Dell beefs up pre-installed Linux options in response to user demand

The computing giant has announced that it plans to expand its range of laptops and desktops with the Linux operating system pre-installed, following user demand.

IdeaStorm site


Linux options quickly became the burning issue when Dell launched its IdeaStorm site to harvest the ideas and opinion of its users.

Two weeks ago the company rolled out a survey in response to assess how great that demand was and how Linux is likely to be used.

More than 100,000 people responded, with more than 70 per cent claiming they would use Linux in both home and office environments. The majority said that they would be happy with the support already available on internet, and would not need Dell to provide this.

Dell says it will expand Linux availability to an as yet unnamed range of laptops and desktops. It says details of testing and certification, as well as which Linux distributions it will offer, in "the coming weeks."

It will also meet other demands such as ensuring all device drivers are open-source where possible and that it will always choose the open- rather than closed-source option when both are available.

However, in specific technology areas where open-source support is less robust, such as drivers for certain 3D video cards, it will continue to offer the closed-source versions for those that wish to use them.

Where there are no open-source drivers available, such as for software-based modems, Dell customers will have to opt for hardware-only choices. Desktop customers will be able to swap out add-in cards, while laptop customers will have to use PC Card or ExpressCard slots.

There are currently no details on whether the new Linux options for Dell products will be available in the UK.


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