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View Full Version : Linux friendly Dell anyone?



maxamillion
February 9th, 2007, 11:49 PM
I really like the concept of System76, I really do ... but for about $100-$200(USD) cheaper on average with almost exact specs Dell offers quite the alternative for users looking for good Linux supported hardware.

Questions, comments, concerns?

http://www.dell.com/linux

jeffc313
February 9th, 2007, 11:52 PM
I know how you feel. System76 cannot offer as good prices because they are a small company. If you cannot afford it, go with the dell, or if its a desktop, build it yourself. System76 real only benefit is preinstallation with everytrhing set up perfectly. and they also have 1 year support.

Bartender
February 10th, 2007, 12:48 AM
Hey, maxamillion -
Thanks for bringing this up again. I'd looked into this before, and was very annoyed to see that Dell charged MORE for a comparable FreeDOS PC than the Windows version.

Take a look - here's the Open Source Dimension 520
http://www.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/dimen_n?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd

Here's the Windows Dimension 520
http://www.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/dimen_e520?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd

At least they're comparably priced, and that's the first time I've seen Dell do that. But why not buy the one with Windows on it? I don't know if the Dells come with a Recovery CD or if you'd have to burn a copy of the recovery partition, but if you think about resale the PC is worth more with Windows than without.

It is encouraging to see Dell making some moves towards Linux! I didn't take the time to figure out how much they're going to charge for RedHat or SUSE installed..
EDIT OK it looks like the RedHat and SUSE offerings are both servers

seijuro
February 10th, 2007, 01:44 AM
I have a dell Inspiron 8200 laptop everything in it runs flawlessly with linux except the connexant winmodem however there are payola drivers available for it from Linuxant (groans). Anyway been running Ubuntu on it with no problems for 2 years now.

@Bartender
My dell came with a stripped down oem win xp install disc and all the drivers and pre-installed software on separate discs.

banjobacon
February 10th, 2007, 01:46 AM
Hey, maxamillion -
Thanks for bringing this up again. I'd looked into this before, and was very annoyed to see that Dell charged MORE for a comparable FreeDOS PC than the Windows version.

I remember customizing two systems a week or two ago, and the FreeDOS system was about $100 cheaper. It's hard to compare them dollar to dollar because both systems come with different free upgrade options, but from what I've seen, the FreeDOS version is always cheaper.

maxamillion
February 10th, 2007, 01:50 AM
Hey, maxamillion -
Thanks for bringing this up again. I'd looked into this before, and was very annoyed to see that Dell charged MORE for a comparable FreeDOS PC than the Windows version.

Take a look - here's the Open Source Dimension 520
http://www.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/dimen_n?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd

Here's the Windows Dimension 520
http://www.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/dimen_e520?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd

At least they're comparably priced, and that's the first time I've seen Dell do that. But why not buy the one with Windows on it? I don't know if the Dells come with a Recovery CD or if you'd have to burn a copy of the recovery partition, but if you think about resale the PC is worth more with Windows than without.

It is encouraging to see Dell making some moves towards Linux! I didn't take the time to figure out how much they're going to charge for RedHat or SUSE installed..
EDIT OK it looks like the RedHat and SUSE offerings are both servers

You might want to double check the links you posted ... when I looked on them, not only was the FreeDOS version cheaper but it came with a faster processor (just looking at the base configurations).

Praxicoide
February 10th, 2007, 04:39 AM
I have an Inspiron 700m and everything worked perfect (except for the resolution, but that was a quick fix). I have to admit that I've never tried the modem, though.

Anyways, I'm really happy with this computer, and happier to know I can buy another linux-friendly computer from Dell.

I'm checking out System 76, and I must say I'm impressed.

banjobacon
February 10th, 2007, 04:49 AM
I have an Inspiron 700m and everything worked perfect (except for the resolution, but that was a quick fix). I have to admit that I've never tried the modem, though.

I don't think the SD card reader works.

meng
February 10th, 2007, 04:59 AM
My experience accords with maxamillion's, with the free upgrades and instant rebates, the Windows machine is cheaper. I suspect Dell does it deliberately to avoid paying refunds to users who reject WIndows (I don't know if that's an out for them, but it SOUNDS like an out, "You didn't accept the option of the same machine without Windows, so you're not entitled to a refund")

RandomJoe
February 10th, 2007, 07:09 AM
I have used various versions of Linux (currently Ubuntu) on a large number of Dell Latitudes. Mostly from the C-series but also on a D610. Everything has worked fine, except for the WinModem but then that never worked very well for me in Windows either...

The miniPCI wireless cards on my C-series units required ndiswrapper, as they were Broadcom. Haven't set up wireless on the D610 (was a work machine - changing jobs, will have a D620 in a few days to start all over with) but I think some are Intel cards, don't know if there are native drivers for those...

The only "quirk" I've ever had with them is cooling. The default fan start/stop setpoints in the BIOS are very high, the things feel like they're going to melt before the fans come on. Installing 'i8k' lets you custom-set the fan setpoints, which lets things run much cooler.

I never had much luck getting suspend/hibernate working, but it wasn't a priority. But recently I loaded Edgy on a C400 (old!) and it worked perfectly! I'm not sure whether that's because Linux's support is so much better now or if it's because that laptop had a basic Intel integrated video. All my others have nVidia or ATI cards, and I've always used the binary drivers - I suspected those might be the bigger part of my problem with suspend/hibernate. I will certainly be trying this on the new D620 when I get it.

I haven't personally had any Inspiron laptops, but the few I've seen give me the impression Dell experiments with the bleeding-edge hardware there and puts tried-and-true stuff into the Latitude (business) line. They don't seem to hold up as well as the Latitudes, although maybe my friends who have them are just too rough on them. I have some 4-5 year old C-series Latitudes that are still going strong and in good shape in spite of spending much of their time as technician machines on construction sites.