View Full Version : The High Cost of Linux...

February 7th, 2007, 03:24 PM
Is there any company that sells laptops (or even desktops for that matter!) with linux preinstalled, for competitive prices? Considering that the cost of a windows os is left out it is surprising to me that every vendor I have looked at is selling their laptop with equivalent hardware for at least a hundred dollars more than a windows machine vendor. Sometimes as much as three or four hundred dollars more and without much choice in which linux distribution comes installed. Has anyone found this not to be the case?

February 7th, 2007, 03:32 PM
Truthfully no.. it's always been cheaper to get the pre-installed windows options because they typically have all kinds of crap installed to lower the price..

February 7th, 2007, 03:34 PM
I belive Dell, sometimes has Laptops with Linux preinstalled. They really donīt advertise it though.
The best bet, is to buy a "blank" laptop (which is hard enough), and install Linux yourself.
I am a complete noob, but installed Ubuntu on my laptop in just about 30 minutes.

February 7th, 2007, 03:34 PM
Two words:
vendor lockin... but thats slowly changing.

February 7th, 2007, 04:51 PM
I have a Dell Inspiron B120 which I run kubuntu on and my wife has an older toshiba with xubuntu. I just would really like to get something with preinstalled linux (preferably an ubuntu variation) so that all the doodads and gewgaws are compatible. My wifi broadcom chipset has been vrey problematic, although I got it working just fine, but my wife still has issues ocasionally with her asus usb wireless (that usually works as well). Our next desktop I will probably just build myself... but that doesn't save so much money either, as I understand it.

February 7th, 2007, 04:53 PM
i bought a blank laptop last year. saved me €100,-

February 7th, 2007, 04:55 PM
System 76 offers desktops and laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed:

(They even have a support forum (http://www.ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=158) in ubuntuforums.)

Another company is Emperor Linux:

However, as others have mentioned, the prices are not lower than equivalent computers from other vendors, even though you are not paying for Microsoft Windows. The reason is that the big companies (Dell, etc.) that deal in large volumes and can offer lower prices are all signed in on deals with Microsoft, so they won't sell you a non-Windows machine cheaper than a Windows machine.

February 7th, 2007, 05:00 PM
Buy a desktop?!? Not me. I want to build my own system from the case up. However, if you're interested, check out http://pricewatch.com and check out Desktops and Notebooks with No OS installed.

February 7th, 2007, 05:04 PM
Supply and demand. The OS being free has little to do with it. Microsoft OEM volume pricing is cheap when a vendor is moving millions of PCs, and the more you sell, the cheaper the hardware comes from the manufacturer as well. Shipping costs are also reduced as volume increases. A Linux dealer might sell 10s or maybe 100s of computers. That's just not enough to lower the prices. If more major computer hardware vendors take up the Linux banner and spend the money on advertising and sales, then you will begin to see the prices come down on Linux powered machines. Until then, you can recycle, build your own, or pay a little guy who knows what he's doing to sell you one with Linux pre-installed, but with his costs included. He has to make a living too.

February 7th, 2007, 05:37 PM
funny. the novalug mailing list had a thread on this very subject yesterday.

My response: the extra cash may be worth it if you want peace of mind. Guys like EmperorLinux and System76 have tested their default installs. What they say will work--works. It certainly makes for a change from the usual install & see what's broken methodology.

Of course, I'd love a Darter, but I've got no budget for it. The ghettolappy satisfies my mobile computing needs...(hopefully).

February 7th, 2007, 06:22 PM
For ppl who would like to build a laptop, this article seems interesting:


Haven't tried it myself though...

EDIT: arrgh...the price isn't cheap still...