Linked by David Adams on Tue 15th Jun 2010 21:47 UTC, submitted by Anonymous Linux Fan
Linux Dell has posted a page extolling the virtues of Linux (Ubuntu in particular), with a quick explanation of what Linux is and how it compares against Windows. Of course, the page links off to Dell's various computers that ship with Linux pre-installed.
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Dell's Linux page recommends IE...
by bornagainenguin on Tue 15th Jun 2010 22:30 UTC
bornagainenguin
Member since:
2005-08-07

So same as it ever was?

--bornagainpenguin

PS: Here's proof: http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/5633/screenshotdellpcsfeatur.png

Seriously Dell, what the hell? What the hell! Also I note that the machines listed come with Ubuntu 9.04, despite the blurbs being about Ubuntu 10.4...looks like someone Did Not Do the Homework...

Edited 2010-06-15 22:35 UTC

Reply Score: 5

jokkel Member since:
2008-07-07

This is really bad. You think you buy a fully supported machine, but it might just break with any update to a newer Ubuntu version.

Did Dell not offer SuSe preinstalled at some point? Or am I confused?

Reply Score: 2

sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

I don't think it is more likely to break on update than any other hardware configuration.

If anything it is less likely as many Ubuntu developers and testers will be using the machine and if nothing else sending the bug reports down to people working upstream.

Dell is supporting the machines as they ship them, they cannot guarantee that nVidia or whatever other crap their customers choose to put into their configuration, will release a working driver for Ubuntu 11.10. Or that Ubuntu won't change the sound subsystem when the new one doesn't work or release a network manager that breaks the network, AGAIN.

They have also licensed a proprietary DVD player(the only legal way to watch DVDs in Linux) and other minor things. I doubt they got a license for "all future versions". If they updated to Karmic, they would need to pay real money again.

The version they are shipping is guaranteed to work. All concerns for security and obsolete software, are justified but the current state of patents, stupid licenses and paranoid hardware makers is not really Dell's fault. You are free to update to a version without many of the older flaws - at your own risk.

Maybe some people here are too young to remember, but most should remember when they tried updating their machines to W2000 or XP only to find out some OEM hardware driver was MIA or only for Windows 95. Or again when Vista came. Any version can be the last version, and Dell and co. can't rely on hw vendors because they are never trustworthy.

The solution is of course buying only documented hardware. Good luck with that. My DELL is pretty good in that respect, but I specifically opted out of the worst offenders.

Edited 2010-06-16 01:38 UTC

Reply Score: 6

bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

sakeniwefu posted...

If they updated to Karmic, they would need to pay real money again.


You mean Lucid. Canonical has since Karmic released Ubuntu 10.4 which has been out for nearly fifty days now. If Dell paid for the porting of Cyberlink's DVD player they should have taken into account the Canonical release cycle and waited for the next LTS release to come along. Meanwhile what do you think is going to happen when someone buys that computer with Ubuntu 8.10 and they get prompted to update with the words "A New Version Has Been Released" and they click the button?

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 3

sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26


You mean Lucid. Canonical has since Karmic released Ubuntu 10.4 which has been out for nearly fifty days now.


And which I was using to type that. One can't keep up with the silly animal names thanks :p

What you say is true, but I still have a hard time seeing Dell at fault. They saw an opportunity and invested into that, had they been asked to wait... who knows if they would be selling Ubuntu laptops at all. Some people would be happier if they released a plain Fedora rawhide that doesn't support some of the hardware but that's hardly supporting an OS at all. You can buy an OS-free or 100% unsupported random Linux OS machine any day from many vendors.

Reply Score: 4

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I can see the logic in there, because 9.04 is a much more polished release than 9.10 (which included a pulseaudio update which broke sound again on VIA chips and crappy wi-fi performance on Atheros chipsets) and 10.04 (which includes a puzzling windows button positioning which makes getting used to the OS harder for no reason, and the introduction of Plymouth while the technology still can't exactly be called bullet-proof). They probably wait to see what 10.10 looks like before upgrading to one of those three ones.

Edited 2010-06-16 07:50 UTC

Reply Score: 3

spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Meanwhile what do you think is going to happen when someone buys that computer with Ubuntu 8.10 and they get prompted to update with the words "A New Version Has Been Released" and they click the button?

It won't happen. Version upgrade are disabled by default. You have to go to the config panel and check the square that enable Version checks. If you do that, you probably know what you are doing.

Reply Score: 4

bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

spiderman shot back...

It won't happen. Version upgrade are disabled by default. You have to go to the config panel and check the square that enable Version checks. If you do that, you probably know what you are doing.


Are you sure about this? And if so, is this something Dell does on its hardware or are you attributing this to general Canonical behavior? I ask because I've installed older versions of Ubuntu attempting to get some idea of which version offered the best hardware and software support mix and I've always gotten prompted to upgrade to the newest version of Ubuntu unless I shut it off in the manner you suggest.

So is this something Dell does on all its Ubuntu releases or are we misunderstanding each other here?

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 2

spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23


Are you sure about this?

No, I don't have a Dell. It just strikes me as ovbious that Dell OEM Ubuntu don't have the version upgrades enabled. I admit I'm not sure about it though.
And if so, is this something Dell does on its hardware or are you attributing this to general Canonical behavior? I ask because I've installed older versions of Ubuntu attempting to get some idea of which version offered the best hardware and software support mix and I've always gotten prompted to upgrade to the newest version of Ubuntu unless I shut it off in the manner you suggest.

So is this something Dell does on all its Ubuntu releases or are we misunderstanding each other here?

I assume Canonical does that on the OEM version for Dell. Not doing so would be weird in my opinion. People who buy Dell with OEM Ubuntu preinstalled don't want version updates.

Reply Score: 2

bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

spiderman shot back...

No, I don't have a Dell. It just strikes me as obvious that Dell OEM Ubuntu don't have the version upgrades enabled. I admit I'm not sure about it though.


Well that's the thing, how often does a corporation do the obvious thing? Especially when it comes to computers?

spiderman shot back...
I assume Canonical does that on the OEM version for Dell. Not doing so would be weird in my opinion.


They might have done with the earlier versions they worked with Canonical to produce. Recall that the version of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS shipped with Dell's earlier attempt at this had a specially compiled version called LPIA for the Intel Atom processors. It wasn't as easy to upgrade because doing so would lose all the optimizations, I believe those devices were disabled due to architecture differences. Now that Canonical no longer has a LPIA branch, I'm not sure that applies.

It will be interesting to see what these devices are once someone buys one and reports back on it. I'm tempted myself. If I hadn't already pulled the trigger on the ASUS eeepc 901 when I did I might have gotten one of the mini Inspirons when they came out.

I'm especially curious about the hardware support, since it was Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) that had all the intel video driver issues resulting nearly everyone on a netbook who installed it to upgrade to bleeding edge xorg to get acceptable performance or roll back to previous versions of Ubuntu. It was also the last version of Ubuntu to have a custom kernel compiled by Adam McDaniel, because 'Ubuntu now supports everything natively.' Coincidentally the forked Ubuntu he has been working on lately, Jolicloud is also based on Ubuntu 9.04...

Makes you wonder if this is the result of a licensing deal gone bad and Dell had originally intended to go with Jolilcloud?

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 2

bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

bornagainpenguin posted...
[q]Meanwhile what do you think is going to happen when someone buys that computer with Ubuntu 8.10 and they get prompted to update with the words "A New Version Has Been Released" and they click the button?


ARGH... typos will be the end of me...

The above part in bold should be 9.04, not 8.10. Sorry about that. Just substitute the proper version numbers, the point remains the same.

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 2

Sarcasm4all Member since:
2010-06-19

You mean Lucid. Canonical has since Karmic released Ubuntu 10.4 which has been out for nearly fifty days now.


FFS it's 10.04

there is no such thing as "Ubuntu 10.4"

Edited 2010-06-19 03:16 UTC

Reply Score: 1

jokkel Member since:
2008-07-07

I expect the software that comes with my computer to be updated for a reasonable time after I bought it. It doesn't have to be 10 years like Windows. But three to five would be nice. As this is a typical lifespan for a computer. But for non-LTS versions, there aren't any more updates aftet 18 months. This leaves a lot of users with a bad choice: Risk the update and ensuing breakage or use insecure and outdated software.

If I had bought an Ubuntu laptop from Dell, I would be outraged.

Reply Score: 3

bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

sakeniwefu speculated...

I don't think it is more likely to break on update than any other hardware configuration.

If anything it is less likely as many Ubuntu developers and testers will be using the machine and if nothing else sending the bug reports down to people working upstream.


I missed this statement the first time through, but in reading through the comments again I saw it and cannot allow it to go by uncommented on.

Ubuntu's idea of upstream bugfixes are a joke. Just read through some of the threads on Launchpad and see how often their users have reported issues, often months before the final release of the operating system only for the bugs to get ignored and pushed off to "upstream" by which Canonical means Debian. There have been major showstopper bugs in the last three releases, especially for those on netbooks like the ones Dell is offering here, the Launchpad was full of posters reporting the issues and asking that the final release be delayed slightly so these issues could be fixed--the response was uniformly time and time again that Ubuntu would not delay the release but the fixes would come quickly after the final was released. Canonical seems to have a different idea of "quickly" since the issues in question often weren't fixed for weeks after the final. In one case it was three months after the final for an issue to get fixed that caused a hard halt of the netbook, the user's only option was to do a hard reset. Three months after release for an issue that was discovered three months before the release during the alpha!

Forgive me if I seem a little credulous about the bug reports meaning anything after seeing that process over and over through several releases! Perhaps Dell has a bit more pull and its netbooks don't suffer such issues, but certainly ASUS was unable to get things to work...

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 4

link to www.openoffice.org... ?
by Delgarde on Tue 15th Jun 2010 23:11 UTC
Delgarde
Member since:
2008-08-19

Well-edited graphic at the bottom of the page... the subtext for Open Office reads "link to www.openoffice.org or description above". ;)

Reply Score: 2

A little disingenuos
by rhy7s on Wed 16th Jun 2010 00:23 UTC
rhy7s
Member since:
2008-08-04

The comparison table is a bit suspect. Microsoft Office isn't included with Windows, the note about (extra cost) should be balanced by OpenOffice.org being listed as (free download) for Windows rather than marked as unavailable. Photo Editing doesn't necessitate extra cost for Windows, neither does Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware. All this is obvious of course to the OSnews crowd but it's still not exactly commendable on the part of Dell to mislead others.

Reply Score: 4

RE: A little disingenuos
by telns on Wed 16th Jun 2010 02:29 UTC in reply to "A little disingenuos"
telns Member since:
2009-06-18

Yep.

Even more, free options for photo editing are a little stronger on Windows, IMO. There is GIMP, of course on both, but Paint.NET is also quite nice for casual use. I also think it would be less intimidating to home/casual users than GIMP is.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: A little disingenuos
by lemur2 on Wed 16th Jun 2010 02:53 UTC in reply to "RE: A little disingenuos"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Yep. Even more, free options for photo editing are a little stronger on Windows, IMO. There is GIMP, of course on both, but Paint.NET is also quite nice for casual use. I also think it would be less intimidating to home/casual users than GIMP is.


Aren't GIMP and Paint.NET both raster graphics editors (commonly known as paint programs)?

The Linux direct equivalent to Paint.NET would be Pinta:
http://www.ubuntugeek.com/pinta-paint-net-clone-for-linux.html

For those looking for a "simpler-than-GIMP-alternative", a better choice would be Krita:
http://krita.org/

But for actual photo editing and management, one would use digikam:
http://www.digikam.org/drupal/about/overview
http://www.digikam.org/drupal/about?q=about/features
(specifically, for Image Editing, there is the ShowFoto part of digikam):
http://www.digikam.org/node/326

or perhaps Shotwell:
http://yorba.org/shotwell/

Edited 2010-06-16 03:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: A little disingenuos
by smashIt on Wed 16th Jun 2010 17:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A little disingenuos"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

Aren't GIMP and Paint.NET both raster graphics editors (commonly known as paint programs)?

The Linux direct equivalent to Paint.NET would be Pinta:
http://www.ubuntugeek.com/pinta-paint-net-clone-for-linux.html


out of curiosity: does paint.net run with mono?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: A little disingenuos
by Neolander on Wed 16th Jun 2010 20:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A little disingenuos"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Yes, Miguel de Icaza, the most famous .Net freak of the open source community, managed to make a working port of it some times ago :
http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2007/Dec-21.html
The port is still active and stored here, if you want to try it out :
http://code.google.com/p/paint-mono/

Edited 2010-06-16 20:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: A little disingenuos
by lemur2 on Thu 17th Jun 2010 10:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A little disingenuos"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Aren't GIMP and Paint.NET both raster graphics editors (commonly known as paint programs)?

The Linux direct equivalent to Paint.NET would be Pinta:
http://www.ubuntugeek.com/pinta-paint-net-clone-for-linux.html


out of curiosity: does paint.net run with mono?
"

Paint.NET is a Windows-only program.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paint.NET

Pinta is a clone of Paint.NET written by Novell to run under Mono/Gtk# on GNOME, OSX or Windows desktops.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinta_%28software%29

Edited 2010-06-17 10:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: A little disingenuos
by telns on Wed 16th Jun 2010 20:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A little disingenuos"
telns Member since:
2009-06-18

Aren't GIMP and Paint.NET both raster graphics editors (commonly known as paint programs)?


I think you're verging toward hyper-correctness here, as by this definition even Photoshop isn't a photo program, only Lightroom is. Or perhaps Bridge is but Photoshop isn't. I don't know exactly, but I think something went wrong.

For those looking for a "simpler-than-GIMP-alternative", a better choice would be Krita


Looks nifty, but I can't actually imagine using it for what I'd use GIMP for, seeing as it describes itself as a "painting/sketching" program. That strikes me more along the lines of Illustrator (Adobe) side or Draw and Paint (Corel).

digikam looks nice in the more Lightroom-ish side of things. The only free software I know of on Windows that is similar is Blue Marine. That segment is typically dominated by for-pay software on Windows, or for entirely casual use like Picasa.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: A little disingenuos
by lemur2 on Thu 17th Jun 2010 10:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A little disingenuos"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Aren't GIMP and Paint.NET both raster graphics editors (commonly known as paint programs)?


I think you're verging toward hyper-correctness here, as by this definition even Photoshop isn't a photo program, only Lightroom is. Or perhaps Bridge is but Photoshop isn't. I don't know exactly, but I think something went wrong.

For those looking for a "simpler-than-GIMP-alternative", a better choice would be Krita


Looks nifty, but I can't actually imagine using it for what I'd use GIMP for, seeing as it describes itself as a "painting/sketching" program. That strikes me more along the lines of Illustrator (Adobe) side or Draw and Paint (Corel).

digikam looks nice in the more Lightroom-ish side of things. The only free software I know of on Windows that is similar is Blue Marine. That segment is typically dominated by for-pay software on Windows, or for entirely casual use like Picasa.
"

It is very simple, really. digikam for digital photos, krita for raster graphics (painting/sketching/artistic effects), karbon for drawing/illustrating and kivio for technical drawing/diagramming.

It is a bit of a pity that kivio hasn't got enough developers right now, but there it is.

On the GNOME/Gtk side, Inkscape is probably a bit more powerful than karbon, GIMP is more powerful (but vastly more complicated to use) than krita, Dia is at least available where Kivio is on hold right now, but Shotwell isn't any real competition at all to digikam.

One is actually very well catered for when it comes to graphics programs in Linux. The equivalent functionality in Windows would cost a fortune.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: A little disingenuos
by sorpigal on Wed 16th Jun 2010 14:30 UTC in reply to "RE: A little disingenuos"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Some of this can be forgiven for referring to the "out of the box" setup. If Dell offers preinstalled antivirus on its Windows offerings, for example, but only for an additional fee, then this is acceptable. The fact that OpenOffice doesn't come preinstalled on Dell's Windows boxes, which I presume is true, would mean that a not-available X in that column is fairly truthful.

The list is still disingenuous, I agree.

I also like the fine under "OpenOffice" in the second table: "link to www.openoffice.org or description above" - looks like something slipped by QA!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: A little disingenuos
by Bobthearch on Fri 18th Jun 2010 04:41 UTC in reply to "RE: A little disingenuos"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Yep.

Even more, free options for photo editing are a little stronger on Windows, IMO. There is GIMP, of course on both, but Paint.NET is also quite nice for casual use. I also think it would be less intimidating to home/casual users than GIMP is.


Additionally, every digital camera is bundled with Windows-compatible software.

Reply Score: 2

Dell in other countries
by lemur2 on Wed 16th Jun 2010 01:27 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

Dell Australia doesn't offer Linux.

If I wanted to purchase a machine with pre-installed Linux in Australia, I would go to this company:

http://www.vgcomputing.com.au/

However, I personally don't actually need to do that, I have in the past purchased "upgrade kits" and blank hard drives, and downloaded a Linux LiveCD, and assembled my own machine that way. If I have a question, I Google it and read a Linux forum online.

Either way, you get far better suport than you would from Dell Australia.

Edited 2010-06-16 01:28 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Package Manager..
by bert64 on Wed 16th Jun 2010 10:30 UTC
bert64
Member since:
2007-04-23

They don't really promote the package manager, i think package management would entice a lot of users to linux, and do a lot to counter the old "you cant go down to a store and buy whatever crappy software off the shelf" fud.

Apple users seem to love the app store - getting everything in one place, updating everything centrally etc... Linux package management offers something very similar.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Package Manager..
by lemur2 on Wed 16th Jun 2010 11:02 UTC in reply to "Package Manager.."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

They don't really promote the package manager, i think package management would entice a lot of users to linux, and do a lot to counter the old "you cant go down to a store and buy whatever crappy software off the shelf" fud.

Apple users seem to love the app store - getting everything in one place, updating everything centrally etc... Linux package management offers something very similar.


There is nothing like some screen-shots to illustrate a point:

http://news.softpedia.com/news/The-New-Ubuntu-User-Guide-Install-an...

http://i1-news.softpedia-static.com/images/reviews/large/ubuntubegi...

http://i1-news.softpedia-static.com/images/reviews/large/ubuntubegi...

Easy as pie.

http://i1-news.softpedia-static.com/images/reviews/large/ubuntubegi...

20311 packages in the listing.

Edited 2010-06-16 11:04 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Same as it ever was
by cpuobsessed on Wed 16th Jun 2010 14:20 UTC
cpuobsessed
Member since:
2009-06-09

If they were serious about offering linux they wouldn't bury it, they would have a link or something on the front page "Hey were offering you a choice!" Same as always it's like some backroom deal that unless you rap on the door three times and say the password you don't know they even offer it. What user/consumer would know to click the open source pc link?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Same as it ever was
by WorknMan on Wed 16th Jun 2010 17:25 UTC in reply to "Same as it ever was"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

What user/consumer would know to click the open source pc link?


The ones who are looking for it, and would probably be the only ones to consider buying it anyway.

Reply Score: 2

N-series
by soulrebel123 on Wed 16th Jun 2010 14:45 UTC
soulrebel123
Member since:
2009-05-13

Dell offers Latitude laptops with no OS. It's totally hidden from the website, but I purchased my last two laptops that way. Saved around 180 euros.
Inspirons just suck.

Reply Score: 1

redbeard
Member since:
2006-03-11

Yes they really support Linux, NOT. For $299 with the MS win machine gets you 250GB HD and a 6 cell battery. $299 Ubuntu gets you a 160GB HD and a 3 cell battery. You can also upgrade the screen to 1366x768 and other HW with the MS machine, but not with Ubuntu.

So how is it that a free OS gets you less hardware for an OS that cost $$. Hummm? IF I were buying I would get the MS machine due to the differences and install Ubuntu, but MS still get its tax and gets to put a mark in # of MS OSs sold compared to Linux. I suspect that is why Dell offers Ubuntu as they do, because MS wants it that way. :-(

Reply Score: 3

westlake Member since:
2010-01-07

So how is it that a free OS gets you less hardware for an OS that cost $$.(


Economies of scale.

The Windows PC outsells Linux by 100 to 1.

The retailer doesn't have to maintain a dual inventory and support structure.

Reply Score: 3

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

It's the same fucking hardware! You can't tell me that loading a different OS image on the disk costs that much more, because I know it doesn't. If they have the facility to offer a choice of OS at all (they do, different versions of Windows) then they can offer +1 OS at negligible cost.

Reply Score: 1

ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

It's the same fucking hardware! You can't tell me that loading a different OS image on the disk costs that much more, because I know it doesn't. If they have the facility to offer a choice of OS at all (they do, different versions of Windows) then they can offer +1 OS at negligible cost.


The ability to load Windows, and the accompanying trial software pays for the difference. Dell gets $0 revenue in license sales, $0 revenue in trial software loading, and probably next to nothing in support subscription. You want a cheaper Ubuntu? Then accept having trial software and other junk loaded. Accept having a license model whereby the OEM can resell to cover other costs.

Reply Score: 3

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Or they could stop loading trial software shit that nobody wants and few people buy, thus evening out the price of the windows boxes.

Seriously! If one of the "configuration" options for Windows boxes was "* Trial software which costs extra and does things I don't want anyway" , which costs $50 to uncheck, I'd uncheck it. Maybe some people wouldn't but it would be all the same to Dell (and we'd know where our money was going).

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Junkware can take down the price of Windows and then some, especially since MS is offering Win 7 starter pretty cheap to OEMs.

If it makes you feel any better Linux is making MS bleed when it comes to netbooks. Dell wouldn't even have the option of starter edition if Linux wasn't around.

Reply Score: 2

TYPO on Dell's Site
by snadrus on Wed 16th Jun 2010 15:58 UTC
snadrus
Member since:
2010-05-04

Windows or Ubuntu?
Photo Editing: Ubuntu: included fee

??

Reply Score: 0

v chanel
by ckfeng on Thu 17th Jun 2010 08:23 UTC
LOLOOO
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lovers2
Member since:
2010-06-18

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Reply Score: 1