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Dell Authors: Jnan Dash, Dmitry Sotnikov, Elizabeth White, dell exclusive , Pat Romanski

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Ubuntu Linux: Article

Dell to Sell $599 Ubuntu Linux Systems

Will Provide Hardware Support and Wave People Over to Software Support Sites

Dell has started selling two consumer desktops and a notebook fitted with a factory-loaded copy of the new Ubuntu Linux 7.04, making it the first of the major OEMs to offer standard low-end Linux SKUs.

Prices start at $599 and $849. The desktops are a $599 Dimension E520n and an $849 XPS 410n. The notebook is a $599 Inspiron E1505n.

In a prepared statement Dell said, "With no software costs associated with Ubuntu, the base price for each system is competitively priced and fully configured." Dell is prepared to provide hardware support through its normal support channels and is telling people to go to dedicated web sites and Linux forums or to Canonical for software support.

The systems are targeted at Linux enthusiasts as a result of that feedback Dell got in its ideastorm.com suggestion box. Desktop Linux merchant Linspire has predicted the best Dell can expect from the move is to sell 50,000-100,000 units. Dell could of course be opening a can of worms if the uninitiated start buying these systems.

Dell says it is offering "hardware options on each system that have the most mature and stable Linux driver support. These hardware options have been thoroughly tested and certified by Canonical. For hardware options not offered with this release, Dell is working with the vendors of those devices to improve the maturity and stability of their associated Linux drivers, and expects to have a broader range of hardware support with Linux over time."

The default software includes the Ubuntu kernel and applications. The peripheral options offered with Ubuntu will be a subset of what is Dell offers with other operating systems. It says it's using partial open-source or proprietary drivers where there is no equivalent open source driver, including Intel wireless cards and Conexant modems. It's not including any support for proprietary audio or video codecs that are not already distributed with Ubuntu 7.04 such as Quicktime, MPE, WMA, WMV and DVD.

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SYS-CON's Linux News Desk gathers stories, analysis, and information from around the Linux world and synthesizes them into an easy to digest format for IT/IS managers and other business decision-makers.

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Most Recent Comments
Edward 05/27/07 12:46:50 AM EDT

I installed Ubuntu in a virtual machine on Windows and can access all my windows files, print to my windows printer, everything works: sound, WACOM Art pen, etc. My tutorial tanguay.info/web/installubuntu shows you how to do it: get up to speed with Ubuntu before you get your laptop.

Linux News Desk 05/25/07 12:09:11 PM EDT

Dell says it is offering 'hardware options on each system that have the most mature and stable Linux driver support. These hardware options have been thoroughly tested and certified by Canonical. For hardware options not offered with this release, Dell is working with the vendors of those devices to improve the maturity and stability of their associated Linux drivers, and expects to have a broader range of hardware support with Linux over time.' The default software includes the Ubuntu kernel and applications. The peripheral options offered with Ubuntu will be a subset of what is Dell offers with other operating systems.