good news – Dell to offer factory installed Linux OS

Just spotted this on the BBC

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6506027.stm

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/global.aspx/ideastorm/ideasinaction?c=us&l=en&s=gen

One of the problems we have put on the back burner was migrating the directors laptops, currently running XP, to linux.

This would solve it easily.  I tried running ubuntu off disk in demo mode on my HP laptop, and it wouldn’t support some of the drivers, including the wifi.  I didn’t try to fix it, I’m just too busy and lacking in knowledge of Linux.  I just voted for the move on the Dell website instead!

Dell supporting linux is a real godsend for SMEs who just want to buy something that works, no faffing about, and laptops are notorius for being difficult to setup.

I wonder what distribution Dell will use?

  • Rich

    The latest version of Ubuntu (Feisty Fawn, released on 19th April) will include propietary drivers for some hardware (no idea what – I’ve not tried it!) – you might find that the new version will install fine on your current laptops, saving you the cost of new hardware! Good luck!

  • Julian Robbins

    The proprietry drivers include, the Intel and ATI video 3D drivers and probably a few others.

    The other I can say, is that please try your laptop again with Feisty when its released. I’ve installed Feisty demo on a Dell Precision M65 with Intel wifi and widescreen and Intel graphics, and it all worked out of the box, wifi, screen and Intel drivers (I think the intel video driver is actually GPL anyway).

    Even so, i was surprised it was that easy.

    The kernel and drivers are improving all the time, so do try the latest distros.

  • Hi Julian / Rich

    I downloaded the beta version of Feisty faun yesterday and ran it as an ISO on my laptop, a HP compaq nx6125. All seemed fine, but the wifi driver is a broadcom one, and was not included. Looking on the ubuntu forums, its one of those thats a problem to solve:

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/Driver/bcm43xx

    I have resigned myself to buying a pcmcia wifi card with a linux driver for it, and forgetting the built in one, unless I can work a way around this.

    Everything else with feity faun seemed to run fine . mine has a AMD Turion CPU.

  • Hey Everyone,

    I have a compaq 4225CA with a broadcom chip and under feisty it works fine for me. The one thing you need is broadcom-fwcutter which will download a file, rip the firmeware and put it where you need it and then Network manager can manage the card. It worked fine for me with a Dell D600 as well. I do not think that the live CD will do this for you out of the box but you could try to do apt-get install broadcon-fwcutter and see what happens.

    Hope this helps.