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.
Thread beginning with comment 430236
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 3

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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 4