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Ubuntu will officially be the first Linux distribution offered by Dell

Once Dell confirmed that it would offer the Linux operating system on select PCs in the future, Linux enthusiasts anxiously awaited the announcement of which Linux distributions would be offered.  Dell today announced that it would preinstall the Ubuntu operating system on some PC and notebook models.  

Canoncial, the lead sponsor behind the Ubuntu project, has started working on the operating system to ensure that it will properly work on Dell PCs and notebooks.  "Dell are going to work with us to make sure Ubuntu works fully on its hardware," said Chris Keynon, director of business development for Ubuntu.

Along with appealing to popular demand, the computer company will likely save money by stripping out the cost of purchasing the operating system license from Microsoft.  It appears that OS support would be provided by the open source and Linux communities, while Dell would exclusively provide hardware support.

Michael Dell previously disclosed that he has Ubuntu installed on his personal laptop.

Dell has not announced models, configurations or prices of PCs and notebooks that will feature Ubuntu.  Dell also did not eliminate the possibility of other Linux distributions being installed on future product lines.

Linux fans hope that Dell embracing Linux will begin a shift in which more PC vendors will switch to open source technology.

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Down with Linux
By miahallen on 5/1/2007 10:09:23 PM , Rating: 0
I started using computers in 1986 (Commodore 64), built my first IBM PC in 1990 (486DX 33). I've used all forms of MS OS... But I have always been curious about Linux. Well, I ordered Ubuntu last year and installed it and played with it three times...but never caught on.

I could not figure out how to install programs. Everything I wanted to install needed to be compiled first. I couldn't even figure out how to install codecs for multimedia viewing. I spent hours on forums. But everyone I chatted with talked way over my head. I'm not an idiot, I know MS OSes backwards and forwards. Ubuntu was not intuitive for me working by myself. Eventually I came to the conclusion that without a Linux user sitting next to me (I was in Iraq at the time), showing me how to do things the first time, it would be way to many reading hours to figure out. So I gave up!

Windows is very intuitive, and when you want a program/codec/etc... you download and install it, end of story. I don't mind paying for good software, that allows my computer to run all kinds of other programs for years. Linux may be free, but it's a mess. Plus...I like to play games ;)

OK everyone, rate me down, flame on, whatever....this is just one guy's opinion.

RE: Down with Linux
By Jack Ripoff on 5/1/2007 11:29:20 PM , Rating: 5
As a matter of fact, Ubuntu and Linux/Unix in general are not a mess, they are far more organized than Microsoft Windows.

In Windows, as you said, you must look for software in the Interwebs, download and install it yourself. There is no centralized and official place to get software from (with the possible exception of, and often there is no guarantee the software found in download sites is trustworthy (it may contain malware).

Linux (usually) has something called a package management system. It is a well designed system in which software is organized as packages that can be automatically downloaded and installed from certified repositories on the Internet or on discs (CDs, DVDs). Nothing needs to be compiled (unless the source is available and you really want to do it or there is no binary distribution available). The user does not have to care about Software quality/security, the distributor itself has already verified the software. Software that isn't available on the repositories is usually available to download on its own site in the form of installable packages (and source code as well - if it's open source).

Ubuntu uses a specialized graphical front-end for package management dubbed Synaptic. It can be used to install multimedia codecs, DTP software, libraries, image viewers, web browsers, IDEs, whatever is available on Ubuntu's official repositories.

AFAIK, the first thing you do in case of trouble is reading the official manuals. If you had checked Ubuntu's documentation in the first place, you wouldn't have gone through all that trouble.

RE: Down with Linux
By siucdude on 5/1/2007 11:45:20 PM , Rating: 3
See what I don't understand is what is the panic,

Well if you like Windows then use it, if you like Linux, then you finally have a computer company that will sell it pre-installed.

Oh wait I know, people have a choice, Someone finally figured out that people want a choice.

See I have been using Linux for years, but recently I installed it on my Dads PC and almost my entire family, with Ubuntu its user friendly.

You know what they LOVE,

That they can surf the internet, e-mail, and do all the basic stuff with out spending 20 minutes updating firewall, anti-all that stuff that windows makes you do. They turn it on, log in and IT JUST WORKS. NO spyware malware and other ware.

So what why are you afraid?

RE: Down with Linux
By semo on 5/2/2007 9:41:17 AM , Rating: 2
do you think this would be the case if linux was mainstream?

linux is so "secure" because barely any hacker bothers to attack linux users because:
a) there are not that many of them and
b) it is safe to say that most linux users know what they're doing

RE: Down with Linux
By Talcite on 5/2/2007 6:48:20 PM , Rating: 2
That has nothing to do with why Linux is so secure. Linux is OPEN SOURCE. That's the whole beauty of linux and up until relatively recently, the Mac OS.

Open source software is way more secure. You know why? Because everyone can see what your code is, people patch it if there's a fault, and everyone's happy. You don't end up executing random crap because guess what, it's open source so you can see what you're installing! Ontop of that, things like Ubuntu have the repository which ensures that all the software you install through it is not only A: secure, but B: compatible!

Windows is only partially insecure because of exploits. There's alot more to it. Firstly, any account in XP is automatically an Administrator account. That's a no go in Linux. Secondly, alot of security holes are caused by third party software! You can't see what you're installing, so for all you know you just put spyware/trojan/whatever onto your system. Now you have a hole, even if it's up to date. Trust me, Open source is much more secure for security software. Even if you can't read it, atleast someone else can.

RE: Down with Linux
By Jack Ripoff on 5/2/2007 10:59:45 PM , Rating: 1
It's more than just that. Windows has security problems not only because of bugs and poor quality control, but mainly because of bad design. Linux (and Mac OS X, FreeBSD, etc.), on the other side, is designed after rock-solid Unix. It may be a bit more "boring" (e.g.: you have to manually set up execution permission before running an installer), but it's far more secure than, say, UAC.

RE: Down with Linux
By herrdoktor330 on 5/3/2007 12:03:55 AM , Rating: 2
Whoa, cowboy. I'm not trying to pop your bubble, but most people who use computers don't know what the source code even means, let alone are interested in taking the time to look at it. Computer users these days want ease of use. FYI I too am an Ubuntu user, but it is definatly a taste of the strange from moving from Windows. I'm now pretty comfortable with using Linux these days, but there is a learning curve. And it's one where that some people entrenched in the Windows world may find uncomfortable. Much to Ubuntu's credit, it's very noob friendly, hence why I'm using it. But Ubuntu has a long way to go until it's 100% ready for mass consumption.

But... we'll see how this washes over. I hope it does well. I'm sure the Linux option will help drive down prices across the OS market.

RE: Down with Linux
By Talcite on 5/3/2007 12:47:04 AM , Rating: 2
Actually you pointed out an interesting thing there. Yeah, most users can't read source code and don't want to relearn everything, but after using Windows Vista RC2 I ditched the entire windows line for that reason exactly. It changed everything! All the technical settings are gone, or atleast behind 13 different hoops to jump through. It's gotten to a point where it's so dumb that you can't use it functionally. Yes I agree that Linux and Unix variants have a huge learning curve, but so does everything else in the computer industry or field. You can't expect everything in life to remain static. There's always change and if you don't keep learning you'll find that it's easy to fall behind quickly in anything, not only computers.

RE: Down with Linux
By sc3252 on 5/2/2007 1:34:55 AM , Rating: 2
You are an idiot. doing a simple search would have neted you automatix(used to install basic codecs for dvd playback and other video playback) and synaptic(what you use to install packages and programs). You didn't even take the time to log onto Ubuntu's very own forums to understand how you install things. I can understand if you were having hardware problems or having problems installing your video card drivers, but you had the simplest problem and didnt even have the brain capacity to understand very simple gui tools that are very simple to use and don't require command line commands.

I am sorry who is ever reading this and feels like I am attacking him wrongfully. I am not attacking him because he doesn't understand how Ubuntu or Linux works, I am attacking him because he didn't take the time to learn the most basic things he needs to do install things. In comparison to uninstalling a program in windows its like going to the control panel in windows and selecting add/remove programs and removing programs, but in Ubuntu you can also install applications from the same panel called synaptic.

RE: Down with Linux
By Pythias on 5/2/2007 9:37:54 AM , Rating: 4
You are an idiot. doing a simple search would have neted you automatix(used to install basic codecs for dvd playback and other video playback) and synaptic(what you use to install packages and programs).

You're a pretentious jackass. This is exactly why linux isn't catching on. For every helpful person in the community there's 12 self-important turds like you.

Your behavior enforces the common perception that linux/unix is for elitist eggheads.

Wanna do your part to help linux gain wide-spread adoption? How about shutting your bong hole, and stop re-enforcing the other fellow's argument.

RE: Down with Linux
By Tamale on 5/2/2007 11:38:48 AM , Rating: 2
I totally agree that far too many linux users are elitist bastards... BUT... this guy had to seriously not even bother trying to make a claim that installing software is hard in linux. EVERYONE I know who tries ubuntu is AMAZED at how easy installing software is. It's almost always the first and most apparent feature for most users. Anyone claiming otherwise simply has no clue and shouldn't be spouting out FUD.

RE: Down with Linux
By bubbacub616 on 5/2/2007 12:35:05 PM , Rating: 2
I've been building and using pc's for 20 years and linux and on the 5-6 times that i've installed linux i have come a cropper every time with unhelpful faqs/documentation.

An example the built in faqs for ubuntu cover all the preferences for setting font colour, size and all that useless crap but don't help in setting up hardware to run (e.g. my wireless network card) (if they do help - it certainly wasn't obvious). I realise linux is lots of various bits of code kludged together in way that miagically seems to work but even for an intelligent user its NOT simple or intuitive. If I was 15 again and had the time to piss away learning all the shell commmands I would probably be able to get into it.

RE: Down with Linux
By Talcite on 5/2/2007 6:55:39 PM , Rating: 2
Granted that wireless is one of the most confusing things in Linux you can possibly run into, it's still relatively easy to get help. For example in Ubuntu, there's countless HOWTOs written all over the forums and there's twice as many people offering to help. People have even written short scripts and front-ends for wpasupplicant. Anyways, as of Ubuntu Feisty, wireless is now built into the OS with a much improved GUI.

Linux is a different type of OS. You can crack open a book when you need help, but you can also post onto forums, IRC channels, and everything else when you need help. Windows just doesn't have that kind of community based support AFAIK.

Oh and yeah, 'man' is your friend.

RE: Down with Linux
By Khyron320 on 5/5/2007 2:46:57 AM , Rating: 2
Linux has really changed over the years. I have been installing various distros and trying them out since windows 98 came out and i learned how to duel boot. Things really have changed allot. Todays linux distros are far easier to setup and use. Allot of the linux installs today you dont even have to do any drivers. Ubuntu is even including some funky option where they include ATIs drivers... they make you check a box to enable it. The open source guys are a bit strange like touching anything not open source is the devil so we have to disable it out of the box. But at least its there and its not 30 minutes of your time to read a wiki on how do put it on there.

Today if i were to put together a box for somebody with no knownledge of PCs that just wanted email and the internet i would put them on linux. Less headaches for me with viruses to clean up and cheaper for them.

RE: Down with Linux
By kmmatney on 5/2/2007 1:34:56 AM , Rating: 2
Pretty weird. I also built my first PC in 1990 (386 33DX) and started out around 1986, and have built tons of windows systems. I had pretty much the exact same experience with Ubuntu. Whenever I had to do anything beyond what Ubuntu gave me, I was lost. It took me a while to even do the most basic things. I eventually gave up on it. Maybe there is some deep underlying principle that you need to understand before Linux makes sense, but to me it is a big mess. Its coll that Dell has this option, though. I do like the central installer in Ubuntu.

RE: Down with Linux
By subhajit on 5/2/2007 1:52:52 AM , Rating: 2
Just go to Synaptic Package Management and search for the software you want when you select any package to download and install all dependencies are also indicated and you can select and install those packages also. Actually I found installing software in Ubuntu as one of the easiest things to do. But I had problem with the actual OS. Till this date I haven't been able to install any 32 bit version of the OS on my AMD 64 (though it is backward compatible) and two of the three 64 bit versions I installed got corrupted after using it for some time. I am not saying that I am a Linux guru (far from it, actually) but I was able to mess it up and that is worrying. Currently I am using Ubuntu 7.04 and so far happy with it. It detected all my hardware correctly and installed proper drivers. It also detected my Windows Network with ICS and I didn't have to configured anything, it worked fine right out of the box.

RE: Down with Linux
By Talcite on 5/2/2007 6:58:23 PM , Rating: 2
Did you check your ram?

RE: Down with Linux
By Niv KA on 5/2/2007 3:15:00 AM , Rating: 2
What you describe is called Linspire or Freespire, along with CEGEGA (?spelling? I mean the renming of WineX) or WINE. xSpire has all codecses built in, easy to install software with CNR, and easier to use than Mac (I never used a mac but you can't get much easier than CNR). Personally I am a OpenSUSE person, but neither OpenSUSE or (k)UBUNU fit your description as well as Linspire or Freespire do.

I do respect your opinion, but most people describe Linspire as what they want, and go ranting of about how Ubunu or openSUSE dont fit their needs!

- Niv K Aharonovich

RE: Down with Linux
By cochy on 5/2/2007 4:12:47 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not an idiot

Yes you are. Or you're a liar. If you can't figure out how to use the Synaptic Package Manager, I'm surprise you can figure out how to turn your PC on.

Also why order Ubuntu when you can download it for free?
Do you work for MS buddy? ;)

RE: Down with Linux
By Pythias on 5/3/2007 3:07:52 AM , Rating: 2
Just about every person I've introduced to ubuntu doesn't understand synaptic. Does YOUR grandma know how to change repositories?

Do you really think your "RTFM n00b" attitude is going to help expand the user base?

RE: Down with Linux
By cochy on 5/2/2007 4:45:49 AM , Rating: 2
You're just used to using Windows for over a decade. Put a completely computer illiterate person in front of a Windows box and see how intuitive it really is, see how far they get. Put that same person in front of a Linux box with Gnome or KDE and I bet it will be just as intuitive as Windows to them. I know cause I've experimented with this idea on my own family.

RE: Down with Linux
By SmokeRngs on 5/2/2007 1:38:56 PM , Rating: 3
You're just used to using Windows for over a decade.

You have just touched on one of the fundamental truths. Linux is not Windows and it's not supposed to be Windows. Therefore, everything will not be the same. I don't see Windows as being any more intuitive than any of the three mainstream Linux distos I'm playing with (Ubuntu, FC6 and Suse 10.2). It's just the fact that most people are used to using Windows so when anything else is set in front of them, they don't know what to do.

Why do you think MS has never truly had a problem with people pirating their OSes? Even if the person doesn't pay for the OS MS wins. The person learns how to use Windows and probably won't want to switch to anything else since it's what they are used to. Pirating the OS doesn't directly put money in MS's pocket, but it does indirectly as it helps stifle the competition from other OSes keeping their virtual monopoly of the mainstream user OS base.

What I don't understand is why people seem to think they will be able to sit down in front of a Linux system and expect to know everything about it considering they have never used one before. I don't see too many people going from XP to Vista and knowing everything about Vista the first time they use it. It's not going to happen and that's going from one iteration of Windows to another.

If someone truly wants to learn a Linux distro, they can. Google is your friend. I've had a lot of "problems" and google has helped me out on every one of them so far. I do know a bit more than your average computer user so it's a little easier for me. However, I also have a computer setup that's a lot different from the average user. Not too many of your average Joes are going to have to worry about having five different hard drives with a total of around twelve partitions covering three different file systems to manage. This is my current setup and I'm learning how to set it up properly so I have use of everything I have.

One difference between me and most people is I love to tinker and I love to figure out or find a solution to a problem. It's in this way I have gathered the knowledge I have and I'm normally able to pass it on to others to help them.

Linux isn't for everyone. Neither is Windows of any flavor or OSX or OS/2 or any of the myriads of operating systems out there. After a few months, I have found I prefer a 64 bit Linux distro with 32 bit libraries for most of my computing needs. I do the vast majority of my computing using Suse 10.2 with an occasional foray into Windows for a game that won't run or run decent under Wine. Luckily my favored game runs in Linux natively since it's based on the Quake 3 engine.

RE: Down with Linux
By kingpotnoodle on 5/2/2007 8:48:51 AM , Rating: 4
The first time you used Windows I bet it took you longer than 3 sessions to become 100% proficient and at the level you are now? If you wish to learn an entire OS then you put in the time, if you don't wish to make the effort to learn then don't slam it because you don't understand.

Furthermore the % of PC users who actually play games is probably quite small, so the "Linux doesn't play games so its useless" arguement is totally flawed.

Many people in the world find Linux intuitive and would like to buy a PC with it pre-installed, sure it might be the minority at the moment but nobody is forcing you to use it. Dell are providing customer choice and should be applauded for doing so.

RE: Down with Linux
By tehgrump on 5/2/2007 9:21:39 AM , Rating: 2
If you are still curious about *nix in general, I suggest trying out
PC-BSD ( ). Years ago I moved away from Linux because I too felt it to be a mess. I started playing with FreeBSD and haven't looked back. PC-BSD is kind of like a distro of FreeBSD designed specifically for the desktop. The PBI method of installing and upgrading software is simple ( ) and should feel familiar to windows users.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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