Dell Ubuntu Linux Desktop Details EmergeBy Steven Vaughan-Nichols | Posted 2007-05-22 Email Print
Officially, there's no word yet on when Dell will release its Ubuntu Linux powered PCs. That isn't stopping the company from letting out some technical details about its new preinstalled Linux lines.On the record, a Dell spokesman said he "can't comment on unannounced products," when asked about Dell's forthcoming Ubuntu-powered PCs. Over on Direct2Dell, meanwhile, John Hull, Dell's manager of Linux OS technologies, on May 21 published "an overview of what customers can expect from our initial Ubuntu offering."
Here's what Hull had to say. First, the default software from the Ubuntu media will be installed on the system, including kernel and applications. We already know that Dell will be offering the newest version of the popular Linux distribution, Ubuntu version 7.04.
DesktopLinux believes that Ubuntu will be made available on particular models of the Dimension E520 desktop, Inspirion1505 laptop, and XPS 410 desktop lines starting May 24.
That Dell will be offering Ubuntu on only some systems in each line is supported by Hull's statement that "The peripheral options offered with Ubuntu will be a subset of what is offered with other operating systems. We're offering the hardware options on each system that have the most mature and stable Linux driver support. These hardware options have been thoroughly tested by the Linux team here at Dell."
When it's possible, Hull continued, Dell will "install open source drivers for hardware." When it's not, Dell will use partial open-source or closed source ("restricted" in Ubuntu terms) drivers where there is no equivalent open-source driver. This includes Intel wireless cards and Conexant modems."
The Inspiron 1505 laptop line comes with the Dell Wireless 1390b/g card, but the Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 internal WiFi card is an option. These WiFi cards work with Linux 2.6.8 and above but require the use of a proprietary firmware image file.
Linuxant, an open source software provider, offers drivers for Conexant's "WinModems." However, to provide high-quality drivers, Linuxant had to sign an agreement with Conexant to license its proprietary core modem technologies.
Read the full story on DesktopLinux.com: Dell Ubuntu Linux Desktop Details Emerge