me. Yes, I'm a Linux (and BSD) supporter but the price is always the most important factor (along with Linux-support) when I'm buying hardware.

Nevertheless, I'm going to wipe Ubuntu off from the hard drive as soon as I can and install Debian Lenny/Sid instead as my preferred operating system. :-D

Reply Score: 3