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Where To Buy A Machine With Linux Pre-Installed

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the avoiding-the-microsoft-tax dept.

Linux 229

The Berkeley LUG has a neat aggregation of many different places where you can acquire a desktop, laptop, or even netbook with Linux pre-installed. The list starts with a link to Dell's Linux offering, includes many independent vendors, and many updates from user comments, almost all of whom seem to be drinking the Ubuntu kool-aid. "Over the last couple of years, Linux has come a long way in terms of hardware support, and these days it is relatively rare that an installation of ubuntu/fedora will be lacking any drivers for your machine. However, installing any OS can still sometimes be a tedious task and one that scares the wits out of the average computer user. And, for the expert users out there, it's just more fun to buy a computer with Linux already on it and not have to pay the Microsoft tax."

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229 comments

Meh? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084735)

I thought it was more fun to watch your computer compile your latest ebuild list...a preinstalled environment would remove the l33tness that so many linux users thrive for.

Re:Meh? (2, Interesting)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084757)

I think the point is more that the cost of the OS is going $0 to Microsoft more than anything. If you don't like the default OS, just install your own. It's free either way.

Driver support (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084869)

If you don't like the default OS, just install your own.

But if you use the operating system that comes on the machine, it reassures you that the operating system will work OK with the hardware. I replaced Xandros with Ubuntu on my Eee PC 900, and I still have trouble with cloning the display and with audio after coming out of suspend.

Re:Driver support (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085103)

But if you use the operating system that comes on the machine, it reassures you that the operating system will work OK with the hardware.

Except when it comes with malware [slashdot.org] .

Re:Driver support (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28086143)

The malware runs perfectly out-of-the-box. QED.

Re:Driver support (5, Informative)

nausea_malvarma (1544887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085117)

Try EEEbuntu. It's Ubuntu with a few eee-specific features, and a custom kernel. Should detect everything automatically. I've got it running on my 1000ha and I've never had a problem with it. Here's where you can grab it [eeebuntu.org]

Re:Driver support (3, Informative)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085433)

Try EEEbuntu. It's Ubuntu with a few eee-specific features, and a custom kernel. Should detect everything automatically. I've got it running on my 1000ha and I've never had a problem with it. Here's where you can grab it [eeebuntu.org]

IIRC eeebuntu hasn't been updated to with latest release version (it is still based on 8.10 rather than the newer 9.04). While the differences won't be massively massive and 8.10 will get security updates for a while yet, you are probably better off using the official "Ubuntu Netbook Remix" for new installs: http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download-netbook [ubuntu.com]

I've been using it on my AA1 for the last few weeks and have found it to be excellent in terms of everything I've cared to test working out of the box, and the eee1000 seems to be well supported too according to the official list at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardwareSupport/Machines/Netbooks [ubuntu.com]

If you don't like the default UNR launcher interface, you can easily turn it off and use the standard desktop setup (or your custom preference if you have used Linux long enough to have developed one) instead (though you'll want to reconfigure the panels vertically, or remove them, due to the machines screen size and aspect ratio).

Re:Driver support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28085547)

If you don't like the default OS, just install your own.

But if you use the operating system that comes on the machine, it reassures you that the operating system will work OK with the hardware. I replaced Xandros with Ubuntu on my Eee PC 900, and I still have trouble with cloning the display and with audio after coming out of suspend.

Mandriva Free 2009 Spring supports all the Asus Eee Pc systems drivers. It has very good hardware detection. Mandriva has done this for a while. Mandriva is a far superior distro than Ubuntu. It just works and has good font handling etc. You can install multiple desktop managers and when swiching between them will find that apps are in he menus. It has better set of utiliies than Ubuntu. The current weakness of Mandriva is that it is Intel/Amd only alhough there has been a call for volunteers o help port it to ARM.

Re:Meh? (1)

erick99 (743982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085123)

I wonder if the business model for all OS will eventually be to give away the OS and charge for Internet-based enhancements, add-ons, help, etc.

Re:Meh? (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085251)

How do you figure that? Last time I checked you save exactly $0.00 dollars by getting the Ubuntu over the Vista, at least on the Dell XPS I last looked at. So in this case if there is any savings from not going MSFT then YOU aren't the one seeing it.

As you can see here [dell.com] it is $1099 for EITHER Vista or Ubuntu. So why in hell would you WANT Ubuntu when you can get the Vista and then download the latest Ubuntu for $0.00 dollars and use the Vista License in a VM or to dual boot? While I am all for choice, this choice seems about as logical as saying "Hey Dell, you don't make enough money, here take that $50 you have to send Ballmer and put it in your pocket. On me pal.". Someone who is smart enough to run Linux as a day to day OS is smart enough to download and burn an .iso. Now when you get something for choosing Linux, like how the Asus would have a bigger drive? That I can see. This just seems stupid IMHO. Cue the Linux users labeling me troll because I dared to point out the Ubuntu deal is a ripoff at Dell.

Re:Meh? (4, Informative)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085541)

How do you figure that? Last time I checked you save exactly $0.00 dollars by getting the Ubuntu over the Vista, at least on the Dell XPS I last looked at. So in this case if there is any savings from not going MSFT then YOU aren't the one seeing it.

Correct. As well as getting Windows OEM licenses dirt cheap in bulk for their machine, Dall and manufacturers like them also get a kick-back for each bit of extra "trail" software (such as AV tools and such) they include. If you don't take Windows they can provide McUsless AntiEverything 2012, so they don't get the kick-back for that software for your machine, and if these kick-backs in total as much as the few $ they pay for each Windows license (i.e. laptop.cost+window.cost-crap1.cost-crap2.cost == laptop.cost-ubuntu.cost) that means your machines costs them the same to send to you what-ever OS you select.

There is also the issue of extra returns for Linux machines if they make them cheaper. This actually happens, it isn't just FUD, though it doesn't happen for the reason that MS want you to believe (because Linux is defective) it is because the user has made a defective choice - they pick the cheaper option without doing any research then expect a refund because it won't play game-of-the-moment out of the box.

Windows returns (2, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085925)

I think it's time we bump the return rate on Windows machines by taking back our new laptops a few times. I'm tired of seeing this argument. As of right now my preferred recommendation for malware becomes "take it back to the store and exchange it for one that doesn't have that problem".

Re:Windows returns (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28086029)

Oh, I'm with you there.

I was just stating the case, not saying that I liked it!

Re:Meh? (2, Informative)

sphantom (795286) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085921)

I believe Dell pays Cononical a small kickback for every Linux PC they sell for support. This would explain why the two systems cost the same, though I tend to agree with you on principal that it would be nice to be able to get the Linux variant for cheaper.

Also, last I checked, Microsoft's license terms don't allow you to run an OEM copy in a virtual instance (i.e. the license is tied to the hardware). If you want to run Vista in a virtual machine you'll need a retail boxed copy, or a volume license of some kind.

Re:Meh? (3, Insightful)

jakykong (1474957) | more than 5 years ago | (#28086013)

I don't agree with you, but you do have a point. You aren't spending less, but the problem with the microsoft tax isn't the money I spent. The problem is that the said money is going to microsoft.

When I buy a computer from Dell, I figure they're going to make some profit either way. If they make more profit by selling Linux to me, then maybe it's encouragement to sell more Linux machines. In any event, that money going to dell doesn't bother me. That same money going to microsoft does.

The other viewpoint here is that you shouldn't be paying that money because you aren't buying an operating system. This seems to be the one that you're taking. This being the case, there are other vendors where you don't buy the operating system (TFA mentions quite a few vendors -- check them out). Or you could build your own if you have the time to deal with it. It's a matter of taste, I imagine. Or budget.

So, in short, you have a good point, but there are other arguments to be made as well. :)

Re:Meh? (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084911)

I thought it was more fun to watch your computer compile your latest ebuild list...a preinstalled environment would remove the l33tness that so many linux users thrive for.

It would also come with all the drivers you need, properly configured X, hardware acceleration, and wifi. Ever had all of those on something you compiled, or did you get bored with it halfway through like I did every time?

It's more fun to build it yourself (the machine) (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084741)

"And, for the expert users out there, it's just more fun to buy a computer with Linux already on it and not have to pay the Microsoft tax."

Actually, for the experts, it's more fun to build the computer themselves and install whatever they feel like.

Re:It's more fun to build it yourself (the machine (4, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084809)

Only if it's a desktop. You're not gonna build your own netbook and have it be of any respectable quality.

Re:It's more fun to build it yourself (the machine (-1, Troll)

rlanctot (310750) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084907)

I beg to differ.

http://benheck.com/ [benheck.com]

Re:It's more fun to build it yourself (the machine (2, Insightful)

Omniscient Lurker (1504701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085019)

I honestly tried to understand where in that blog it talks of making a netbook. i gave up. Note to EVERYONE: when linking to a blog (or elsewhere), link straight to the relevant post, not the front page.

Re:It's more fun to build it yourself (the machine (-1, Troll)

rlanctot (310750) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085063)

Had you taken the time to do a little research, you'd realize the comment wasn't specific to the netbook but to the fact that you CAN build things other than a desktop machine and have them be respectable. Of course, that would require someone not spoonfeeding you.

Re:It's more fun to build it yourself (the machine (3, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085181)

Deep linking [wikipedia.org] when linking to an external website [google.co.uk] , is just good etiquette [craigslist.com] and stops me wasting time [xkcd.com]

Re:It's more fun to build it yourself (the machine (-1, Flamebait)

rlanctot (310750) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085405)

Remind me to prefold your TP for you too.

Re:It's more fun to build it yourself (the machine (5, Insightful)

nausea_malvarma (1544887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085195)

Wait wait wait. One person said "You're not gonna build your own netbook and have it be of any respectable quality" and you say "I beg to differ" and offer a link as a counter example. Any reasonable person would assume your link would contain someone who did make their own netbook, because you didn't specify otherwise, and it was in response to a question about homemade netbooks. Instead of lashing out at other users,consider the possibility that your post was vague and cryptic.

Re:It's more fun to build it yourself (the machine (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085755)

Well then you're simply not willing to do the necessary work [theonion.com] to understand people's references

Even if (1, Informative)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084751)

And, for the expert users out there, it's just more fun to buy a computer with Linux already on it and not have to pay the Microsoft tax.

I thought we paid that tax EVEN IF we bought a Linux laptop.

Re:Even if (1)

legirons (809082) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085363)

And, for the expert users out there, it's just more fun to buy a computer with Linux already on it and not have to pay the Microsoft tax.

I thought we paid that tax EVEN IF we bought a Linux laptop.

Well you could buy a macbook from EmperorLinux and only pay for the Mac OS X license to use Linux ;)

or just get an Asus eee - for £156 there's not much room to hide the cost of an unused Windows license!

Re:Even if (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085501)

I thought we paid that tax EVEN IF we bought a Linux laptop.

The "Microsoft Tax" is one of those crazy ideas that clog the geek's mind -

all it really means is that the OEM Windows install makes your laptop a viable mass market product that will outsell Linux by 100 to 1.

Re:Even if (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085565)

I thought we paid that tax EVEN IF we bought a Linux laptop.

Not quite. You pay the Dell-don't-collect-on-the-bribes-to-include-extra-trial-software-on-your-machine-so-they-extract-those-$-from-you tax.

Install Linux yourself (1)

LinuxOverWindows (1549895) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084755)

Why not just get a Linux CD and install yourself. Linux has also come along way with how it's installed, it use to be at it's best a curses based installer and now has come to live cd's.

It's not what company will ship you a PC with linux installed just ask them to NOT install windows. It's easy to install Linux and one could do it Trust me.

Re:Install Linux yourself (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084973)

Why not just get a Linux CD and install yourself. It's easy to install Linux and one could do it Trust me.

Famous last words.

You aren't going to be there if anything goes wrong.

 

Re:Install Linux yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28085017)

Why not just get a Linux CD and install yourself. It's easy to install Linux and one could do it Trust me.

Famous last words.

You aren't going to be there if anything goes wrong.

It is installing an OS. Not cooking nitro.

Re:Install Linux yourself (0, Flamebait)

LinuxOverWindows (1549895) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085053)

If you can't install Linux using a live cd Graphical Installer then you really shouldn't even be on slashdot lol.

Re:Install Linux yourself (3, Insightful)

Mansing (42708) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085315)

You aren't going to be there if anything goes wrong.

Neither is Microsoft nor the hardware vendors.

Re:Install Linux yourself (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28085375)

Except the hardware vendors have already tested and certified their various parts against the Windows OS so it will work. The hardware vendors also have support lines to help you. Good luck getting anything but snide comments about RTFM if you needed helping getting something working under a Linux distro you installed yourself.

Re:Install Linux yourself (2, Funny)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 5 years ago | (#28086203)

*points to forums.gentoo.org*

They're nice and helpful over there. :)

Re:Install Linux yourself (2, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085857)

Neither is Microsoft nor the hardware vendors.

I have been pricing refurbished 64 bit quad core Vista PCs from Dell and Tiger.

It's a calculated risk, of course.

But these systems come loaded. I can't imaging making any significant changes over the life of the hardware.

So it works or it doesn't. If it doesn't, it goes back.

I am not equipped or inclined to diagnose and repair a system level hardware problem or a system level software problem.

I think - in this - I am representative of the mass consumer market.

Ubuntu kool-aid (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084771)

Because, of course, not using Microsoft's Windows or Apple's Mac OS X isn't enough.

You need to use an obscure Linux distro or else you'll still be a mindless sheep that other Linux users will laugh at.

You're damned if you do, damned if you don't.

I'll be at Milliways if anyone needs me.

Re:Ubuntu kool-aid (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084923)

I don't think that's the point. Ubuntu is probably the best choice for people migrating from MS Windows. However, there are other markets. For example, I have used Unix in one form or another for 25 years. I do most of my work from the command line. I want more-or-less traditional configuration files and controls and I want to install all sorts of development tools. Ubuntu is not the ideal distribution for someone like me, and, I suspect, a lot of other people who read /. At the same time, I like the ability to buy a laptop with Linux installed so that I can be sure that the audio and wifi work properly. So for people like me, it is desirable to have options other than Ubuntu.

Re:Ubuntu kool-aid (3, Insightful)

isorox (205688) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085841)

Ubuntu is not the ideal distribution for someone like me, and, I suspect, a lot of other people who read /.

Hmm, I moved from redhat to debian when potato came out, partly based on slashdot (and linux newbie) raves about apt, so Ubuntu is natural when I want it to just work.

You Are Not The Target Market, Then (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 5 years ago | (#28086155)

For example, I have used Unix in one form or another for 25 years. I do most of my work from the command line.

...and therefore you're probably quite willing and capable of installing whatever distro you like.

As a techie, odds are, that the first thing you'll do with a new PC is zap the hard drive and re-install everything the way you want anyway.

The only benefit to such people of getting a machine with Linux pre-installed is some assurance that maybe, just maybe, the supplier has the nous to only use components with reasonable Linux support.

Re:Ubuntu kool-aid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28085403)

Aye, can't see what ScuttleMonkey is on about. Ctl-F 'ubuntu' in TFA, and read each in context. Perhaps SM can't write, and meant the vendors and not the commenters, but even then Ubuntu is simply the distro of 3 of the mere 5 vendors listed in the original post.

Perhaps he means the koolaid in the Electric Koolaid Acid Test sense, and not Jim Jones, but it's still an odd remark. What's to be knee-jerk about? This is like the kids who write "Micro$oft". I think the lad is sucking the wrong end of the towel this morning.

I come from a Dark Star... (5, Funny)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085531)

You need to use an obscure Linux distro or else you'll still be a mindless sheep that other Linux users will laugh at.

I use DARKSTAR Linux, you insen... wait, I'm the insensitive clod, you sheep!

Re:Ubuntu kool-aid (3, Funny)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085545)

Hey, I'm not going to be happy until I get full support for Linux From Scratch. I want it all to "just work". Uh, wait...

Re:Ubuntu kool-aid (2, Interesting)

scrib (1277042) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085653)

Seconded.

It's one thing to support your favorite distro, it's another thing to slur one with allusions to a cult. (Ironic, too...) How is that good for anyone?

I got a taste for *nix in college in the early 90's, but joined the workforce writing software for Windows. I've installed, and deleted, many different distros over the years. Sure, I could use them, compile drivers, find hardware that was supported, but I knew that there was no way that anyone else in my family would make the leap.

Recent developments in the Windows world have pushed me to investigate alternatives. I recently got my first Mac (a mini) and have been using Ubuntu as my primary desktop for a couple months. Ubuntu, like it or not, is the first distro I would even consider recommending to non-techie friends and family.

Why? One big reason is the number of users. Any problems I come up against I can usually find answered with a google search. If a software writer has some pre-compiled versions or installation instructions, there's usually one for Ubuntu. Since I am my family's de facto computer support, it's important to have those resources available for a range of hardware and software configurations - not just my own.

In my opinion, any Linux distro's popularity is a good thing and the more support the better.

Buy a server instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084773)

Buy a server instead. These usually come with no operating system.

For example

Re:Buy a server instead (3, Funny)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084909)

Buy a server instead. These usually come with no operating system.

For example

Is that an example of no operating systems?

Re:Buy a server instead (5, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085069)

    Actually, this gets touchy sometimes.

    I prefer that my clients buy their own equipment. That way they know I didn't inflate the price, they are the customer of record, and I don't carry the risk of buying hardware the the client backing out. I've gotten stuck with a few pieces of equipment because the client "changed their minds". That really doesn't work well on stuff purchased through eBay, but even with many vendors I'd have to pay a restocking fee.

    We found a 3rd party vendor that was selling a Supermicro motherboard and chassis, assembled to spec with CPU, memory and drives. It's a nice machine. 8 core Opteron, 64Gb RAM, etc, etc. When the client put the order through, he asked "What operating system do you want?". I was already clear in that we were putting our preferred Linux distro on, but would be testing various RAID and filesystems, so he wasn't to have anything put on. They were very clear that the machine wouldn't support Linux. I went back to the spec, and checked on everything. There were no problem. They were insistent on selling him a Microsoft OS. They actually wrote it on the build sheet "Must use Microsoft OS". He was really concerned. Could this tech guy who's known all the answers so far know more than the vendor? Is he wasting a whole bunch of money on something that he can't use?

    When it got here, I opened it up and verified all the parts. Then I booted it up with my Slamd64 CD, and installed. Right out of the box, it worked perfectly. Every device was identified and the drivers loaded. No problems at all. I know he was much happier when he got the call "The machine works great. We're migrating to it now. It will be online by the end of the weekend."

    Had the customer not known any better, and we had given an option of Linux or Windows, he would have spent some good money on a Microsoft OS, because the vendor told him to.

    I know the vendors view. They can make extra money on it. Why would I want to slow a nice fast machine down with a heavy GUI, when I can strip Linux down to bare bones and run as fast as possible?

Re:Buy a server instead (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085447)

Yet, on Dell and HP's sites, it's easy to buy a server without any operating system. In fact, this seems to be the default on at least some of their servers.

OS choices offered by Dell and/or HP include SLES, RHEL, Windows, XenServer, ESXi, and Solaris.

Proximity to greatness! (5, Interesting)

siloko (1133863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084799)

I have lived with three dudes over the past two years and they are all now running Ubuntu in one form or another having not even heard of any windows alternatives before. Simply seeing it work, being close to someone who can help when they come up against problems and experiencing the sheer breadth of free applications on offer is enough for many people to make the switch. Incidentally one of those guys didn't even own his own computer when I met him . . .

Re:Proximity to greatness! (1)

toetagger (642315) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085443)

My guess is its better if you wouldn't have said anything!

The way you wrote this, you're giving Ubuntu a reputation that will make some people think twice before admitting that they also run Ubunut.

And if you would say the same thing but with 3 girls, then no one would belief you.

Doomed either way.

Re:Proximity to greatness! (1)

siloko (1133863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085553)

you're giving Ubuntu a reputation that will make some people think twice before admitting that they also run Ubunut

errr, I'm not sure what criteria you use to assess an OS but ours obviously differ!

Re:Proximity to greatness! (2, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085705)

And if you would say the same thing but with 3 girls, then no one would belief you.

My girlfriend, my daughter, my niece and my mother all run Ubuntu.

That joke is way past it's best before date... you might want to try some new material...

Re:Proximity to greatness! (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28086117)

I have lived with three dudes over the past two years and they are all now running Ubuntu in one form or another having not even heard of any windows alternatives before

Translation:

I live in the college dorm.

My bunk mates get 24 hour free technical support.

They are refugees from the Land of The Lost who have never seen an add for the Mac.

Netbooks (2, Interesting)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084823)

I bought myself a Asus netbook with the Linux pre-install. It didn't last long and installed a different Linux distro which was not as childish and crippled as the pre-installed Linux version (not any Ubuntu flavour). Maybe there should be an option when buying machines for NO OS installed by default. It wouldn't prevent the manufacturer adding crapware for their Windows install CD's.

It would be interesting to know which OS would be more frustrating to the average user to install. Every Linux install I've done, it installed everything a typical install does in one go and needed one reboot (setting up SuperUser and user accounts). The last time I installed WinXP on my desktop I lost the will to live after 35 reboots to install the OS and countless other drivers which insisted on full reboots.

Re:Netbooks (2, Insightful)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084975)

Microsoft would quickly oppose any attempt to sell computers with no OS... on the grounds that it would support piracy

This insanity (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085989)

Is functionally equivalent to book publishers opposing the sale of blank paper.

Re:Netbooks (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28086191)

Microsoft would quickly oppose any attempt to sell computers with no OS... on the grounds that it would support piracy

WalMart won't stock your bare-bones PC because they can't sell your bare-bones PC - and they sure as hell don't want to accept it as a return.

Bare-bones is strictly for the enthusiast and the IT pro.

Re:Netbooks (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085155)

    I have someone's machine here right now that needed a full reinstall. The machine took a power surge. The surge damaged the hard drive, memory, and sound card. Knowing the preinstalled version of Windows, it has so much crap it isn't even funny. I could spend hours cleaning those out, or put a nice clean install on.

    When I use a Windows machine (hey, it helps for gaming), it's always nice to have a clean install, versus the vendor provided crap, even if I have to go through couple dozen or so reboots. On the client's machine, even if I could have preserved the reinstall partition on the original drive, I would have gone through just as many reboots doing the Windows updates.

   

Re:Netbooks (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085523)

Try nLite. Master your XP cd, plug it in and walk away.

http://www.nliteos.com/ [nliteos.com]

Worse than installing Windows: doing it twice (2, Interesting)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085563)

[after installing XP] I lost the will to live after 35 reboots to install the OS

Try doing that and watching it get Sasser'd twenty seconds after you plugged in the network cable :(

Re:Netbooks (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085715)

I bought myself a Asus netbook with the Linux pre-install. It didn't last long and installed a different Linux distro which was not as childish and crippled as the pre-installed Linux version (not any Ubuntu flavour).

That might be a little unfair to Linpus. Admittedly I replaced it with UNR in short order, but it is not without its advantages once you've visited the official update page that gives you a more recent version of Firefox (3.0.x upgrade from 2), OpenOffice, VLC, and so forth.

The default install (once FF is updated) is perfectly fine for basic users, who do not need the flexibility you or I desire/require, and all the hardware definitely works out of the box. It also boots (and gets to the point of being able to use an application) a lot faster then I have been able to tweak UNR to (though this isn't much of an issue as mine very rarely shuts down fully - it sleeps most of the time instead which seems reliable)

It is said that one of the reasons Acer picked Linpus instead of other alternatives such as Ubuntu was that it had better eastern language support at the time the decision was made, as it was originally created for those markets. The Asian market is/was a significant chunk of Acer's target market for the range.

Another List for Laptop, PDAs and Mobile Phones (4, Informative)

wehe (135130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084849)

There is also a comprehensive and international list of vendors which provide laptops, notebooks, PDAs and mobile phones with Linux pre-installed [tuxmobil.org] . This list is accompanied by a survey of laptop and notebook manufacturers which provide Linux pre-installed [tuxmobil.org] , a survey of mobile phones with Linux pre-installed [tuxmobil.org] and an overview of media players with Linux pre-installed [tuxmobil.org] (these manufacturers are marked with an asterisk).

Any suggestions for Canadian laptop vendors? (1)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084875)

It looks like Dell.ca isn't selling laptops [www.dell.ca] anymore. For reasons (in no particular order) of patriotism, currency and hardware/warranty hassles, I'm interested in buying a laptop with working suspend-to-ram from a Canadian company...does anyone have any suggestions? (I know about the netbooks, but I'm wondering if there's anything else.)

Re:Any suggestions for Canadian laptop vendors? (1)

sherriw (794536) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085113)

I'm also interested in the answer to this...

Re:Any suggestions for Canadian laptop vendors? (2, Informative)

leoc (4746) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085453)

Years ago I bought a linux server from a company in Edmonton, and they seem to still be around. Their site is woefully out of date though.

http://www.harddata.com/ [harddata.com]

Re:Any suggestions for Canadian laptop vendors? (1)

molesdad (1003858) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085511)

It's almost a good deal (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28085669)

The problem with many Linux versions of desktops or laptops is that the Windows version is almost always a better deal. The computer you point at:

Linux, $20 cheaper
BUT
Linux, 1/2 the hard drive (ie 4GB vs. 8GB)
Linux, you don't get $30 off peripherals

Up to recently they always found a way to make Linux a worse deal financially. I think they may have fixed that in the States but obviously not in Canada.

Re:Any suggestions for Canadian laptop vendors? (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085635)

Why do I always have to stop and ask myself "When did California get a TLD?"

Re:Any suggestions for Canadian laptop vendors? (2, Informative)

Pissou Anonyme (1499135) | more than 5 years ago | (#28086045)

Try http://www.eurocom.com/ [eurocom.com] They sell Windozed laptops but you can buy one without an OS. Their base is in Ottawa. PA

Its Not a Tax You Idiots (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084927)

Why do some people here like to still perpetuate the meme of a Microsoft tax.
The fact is that the only real taxes are those levied by the government and nobody else. If you avoid this âoemicrosoft tax" nothing happens to you. If you do it against the government its called tax evasion and you can go to jail for it.

Please, stop the FUD now. I thought were people were against it if its done by Microsoft, but you are doing the same thing here.

Re:Its Not a Tax You Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084957)

Why do some people here like to still perpetuate the meme of a Microsoft tax.
The fact is that the only real taxes are those levied by the government and nobody else. If you avoid this âoemicrosoft tax" nothing happens to you. If you do it against the government its called tax evasion and you can go to jail for it.

Please, stop the FUD now. I thought were people were against it if its done by Microsoft, but you are doing the same thing here.

It's a synecdoche, numbnuts.

Re:Its Not a Tax You Idiots (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28085503)

All right, from now on I'll call it the "mandatory fee that you pay to microsoft when buying a computer regardless of your desire to use any microsoft product." Of course, these days it's not *strictly* true - you can buy a computer without the "mandatory fee that you pay to microsoft when buying a computer regardless of your desire to use any microsoft product"... just it's hard to do. Even many (most?) computers that you manage to buy without an OS or with some flavor of Linux pre-installed include the "mandatory fee that you pay to microsoft when buying a computer regardless of your desire to use any microsoft product." (I.E. Microsoft gets mad at vendors who try to sell PC's with no OS or Linux, on the basis that the users will probably pirate windows... and so many just include a windows license in the product price anyway).

You know what? Fuck you - "mandatory fee that you pay to microsoft when buying a computer regardless of your desire to use any microsoft product" is way too long for ordinary use, we'll just agree to call it the "Microsoft Tax" because that's the closest analogy that fits in a reasonable amount of space.

Dell (5, Informative)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084947)

So far I've bought 2 Ubuntu machines from Dell and they absolutely rock! I bought a Dell Latitude and a Mini 9. They were both rock solid, isn't too OEMified (i.e. no crapware preinstalled).

I'm a huge Dell fan now, because they give me what I want!

Rah rah rah, go Dell! ;)

Re:Dell (0, Offtopic)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084977)

I have a 10 amp power wang designed to drive any woman wild.

Be careful you don't get a socket error.

It's not about shipping Linux pre-installed (5, Insightful)

hubert.lepicki (1119397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084965)

It's more about getting "clean" laptop without any OS (or proprietary one) installed and hardware compatibility with free OSes.

I'd love to see some vendor shipping laptops "Tested with Ubuntu, Fedora, NetBSD and OpenSolaris".

From my experience (had 3 laptops with Linux pre-installed so far - 2 with Linpus and one with Xandros!), I always had to switch to something else than what came with laptop. With Acer laptops it was easy - hardware was fairly standard. Other thing was with early version of Eee PC, that had all sorts of problems with drivers for almost a year until I could install "stock" Debian on it.

If I even got a laptop from Dell with Ubuntu, I would:
- re-partition and encrypt hard drive
- upgrade to something more recent than 8.04

That means I don't need a laptop with Linux pre-installed, but one without Windows, with fairly standard hardware. I think most of you here would agree with me.

Re:It's not about shipping Linux pre-installed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28085377)

Sounds more like you would bankrupt that company with all the testing going on.

Pick one god damn distro and standardize on it.

No offense, but people like you who speak out like everyone needs 20 different distros are just confusing vendors of where the market is at in Linux Desktop, hell whethere there is even a incentive for market in Linux Desktop.

Re:It's not about shipping Linux pre-installed (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085471)

>I'd love to see some vendor shipping laptops "Tested with Ubuntu, Fedora, NetBSD and OpenSolaris".

I'd settle for full advance disclosure of chipset specs.

Re:It's not about shipping Linux pre-installed (1)

sherriw (794536) | more than 5 years ago | (#28086227)

Well, if that's the case, you can always go to your local PC shop and have them custom build one for you. OEM isn't the only choice out there.

No mention of pogo linux? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084983)

Sure, they're mostly servers, but they do have Workstations. They'll even sell you Windows if you want it. http://pogolinux.com/ [pogolinux.com]

Try outside the US (1)

Godji (957148) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084999)

Heh, the US has it easy. Try finding anything preinstalled with Linux in Bulgaria.

Re:Try outside the US (2, Funny)

belmolis (702863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085049)

I didn't know it was even possible to run Linux on a TRS-80. :)

Re:Try outside the US (1)

hubert.lepicki (1119397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085245)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_computer_hardware_in_Soviet_Bloc_countries#Bulgarian_computers [wikipedia.org]

go learn about computing in Soviet block. I won't mention Polish "Odra" computer and it's top-of-the-art memory of that time.

I never been to Bulgaria (want to go there), but I guess it can be possible to buy some cheap Acer laptops with Linux there from_a_shelf in cheap computer stores.

Re:Try outside the US (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085671)

For those who don't read very carefully, ":)" means "I'm kidding". It's not a troll, it's a joke.

Microsoft tax is irrelevant (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085121)

The $10/£10 you pay for MS is often trumped by the $30/£30 they add to the cost as it costs them more to support it, and that is ignoring the £20 that companies pay to preinstall crap on your PC). Don't worry about Microsoft getting rich off your £10, they don't care about the money from the home market, just the market share (which they loose if you uninstall it anyway).

Decide if you want full floss (ati/intel/atheros) or are willing to use proprietary (ati/nvidea) to get better performance, then find the best PC you can get for your price. If your looking at desktops then do yourself a favour and build it, it is literally plug by colors now, as it cut the price in half.

Re:Microsoft tax is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28085325)

"... just the market share (which they loose if you uninstall it anyway)."

That's not true since on paper a system was sold with a Microsoft OS, so it's counted as one in the the Microsoft column. The reverse is also the same. If a system is sold with Linux and then later, heaven forbids, has Windows installed that share is STILL counted towards Linux.

Re:Microsoft tax is irrelevant (2, Insightful)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085467)

Microsoft LOSES market share if you install something else over top?

I would beg to differ -- all machines are still counted as Windows(tm) machines. This allows demonstration of the ABSOLUTE and CRUSHING numerical superiority of Windows.

Microsoft Tax, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28085145)

Isn't it frequently a Microsoft Subsidy in order to make sure their product is sold first?

Really, a printer? (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085213)

The article links to a local Ubuntu-friendly retailer ZaReason. Now I'm all about buying from local businesses, but given some of the text on their pages [zareason.com] , I'm wondering if these guys got a little too "Berkeley," if you know what I mean:

SD/MMC slot -- download photos, anything from your phone (if it holds an SD card), your printer... extreme usability

Are they trying to tell me that I can "download a printer" or "download photos from my printer" ? I dunno about them, but usually photos come out of my printer, not the other way 'round.

in the UK (2, Informative)

legirons (809082) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085229)

In the UK, try: http://www.efficientpc.co.uk/ [efficientpc.co.uk]

don't bother with Dell - once you've found a machine that you want, there's no way they're going to put linux on it unless you request an offline quote that means you get no discounts and can't do easy comparisons between different configurations. Or unless you go through their "linux portal" that makes everything more expensive.

Oh, and Dell will only sell you the most expensive possible version of the most expensive linux distribution unless you get one of their "toy" pink laptops from the 'home' section. (and who knows, they might give money to Microsoft on your behalf anyway)

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28085583)

I got my Dell Insipiron with ubuntu pre-installed in the UK (amazon).

freegeek (4, Informative)

sugarmotor (621907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085597)

freegeek ( http://www.freegeek.org/ [freegeek.org] ) recycles PC's and sells them if they have some left-over.

Linux pre-installed.

Have to check if there is one where you live.

Stephan

List of Cities (2, Informative)

sugarmotor (621907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085649)

I forgot; there's a list of cities at

http://www.freegeek.org/about/intergalactic [freegeek.org]

  * Free Geek Arkansas (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
  * Free Geek Central Florida (Orlando, Florida)
  * Free Geek Chicago (Chicago, Illinois)
  * Free Geek Columbus (Columbus, Ohio)
  * Free Geek Michiana (South Bend, Indiana area)
  * Free Geek Twin Cities (Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota)
  * Born Again Technologies (Murfreesboro, Tennessee)
  * Free Geek Vancouver (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
  * Free Geek Providence (Providence, Rhode Island)
  * The original Free Geek, often referred to as âoethe "Mothership". (Portland, Oregon)

Stephan

Everex R.I.P.? - the search for the $200 linux box (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085619)

I bought one of the first $200 Everex gPC boxes (reviewed here [lightandmatter.com] ), and although their linux distro was awful at that time (it was a prerelease version), the hardware has worked fine. I put ubuntu on it, and it's a great machine.

However, they seem to have recurring problems with production and/or distribution channels. They were originally selling them through Walmart; you'd order it via Walmart's web site, and it would be shipped to your local store for you to pick up. Now Walmart no longer has them. If you go to everex.com, they proudly tell you that their latest version, the gPC3, is available for $199. But of the two links they offer for buying it, neither actually works. One is to newegg, which lists it as a "Deactivated Item." The other is a link to a nonexistent page on everexstore.com.

Unfortunately, this seems to be the recurring pattern. Fry's sold the $180-250 Great Quality machines, then stopped. Sears had the Mirus with Freespire (ugh) for $200, but now they only sell it with Windows. Now the gPC seems to be headed down the same road. It seems like lots of people get this great idea of selling a linux box for $200, but nobody seems to be able to sustain it as a business model. It probably doesn't help that they all put the world's lousiest linux distros on their machines, instead of just going with Ubuntu, which would be the sane, obvious choice these days.

Re:Everex R.I.P.? - the search for the $200 linux (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085655)

Aha, after posting the above, I found out that Zareason sells the Everex gPC3. I wonder why the heck Everex's web page doesn't link to Zareason, and links instead to two nonfunctional retail channels??

Re:Everex R.I.P.? - the search for the $200 linux (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085759)

D'oh, now I feel like a complete idiot, with two replies-to-self. Zareason doesn't actually have them in stock.

where to buy a machine with Linux pre-installed (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085641)

You could one from CAI [computeraid.org] , if you are in the non profit sector.

Places where I've seen linux preinstalled (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28086219)

1. In the local charity shop, on second hand computers they sell.
2. ToysRus, on Asus EEE PC.
3. Ebay

Also, if you live in the UK, you may want to check out Aria and order your PC there- they actually charge less for a PC if they don't need to install an OS on it. I'm a happy recurring customer there and WILL check their site if I need any hardware at all.

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