Dell to Expand Linux Options


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Dell to Expand Linux Options

Your feedback on Dell IdeaStorm has been astounding.  Thank you!  We hear your requests for desktops and notebooks with Linux.  We’re crafting product offerings in response, but we’d like a little more direct feedback from you: your preferences, your desires.  We recognize some people prefer notebooks over desktops, high-end models over value models, your favorite Linux distribution, telephone-based support over community-based support, and so on.  We can’t offer everything (all systems, all distributions, all support options), so we’ve crafted a survey ( to let you help us prioritize what we should deliver for you.

Taking a few minutes to complete this survey will help us define our forthcoming Linux-based system offerings. We will close the survey on Friday, March 23. From there, we’ll take some time to analyze your feedback and work to provide the platforms and options you choose.

Thanks in advance for your participation. More details soon.

Update:  We're overwhelmed by your responses, and we know the survey server is overloaded too.  We're working on it, and the survey will remain open until March 23, so you'll have plenty of time to make your vote count.


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  • Ubuntu need not be purely community-supported, as you can contract with Ubuntu to provide the software support.  This (software support parnering with Ubuntu, Red Hat, or Novell) should help make supporting Linux easier.  Linux isn't Windows; you're not stuck with the support of the software.  Just support your hardware and contract with another vendor for the software support.

     Could you please discuss with us what all of your partnering with Microsoft requires, and why your no-OS (let alone Linux) offerings tend to be buried and hard to find unless you know where to look?  I'm very curious why so many steps you've taken have been seemingly so half-hearted.

  • The choice of laptops, desktops and servers with linux/bsd is important to me. Specifically, I would like to be able to purchase laptops and desktops supporting Kubuntu. (I prefer KDE over Gnome)

    I would NOT want to see any "bleeding edge" stuff. It is too volitale. Fedora is a great example of this. Kubuntu is supported for three years from the date it is published (v6.06) and doesn't try to be everything to everyone.

    But I really want a choice. I do in the server area. Purchasing Windows 2003 is an option. This is not the case with desktops and laptops. I am "stuck" with XP/Vista. (Note: I will not buy Vista. I specify all purchases for my company.)

  • Dell could have a winner if these options are across the Dell product line and not just business machines.
  • Good evening,

        The greatest gains from Dell's use of linux will be that of hardware support.  The majority of us really don't have a preference of distro.  All that matters is that the underlying hardware is properly supported in the linux kernel (or via CUPS/ SANE/ XORG).

       Different linux vendors seem to have localization, language, and application support pretty well covered.

        In the spirit of choice, I recommend the following distro selection method.  Make a pie chart of all distros from's popularity rating.   Tape the pie chart to the wall.  Stand back approximately 3 meters.  Throw a dart at the pie chart.  You have now successfully selected Dell's OEM linux offering.


    Thank you for your time,

    Frank Russo

  • I am most interested primarily in budget-model laptops. My distro of choice would be Ubuntu. I was able to get Ubuntu 6.06 dual booting on my Inspiron 1100, but I could never get the modem working. However, I did have to edit the xorg.conf file before running install to get 1024 video. Using the install script only provides 640 resolution in the 1100.

     Although 6.10 will install and run, there are problems with video, so I dropped back to 6.06.

     I will be replacing the 1100 soon, and I would be interested in a low-to-medium priced laptop capable of running Ubuntu, including modem and wireless networking.

     Support would not be an issue for me as long as I knew the hardware was compatible with Ubuntu.


  • I don't care about Linux coming pre-installed.  I can do that for myself.  However, it will be nice when I can order a machine for family members with a linux flavor pre-installed though.  

    Please get your hardware vendors to cooperate with kernel developers and release specs that everyone can use.   I'm using a M65.  I can't get the mic input to work. The modem is useless without spending $20 on a driver, if it even works.  I don't expect everything to work right away with bleeding edge hardware, but I do want it to work eventually.  Sooner is better than later.


  • Suse an Fedora are the two most popular, select either. And The KDE desktop is the most popular

    among Linux users, not Gnome, don't listen to

    the Fedora Project on that issue. 

    It doesn't really matter, if the PC or Laptop has

    Linux compatible hardware, the user can install

    any version of Linux he wants, if the one installed is not to his liking.

    Most all Linux Distro's are easy to install anyway.

    Believe me if the units are bought by individuals

    they are going to experiment anyhow.

    If the units are bought by companies, Fedora and Suse are much easier to modify to fit there

    needs .

    Jim Tate 

  • Seems like you're listening after all, good job!
  •      I have been using Linux since 1993.

         Favorite distributions are Debian or Gentoo or any derivative of either.

         Red Hat is not worth bothering with. Fedora has no continuity, is just a beta for the overpriced enterprise version.

         Uses include Open Office, Flightgear, Mythtv.

         Desktop - Kde.

         Window manager - Enlightenment


  • The key for me is not the software.  I can handle that (I use gentoo linux).  Instead the key is that the hardware is supported.  So ati graphics are bad nvidia is ok.  I don't use modems, but winmodems are a problem.

     The broadcom wireless minipci are problematic (driver in kernel is ok but you must get other firmware and when difficulties occur, it is much harder to handle than truly open hardware.


  • DELL should concentrate it's efforts on ONE Linux distribution as supported and factory installed by DELL. Without any surprise today, "Ubuntu" is by far the Linux champ on Desktop as it's :

    • The world's most popular Linux desktop
    • The most user friendly Linux distribution 

    Beside that, Ubuntu represents the PERFECT balance between "Commercial and Community".

    Distrowatch and many other Linux magazines show that "Ubuntu" is the real champ, so they already did the survey for you about your last question 6). Pretty sure that on your Dell IdeaStorm "Ubuntu" was number 1.


  • The choice of laptops (xps m1210 notebook), desktops and servers with linux/bsd is important to me. Specifically, I would like to be able to purchase and support in laptops and desktops supporting Opensuse. (I prefer KDE) Please get your hardware vendors to cooperate with kernel developers and release specs that everyone can use.I can't get the mic input to work.and webcam. Thank you for your time,
  • Regardless of which Linux you choose to support (my favorites: Fedora+RHEL), the real issue is that there must be NO BINARY DRIVERS. Linux support means to me that everything works with free software and I think you will get negative feedback if you rely on binary drivers.



  • I would select PCLinuxOS ( It is by far easier to use and install than any other distro I have ever used. I know that it works well with Dell products as I have installed it on a variety of Dell hardware, all without issue. I can't say that for any other distro, including Ubuntu (it didn't like the video card) or openSUSE (it didn't like my audio card). The community support of PCLinuxOS is much more open and 'friendly' than that of other Linux forums, too. Peace be with you. +OD
  • My personal preference would go to this scenario:

     - "Linux-certified" hardware through the whole product range.

    - the choice of "no OS installed" through the whole product range (at a discount w/r to a WinXX pre-install) -- I don't object to FreeDOS being installed, or a minimal linux of any denomination, but it's not a requirement for me.

    - maybe the box could contain CDs or DVDs with the most popular community-supported linux distro (nice to have, not required).

    Regarding support:

    - phone-in support for the hardware is enough for my part.

    - I don't see Dell as needing to invest anything in linux application support (that's already more than covered by the community).

    - some form of mailing list / forum support (with Dell technicians on staff) for driver-related issues would be of considerable help.


    Ph. A.