View Full Version : How to get a computer with no OS

July 8th, 2008, 07:49 PM
Who do I ask? The manufacturer or retailer (a lot of manufacturers don't sell directly)? Will all/most retailers sell them this way? Need some advice on this so I don't request something that gets laughed at.

July 8th, 2008, 07:58 PM
Not sure if many vendors will sell them that way. They typically put OS on so they can do a "burn in" test for stability. They likely don't want to sell computers that haven't been tested for stability.

I'm not sure how you would request it other than to just call and ask.

Martin Witte
July 8th, 2008, 08:01 PM
I bought one at my local 'no brand' shop, make sure if you buy one the components are working with linux

July 8th, 2008, 08:04 PM
Hi Mateo, not sure where you are located, but here in the US, it is usually cheaper to buy a computer with Vista and then reformat the hard drive. It's economy of scale; it would cost more to make 999 Vista computers and 1 with a blank hard drive than to make 1000 Vista computers. Also I have heard that all of the "add on" software that comes pre-installed, especially the trial versions, subsidize part of the software.

The exception is the cheap Everex computers sold at Walmart. Those come with Linux I believe.

Edit: For example, if you check out the laptops at Dell.com, the cheapest with Ubuntu is $50 more expensive than the cheapest with Vista, and I think they are basically the same hardware.

Of course, you can build your own bare-bones computer, that's the best way to have a "blank slate."

July 8th, 2008, 08:04 PM
I've never bought a brand PC. Where I live, there are shops where you can say: I want this GPU, this CPU, this ram, etc.. in this case without operating system. And is cheaper than brand pcs. :P

July 8th, 2008, 08:09 PM
Once I said "I'm gonna buy this laptop only if you remove the OS" and they didn't even care. They rather don't sell the product then sell it without that "irresistable" OS.

July 8th, 2008, 08:14 PM
The easiest way to get an OS-less pc is to build your own. you can search the net or this forum to find the specs/hardware you need. I just built one and it took about 8 hrs (not including tweaking). Most of the parts come with installation instructions. And most are pretty easy to figure out on your own.

July 8th, 2008, 08:53 PM
I was definitely thinking about building one on my own anyways. I'm leaning towards that.

July 8th, 2008, 08:57 PM
I was definitely thinking about building one on my own anyways. I'm leaning towards that.

go for it you wont regret it

July 8th, 2008, 09:02 PM
I was definitely thinking about building one on my own anyways. I'm leaning towards that.

That way, with research, you can build a fully-compatible machine, that runs Ubuntu out-of-the-box. I'm on my 3rd self-build, the first running Ubuntu only.

July 8th, 2008, 09:05 PM
I'll build one for you and sell it to you. :) $50 over cost and shipping.

July 8th, 2008, 09:08 PM
Usually the manufacturers install the operating system.
If they don't add an operating system like Windows, they ought to have an alternative, i.e. Knoppix or FreeDOS

Unfortunately they come "as is", their resellers don't remove the operating system to have a cheaper price tag ( and surely won't do it for free :( )

July 8th, 2008, 09:25 PM
Pretty much, all you have to do is build your own desktop. Buy parts from newegg and such online store sites. Most of all, do your research on each and every hardware part before you buy, because it would not only relate to Linux itself, but also the hardware performance. :)

Unless you are in the market for laptop, then I can't help you there, it seems impossible to buy a laptop without an operating system. For laptops, look at http://pricegrabber.com for price comparison between retails/shops on a laptop model.

Best of luck to you my friend! :)

July 8th, 2008, 09:37 PM
You can order the case, motherboard, cpu and RAM installed together and tested (say from MWAVE.com) and add the drives, etc. yourself. Then you are assured of components that work with each other. Check for Linux compatability as well.

July 8th, 2008, 09:44 PM

July 8th, 2008, 11:23 PM
For my next PC, which I will need in a few years I'm sure, I think I will either build my own or support a real Linux machine vendor such as System76. Those systems look nice.

July 9th, 2008, 12:07 AM
It's really not that much cheaper to build your own computer, especially when you factor in shipping from some place like Newegg. Plus there's all the head ache of choosing the right parts and putting everything together. I built my own computer once. Unless you find it really enjoyable as a hobby, don't bother. Just buy one prebuilt.

July 9th, 2008, 12:14 AM
If you're in the UK novatech.co.uk will sell you computers with your choice of windows flavour or no OS, and it is actually cheaper without it! I really recommend them if you don't fancy building your own, although I recommend that more - its good fun, if a little frustrating at times!

July 9th, 2008, 01:29 AM
In Alberta, we are kinda spoiled. We have Memory Express (http://www.memoryexpress.com), the best and least expensive computer parts/builder in Calgary and Edmonton. You can order online and have them build you a computer without an OS. I'm sure they ship everywhere.

I've built my last few boxes by shopping there and spent 50% less than similar systems found at retailers.

July 9th, 2008, 03:11 AM
BTW, it's not true that the Ubuntu Dell costs more than the Vista Dell. Currently the cheapest Vista Dell is $299 (which comes with a 2 GHz Intel Celeron processor) while the cheapest Ubuntu Dell is $259 (which comes with 2 GHz dual-core Intel PentiuM). RAM and HDD size are the same. So you're getting a better system for $40 cheaper if you go with the Ubuntu Dell.

July 9th, 2008, 03:14 AM
I was definitely thinking about building one on my own anyways. I'm leaning towards that.
It is a great way to lean about hardware. You can also get exactly what you want. You won't get any garbage, and you won't have to wish you had that part.

I built a good PC for around $600. It would have been $400 without the sound card(a big waste looking back on it) Upgrading components is also much easier with a custom built PC. I have dopped in 2 new video cards, a DVD drive, and 1.5gb of ram in a PC over 3 years. The upgrades kept the PC up to date for a low cost.

For my next PC, which I will need in a few years I'm sure, I think I will either build my own or support a real Linux machine vendor such as System76. Those systems look nice.
I <3 my system 76 laptop.

July 9th, 2008, 03:18 AM

July 9th, 2008, 03:48 AM
build your own.

July 9th, 2008, 04:01 AM
My compaq Presario (V6406TU)) laptop came with freedos as OS which as as good as barebones. As most people suggest I guess your options would be to assemble one yourself or look for models such as mine with fredos. Of course this depends where you live.

July 9th, 2008, 05:43 AM
I'm not sure if it is just here, in Thailand, but Acer offer both desktops and laptops with just freeDOS installed.

Roger :cool:

July 9th, 2008, 06:42 AM
Find yourself a linux user that works at a pc store. I did that and got a solid unix box that has served me well over the years.I am now taking the next step right now I am buying all the peaces to build my own box. I have a mother board, chip, power supply, V1 chip cooler, all I need now is a few more pieces and I am in for a fun week end of putting things together.

July 9th, 2008, 06:44 AM
Fun thing is that one of the WAY major (internet) retailers here in Sweden apparently has begun selling a computer without OS - and even mentions that Ubuntu is tested on the machine and does work provided one has a regular internet connection to be able to download the wifi-drivers!