View Full Version : Did you replace preinstalled Linux with your own installation of Linux?

July 27th, 2009, 07:58 PM
For years the conventional wisdom on the forums has been that Linux coming preinstalled will give a close-to-seamless experience for users.

Finally, Dell started preinstalling Ubuntu. And a bunch of netbook vendors started putting various Linux distros on their netbooks (before eventually switching over to XP).

For those of you who bought Linux preinstalled, did you find it to be a good experience as configured by the OEM? Or did you do your own installation of Ubuntu (or whatever your preferred Linux distro is) because the preinstalled experience was deficient in some way?

Please do not confuse my question with "Did you do your own installation of Linux because you were just curious about how it would go?" or "Did you do your own installation of Linux because you are simply more comfortable with another version of Linux?"

I want to know specifically if your preinstalled experience was deficient in some way.

Personally, since I started using Linux back in spring 2005, I've had the opportunity to buy two computers, both netbooks, both with Linux preinstalled, and both with crippled preinstalled Linux distros.

I started with the Asus Eee 701 that came with a crippled version of Xandros. At first I liked it because of the hardware compatibility (everything worked out of the box), but I quickly found that adding software repositories was difficult, making the distro prompt you for a password for root tasks was impossible, and that the flexibility of Linux had basically been taken away. So I quickly installed Ubuntu on it and had a much better experience (if a slower boot time).

Then I sold my 701 and bought an HP Mini 1120nr that came again with a crippled version of Linux, this time a crippled version of Ubuntu Hardy. It was deathly slow, and the interface simply could not be customized (can't move the taskbar, can't remove applets from it, can't change what appears in the three-column interface). Vanilla Ubuntu, after a couple of fixes for sound, runs like a dream on it, though.

Others' experiences with Linux preinstalled? Was your own installation better?

July 27th, 2009, 08:05 PM
I would rather build a PC custom. And install linux.

July 27th, 2009, 08:11 PM
Dell pre-installed DELBUNTU on my mini-9 and it just sucked
the half missing kernel booted real quickly.....however

I am much happier with OOTB Ubuntu 8.10 that takes a minute but everything just works
after a one line edit to fix the sound, adding flash, medibuntu, etc.

tried a memory stick with 9.04 an everything works live

just because ubuntu can be customized does not mean it should be

July 27th, 2009, 08:11 PM
I would rather build a PC custom. And install linux.
Do you build custom laptops and netbooks? Just curious.

July 27th, 2009, 08:35 PM
The Dell Mini 9 Hardy-blend was pretty good.

I used it for a few months, and only installed Jaunty out of curiosity.

However, it was limited by:
Delayed security and other updates.
Dell making a mess of rebranding their "web browser" with updates and causing loss of Firefox profiles.
Hardy's lack of easy 3G support (i.e. no Network Manager 0.7), which is pretty important for a travelling NetBook.

So, while Dell's Ubuntu was good, being tied to Hardy and Dell trying to control the updates rather than trusting the community frustrated me a little, and I was rewarded by Jaunty.

Why do OEMs preinstall crippled or modified distros? It is a shame that Linux is so easily customized; they wouldn't be able to do the same with an MS OS. Perhaps Canonical should offer to configure crapware and branding etc. for OEMs.

July 27th, 2009, 08:38 PM
Do you build custom laptops and netbooks? Just curious.

That would indeed be a fun project. But no, I (for the most part) use desktops.

July 27th, 2009, 09:00 PM
My laptop come with a Kubuntu Hardy variant (http://www.oneos.info/), but I replaced it with Gnome Ubuntu Intrepid (now with Jaunty), and everything worked out of the box. The LiveCD that come with the the laptop had only two packages not available on the Ubuntu repositories, both related to PPP connection, which I don't use.

July 28th, 2009, 12:12 AM
In 12-2003 I purchased a Walmart Linux configured PC with Lindows 4.0 The upgrade path is below.

About three years ago I purchased a Linux PC configured with Freespire 2.0. The upgrade path is below.

Just purchased a laptop with Vista Basic, it now runs Mint 7.


July 28th, 2009, 07:19 PM
I have never bought a computer with Linux preinstalled. I have always installed it myself and I prefer to keep it that way also.