Dell: certain PCs will be available with Linux

Dell plans to expand Linux support beyond existing offers of servers and the Precision workstation line. That means Linux pre-installed on select desktop and notebook systems, although which specific models is currently unclear. On Friday February 16, Dell launched IdeaStorm where it allowed the public to suggest what the second largest PC maker should aim for. Linux support was the number one request and on March 13, Dell launched a detailed Linux survey asking for feedback. Dell claims over 100,000 people took the survey, of which highlights include:

  • More than 70% of survey respondents said they would use a Dell system with a Linux operating system for both home and office use.
  • Survey respondents indicated they want a selection of notebook and desktop offerings.
  • Majority of survey respondents said that existing community-based support forums would meet their technical support needs for a tested and validated Linux operating system on a Dell system.
  • Survey respondents indicated that improved hardware support for Linux is as important as the distribution(s) offered.
Dell also noted that based on comments on the Direct2Dell blog, the majority of users are less concerned about a specific distribution and are more interested in kernel level and open driver support. Dell is working on that as well: for new Linux desktops and notebooks, drivers already in the mainline kernel.org kernels will be used for as many components as possible and will be included in the user's chosen distribution. As well, where there is a choice, Dell plans to include components with a Free driver as opposed to components with a non-Free driver. Where there are open source drivers, Dell will continue to encourage the development (by all parties) towards open source drivers, but will also provide the closed-source drivers.

View: Direct2Dell Blog
News source: Ideas in Action

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Asustek to ship motherboard with HD interface

Next Story

IPv6 to power 'city of the future'

26 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Dell also noted that based on comments on the Direct2Dell blog, the majority of users are less concerned about a specific distribution and are more interested in kernel level and open driver support

That's exactly what most of us want. Just say "we have 100% support for only the 2.6.20 kernel, and that's it" and most of us will be happy. Once the driver is there, it can be maintained. There's no need to support any particular distro. No need for tech support, other than h/w issues.

If Joe Schmoe the computer neophyte can't operate XP/Vista well, what in the world does Dell think will happen when people see a lower priced (hopefully?) system with Linux on it? The poor tech support people in India are hard enough to deal with, add all the confusion the end user will have with Linux, you get even more confusion.

The savvy people who are in the know on Linux, they won't be the issue. This has the potential to seriously backfire at Dell.

bmaher said,
Not really.. i can solve any problem in Linux using a terminal quicker than you could using GUI in windows :P

I don't think you are part of the crowd he is talking about.

HP took over the sales than Dell in Vista competition...Dell wasnt quite good in customizing & creating new branded Vista PC's (home premium atleast) with nominal cost..

Sales figures of notebooks & desktop with vista loaded was a huge step forward of HP...

Dell isnt that much cool after it was bloated with the battery replacement program...

Intel & Dell are now somewhat hating Microsoft, since they are *somewhat* moving away from them to HP,toshiba & in processor base to AMD!!

this is just my view...

We have a good standarzised computer system, why the hell destruct it by puttin linux on these machines? The only advantage I see in puttin linux on them is so that users can save money.

Have you ever used Linux? Just because Windows is the de-facto standard, it doesn't make it good. Lack of competition causes complacency in the market leader, and lack of innovation and features for all it's users. Even if you stick with Windows, having a more equal market share between a number of competitors can only benefit everyone.

Well, ultimately I do beleive this is a good thing. More choice is good, if that's what people want - that is what they should have.

The proof of this will be in sales though; Dell is investing into this - support, etc... I am sure they expect a return. If sales numbers will not be there, they will kill it sooner or later. That would mean that the whole thing was just a run of Linux supporters on their Dell's feedback mechanism and if that was the case - then ultimately, this will hurt Linux availability as it will stink pretty bad if Dell pulls the plug.

So - hopefully, a good percentage of people that said they want this, will buy it too, in other words - put the $$ where their mouth is...

BigBoy said,
Well, ultimately I do beleive this is a good thing. More choice is good, if that's what people want - that is what they should have.

The proof of this will be in sales though; Dell is investing into this - support, etc... I am sure they expect a return. If sales numbers will not be there, they will kill it sooner or later. That would mean that the whole thing was just a run of Linux supporters on their Dell's feedback mechanism and if that was the case - then ultimately, this will hurt Linux availability as it will stink pretty bad if Dell pulls the plug.

So - hopefully, a good percentage of people that said they want this, will buy it too, in other words - put the $$ where their mouth is...

Depends on what they offer in the way of support - whether they outsource the support to the respective distributors rather than taking it on board themselves - if you purchase Red Hat you ring up Red Hat, if you purchase Ubuntu, you get it from conical; its only been recently that Dell has taken on Red Hat Enterprise Linux support themselves rather than letting Red Hat handle it.

I find it ironic that DELL will be selling certain PC's with Linux's, but none with XP anymore. Come on, why is XP so underappreciated? Vista's bling bling isn't good enough to overtake XP.

Just my 2 cents and my opinion.

Well, this is like saying "They suck because they are not selling PCs with <inseart older Linux distro here>" rather than <insert newer Linux distro here>.

XP... well, it has eXPired :)

OK so that does not hold true for everyone I get it, but it's gone from new computers. OEMs want to offer something other than what they offered for last several years...

Slimy said,
Vista doesn't beat XP on just appearance.

You are correct. Vista beats XP on instability, security holes, consumer unfriendly features (embedded DRM, screwed-up licensing, enhanced WGA), unnecessary min hardware requirements, software incompatibility, and outrages prices. I'm sticking with XP and 2K on my Windows machines until at least SP2 and MS (a) straightens out all of the problems, (b) removes the consumer unfriendly "features", & © lowers the price. I'm not the only one that feels this way. Corp IT departments all over (including mine at a MS Gold Solutions Partner) aren't going to be touching Vista for a while.

I have stated before, and as long as Dell doesn't decide to waffle on this for a year, I intend to buy a Linux PC from Dell. They just need to work out their current problems where a Linux PC costs more than the identical Windows PC.

I think that the survey results are on the mark. Current community support forums are fine. Getting systems sold with known Linux-compatible hardware is a #1 issue.

if anything, it will be more expensive. Remember that Dell gets paid for every single piece of bloatware they preinstall on computers.

They will compensate this hardware wise though - the worst part of linux is hardware support (although it is improving), and Dell would provide 100% compatible hardware, and 100% working drivers - which is something even the more advanced linux users struggle to do

bmaher said,
if anything, it will be more expensive. Remember that Dell gets paid for every single piece of bloatware they preinstall on computers.
I can show that to be wrong today. No need to guess about the future.
Dell "n" series - no OS installed, hence no "bloatware" or "preinstalled apps": http://www.dell.com/content/products/featu...&redirect=1
Compare any of those to 'standard' models (no "n") with all their crud. Same price.

But... technically, it is what, $120 more expensive, as the "non-n" ones include a windows license, these dont. So you're basically paying the same for $120 (ish) worth of software less

pssst!! . want to know something more GOOD... come here.

If you have Download power at your end and Already have Downloaded any Linux Distro , then you can get a Dell Laptop already (or N-series desktop i think ) here . It comes with freedos , So you can boot it with your Favorite penguin and start dancing like "Happy Feet"