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1 of 3 Dell Inspiron Mini Netbooks Sold With Linux

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the for-their-patients-who-chew-gum dept.

Linux Business 230

christian.einfeldt writes "According to an article in Laptop Magazine on-line, one-third of Dell Inspiron Mini 9s netbooks are sold with the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Dell senior product manager John New attributed the sales volume to the lower price point of the Ubuntu Linux machines. And the return rate of the Ubuntu Linux machines is approximately equal to that of comparable netbooks sold with Microsoft Windows XP. Dell spokesperson Jay Pinkert attriutes the low return rate to Dell's good communications with its customers, saying 'We have done a very good job explaining to folks what Linux is.'"

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Netbooks and Linux (4, Interesting)

Paranatural (661514) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971219)

Netbooks are the prefect place to introduce people to Linux. Because they generally don't expect to play games (Other than flash games and the like) or use them for a lot of officework, Linuxes major flaws are not apparent, while its advantages (Free, faster) are.

If I were involved in the Linux community I'd be pushing hard for a lot of development of drivers and the like for Unbutu (Linux needs some name recognition somewhere)

That's why the previous story about difficulty with the EEE and Linux was disturbing to me.

Re:Netbooks and Linux (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972081)

Drivers are for the kernel, not for a distribution.

Re:Netbooks and Linux (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26972373)

What's disturbing is that Asus chooses hardware that has bad drivers and a manufacturer that just does not want to co-operate... Some Eees have a pretty good wireless chip but for some reason they are now using the awful Ralink hardware that A) sucks on every platform and B) has linux drivers so bad that they're not even enabled on the default kernel build.

Re:Netbooks and Linux (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972461)

RAlink more like RAstink, right? RIGHT?

Re:Netbooks and Linux (2, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972533)

Linux's major flaws...

Heathen!

Re:Netbooks and Linux (-1, Flamebait)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973555)

Linuxes major flaws are not apparent, while its advantages (Free, faster) are.

No. God damn it, NO! I'm tired of this "Linux if faster" crap. It's wrong and dishonest. Linux is not faster. I can say that because on more than for years I have tested it myself and was always disapointed.

I believe this is yet another "rumor" disgusied as fact. Who made it? Probally knuckleheads running a Windows machine with 20 programs loaded at startup who wiped there machine, installed Linux and said, "Wow! It's so much faster!" Never mind the fact that Linux is only running faster because it's running less processes. That would require logical reasoning. These are the same brain dead idiots that think deleting cookies has any measurable impact on speed. The kind of people that don't have any knowledge they acquired by their own efforts. Instead they just regurgitate every factoid every fanboy or zealot has fed them.

Take Ubuntu, the most popular distro. In both a virtual machine and real hardware, Windows XP blows Ubuntu out of the water in every way. Booting up, shutting down, loading programs, moving windows. Everything. Even after gutting some of the worthless shit Ubuntu loads by default like Bluetooth and Alarm Clocks didn't help it catch up.

Yes, if you wanna be hardcore you can craft your very own Linux version that boots and loads programs 3 times faster than windows. Congratulations, you just made your own multi-tasking version of DOS. Knock yourself out.

Re:Netbooks and Linux (2, Informative)

vh22 (1485919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973729)

I've had similar experiences with Ubuntu. Its just too damn bloated. But Linux is just the kernel and it is indeed fast. What distros pile on top of the kernel is what can slow the whole OS down if they are not careful. Crafting a system from kernel up (ala LFS) is too extreme. There are distros that will install a base kernel and let you add whatever packages you want from repositories, like Arch. These system do not require all that much Linux knowledge and most will blow XP out of the water speed-wise.

Re:Netbooks and Linux (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26973625)

> drivers and the like for Unbutu (Linux needs some name recognition somewhere)
name recognition fail

And yet... (1)

berend botje (1401731) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973727)

So 1/3 of the netbooks are running Linux. Fine. That's pretty amazing actually as I still can't get one without XP from the Dell site.

That's in the Netherlands (you know, Amsterdam and stuff), by the way.

Re:Netbooks and Linux (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26973987)

Dell Netbook with XP $379ca
Dell Netbook with UB $379ca
The advantage of free seems to be working pretty well for Dell.

The problem are the other two thirds (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971221)

The problem are the other two thirds. What are they made up of? XP and Vista or what?!

Re:The problem are the other two thirds (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26971307)

Honestly, you can't buy a copy of windows for the difference in price, so you get a copy of windows "just in case" and install ubuntu yourself. Thing is I don't think a lot of people actually install it once they have a working operating system. They are afraid of losing ability to do something, they just don't know what that something is.

Re:The problem are the other two thirds (5, Insightful)

jonlandrum (937349) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971383)

Isn't that what stops people from switching to Linux in the first place? On the other hand, if Linux is supplied by the OEM, they're just as likely to keep Linux versus switching to Windows, "just in case."

Re:The problem are the other two thirds (2, Informative)

cheap.computer (1036494) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971405)

The other 2/3rds is XP - Ubuntu dual boot.

Re:The problem are the other two thirds (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26971489)

well dell currently offers the xp version with more ram at less cost (after a $150 "rebate") , so i think i'll just be putting on ubuntu after market. (only problem i can see is getting rid of the stupid microsoft sticker from the bottom without it becoming all gummy

What, 33% market share and we're complaining? (4, Insightful)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971875)

The problem are the other two thirds.

What? I'm sorry, What???

We're seeing Linux have 33% market share on a general-purpose computer. Yes, I know, it's a certain class of computer but what I driving at is that it's a machine that is suited for a wide variety of tasks (as opposed to only being a router, phone, DVR, text reader, etc.).

I'd love to live in a world where Linux had 33% market share on general-purpose computers. I think that trading one monopoly (MS) for another (Linux) is not a good thing, even if I like Linux.

What I'd much rather see is a wider variety of OSes and no one kind having a dominant position. That way, we can have more competition, more attention paid to being cross-platform and (hopefully) more interoperability.

I don't much care what everyone else uses as long as I have a good experience with Linux. As long as I can't make people stop hosting their videos in stupid flash wrappers (and gnash doesn't work very well) I'm dependent on flash working well enough on Linux. As long as there are no fast graphics cards with open-source drivers, I'm dependent on the proprietary ones.

So, I want the people in control of the software I have to run to be happy to treat the platform I run with some kind of respect.

But I don't want my choices imposed on anyone else. To healthy competition!

Re:What, 33% market share and we're complaining? (4, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972567)

We're seeing Linux have 33% market share on a general-purpose computer.

A general-purpose consumer model, Tier 1 OEM computer, no less. FFS, what does it take to make someone happy these days? If you could have sent word of this back in time to me in 2000, I would have shit a joyous brick just to know such a future was possible.

I'd love to live in a world where Linux had 33% market share on general-purpose computers. I think that trading one monopoly (MS) for another (Linux) is not a good thing, even if I like Linux.

A Linux "monopoly" really wouldn't be the same thing as the Windows monopoly -- aside from being mostly POSIX, it's also open source, so interoperability isn't a big issue, and there can be competition just amongst linux distros. But yeah, I tend to agree. I'm not that worried, since I don't see a situation where Linux eats all of Window's marketshare, but MacOS doesn't take any for itself.

Re:What, 33% market share and we're complaining? (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972587)

But I don't want my choices imposed on anyone else. To healthy competition!

I agree with this. I may be in the minority here, but I don't want Windows to die. I just want Microsoft to be in a position where they have to fight fair because they don't have the influence to rig the entire market.

Global software monoculture wouldn't be such a good thing. It's always good to have valid competitors, so long as there's actually a level playing field.

Re:What, 33% market share and we're complaining? (5, Insightful)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972917)

I think that trading one monopoly (MS) for another (Linux) is not a good thing, even if I like Linux.

Just to remind you that there is a difference between a free system and a proprietary one when we are talking about monopoly.

First, the word monopoly is connected to the market, and is tied to the vendor, not the program in question -- claiming that GNU/Linux has a monopoly would be like claiming that electricity has monopoly in the power market. It simply doesn't lead to any of the problems usually associated with monopoly in economics that I've studied or read about. It's about the _vendors_, not about the products, goods or programs.

However, if there was a monopoly of a single vendor of services for GNU/Linux (for example, Canonical), which is, given the nature of free software, impossible, it would still cause a lot less trouble than what you get from monopoly with abusive anti-competitive practices and vendor lock-in. In your hypothetical situation, you aren't replacing your broken leg with a broken arm, you are replacing it with a painful bruise.

Re:What, 33% market share and we're complaining? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26973085)

The problem with Linux only having 33% is that it is obvious that Dell is pushing XP. Obvious, you say? Well yes ... when you can pay $20 less Cdn and receive an XP machine with an 8GB SSD instead of the 4GB SSD with Ubuntu.

Don't believe me? http://www1.ca.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/laptop-inspiron-9?c=ca&cs=cadhs1&l=en&s=dhs&~ck=mn

Re:What, 33% market share and we're complaining? (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973637)

What? I'm sorry, What???

We're seeing Linux have 33% market share on a general-purpose computer. Yes, I know, it's a certain class of computer but what I driving at is that it's a machine that is suited for a wide variety of tasks (as opposed to only being a router, phone, DVR, text reader, etc.).

I'd love to live in a world where Linux had 33% market share on general-purpose computers. I think that trading one monopoly (MS) for another (Linux) is not a good thing, even if I like Linux.

So long as we have Gnome and KDE, not to mention the myriad of distributions; there will always be competition in Linux.

Re:The problem are the other two thirds (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971925)

Vista is way to bloated and inefficient to run well on a netbook, so the other 2/3 is all XP.

Sounds good to me (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971229)

I have tons of XP licenses available, any time I can save money and not get another useless license is win-win. And yes Ubuntu is great, but I need Windows for a few things.

Re:Sounds good to me (3, Informative)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971497)

...I need Windows for a few things.

No you don't; you need wine [wine.com] . :-)

Cheers.

Re:Sounds good to me (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972243)

No you don't; you need wine. :-)

No he doesn't.
Wine isn't a complete substitute for windows.
And it certainly isn't a vendor supported substitute.

If you can use wine great, but you can't assume you can use wine. I've had it not work for TONS of stuff.

Re:Sounds good to me (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972565)

...I need Windows for a few things.

No you don't; you need wine [wine.com] . :-)

Cheers.

Last I heard, Visual Studio doesn't work in wine.

It definitely does (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26972893)

VS 6.0 works like a charm.

Oh, if you meant a SPECIFIC VERSION, you should have said so (and I note that you were one of those who said that Vista Capable was right: it COULD run Vista. That it couldn't run *any* version was irrelevant. So in this case, VS *does* work under wine. The version is irrelevant. Right?)

Re:It definitely does (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973373)

and I note that you were one of those who said that Vista Capable was right: it COULD run Vista. That it couldn't run *any* version was irrelevant.

Link please? That does not sound like something I'd say (well, unless perhaps I was being sarcastic).

Re:Sounds good to me (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26973213)

You don't need Visual Studio. You can use free IDE like Code::Blocks.

Re:Sounds good to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26973853)

...I need Windows for a few things.

No you don't; you need wine [wine.com] . :-)

Cheers.

And that will solve my driver problem how?

"HP's Linux" (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971267)

I recall the screenshots of Linux on the HP netbooks being very good-looking. Is Dell doing such a thing or are they just sticking plain'old Ubuntu on their Inspiron Mini 9s?

edit: holy hell, either Slashdot's CSS is messed up or something's wrong with Safari 4. I'll guess the fault is with Slashdot since it's the first website out of 50 where I see any problem.

Re:"HP's Linux" (5, Interesting)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971399)

Its a crippled kernel that only recognizes 1 GB of RAM. They also rebranded Firefox 3 as "Web Browser" and installed a Yahoo! toolbar by default, and had Yahoo! as the default search engine by default. The crapped up Firefox some other way so that the trackpad scrolling worked HORRIBLY. If you have one of these machines, spend $20 on a 2 GB stick of RAM and install the vanilla version of Ubuntu Netbook Remix from:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UNR [ubuntu.com]

You'll have a MUCH better experience. I have one and now love it, I hate what Dell did to "their" ubuntu though. They added no value and imposed artificial limitations to the hardware. Its really slick on that lowend hardware without Dell's cruft.

Re:"HP's Linux" (1)

0prime (792333) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971623)

I thought they updated the lpia kernel to support up to 2GB RAM back in December. Or maybe it was just that some people were recompiling the kernel, I don't remember.

Personally, I'd just want to be able to install Ubuntu 8.10 on the Dell netbook and use the launcher that Dell has; unfortunately, the launcher is made for the lpia based Dellbuntu 8.4

Re:"HP's Linux" (4, Interesting)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971661)

I believe the stock kernel always has, since the hardware always has. IIRC Dell's modified kernel only supports 1 GB of RAM (and they provide NO updates in their repos) so that their marketing agreement with Microsoft that they not sell an item that can support more than 1 GB of RAM on it is abided by.

Re:"HP's Linux" (4, Informative)

0prime (792333) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973405)

I meant that the Dell Ubuntu lpia kernel was initially limited to 1GB, but has since been updated to allow 2GB. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=6435627 [ubuntuforums.org]

So after the beginning of January, Dell Ubuntu no longer has the "crippled kernel that only recognizes 1GB of RAM", it supports the full 2GB.

Re:"HP's Linux" (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973423)

If that's true, that's the sort of thing I'd want regulators to stomp on, not that "don't bundle IE" silliness.

Forcing Microsoft to bundle something other than IE in their own O/S is daft.

Much better to force Microsoft to not "encourage" companies like Dell to artificially cripple/hobble/handicap Microsoft's competitors. Or to do stuff like "Hey if you sell stuff with Linux, we'll charge you more for Microsoft Windows or Microsoft Office".

Re:"HP's Linux" (1)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972739)

Also, that "launcher" is from the stock Ubuntu Netbook Remix linked in my OP. Dell has brought literally NOTHING to the table here.

Re:"HP's Linux" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26973145)

Really, because I have used both the stock Dell install that came with the system and Ubuntu 8.10 with the netbook remix. They look nothing alike.

Re:"HP's Linux" (1)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973253)

I guess the 8.10 version is different, 8.04.1 based UNR is IDENTICAL. I have it installed.

Re:"HP's Linux" (1)

jasontn (758694) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971773)

Does anyone know why Dell would want to set the 1GB RAM limit? 4GB I can understand, but 1GB?

Re:"HP's Linux" (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971955)

Because of a deal they made with MS.

Call your dell rep and ask they will tell you all about it.

Re:"HP's Linux" (1)

jj110888 (791178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973755)

The 1gig limit is likely there so that they can remove highmem.

Seriously, whats the problem with the vendor customizing the kernel for the machine? It would be nice if it was clearly documented and easy to switch to a himem kernel, but maybe it made a difference

Re:"HP's Linux" (2, Informative)

gid (5195) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971861)

The 1 GB limitation is probably due to the way they have the kernel compiled. The Linux kernel has a 1 GB limitation unless you have High Memory enabled. If I remember correctly, the kernel runs faster if High Memory is disabled, which is why Dell probably has the kernel configured that way. Linux mini 9s come standard with 512MB. Way too much information that I don't understand can be found here: http://kerneltrap.org/node/2450 [kerneltrap.org]

As for the yahoo toolbar junk, I can't defend Dell on that one...

Thanks for the UNR link, I didn't know about that. I actually ordered a mini 9 with Linux a week ago when Dell was having a sale on em. ($284 w/ 1mp webcam, 1gb ram, 8 gb ssd) Can't wait for it to get here.

Re:"HP's Linux" (2, Insightful)

MarkKnopfler (472229) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971483)

I would really prefer Dell to ship the standard xfce or gnome interface for their machines, rather than trying something 'cute' like HP. A pretty layer would entail developing a whole new layer over the existing UI. This layer, inevitably would have bugs and irritating traits because of one simple reason -- It takes a lot of time and talent to create a good user interface/desktop environment. I would think that HP has slapped on a pretty but buggy and quickly developed layer over gnome to make it look cool, which ultimately will go on to frustrate the user. Then, Linux would be blamed and not that cruddy attempt at coolness.

Re:"HP's Linux" (4, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972367)

I can't really blame them for altering their version of Linux, at least not as an abstract rule. At the very least, they're going to want to re-theme it for branding purposes, to give it a distinctive look, or at least to get rid of the Ubuntu brown. The probably should make sure that it has any fixes relevant to their hardware, assuming the distro doesn't accept their patches or just hasn't accepted the patches into the "stable" version yet. On top of that, of course they're going to want to add value if they can think of a way to do that.

Of course, that assumes that they have people at their company who are qualified to do this. The theme has to be good. The value-adds have to actually add value. That's not as easy as it seems. And then, these companies will unfortunately also try to protect their additions by trying to make it so their competitors can't use them. That's going to run afoul of the open source community even if not violating the GPL.

Here's something I'd love for Dell to do: create their own apt repositories (and repositories for any other package managers are used by distros they support) that provides drivers and any other software (e.g. openmanage) for all of their hardware. Servers, desktops, netbooks, everything.

Re:"HP's Linux" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26972015)

Bought the Dell Mini w/Linux for my wife, she loves it.

It has a very nice easy-to-use-and-manage launcher and the desktop pics are also nice. You can still access the Gnome menu and synaptic is installed; though it is pre-set targeted to dell's mini repository. You can activate the ubuntu repositories without hassle though.

OS X (1, Interesting)

ponraul (1233704) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971413)

I'd conjecture that most of those are getting OS X installed [uneasysilence.com] on them.

Re:OS X (2, Insightful)

gnu-user (162334) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972129)

It seems a real stretch to suggest that the numbers of people installing a hacked OSX would be more then a small fraction of either:

  • those who leave the default install alone
  • Those who install a pirated XP

I'd venture that most of the slashdot crowd would install there favorite OS. I have no real feel for what the average Dell customer would do though, and I rather suspect that few of us here do.

It is credible to me that a significant portion of the 32% is XP installs, but it also seems likely to me that over half of that 32% remain a linux install. As a prior post indicated, the price point is not huge, which limits the the re-installs to the fully intentional pirates (i.e. you are fully intending to pirate when you purchase). I rather doubt the few bucks saved means that much to most Dell customers, and that most of that 1/3 at least intend to use Ubuntu when they purchase.

Re:OS X (2, Insightful)

James_Duncan8181 (588316) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973257)

I'd conjecture not. Hey, we have the same amount of data!

So.. (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971501)

What proportion of Dell Inspirons are running pirated XP? My guess - around 32%.

Re:So.. (2, Interesting)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972017)

Haha, good guess! Actually, believe it or not, I personally have seen one of these Dell netbooks running linux in the wild. That's the first time I saw someone other than myself running linux on a laptop. I got a chance to screw around with it some and as somebody else mentioned above, Dell messed up their Ubuntu install with about 400 MB or language files and other crap you don't need, which is especially weird since the thing only has a 4 GB hard drive. Other than that and the glossy screen, these netbooks aren't too bad looking. The hinge is pretty well designed and I don't mind the keyboard like the guys at laptopmag did.

Re:So.. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972151)

I use one as my work computer, to be fair I am a linux sysadmin. I do plug a mighty IBM type M keyboard into it, and have an external monitor.

If you get one install ubuntu or another normal distro, then add a 2GB stick of ram.

Re:So.. (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972227)

Dell messed up their Ubuntu install with about 400 MB or language files and other crap you don't need

Doesn't that depend on what language you speak?

Re:So.. (2, Informative)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972281)

Nah, you really only need one set of language files, your native language, or possibly two, but with a limited space drive you should be trying to save space any way you can.

Re:So.. (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972363)

Don't you know, every American speaks english.

[ob old joke]
What do you call someone who speaks 3 languagues? Trilingual
What do you call someone who speaks 2 languages? Bilingual
What do you call someone who speaks 1 language? American

Re:So.. (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973019)

I have seen a couple of them in libraries and cafee. I have even met a girl with a linux on her machine that did not knew it was one. She told me, Microsoft made huge progress.

Re:So.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26972465)

What proportion of Dell Inspirons are running pirated XP? My guess - around 32%.

Yeah, and plus, I heard there's no such thing as Linux and it's, like, an urban legend by malcontents who want Windows but can't admit it. And stuff. Oh, and they're babies.

Re:So.. (1)

SysPig (63656) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973513)

In all seriousness...there are likely many that were bought with XP, to be replaced with Linux.

Reason being - there have been some tremendous sales in the Dell Outlet Store over the last couple of months, but they are usually loaded with XP. The refurb I picked up, was far cheaper than a new Ubuntu Mini 9, with more options - but came loaded with XP.

It's a favorite for Hackintoshers (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26971783)

Not to rain on the FOSS parade, but the Dell Mini 9 is a huge favorite among the Hackintosh crowd. No doubt a lot of them are buying the Linux version (after all, it's cheaper, why pay for XP?), but then immediately reformatting to install OS X.

Re:It's a favorite for Hackintoshers (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971991)

Oh no, maybe .001% of people are doing that.
The number of hackintoshes on planet earth is probably in the hundreds total.

Re:It's a favorite for Hackintoshers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26972127)

Based on the forums at Macresource.com, I'd guess Dell Mini Hackintoshes alone number in the hundreds at least. That doesn't even bring in the MSI Wind Hackintoshes (I have one of those), or the DIY desktop boxes.

Check out insanelymac.com, that population is growing by leaps and bounds. I doubt it'll ever be a serious challenge to Apple's sales (it's a big leap for anybody who isn't VERY comfortable with mucking around with hardware and software), but I'm very comfortable saying OSX86 installs are easily in the thousands by now.

Re:It's a favorite for Hackintoshers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26972207)

Oh no, maybe .001% of people are doing that.
The number of hackintoshes on planet earth is probably in the hundreds total.

Getting OS X installed on supported non-Apple-branded hardware is trivial. Apple has used lots of different commodity parts over the years, and lots of current hardware is compatible with current OS X drivers. Even hardware that isn't supported by OS X proper can be included simply by dragging a driver into the hacked disc image before burning it. There are hundreds of these drivers.

Also, the commercial vendors that got Apple's ire grew out of the hackintosh community.

Re:It's a favorite for Hackintoshers (2, Interesting)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973445)

To my friends in the Apple Fanboi community I would like to offer a warm welcome to the install-it-yourself operating system slums.

No one cares what operating system your computer actually runs. They only care about the operating system you PAID for. This fact has worked against desktop Linux for years. When you install OS X on your Dell Mini all you are doing is making it less likely that Dell will have to offer support. Dell loves folks that install their own operating system on its hardware.

Not that I expect that there is a whole lot of raining going on. I would bet that there might be as many as 1,000 hackintoshes. There's probably twice that many Macbooks running Ubuntu. No one cares.

Re:It's a favorite for Hackintoshers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26973809)

You're very generous with your hackintosh estimate. I doubt it's anywhere near 1k.

Very good points.

I recieved one today (1)

Tech90 (1485833) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971847)

When I get home I will be playing with my new Mini 12. I have used Ubuntu since 4.10 and I hope Dell didn't muck it up too much or I will probably install Ubuntu remix on it. Netbooks are a good place to introduce Linux and It looks like Ubuntu will even have a better optimized netbook version in the months to come.

Re:I recieved one today (1)

Kiaser Zohsay (20134) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971995)

You may not like the "Dashboard" (or whatever they call it) but its fine for the Mini 12 my kids use, and you can disable it to get to a normal Gnome desktop. Ours arrived in January still running 8.04, even though 8.10 had been out several months.

Re:I recieved one today (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972203)

Dell will only do 8.04 as it is a long term release. No big OEM is going to go with an OS that is really only going to be used for six months, heck all the cool kids are already running the 9.04 betas.

Re:I recieved one today (1)

kyle5t (1479639) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973937)

The real reason is that the GPU drivers have not yet been officially ported to xorg 1.5.

Optimistic at Best (5, Interesting)

leeosenton (764295) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971883)

Some points to note as a Mini owner and occasional contributor at www.mydellmini.com: 1)Minis are capped with a 16gb solid-state drive if you choose WindowsXP; you can get up to a 64gb drive if you choose Linux 2)Many geeks are buying bare naked Minis with 512mb memory and 4gb drives for $250, and then equipping them with aftermarket runcore 64gb drives and 2gb of memory (another $200 for upgrades). To get the price low, they buy the Linux system and then load Windows or OSX (I know, kinda sick but they are talking about it on mydellmini.com) Bottom line: I think these numbers are skewed by geeks and bargain hunters.

Re:Optimistic at Best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26972303)

I've had a lot of trouble with installing ubuntu post 7.10 on old hardware, or using the server installer. I wonder if Ubuntu just doesn't care that much about the market (old hardware / servers), becuase Debian uses the SAME installer and I've never had a problem with the Debian installer.

Attn: moderators! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26972503)

2)Many geeks are buying bare naked Minis

Mod parent offtopic, we're talking about Dell netbooks, not Canadian bands! :)

Re:Optimistic at Best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26972659)

That's a strange use of the word skew. To me the connotation of the word skew would mean that the numbers are artificial or inaccurate.

If Dell is selling 50% more of a product because it appeals to a certain market segment, that would indicate a pretty important market segment. That isn't really skewing the numbers. That is revealing a demand that many may not have realize existed.

Re:Optimistic at Best (1)

jridley (9305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26974079)

It is skewing if they're buying the machine the cheapest way they can get it, then installing OSX or XP. I am absolutely certain that happens in many cases. Maybe MOST cases.

Re:Optimistic at Best (1)

tknd (979052) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972721)

Correct. I'm one of the first owners of the first eee 900 (mine has a celeron). I purposely bought the linux version because it came with a larger SSD for the same price. I have the stock linux install a shot but it was too anemic for my needs. Later I tried ubuntu but it was too slow. Now I mostly use windows XP on it.

Dell also probably has a somewhat more tech savvy crowd since most of the sales are through a website. These aren't the same people that walk into bestbuy and don't know the difference between types of memory (as in hard disk and ram).

a Linux sale is a Linux sale (3, Insightful)

christian.einfeldt (874074) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973675)

Assuming that it is true that loads of people are installing Microsoft Windows XP on their Linux-powered Dell Inspiron netbooks (which I'm not sure is true, since the original article didn't mention that), it doesn't really matter. A Linux sale is a Linux sale. When the Dell managers evaluate their future strategies, how much will they consider whether XP was installed post-sale? Very little.

And the same is true for Dell's competitors. If Dell's competitors see that they can move product in a down market by installing Linux on the machines, will they spend much time contemplating whether XP is installed on the machines? Probably not.

Most OEMs have small margins on their sales of all but the upper-end machines. Volume is what matters. Hence the power of Microsoft Windows. At least until today. For OEMs and pretty much everyone in the channel, volume is what matters. As of today, they will know that Linux distros have proven that they can drive one-third of that volume. That is what really matters.

And it gets better. As Linux-related desktop sales increase, you will see more and more third party vendors, such as 2dBoy, port their products to Linux, as maker of the popular indy game World of Goo [slashdot.org] has recently done.

Volume is king. And now Linux is seeing some significant volume sales.

Does CentOS or Fedora core work on these things? (0)

Ex-Linux-Fanboy (1311235) | more than 5 years ago | (#26971921)

Does CentOS or Fedora core work on these things?

Ubuntu has been a royal headache for me that makes me run to the Linux Haters blog [blogspot.com] ; I was wondering if other people who have had issues with Ubuntu (here are the issues I have had) [blogspot.com] have had a better experience with Fedora/CentOS/whatever (I like RedHat distributsion more than Ubuntu; sudo is for wimps; real mean use "su").

- Sam

Re:Does CentOS or Fedora core work on these things (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972055)

Get over it. I use the hedrat at work and it sucks. Yum is a garbage package manager and their repositories contain little to nothing.

Re:Does CentOS or Fedora core work on these things (0, Flamebait)

Ex-Linux-Fanboy (1311235) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972315)

./configure; make ; make install

I don't know why Ubuntu users are scared by this simple process. It gives you a more updated version of the software package in question. Yeah, there's a bunch of sudo apt-get whatever-dev, but you know, if you can't compile a program, perhaps you should go back to Windows.

Re:Does CentOS or Fedora core work on these things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26972603)

Compiling shit is easy. Resolving dependencies is an O(b^d) (breadth and depth) problem I'd rather automate, especially when it involves futzing around Google figuring out what libraries I need to get installed. Or worse yet, missing some.

Re:Does CentOS or Fedora core work on these things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26972649)

I can't compile a program. Thank god someone on Slashdot has finally given me permission to tell Linux to go fuck itself. Too bad, I was starting to look forward to getting it on a notebook. Time to go back to m

Re:Does CentOS or Fedora core work on these things (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972691)

Cute, but it is a lot faster to just install the precompiled binaries. When I do need to compile my own say php, I can get all the dependencies without compiling those too.

It is not fear that makes people not want to do that, it is the horror of having to remember to update 10s of apps on hundreds of servers when a security bug is found. Then the horror of spending days doing that.

Re:Does CentOS or Fedora core work on these things (1)

Ex-Linux-Fanboy (1311235) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973077)

You only have to compile on one machine. After that, I can think, off the top of my head, of two options:

rsync

scp (Make sure you don't encrypt your key on a secure machine so you can run this in a script without having to type in your passphrase every time)

Or, if that bothers you, you can either roll your own RPM or use one of the various repositories [karan.org] out there [razorsedge.org] on the net [wieers.com] .

My issue with Ubuntu is that they release a beta but call it "stable". I don't want to be a beta tester of broken software. I want software that works. This is why I like CentOS; it works as long as I'm using compatible hardware (cue my rant of how it's a pain to backport new drivers to older kernels).

Re:Does CentOS or Fedora core work on these things (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973273)

Try using 8.04 not 8.10.
This is why they have LTS and non-LTS versions.

Yes, I could do that, and then the vendor will tell me to go fuck myself when something does not work, how fantastic. How about there being a real reason in the enterprise world for supported versions of apps?

Re:Does CentOS or Fedora core work on these things (1)

Ex-Linux-Fanboy (1311235) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973467)

the vendor will tell me to go fuck myself when something does not work

Canonical will tell you the same thing if you do a sudo apt-get for anything not on the short list of packages they support.

Anyway, you're reframing the issue. At first you were complaining that RedHat sucks because there aren't that many RPMs out there; I gave you several solutions to this issue. Now you're shifting the subject and saying that the issue is that there aren't that many supported applications for RedHat.

- Sam

Re:Does CentOS or Fedora core work on these things (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972681)

I despise redhate so I can't give you any advice there, but I have found Ubuntu to have stability and driver problems. (As in, they broke drivers that work elsewhere.) My laptop runs Windows XP and my server now runs Debian Lenny.

Plug... (1)

ghostis (165022) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972455)

Got my wife an Ubuntu Mini 9 (up-spec'd) for her writing. She loves it. She writes in OO.o on it, NeoOffice on the Mac, and Google Docs elsewhere. I recently started using it to do math work (python, octave, lyx), since it fits on the desk nicely next my texts and weighs less than most of 'em. Wow. I can't recommend it enough. If you have large hands though, wait for the Mini 10 or get the 12. The keys on the Mini 9 are pretty small ;-).
 
-Ghostis

Re:Plug... (1)

ghostis (165022) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972595)

Also, I zapped the cutesy Dell menu (it's a menu setting) and the yahoo toolbar package on day one.

Hackintoshes ? (1)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972625)

Anyone using one of these as a hackintosh, I'd like to know about the experience.

Re:Hackintoshes ? (2, Interesting)

bconway (63464) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972829)

Yes, it works well, it's fast, and all hardware is supported. Installation is done with a retail Leopard disk, so it's a lot cleaner than most hackintoshes, and it's safely updateable.

How To: Hackintosh a Dell Mini 9 Into the Ultimate OS X Netbook [gizmodo.com]

I would expect a manufacturer to bundle drivers (2, Informative)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972697)

It's not a distro responsibility to make sure all the devices have current drivers, it's the manufacturer's job to do that.

DEMAND THEY DO IT.

And accept nothing less.

Mini 9 owner. XP delivered, Ubuntu reloaded. (1)

naughton (24739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972727)

When I got mine, they weren't shipping with Linux. Because the cost was too good to pass up ($149 with 3GB Ram and 20GB SSD), I took delivery and reloaded it with Ubuntu. Works great. I've had no problems.

Re:Mini 9 owner. XP delivered, Ubuntu reloaded. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26972853)

BULLSHIT!
That board will not take 3GB of ram, 2GB is the max, furthermore there is only one ram slot so how the fuck would you get 3GB of ram?

Re:Mini 9 owner. XP delivered, Ubuntu reloaded. (1)

naughton (24739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973807)

Whoops. Sorry about that, you're right. The reason that I got such a screaming deal was that I bought it at the same time as an Inspiron 1535. I got confused. Only the 1GB of RAM, which is the maximum. Also, before you rip me a new one, I got the maximum of 16GB SSD (not 20GB). Because I can tell that you're a stickler for precision, I'll include the full inventory. After I called them up, they waived the shipping charges, but I don't expect you to believe that.

1 224-2669 Inspiron 910 Intel Atom processor N270, 1.6GHz, 533Mhz512K L2 Cache
1 311-9256 Obsidian Black Color with Gloss Finish
1 311-9255 1GB,DDR2,533MHZ,1 DIMM
1 320-7125 8.9 inch Wide Screen WSVGA TLLCD
1 320-7124 Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
1 341-7610 16GB Solid State Drive (mini-card Module/PATA)
1 420-9249 Genuine Windows XP Home Edition
1 420-5769 Internet Search and Portal
1 420-8223 Dell Video Chat
1 420-7622 DELL SUPPORT CENTER 2.0
1 310-8624 You have chosen a Windows XP System
1 420-9191 Box.net online backup and filesharing 1.0
1 420-7468 ADOBE ACROBAT READER 8.1 DIM/INSP
1 430-3223 Base LCD Assembly
1 430-3219 Wireless 802.11g Mini Card
1 313-6896 Integrated 0.3M Pixel Webcam
1 410-1160 McAfee Security 9.0, 30-day Subscription, for Dell Inspiron / Dimension
1 312-0775 32WHr 4-cell Battery
1 412-0148 No ISP requested
1 420-8051 Microsoft Works 9.0, English For Inspiron
1 992-2067 Dell Hardware Warranty Plus Return To Depot, Initial Year
1 990-7989 1 Year Limited Warranty and Mail-In Service,Notebook
1 991-0320 Type 12- Mail-InService, 24x7 TechnicalSupport, Initial Year
1 960-2780 Warranty Support,Initial Year
1 950-3337 1 Year Limited Warranty
1 988-6059 No Warranty 2 and 3
1 900-9987 Standard On-Site Installation Declined
1 313-7127 Base LCD Assembly in Black

Product Subtotal: $150.88
Shipping and Handling: $9.99
Tax: $10.05
Product Total: $170.92

Delivery rant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26973071)

Has anybody actually ordered one of these things? I did, about a month ago. It's just been released from the factory in China, and is now working its way to me. I've been promised various delivery dates.

Dell need to look into this aspect of their business. A month is just too long to wait, and I can walk into any store and buy a competitor product off the shelf.

Which one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26973629)

1 of 3 Dell Inspiron Mini Netbooks Sold With Linux

Which one of the three had Linux?

Four out of five statisticians say the fifth one is the odd man out.

Finally! 2009 is... (2)

flattop100 (624647) | more than 5 years ago | (#26973653)

the year of Linux on the nettop!

Not so impressive. (3, Funny)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#26974021)

"1 of 3 Dell Inspiron Mini Notebooks sold with Linux"

"1 of 3" and not "1 in 3"? Big deal. So Dell sold 1 notebook with Linux. How is that going to put a dent in Microsoft's market share?

...AND immediately (0, Troll)

jridley (9305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26974031)

had a pirated copy of XP installed on them. Well, I bet 50+% of them did. And another half of those, within a month.

The reason is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26974105)

If you build a mini on Dell's website with Windows XP, it limits you to 1GB ram and 16GB SSD drive due to some Netbook license restriction from Microsoft... anything over those specs requires Vista? If you build it on the website and select Linux you magically get 2GB RAm and 64GB SSD options.

I'm sure most people select Linux and throw whatever they want on it AFTER it arrives.

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