Dell: Ready, set, go Linux desktop

It’s official. Dell will soon release a range of Linux desktops, paving the way for the open source operating system to enter the mainstream desktop market via the recently troubled but still dominant desktop and notebook PCs vendor.

According to Dell, within weeks the company will reveal information about which systems and pre-installed Linux distributions will be on offer.

“Dell has heard you and we will expand our Linux support beyond our existing servers and Precision workstation line. Our first step in this effort is offering Linux pre-installed on select desktop and notebook systems. We will provide an update in the coming weeks that includes detailed information on which systems we will offer, our testing and certification efforts, and the Linux distribution(s) that will be available. The countdown begins today,” the IdeaStorm site stated.

In February, Dell indicated that the first Linux distribution to be released for its desktop range would be Novell’s Suse Linux.

“We are working with Novell to certify our corporate client products for Linux, including our OptiPlex desktops, Latitude notebooks and Dell Precision workstations. This is another step towards ensuring that our customers have a good experience with Linux on our systems,” Dell stated in February.

Dell also said that it was working with other Linux providers of other popular distributions such as Fedora and Ubuntu.

Linux software architect Matt Domsch said on his direct2dell blog that in as many cases as possible open source drivers will be used for the company’s desktop offerings.

“For new Linux desktops and notebooks,  we’ll use drivers already in the mainline kernels for as many components as possible. In these cases, the drivers will be included in your distribution of choice. This includes storage, wired networking, power management, USB, and more,” said Domsch

“For device types where a choice exists between a component with a non-Free driver and one with Free driver availability, in our Linux offering we’ll opt to bundle the component with the Free driver. Wireless network adapters is one such example; Printers are another.”

Dell would work with its hardware partners to develop, test, and maintain free drivers, Domsch added. (By Stan Beer)


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