Dell to choose Ubuntu for Linux PCs

Just over a month ago, Dell announced that it planned to start offering desktop and notebook systems with Linux pre-installed. Now, eWeek reports that Dell will most likely select Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux as the distribution of choice for those machines. Dell hasn’t made an official announcement yet, but eWeek quotes multiple sources within Dell as saying that Ubuntu will indeed be chosen.

That choice wouldn’t be too surprising, seeing as Dell CEO Michael Dell himself recently revealed that he runs Ubuntu Linux on his personal Dell Precision M90 notebook. Ubuntu also happens to be the most popular Linux distribution choice, judging by the 2006 Desktop Linux Survey as well as recent Google search trends. According to eWeek’s sources, Dell will start pre-loading the recently released 7.04 version of Ubuntu Linux on a Dell e-series “Essential” Dimension desktop, an XPS desktop, and an e-series Inspiron notebook in late May.

Comments closed
    • opinionated
    • 13 years ago

    I looked at reviews of the new Ubuntu offering when it first came out. I couldn’t find a single one that said this version of Linux or any other was appropriate for the common user. Reading some of the comments here I’d have to agree. I didn’t understand a good portion of them. I think if Dell starts making Ubuntu computers available to mainstream users at this time they are in for some major support headaches.

      • emkubed
      • 13 years ago

      Why don’t you boot a Ubuntu Live CD and draw your own conclusions?

      I have 7.04 as the only OS on two laptops for my family, the least computer-savvy users I support, and they really enjoy it.

      • Whybee
      • 13 years ago

      If Dell installs everything a common user needs it is gonna be OK. Most users probably will not know the difference between Windows and Ubuntu anyway.

      It is more advanced users who may have problems. I personally used Unix last time about 15 years ago and finally decided to try Linux with this new release of Ubuntu. Installing drivers and applications and even changing screen resolution (to increase resolution you have to edit the configuration file manually) requires a lot of time. You have to google solutions to your problems and because it is a new release recommended solutions will not always work.

      But when you learn how to do things it works fine. It is faster and presumably safer (though I never had any serious security issues in windows).

      I cannot entirely switch to Ubuntu because there is no iTunes for Linux and no macromedia flash player for 64 bit version and I still cant make my RealPlayer work (maybe also because it is a 64 bit version). But I would recommend trying Ubuntu to everyone. At the very least it makes you learn a bit more about how your computer works.

    • NotParker
    • 13 years ago

    Bye Bye Dell.

    If they plan to divert millions of dollars in resources and time away from supporting 99.99% of their customers to supporting Ubuntu, then I’ll be switching my company to HP.

        • NotParker
        • 13 years ago

        “HP doesn’t offer a specific SKU of a notebook or desktop PC preloaded with Linux”

        If they decide to squander resources on Linux, I’ll go to a whitebox company.

          • bthylafh
          • 13 years ago

          Go troll somewhere else.

            • NotParker
            • 13 years ago

            Trolling? Why is pointing out that Dell’s Windows support may suffer trolling?

            • bthylafh
            • 13 years ago

            It couldn’t be that you’re being an ass.

            • Perezoso
            • 13 years ago

            This idiot is one of OSNews’ most notorious trolls.
            §[<http://www.osnews.com/user.php?uid=7674<]§

      • CasbahBoy
      • 13 years ago

      Yeah, I don’t think you have much to worry about. If Linux systems they ship are even supported, each and every one of us can expect them to divert toward those customers an amount of resources proportional to the number of Ubuntu systems they ship – in other words, a negligible amount compared to that of their Windows based systems.

      That is of course unless this post is a kneejerk reaction preceding a tirade on how 1) Dell customer support is getting worse or 2) How you feel Linux is 2a) A completely useless and unusable OS in every way shape and form or 2b) Completely unready for the common-man’s desktop; in which case you can just ignore me and carry on 😉

        • NotParker
        • 13 years ago

        “an amount of resources proportional to the number of Ubuntu systems they ship ”

        Except there is a certain base amount of resources need to be diverted from Windows support to Ubuntu support whether they sell 1 or 1000.

        And Dell can’t afford to be shafting Window users after their outsourcing fiasco.

        • NotParker
        • 13 years ago

        So now the Ubuntu/Dell box will cost more than a box with Vista on it?

        250$ is a lot for 1 year of support

        §[<http://www.canonical.com/services/support<]§

          • eitje
          • 13 years ago

          that’s not costing Dell anything though, since they’re not diverting resources into its support. 😉

    • Illissius
    • 13 years ago

    They made the right choice. I use Kubuntu myself, but either of them are great.

    • gbcrush
    • 13 years ago

    eeww..?

    I keep thinking I need to take the dive into Linux. Certainly all my coworkers here (about 95% linux heads) are reminding me of that. And I thought about loading Ubuntu to throw on some old hardware I have at home.

    Now I hear Dell is going to use this? Am I justified in feeling a bit of the “I dont wanna be like them” factor?

      • bthylafh
      • 13 years ago

      No, it just means you’re an elitist.

        • gbcrush
        • 13 years ago

        actually, that’s refreshing to hear. You’re right, I shouldn’t care.

        I’ll shutup and try to keep that in mind.

      • Corrado
      • 13 years ago

      It means rather than old hardware, spend the $300 and get a brand new fast machine with linux on it from dell and enjoy the warranty and not having to hunt down obscure drivers and hacking them in.

      • FubbHead
      • 13 years ago

      Install Gentoo first, and then reconsider. 🙂

    • blitzy
    • 13 years ago

    that’s a hell of a plug for Ubuntu

    • grug
    • 13 years ago

    The real question is, will the Windows-less PCs actually cost less?

      • eloj
      • 13 years ago

      Of course not. It’ll probably cost exactly the same or slightly more because it isn’t subsidized by Microsoft “payola”.

        • poulpy
        • 13 years ago

        When you ask for a refund of your unwanted copy of Windows they don’t take the copy and ask for change back on the ground that your PC isn’t part of the “payola” anymore now do they?

          • moose17145
          • 13 years ago

          If i remember correctly, these should cost less, because you are not paying for a M$ license to run windows… after all… linux IS free. The only reason i believe this is my school is currently in a huge fight with the college of business over some dell laptop they want to require students in the college of business to have. They were originally getting machines with windows installed, and then they wiped that and ghosted their own image over the one that came from dell anyways (as the school obviously has it’s own agreement with M$ for licenses). So basically you were paying for two M$ licenses even though you were gonna end up only being able to use one. Tesla (Who also goes to my school) pointed this out and reconfigured the laptops so they come with Linux because it cost less that way per laptop (and it’s not gonna matter since like i said, they are gonna get wiped anyways and ghosted with whatever the school requires).

      • NotParker
      • 13 years ago

      They should cost more since they will cost more to support and most of the minimal cost Dell pays for Windows is offset by the craplets.

        • eloj
        • 13 years ago

        Evidence for this assertion?

          • NotParker
          • 13 years ago

          Its a guess, but craplets lower the cost of a PC from 10-60$.

          §[<http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070111-8598.html<]§ There is also the cost in labor of creating a system image that will work on each possible combination of hardware shipped with a PC. Thats adds a lot of cost, no matter whether you sell 1 or 1000. If you read all the comments from the faithful, most DEMAND that no binary drivers ship withe the PC. That means Dell will have to find replacement peripherals that don't have open source drivers. That costs money. The volume will be low too, so parts will be more expensive. All the customization costs.

            • bthylafh
            • 13 years ago

            You’ve never used Ubuntu or a good recent Linux distro, have you?

            The Dells we get (Optiplexes and Latitudes), all the hardware works out-of-box with Ubuntu except for the Winmodems, which is unavoidable unless you get one made by Intel or someone else who provides Linux drivers. That includes Nvidia and to a lesser extent ATI (and especially Intel) video cards, because Ubuntu includes the binary video drivers by default, though (as of Feisty) it doesn’t use them until you enable them.

            Wireless might be dodgy, but no problem if you get the Intel wireless card instead of the cheap Dell ones.

            Scheisse, Dell doesn’t even guarantee that all of their hardware is compatible with Vista. They’re not going to the trouble of getting their entire line Linux-compatible, at least not for the foreseeable future. I’d about guarantee it will be for a select few models, probably all of which will have hardware that’s supported directly with the drivers included in Ubuntu (again possibly save Winmodems). I’d be interested to see what they do with printers and scanners.

            Hell, the Dimension E521 is noted for its Linux compatibility, as long as you’ve got the most recent BIOS.

            Since you claim you’re not trolling, why are you so sure that Dell’s support will go downhill? It’s not like they’ll retrain all of their drones to support Linux. I’d imagine relatively few will be retrained, unless and until it becomes more popular.

    • DreadCthulhu
    • 13 years ago

    Kubuntu would have been better, as I think KDE is a better desktop enviroment than Gnome, especially for people coming off of windows. Still, Kudos for Dell for doing this.

      • CampinCarl
      • 13 years ago

      It’s pretty easy to switch over to KDE from Ubuntu, though…can’t you just download the K destop environment from the package manager?

        • grug
        • 13 years ago

        Yes, running “aptitude install kubuntu-desktop” or installing it via the Synaptic GUI is all you have to do.

      • Flying Fox
      • 13 years ago

      Actually, Gnome + Beryl is more like OS X + Vista, may be even slightly better. A co-worker of mine put it on his XP-M laptop with some cheesy Ati IGP and all the 3D stuff works flawlessly and quite FAST.

        • JokerCPoC
        • 13 years ago

        Considering the problems people are having getting programs like Civilization 4 Warlords to run under Vista(It’s supposed to at any rate, As both will install), Kubuntu would look pretty good and run more stuff I’d think, M$ by ending New purchases soon of all versions of XP is crazy, As in Suicidal. But It’s M$es choice to sink if they want to.

        The link below is to the Civ4 tech support forums.

        §[<http://forums.civfanatics.com/forumdisplay.php?f=159<]§

          • thecoldanddarkone
          • 13 years ago

          Civ 4 isn’t the only game out their and isn’t the only game that isn’t well supported. However, considering I have 15 or so games and I have only one that doesn’t work I personally would say microsoft is not dead yet :$, or even remotely for that matter. Using linux I have alot less that work, and it’s a crap more load work to get them working…

            • JokerCPoC
            • 13 years ago

            Well considering No one is really all that interested in an OS that is possibly flaky, expensive and maybe even not backward compatible anymore, If You want to buy It, Be My guest, Most are comfortable with XP, I have multiple PCs and they use XP Pro(1) and XP x64(4), Could I upgrade to Vista? Sure If It’s Vista Business x32 for XP x64, That’s a no go there, XP Pro is on an old PC, I’m not about to give Vista to It as It isn’t My main PC anymore, I have other programs that would not work with Vista, Like Nero 6(I don’t feel like upgrading to 7), Vista writes to DVD, Only problem, Those DVDs aren’t compatible with anything else, So their coasters and DVDs can be expensive coasters. I’m not even sure DVD Flick would work in Vista. So why would I want Vista? I’ll keep what I have currently and M$ can go to hades and sell Vista there for all I care.

            • thecoldanddarkone
            • 13 years ago

            Most people don’t go and buy an os based on anything except need. That need only comes when the average person’s old computer dies and drops away. Its always been that way. The only os where people keep buying new releases is Apple (it might be a higher percentage than the average). Where a good portion of their people will buy the next realease of the software.

            As for me using Vista, I already do. It runs all of my applications (except one game, lol)

            Flick dvd
            System requirements
            A Pentium 2 or compatible AMD processor, or better. A Pentium 3 or later is recommended, the faster the better.
            64 MB of free physical RAM, 128 MB or more is recommended.
            Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP (Professional or Home) or Windows Vista.

            • JokerCPoC
            • 13 years ago

            It’s called “DVD Flick” by the author, Not Flick DVD, But I didn’t realize You made Your own version.

            In any case Dell is doing what It’s customers want, It is selling what they want. So have You gotten tired of UAC and turned It off yet?

            • thecoldanddarkone
            • 13 years ago

            I have no idea what it’s called I don’t use it (meh, I googled it), sorry about using the wrong name. Anyways, I have not turned uac off. In fact I run as a reg user, not the admin account for everyday tasks.

            • JokerCPoC
            • 13 years ago

            If You’re happy Ok. Vista does have problems selling as It is too expensive and is not supposed to be backwards compatible, You just happen to have a good amount of Vista compatible programs, Most don’t though and that would make upgrading to Vista even more expensive as getting Nero7, etc isn’t a Free upgrade I’d think(New hardware too maybe). So most just don’t want Vista cause of that.

    • DukenukemX
    • 13 years ago

    I don’t care what Linux they choose so long as it becomes standard. That is currently what hurts Linux from becoming a serious competitor to XP/Vista is the lack of standards. Standards and simplicity.

    Ubuntu is probably the best choice so far given that it doesn’t require a Computer Science degree to operate it.

    • Hamish
    • 13 years ago

    I have the same laptop as Michael Dell! WooT!

    • tesmar
    • 13 years ago

    Ubuntu is clearly the best choice here, if even for its’ clean layout. I mean, Mandriva by default is hideous, and Suse is also cluttered. Ubuntu is more elegant, and the package system is the best of the three. Good choice Dell.

      • LiamC
      • 13 years ago

      I’ve been playing with Linux since SUSE 6.2. SUSE, Red Hat, Mandrake/Mandriva never seemed quite “there”.

      6.0 was my first try at Ubuntu and I thought it was very good. 6.10 was even better but 7.04 is a revelation (from a n00b perspective).

      Oh yeah KDE is the wm of choice 😀
      /ducks, weaves

        • apsog33
        • 13 years ago

        Actually KDE isn’t a window manager it’s a desktop environment with kwin as it’s window manager. I prefer openbox as a window manager whether i’m in gnome or kde because it’s friggin fast.

    • rythex
    • 13 years ago

    Insert some random Linux nerd comment how Dell should have chosen some different version of Linux for some stupid obscure reason.

      • adisor19
      • 13 years ago

      Rrright, well i would have personally went with SUSE but given their recent pact with the devil (M$), i think Ubuntu is a good choice. Mandriva would have been good too…

      Adi

      • alex666
      • 13 years ago

      LOL. I was waiting for that, too.

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