Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 20th May 2009 20:59 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu When Dell announced a shift in its Linux strategy last week, accompanied by a new netbook, many wondered why Dell insisted on pre-loading Ubuntu 8.04, instead of newer versions of the popular Linux distribution such as 8.10 or 9.04. BetaNews contacted Dell about it, and Dell replied explaining their rationale behind opting for 8.04.
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Glad to hear it!
by nathbeadle on Wed 20th May 2009 21:10 UTC
nathbeadle
Member since:
2006-08-08

I'm glad they are going down this road. I'd love to see a well defined and stable distro used and developed than having the newest put onto computers every 6 months and having things break. 8.04 is still supported so I don't see why people thing it's old and outdated. Dell is still putting XP on computers and that is almost a decade old now!!!

Kudos to Dell, looking forward to what they offer as they step out from the rest in using Linux!

Reply Score: 9

RE: Glad to hear it!
by Delgarde on Wed 20th May 2009 21:47 UTC in reply to "Glad to hear it!"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

Dell is still putting XP on computers and that is almost a decade old now!!!


Only because there's nothing better available...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Glad to hear it!
by daedliusswartz on Wed 20th May 2009 22:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Glad to hear it!"
daedliusswartz Member since:
2007-05-28

Windows 7 will change that.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Glad to hear it!
by phoenix on Wed 20th May 2009 22:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Glad to hear it!"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Windows 7 will change that.


Perhaps. But it's not out now, hence the use of "available" in the parent post. ;)

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: Glad to hear it!
by timothy.crosley on Thu 21st May 2009 00:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Glad to hear it!"
timothy.crosley Member since:
2006-06-15

Yes. But it should come out soon, hence the use of 'will' in daedliusswartz's post. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Glad to hear it!
by gustl on Thu 21st May 2009 19:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Glad to hear it!"
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

Will Microsoft sell a special version of Windows 7 for netbooks?

I ask this, because their minimum requirements for "normal" Win7 is somewhere near 15GB Hard drive, 1GB RAM and quite a fast CPU.

No doubt you can deliver a netbook which will be able to lift Win7, but it would have to have more flash memory or a microdrive inside than today's netbooks, to make it a sane choice.

It definitely would not be working with my 500 MB RAM, 1.6 GHz Atom, 8GB flash memory netbook.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Glad to hear it!
by Jasprov on Thu 21st May 2009 04:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Glad to hear it!"
Jasprov Member since:
2009-02-23

" Dell is still putting XP on computers and that is almost a decade old now!!!


Only because there's nothing better available...
"

I would have agreed, until about 6 months after Vista's release, and stable drivers caught up... There's been nothing wrong with it since, especially after SP1.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Glad to hear it!
by bosco_bearbank on Thu 21st May 2009 11:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Glad to hear it!"
bosco_bearbank Member since:
2005-10-12

" Dell is still putting XP on computers and that is almost a decade old now!!!


Only because there's nothing better available...
"
Wait a minute... Ubuntu 8.04 is better

Reply Score: 2

RE: Glad to hear it!
by ggeldenhuys on Thu 21st May 2009 07:13 UTC in reply to "Glad to hear it!"
ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

I can't agree more. I just downgraded from 9.04 to 8.04.2 simply because 9.04 is quite buggy. I reported many graphics and font problems in the RC release, but none of those were fixed before the final release.

I know of numerous people that did the same. 8.04.2 is rock solid! Not to mention that 8.04 is a LTS release, so it will be supported for a long time still. Good choice Dell!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Glad to hear it!
by LanceHaverkamp on Sat 23rd May 2009 15:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Glad to hear it!"
LanceHaverkamp Member since:
2009-05-23

I can't agree more. I just downgraded from 9.04 to 8.04.2 simply because 9.04 is quite buggy.


9.04 is unusable buggy for a lot of people. MEPIS, or it's parent, Debian Stable are far more stable/reliable than even LTS.

Edited 2009-05-23 16:03 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Glad to hear it!
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 21st May 2009 07:31 UTC in reply to "Glad to hear it!"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

8.04 is still supported so I don't see why people thing it's old and outdated.

I wouldn't argue that Ubuntu 8.04 itself, the distribution, is "outdated"; after all it is, as you said, still supported. However, by now several pieces of software included in its repositories are likely outdated.

For example... Stellarium, a planetarium program, was somewhere around 0.9.1 in Ubuntu 8.10, while the latest official "supported" version of the program was 0.10.2. This latest version could be downloaded in binary format for Windows and Mac OS X, while Linux (and other) OS users were forced to download and attempt to compile sources if their distribution didn't have it.

After giving up compilation of this program, I ended up having to wait until Ubuntu 9.04 (the current latest version) to be able to use this latest version of the program. This was extremely annoying to me, as the new version had some nice new features, was the recommended version *and* the Windows installer makes it braindead easy to install on Windows.

Sure... you may argue that this is an obscure program. Okay, so maybe it is. But it's a good enough example, and it's certainly not the only program suffering this problem. I noticed Seamonkey lags behind also, since apparently they're too focused on Firefox. Even Dillo has released a new 2.0 version (rewrite), and the last time I checked Ubuntu *still* has the old version. A Web browser is certainly something *everyone* should keep up to date, and in fact Seamonkey will bug you that it's outdated unless you change the startup page, and yet Ubuntu still fails to keep it up to date.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Glad to hear it!
by wargum on Thu 21st May 2009 10:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Glad to hear it!"
wargum Member since:
2006-12-15

After giving up compilation of this program, I ended up having to wait until Ubuntu 9.04 (the current latest version) to be able to use this latest version of the program. This was extremely annoying to me, as the new version had some nice new features, was the recommended version *and* the Windows installer makes it braindead easy to install on Windows.


You are absolutely right, this is unacceptable. Same with Songbird on CentOS for me. Unfortunatly, this is a drawback from the Linux philosophy "Release often, release early". APIs break, not enough testing is being done, users can just keep constantly updating their whole distribution or not use some programs. It sucks, big time...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Glad to hear it!
by Slapo on Thu 21st May 2009 11:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Glad to hear it!"
Slapo Member since:
2005-07-06

...users can just keep constantly updating their whole distribution or not use some programs...



That's not entirely true, as there are rolling release distributions where you can be fairly current and stable.

Reply Score: 1

Good choice
by vivainio on Wed 20th May 2009 21:54 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

Frankly, I would have done the same thing. 8.10 and 9.04 have seen extensive changes to X.org (evdev, Intel driver breakage), while 8.04 was a bit more "proven" technology in this regard.

A truly conservative choice would be preferring KDE to Gnome - 8.04 has the "end of the read" KDE 3.10, i.e. it just won't get any more stable than that. Gnome experience on 8.04 is pretty bad; I'm using my own xmodmap, and I'm just plain and simple unable to type *anything* on gedit & likes.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Good choice
by ggeldenhuys on Thu 21st May 2009 07:18 UTC in reply to "Good choice"
ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

I'm using my own xmodmap, and I'm just plain and simple unable to type *anything* on gedit & likes.

Then in must be a problem with your own xmodmap. I also use a custom written one to give me Programmer Dvorak key layout. It's been working perfectly for me since 7.04 and now on 8.04.2. I'm glad to see my feature request to add 'programmer dvorak' as standard in Ubuntu was finally accepted and is available in 8.10 and 9.04. Awesome! :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Good choice
by vivainio on Thu 21st May 2009 08:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Good choice"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

"I'm using my own xmodmap, and I'm just plain and simple unable to type *anything* on gedit & likes.

Then in must be a problem with your own xmodmap. I also use a custom written one to give me Programmer Dvorak key layout. It's been working perfectly for me since 7.04 and now on 8.04.2.
"
Is this really an xmodmap, or xkb ruleset?

The xmodmap I've been using has been with me for ages, and it works on all Linux distros earlier than Ubuntu 8.10 (on Jaunty xmodmaps work again, but I had to change the keystroke numbers).

I wanted to like Programmer Dvorak (so i could abandon my custom Dvorak layout), but the designer had apparently been hitting the bong a bit too much and reordered the number keys. Also didn't utilize AltGr and didn't have easy way to produce scandinavian characters.

Yeah, way off topic - we probably need a whole article on programmer-friendly keyboad layouts ;-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Good choice
by ggeldenhuys on Thu 21st May 2009 14:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good choice"
ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

I wanted to like Programmer Dvorak (so i could abandon my custom Dvorak layout), but the designer had apparently been hitting the bong a bit too much and reordered the number keys.

Yeah, I'm also not on the latest Programmer Dvorak layout. The original author did make some strange changes. I'm somewhere on v1.0 or v1.1.1 I think.

...we probably need a whole article on programmer-friendly keyboad layouts ;-)

Definitely! :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good choice
by om_rebel on Thu 21st May 2009 13:03 UTC in reply to "Good choice"
om_rebel Member since:
2009-04-09

I've been running 9.04 on my Inspiron since the RC came out. It has been rock solid, and to me, it's their best release yet. I had problems with 8.10 wanting to freeze, or slow down drastically at times for no apparent reason. But, the performance of 9.04, as well as the polish of it, has made it my favorite release to date.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Good choice
by ggeldenhuys on Thu 21st May 2009 14:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Good choice"
ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

Pitty they didn't make the Gnome desktop theme the same as the default GDM theme. I *love* the look of the gdm login screen. :-)

Reply Score: 1

Do it right then...
by risbac on Wed 20th May 2009 22:07 UTC
risbac
Member since:
2007-03-29

It makes sense to stick to an LTS to me, especially when you sell the netbook to professional users. Then the idea to backport some important updates from the newest version sounds like a good idea ... if you do it right!

However Dell made some mistakes while doing so. They updated Network Manager to the 0.7 version in their repository (hosted by Canonical). But they forgot to update the VPN plugins... So if you have to use it for a professional use with a VPN, you are just in troubles. It requires to uninstall Network Manager, reinstall the previous version, and lock it.

I really applause the support for Ubuntu on their netbooks. But they should be careful when building their own repositories. They chose this policy to keep the netbook stable, but in this situation, it's the opposite! So currently, instead of keeping the 8.04 "Dell" version, we are installing a NBR 9.04... I trust Ubuntu public repositories more than the Dell's one now. They still have to learn about how to manage a distro apparently.

Reply Score: 3

Sign that Linux is ready for Desktop
by Nsongila on Wed 20th May 2009 22:41 UTC
Nsongila
Member since:
2008-12-13

This is a sign that Linux (Ubuntu)is ready for Desktop.
Many people can say the opposite because they did not use the right distribution.
If Dell supports Linux and Dell is a computer manufacturer, guess what will happen next...
An OS can only survive if it has Hardware and application support.
Those who predicted the end of Linux can read this. Linux has longer life than Vista (Longhorn.)

Edited 2009-05-20 22:45 UTC

Reply Score: 4

bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23

This is a sign that Linux (Ubuntu)is ready for Desktop.
Many people can say the opposite because they did not use the right distribution.
If Dell supports Linux and Dell is a computer manufacturer, guess what will happen next...
An OS can only survive if it has Hardware and application support.
Those who predicted the end of Linux can read this. Linux has longer life than Vista (Longhorn.)


It's getting there but no. The constant beta quality of Linux distributions (I use Ubuntu) keeps it from a major distribution to the public.

Dell will sell it but they will also hide it, in favour of Windows. Windows Vista really isn't dead. It's just been finished and renamed for public relations' sake.

Reply Score: 4

kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

...The constant beta quality of Linux distributions (I use Ubuntu) keeps it from a major distribution to the public....


You have obviously never used Debian. There ARE stable and generally bug free distros out there, Ubuntu just isn't one of them. Please don't generalize and assume that Ubuntu is the benchmark 'linux'. I shudder at the thought.

As gets repeated over and over again; Ubuntu ≠ Linux.

Reply Score: 2

bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23


You have obviously never used Debian. There ARE stable and generally bug free distros out there, Ubuntu just isn't one of them. Please don't generalize and assume that Ubuntu is the benchmark 'linux'. I shudder at the thought.

As gets repeated over and over again; Ubuntu ≠ Linux.


Are you a non-technical user? I believe that the answer is "no".

Debian could never be distributed to the general population and achieve great success. It's great for enthusiasts and professionals, but not for grandma. There are very few distributions that are trying to reach the average person but they're still a bit undercooked.

Just because you're thrilled to deal with surprises doesn't mean that the non-technical person is. Besides, a distribution relies on applications, not just system utilities. You might never have to employ your skills to run a Linux distribution, but if you do, you have the skills. What happens to the average person when it doesn't work? Do they dive into the XWindows configuration to fix the resolution problem?

Reply Score: 2

kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

Are you a non-technical user? I believe that the answer is "no".

Debian could never be distributed to the general population and achieve great success. It's great for enthusiasts and professionals, but not for grandma. There are very few distributions that are trying to reach the average person but they're still a bit undercooked.

Just because you're thrilled to deal with surprises doesn't mean that the non-technical person is. Besides, a distribution relies on applications, not just system utilities. You might never have to employ your skills to run a Linux distribution, but if you do, you have the skills. What happens to the average person when it doesn't work? Do they dive into the XWindows configuration to fix the resolution problem?

That wasn't my point. For some reasons that I just can't fathom, most user-friendly linux distros are leading or bleeding edge and therefore unstable. Shouldn't an OS designed for non-technical users be STABLE? Why would grandma care if she is running the most up to date xorg or kernel? It should just work and work reliably, even if using 'out of date' packages.

If someone were to take Debian stable and add all the little bells and whistles that would make it user friendly then you would have a STABLE disto that would be ready for the general public, but I'm generalizing. So, Debian COULD be distributed to the general public, but in different clothes.

Reply Score: 1

strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

Fully agreed.

I've never really understood the potential gains from the "versionism" that seem to plague these mainstream desktop Linux distributions. Is there really some value-added by including a version 1.2.3 instead of 1.2.2? But then again, I am not a marketing person.

The instability, constant updates, six month release cycles, the whole "patch of today" -thinking, etc. do more harm than good for all UNIX-derivatives.

Ironically, this increasingly means that one has to rely on commercial support to ensure at least some kind of guarantee for stability. Few notable exceptions like Debian exists, but the overall trend can be seen. A malevolent mind would add that perhaps this is indeed what the new global multinational Linux overloads want?

Reply Score: 1

bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23


That wasn't my point. For some reasons that I just can't fathom, most user-friendly linux distros are leading or bleeding edge and therefore unstable. Shouldn't an OS designed for non-technical users be STABLE? Why would grandma care if she is running the most up to date xorg or kernel? It should just work and work reliably, even if using 'out of date' packages.

If someone were to take Debian stable and add all the little bells and whistles that would make it user friendly then you would have a STABLE disto that would be ready for the general public, but I'm generalizing. So, Debian COULD be distributed to the general public, but in different clothes.


Sure, but isn't that how Ubuntu started?

I think the only way this will work is for 1 person to put together a distribution so there are no arguments or committees or anything that will disturb the vision.

Personally, I think that PC-BSD could be that desktop that people want since usually FreeBSD is quite stable.

Reply Score: 2

kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

Ubuntu is based on Debian testing (or maybe unstable?), not stable branch. Always has been as far as I know.

PC-BSD is awesome, if only it played better with GNOME.

Reply Score: 1

Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

Ubuntu is based on Debian testing (or maybe unstable?), not stable branch. Always has been as far as I know.

PC-BSD is awesome, if only it played better with GNOME.


Ubuntu is from Debian unstable. The reason why people don't take from Debian stable is the code is very stable but WAY out of date. That is good in some cases but not good when you are trying to add new features on a quick turn around like Ubuntu does.

But there are or were: MEPIS, Xandros, Linspire, Progeny and Libranet who all used Debian as the base and added or add bells and whistles. That is nothing new.

Reply Score: 2

handydan918 Member since:
2009-05-22

Debian Stable is in fact the basis of my favorite distro, Mepis. It is not released every 6 months, but it has some really great "Mepis Only" GUI tools, including an X-windows Assistant, a Network Assistant, etc.

You can even reinstall grub, from a live cd, with nothing but GUI tools!
Ubuntu is SO primitive....

Edited 2009-05-22 20:01 UTC

Reply Score: 1

kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

Debian Stable is in fact the basis of my favorite distro, Mepis. It is not released every 6 months, but it has some really great "Mepis Only" GUI tools, including an X-windows Assistant, a Network Assistant, etc.

You can even reinstall grub, from a live cd, with nothing but GUI tools!
Ubuntu is SO primitive....

Wow! I thought Mepis was based on Debian testing branch. That gives me a whole lot more respect for Mepis. I just might give version 8 a go.

Reply Score: 1

LanceHaverkamp Member since:
2009-05-23

Debian Stable is in fact the basis of my favorite distro, Mepis. It is not released every 6 months, but it has some really great "Mepis Only" GUI tools, including an X-windows Assistant, a Network Assistant, etc.

You can even reinstall grub, from a live cd, with nothing but GUI tools!
Ubuntu is SO primitive....

Wow! I thought Mepis was based on Debian testing branch. That gives me a whole lot more respect for Mepis. I just might give version 8 a go.

You're both right. MEPIS used to be based on testing, but ever since the disappointing 'Ubuntu Dapper' based experiment; MEPIS has been based on Debian Stable.

Many hardcore MEPIS users (including myself) install MEPIS, then switch a few important packages, like OpenOffice, Firefox & Thunderbird, to the more current 'official' release directly from OOo & Mozilla.

Edited 2009-05-23 16:06 UTC

Reply Score: 1

gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

Excuse me, but Microsoft never was hampered by constantly releasing software of beta quality.

Why do you think, businesses only upgrade to a new Windows version after the first service pack?

I am typing this on my business machine, and when I started my own business 5 months ago I had to make a VERY tough decision: Redhat, Fedora or Debian?
I was feeling adventurous that day and went for Fedora9+KDE4 (though also installing Debian on a second partition). Guess what? I still have Fedora9 on this machine.

The machine with Fedora9 is in fact MORE stable than 9 year old Windows XP.
I had to calculate some deformations of metallic parts on this machine using a finite element (FE) solver, and because time was short I had to borrow a Windows XP machine from a friend of mine to get more number crunching power. I used both machines in a 24/7 session running two separate calculations on each machine all the time.
During the 2 weeks I had to reboot the windows machine 3 times and the Linux machine once. And I did almost all of the necessary desktop work on the Linux machine, because XP cannot handle running an FE solver on all 4 cores and still leave you enough CPU cycles to do desktop work on it.

You see, people tend to think Windows were somehow better than most Linux distro's because they actually did make large steps towards stability during the last years. But they still are less stable than Linux.

My personal experience with machines that have to do calculation work and desktop work simultaneously is this:
- IRIX needs a reboot every 3 months (SGI hardware)
- HPUX needs a reboot every 3 weeks (HP hardware)
- Linux (Redhat) needs a reboot every 2 weeks (PC hardware)
- Windows XP needs a reboot at least once a week. (PC hardware)

Reply Score: 2

strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

Obviously you haven't paid close attention to the new shiny notification system in Fedora. It actually prompts you to reboot almost every friggin' day. Ditto for Ubuntu.

This is exactly the kind of criticism stemming from a developer perspective. With each release the system is more closely tied to non-essential, desktop-related wrappers and layers. Once more things like D-BUS will require a reboot after an update, things are not really that different from Windows XP, again from an engineering standpoint.

This is not how things used to be in Linux.

If you need anecdotes, Fedora 9 was a total nightmare here. (But obviously Red Hat and Centos pulls this off much more sanely.)

Reply Score: 1

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Eh? I've been running Ubuntu 9.04 since it was in beta, and the only time it's prompted me to reboot was either when a kernel update was installed, or something critical to X was updated. Seeing as how I was running a GUI, now, that made sense. Granted, there were times during the beta and RC phase when this was happening daily, but that's because updates were being pushed out daily... which, imho, you should expect if you're running a beta version of an o and particularly an open source os like Ubuntu or any other Linux systems.
Since the 9.04 release I've only been prompted to reboot once, and that was because I voluntarily installed the rt kernel. I'm not getting any "reboot required" notifications when things such as dbus or hal are being updated, basically Xorg updates or kernel changes are the only thing that bug me for a reboot.
Now, I don't know how it is in Fedora as I don't use it and haven't since fc6... but given my experiences then, I can more easily believe that it is prompting you to reboot due to updates more often. Fedora is basically in perpetual beta, which is fine for a bleeding-edge system like that... but frequent critical updates come with that territory too.
As for Linux not being like this in the old days... well, you don't have to run GNOME or KDE, you know. The basic system hasn't changed, we've just added more complex desktops on top of it. If you don't like all the additional layers and complexity... don't use them.

All this aside, I agree with Dell's decision. However, they'll need to keep on top of backports such as Firefox, Openoffice, and relevant kernel driver changes. As long as they do that, 8.04 should be fine, and choosing the lts release makes perfect sense. Now, would I stick with 8.04 if I bought one of these? Hell no! But I'm a computer geek and I've no problem dealing with os installations and tweaks.

Reply Score: 2

Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

You are obviously exaggerating there. Fedora does not prompt for reboot on all updates at all. Only when the package maintainer has explicitly marked that a update requires a reboot. This includes major components like the kernel.

Fedora does get more updates because unlike some other distributions which only push out security and bug fixes, Fedora also pushes new upstream releases often. You can choose to get only security/bug-fix updates via PackageKit or yum easily however.

Reply Score: 1

wargum Member since:
2006-12-15

If Dell supports Linux and Dell is a computer manufacturer, guess what will happen next...

Please enlighten us.

An OS can only survive if it has Hardware and application support.
Those who predicted the end of Linux can read this. Linux has longer life than Vista (Longhorn.)

Not true! Vista Home Premium will have security fixes at least until 2012, Business until 2017. Ubuntu 8.04? Little less than 2 more years. And then what?

Edited 2009-05-21 10:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Vista Home Premium will have security fixes at least until 2012, Business until 2017. Ubuntu 8.04? Little less than 2 more years. And then what?


Um, upgrade to 10.04 LTS "Lavish Lemur" for free? True, we won't get the privilege of Paying Big Bucks for Vista SP2 (also known as Windows 7). Or buying that new 4 GHz Intel OctoCore Multi-Microthread in dual processor configuration to get performance almost as good as with XP. Or wondering almost up to release date when the freaking release date will actually be.

But I think we'll survive. Somehow.

("At least" is the key word in your post, IMHO. Microsoft has killed and resurrected XP so many times it's ready for a starring role in Thriller. How do you plan a business around such instability?)

And yes, I'm poking gratuitous fun at Microsoft - though only because they've provided such a huge target these past few years. It's good that they resurrected XP when Vista was too bloated to run on Netbooks, and Windows 7 looks to be somewhat less of a resource hog than Vista - though nowhere as slim as XP or (!) Linux, of course.

My main point is that Canonical has been very methodical in release scheduling and incremental improvements, and that's a business feature that Microsoft has sorely lacked. A complaint that Canonical provides "only" 3 and 5 years of support, consistent as the sunrise, while Microsoft is all over the freaking map, is not a winning argument from a business perspective.

(As an aside, you're also incorrect on support periods. 8.04 LTS Server is supported for 4 more years, not 2. Unlike Microsoft products, it's trivial to calculate - just add 3 years to the version number for desktop and 5 years for server. Voila.)

Just my $0.02.

Reply Score: 1

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

And then what?

Upgrade to the next LTS-release for free. ;-)

Reply Score: 2

Yep, a good thing
by destraht on Thu 21st May 2009 00:20 UTC
destraht
Member since:
2006-08-07

I think that the degradation of the Intel video drivers is enough reason alone to not go with the new versions. I think that this could be a good trend.

I think that Dell could perhaps get another year and a half out of this if they do small things like upgrade Firefox to version 3.5 after it has been out for several months. I also hope that Ubuntu 8.04 gets some basic new feature support similar to what RHEL does. By back porting just a few packages I believe that we can have the best of all worlds.

Reply Score: 3

A good call.
by Howie S on Thu 21st May 2009 03:12 UTC
Howie S
Member since:
2005-07-14

Without having seen Dell's actual factory-installed product, I'd have to say their choice to stick with 8.04 is the absolutely right call. It just makes sense. 8.04 will be supported up until 11.04 rolls out (yes, that's right, April of 2011.) As well, it's always risky jumping on the latest Ubuntu release before it's had time to get all the bugs worked out of it. Good on Dell for choosing stability over 'freshness'. Now, if only Ubuntu themselves would take a similarly conservative approach to their new releases, opting for quality and stability over release numbers... like that will ever happen.

Reply Score: 2

RE: A good call.
by merkoth on Thu 21st May 2009 03:28 UTC in reply to "A good call."
merkoth Member since:
2006-09-22

(...)Now, if only Ubuntu themselves would take a similarly conservative approach to their new releases, opting for quality and stability over release numbers... like that will ever happen.


On the other hand, it's a good thing that they keep working on not-so-stable stuff so, in a few years, Dell can update their OEM Ubuntu to something newer but already solid. Getting the distro in the hands of we geeks is a good way to bring it to the real world without pissing off customers. If you don't want to "beta test" then... keep using a LTS release ;)

Dell probably has a long way to go with their Linux deployments, but at least they're trying and getting better at it.

Reply Score: 5

RE: A good call.
by EvilPixieMan on Mon 25th May 2009 19:48 UTC in reply to "A good call."
EvilPixieMan Member since:
2009-01-27

Now, if only Howie S himself would take a similarly conservative approach to his new releases...

Howie, you miss the point of 6 month updates, combined with less frequent LTS releases - they are designed to give people choice, which is a good thing. If you prefer stable releases, then go the LTS route... ignore the releases in between... and stop complaining that they are put out for the benefit of others who want them. Nobody is forcing you to upgrade. Nobody says you have to have the latest - take control of your own situation.

Reply Score: 1

Stable version in all countries!
by spinnekopje on Thu 21st May 2009 08:23 UTC
spinnekopje
Member since:
2008-11-29

Can somebody show me how to order an ubuntu loaded dell in Belgium? I can find a mini where it says you can choose for ubuntu, but configuring shows that the page doesn't exist anymore.
I would love to see that Dell offers all customers in all countries the option of ubuntu on their laptops (or on most of them). They could gain a lot of market share by doing so. But maybe that's part of a deal with MS to get lower windows costs? who knows.
For me it's almost impossible to buy a linux laptop in a Belgian shop. (I only know of a couple of netbooks if you know where to look for them).
Luckily it's not that difficult to get a qwerty keyboard instead of the Belgian azerty ones.

Reply Score: 1

h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

What I'd suggest you could do, check out what the configuration is of the machine that runs Ubuntu in the (US Dell store for instance), then you select that machine on your own country's Dell website.
Call the Dell people in your country on the phone and tell them that you want to buy that machine that's in your "shopping basket" right now, but let them give you a nice discount because you don't intend to use Windows and you will reject its license.
If you're happy with their offer, order it and just install any GNU/Linux OS on the machine yourself.

Reply Score: 3

visconde_de_sabugosa
Member since:
2005-11-14

Why not Dell doesn't sell notebooks without OS and, if the user prefer, sell with windows or ubuntu as an additional service ?

I want freedom to choice and no OS is the better option for me and many users who have technical capability to install a linux, a windows or other systems.

Reply Score: 5

ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Why not Dell doesn't sell notebooks without OS and, if the user prefer, sell with windows or ubuntu as an additional service?

I want freedom to choice and no OS is the better option for me and many users who have technical capability to install a linux, a windows or other systems.


Some Dell machines can be ordered with "FreeDOS", which is pretty much no OS at all. ;-) It costs the same as ordering with Ubuntu, though, since both are free-as-in-beer operating systems (if we stretch the definition for FreeDOS). I don't see a FreeDOS option for the netbooks, though.

See http://www.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/ubuntu for details.

Reply Score: 1

visconde_de_sabugosa Member since:
2005-11-14

But at least here Dell Brazil doesn't offer the FreeDOS option to the consumer line of notebooks and desktops, only for the business line. Therefore, only the most expensive and less attractive for consumers models are offered.

I don't want be obliged to pay any forced tax for an OEM operating system which I don't want to use.

The solution is simple: always offer FreeDOS as an option and certify a few linux distributions and a few windows versions as certified operating systems. And for the lazy or ignorant (to install the operating system themself) people offer windows, ubuntu or any other OEM OS selling/installation as an additional service.

Reply Score: 2

Hello Canonical :-)
by Traumflug on Thu 21st May 2009 10:49 UTC
Traumflug
Member since:
2008-05-22

IMHO, this is a slap in the face of the makers of Ubuntu. If such a big vendor decides to fork the entire distribution repository, only to enhance quality, the makers of Ubuntu should really re-think their strategy.

Ubuntu claims to be "open" and what else than quirks in Ubuntu's release/fix/backport policies would stop a contributor to send enhancements and fixes back to the community?

Canonical, are you listening?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Hello Canonical :-)
by joekiser on Thu 21st May 2009 11:07 UTC in reply to "Hello Canonical :-)"
joekiser Member since:
2005-06-30

The first thing I thought when I read this article was that there already exists a stable Debian from which Ubuntu was forked, which Dell has forked again to make stable. So why doesn't Dell just release a customized Debian?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Hello Canonical :-)
by h3rman on Thu 21st May 2009 11:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Hello Canonical :-)"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

The first thing I thought when I read this article was that there already exists a stable Debian from which Ubuntu was forked, which Dell has forked again to make stable. So why doesn't Dell just release a customized Debian?


Ubuntu is usually a Debian Unstable fork.
What did Dell fork? I wasn't aware of that.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hello Canonical :-)
by Foo Bar on Thu 21st May 2009 12:25 UTC in reply to "Hello Canonical :-)"
Foo Bar Member since:
2006-08-22

IMHO, this is a slap in the face of the makers of Ubuntu. If such a big vendor decides to fork the entire distribution repository, only to enhance quality, the makers of Ubuntu should really re-think their strategy.

Ubuntu claims to be "open" and what else than quirks in Ubuntu's release/fix/backport policies would stop a contributor to send enhancements and fixes back to the community?

Canonical, are you listening?


WTF you are talking about?

Dell has not forked anything, all they do is to add their own repository for customizations and work directly together with Canonical. Their repository & modifications are available here: http://dell-mini.archive.canonical.com/ubuntu/

Also HP works directly together with Canonical with their MiniMe Ubuntu version. HP's repository and customizations are available here: http://hpmini.archive.canonical.com/

Canonical's strategy to work directly with hardware vendors seems pretty good for me.

Reply Score: 1

Is it just me?
by mweichert on Thu 21st May 2009 13:20 UTC
mweichert
Member since:
2006-03-23

.. or do others think that Dell has their head in the sand on this one? Linux enthusiasts are the ones that will be purchasing this thing; mainstream users will be asking for Windows.

I think Dell should think again about who is going to purchase a linux-bundled computer.

My two cents.

Mike

Reply Score: 1

RE: Is it just me?
by thelastdodo on Thu 21st May 2009 14:16 UTC in reply to "Is it just me?"
thelastdodo Member since:
2008-10-07

I would argue that Dell knows better than you how popular Ubuntu is.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Is it just me?
by drcoldfoot on Thu 21st May 2009 15:35 UTC in reply to "Is it just me?"
drcoldfoot Member since:
2006-08-25

True, but a lot of Linux Enthusiasts are generally not satisfied with any tweak that an OEM would make to their OS. :ie partitioning, themes, module offerings, etc. In my experience, even working as Linux Support, keeping a standard is key to providing efficient support. I believe as a Desktop, Ubuntu LTS offering is a slam dunk for a major OEM to provide a Linux offering. I would suggest that Dell take it a step further and press Canonical to patch their kernel with backwards module support from the recent kernels like redhat provides.

Reply Score: 1

Smart Move
by drcoldfoot on Thu 21st May 2009 14:07 UTC
drcoldfoot
Member since:
2006-08-25

Stability is essential for the adoption of any OS and it's the most economical in driving costs down for support. I'm a fan of 8.04LTS for that very fact. Most "Linux Enthusiasts" already know how to install any Linux Distro that they want so this is definitely not an issue.

Reply Score: 1

8.04 LTS is a wise decision
by joeprusa on Thu 21st May 2009 15:01 UTC
joeprusa
Member since:
2006-05-25

For example Lotus Notes Client for Linux is supported just on this version. 8.10 broke desktop icon text and 9.04 broke even attachment handling. The thing has too many hard-coded dependencies...
So yes - at least for this reason keeping the LTS version is wise.

Reply Score: 1

No explaination necessary
by cmost on Thu 21st May 2009 17:57 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

I don't know why Dell felt the need to clarify its reasoning for sticking with Ubuntu 8.04 LTS instead of jumping to the newer Ubuntu 9.04. Ubuntu 8.04 as the Long Term Support version of Ubuntu is the natural choice for OEMs choosing to supply Ubuntu Linux. Factor in the well documented video regressions and other issues reported with Ubuntu 9.04, it's no wonder Dell decided to stick with the tried and true. I don't understand why people are having such a problem with this! The newest is not necessarily the best. Anyone familiar with Debian will agree (Stable is always preferred over Testing or Unstable for mission critical scenarios.) It's a relatively simple matter for advanced users to upgrade to the latest Ubuntu version (or even another distribution altogether) should a user choose to go that route on his or her own.

Edited 2009-05-21 18:01 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Linux stable?
by Kebabbert on Mon 25th May 2009 17:12 UTC
Kebabbert
Member since:
2007-07-27

Aren't there a lot of Linux people claiming that Ubuntu is more stable than Windows? Maybe it is. But compared to a real full grown Unix such as Solaris, AIX, etc Linux doesnt compare.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Linux stable?
by ChrisA on Mon 25th May 2009 18:24 UTC in reply to "Linux stable?"
ChrisA Member since:
2006-05-06

I totally agree. When you can find me a Linux installation that has been around for over 15 years.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Linux stable?
by EvilPixieMan on Mon 25th May 2009 19:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Linux stable?"
EvilPixieMan Member since:
2009-01-27

Chris, convenient your figure of 15 years goes back to a point when Linux was still relatively immature. Agree it hasn't reached the stability/maturity of Unix in many areas (but in others I think it has), but a Linux of 10 years ago maybe reached the point where it could stay in production for 15 years - I know of a few in that boat. Anyway, when it comes to stability IMO, I don't think Windows < Linux < Unix is much of a surprise statement.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Linux stable?
by handydan918 on Tue 26th May 2009 00:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Linux stable?"
handydan918 Member since:
2009-05-22

I have linux boxen that have only been rebooted after a power outage or hardware failure, and uptime of a year are nothing surprising.

I think the point could be made that at some point, stable enough is stable enough.

Unfortunately, Windows ain't there yet.

Ubuntu is only slightly better.

Reply Score: 1