PDA

View Full Version : Building Ubuntu Boxen at an OEM level



ProdigySim
July 17th, 2005, 04:49 PM
Hi, I work for a computer repair/parts store that also does PC building.
We're interested in starting to build computers with Ubuntu Linux on them. Putting Windows on computers jacks up the price of a PC by $100, so we thought we'd try something else.

First of all, I don't know if this is the right forum to be asking these things, but since it's the only one about selling things with linux on them, I thought I'd ask.

I have a few questions about doing this:

Is there some faster way to install Ubuntu than a custom install from a CD every time?
Could we make a Hard Drive image (with Ghost or other) that has the Ubuntu installation base and go from there?

Also, are there any guides on how to modify the ubuntu files that are on the CD? With the Windows OEM packs, you can add a logo, i.e. "Installed By COMPAQ" etc. We would like to add something like that somewhere.

Finally, if we were producing systems with linux for people, we would probably need to give them copies of the Ubuntu CD, in case they had to reinstall, or add new packages. Is there any better way to get Ubuntu CDs? Being free from ShipIt is nice, but 4-6 weeks is a long time to wait. Is there any way we could, say, pay for shipping/donate to speed it up? Are there any other Ubuntu CD distributors?
We could always burn copies, but it is better to have Official Looking copies.

Arthemys
July 17th, 2005, 06:36 PM
This is the exact same boat my company is in right now when it comes to system integration.

We've just had a time crunch when it comes to "new things." And installing linux instead of Windows is just another thing that keeps getting put off for lack of time testing.

What specs are you looking to be building and for what price?

ProdigySim
July 17th, 2005, 06:43 PM
What specs are you looking to be building and for what price?
Well, we do custom builds and other things, but we're mainly looking into getting a basic PC out at $299 ($399 with windows). They include Sempron 2300+ processors with onboard sound, LAN, Video, etc., and 128-512MB of RAM. Very basic systems.

Arthemys
July 17th, 2005, 06:46 PM
Here's our 3 different base models.
http://www.vermontcomputing.com/products/desktops/vcpc_models.php

Kvidell knows more about this than me, but in RPM based distros (Fedora, SuSE, etc...) you can create something called a kickstart file after you are done installing that you place on a floppy and feed it back to the installer on your next system. The installer will read the kickstart file and duplicate the install as far as it can.

theturner
July 19th, 2005, 12:12 PM
Ubuntu supports kickstart too.

az
July 19th, 2005, 01:14 PM
An OEM installer is in the works for Breezy. It does what you suggest as well as being able to boot and test hardware in a straightforward way.

AgenT
July 19th, 2005, 06:00 PM
Is there any better way to get Ubuntu CDs? Being free from ShipIt is nice, but 4-6 weeks is a long time to wait. Is there any way we could, say, pay for shipping/donate to speed it up? Are there any other Ubuntu CD distributors?
We could always burn copies, but it is better to have Official Looking copies.

There are a lot of places that sell copies of Linux CDs. They will not be "official" but will have a cover and a case. Of course, the type of case (platic or sleave) and the type of cover depends on the distributor. Of course, always check before buying. CDs usually go for about $2-5 (sometimes this gets you 2 CDs: livecd + install). Search to find stores selling them.

A small list of vendors:
http://www.cheapbytes.com
http://www.linuxcentral.com
http://www.easylinuxcds.com
http://www.exofire-cd-burn.com
http://linuxcdrs.com
http://www.osdisc.com

OSDisc and CheapBytes (the former seems cheaper) seem like the best places to buy quality wise. Cheapbytes used to be LinuxMall with quality CDs and covers.

panickedthumb
July 19th, 2005, 08:48 PM
from dictionary.com:
n. pl. box or box·es

Is boxen really a word? That's something to think about if there's a plan to sell these. You don't want to call them boxen when you're selling them.

az
July 19th, 2005, 09:02 PM
A hurd of boxen running debian....

Kvark
July 19th, 2005, 10:14 PM
Oh no! The super moderators are spelling nazis!

Perhaps n was meant to be an s. Or perhaps it is boxen in some language.


About adding "installed by...". I'd put that on the splash/loading picture between login and desktop.

az
July 20th, 2005, 01:39 AM
Nazi? No. Anal retentive, yes!

And *my* post was spelled just the way I meant for it to be.

AgenT
July 20th, 2005, 03:40 AM
There is no such word as "boxen" in English or in any other language that means anything like what the person using it thinks it should mean. The word you want is "computer" or "case" or any of the other words that one can use in English to designate what you want to say. Making up words to sound "cool" or whatever makes you sound, to put it bluntly, stupid. Not to mention that this forum is read by non-native speakers that have enough trouble understanding English as is and do not need to have people creating words for the sake of sounding "cool". Heck, is there not even some official rule or guideline asking users not to use slang or anything of that sort so that it is easier to communicate? It is there somewhere.

And the only "anal retentive" person here is the one that insist on using words to sound "cool" and be annoying (especially to those that, again, are not native English speakers).

az
July 20th, 2005, 03:51 AM
From:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_box

Quote:
Windows box
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A windows box is a computer that uses the Microsoft Windows operating system. The origin of calling small computers "boxes" (and sometimes "boxen") was from when smaller computers and interface devices like graphics terminals were first networked with mainframes. Example: "We preprocess the data on Unix boxes before handing it up to the mainframe."


ProdigySim did not make this up, nor was it a typo.

Big breath in... Now exhale.....

Moving right along....

panickedthumb
July 20th, 2005, 06:02 AM
I'd like to know the origin of boxen though. It's obviously techie-slang (I knew this right along, I was just making the point of some who wouldn't know what it meant if these were being sold), but why change the plural of a word? Anyway, off topic, off topic.

Good luck with bundling Ubuntu, I hope more people take this on as well. Let us know the reaction you get.

Seth
July 20th, 2005, 11:18 PM
Blame Brian Regan.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxen

MatthewMetzger
July 20th, 2005, 11:29 PM
Boxen is also the Imaginary World of Young C.S. Lewis, a book about Lewis's childhood imaginations.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0156140004/ref=pd_sxp_f/103-4989569-9786213?v=glance&s=books

ProdigySim
July 21st, 2005, 04:07 AM
I already changed the title, and there was no WAY we were planning on using that word in sales, but I'd just like to make a little comment on the subject:
All words are created by people.

EDIT: Bah, changing the title isn't reflected on the forum view

KrisDwyer
July 22nd, 2005, 11:50 AM
Oh no! The super moderators are spelling nazis!

Perhaps n was meant to be an s. Or perhaps it is boxen in some language.


About adding "installed by...". I'd put that on the splash/loading picture between login and desktop.
I am also an interested undertaker, how would you go about that?

Kvark
July 22nd, 2005, 02:09 PM
I am also an interested undertaker, how would you go about that?

1. Make a splash picture with whatever you want on it.
2. Move the picture to /usr/share/pixmaps/splash/
3. Open "applications -> system tools -> configuration editor" from the menues.
4. Go to "apps -> gnome-session -> options" in the editor.
5. Change the value of splash_image to "splash/yourPictureName".

The pics that are already in /usr/share/pixmaps/splash/ might give some insperation.

ProdigySim
July 22nd, 2005, 03:26 PM
I just looked into that. Thanks for the info, Kvark!
Alternatively, you can change the symlink ubuntu-splash.png to point to your splash image.

az
July 22nd, 2005, 05:36 PM
I am also an interested undertaker, how would you go about that?

You embalm people?







Anyway, check this out:

http://udu.wiki.ubuntu.com/OEMInstaller

ProdigySim
July 23rd, 2005, 06:48 AM
That sounds perfect!
(It also sounds like a direct list of what the Windows OEM Installer does, though)

So it sounds like it's going to be a Breezy thing?

Burgundavia
July 23rd, 2005, 07:43 AM
Ubuntu is also being quite agressive at making sure that all ubuntu specific artwork is in one package, so that can be replaced.

Check out these specs:
http://udu.wiki.ubuntu.com/OEMInstaller
http://udu.wiki.ubuntu.com/BrandingForDerivatives

And yes, those 2 will be done for Breezy.

Corey