Waiting for Dell

Opinion: I'm tired of waiting for the big PC vendors to really support desktop Linux.

In Samuel Becketts masterpiece, "Waiting for Godot," Godot never arrives, and the play ends with our characters still waiting. I sometimes think Linux users are also stuck in a barren landscape endlessly waiting for Dell, HP, Lenovo, or another major vendor to finally deliver a mass-market Linux desktop.

The major desktop players keep flirting with the Linux community, but then they never go all the way. Take, for instance, Lenovo. Last summer, Lenovo agreed to preload Novells SLED 10 (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) on its ThinkPad T60p mobile workstation.

Then, Lenovo started retreating and hemming that they really didnt mean that they would offer it preinstalled. No, no, its just that you could install SLED on the T60p if you really wanted to. Today, if you look at the T60p listing, youll find your only operating system choices are Microsofts Windows Vista Business and XP Professional.

If you really dig around the Lenovo site, youll eventually find the Linux for Personal Systems page. There, the company lists a motley collection of old and new laptops and desktops that have been certified for use with a hodgepodge of current and out-of-date Linux distributions from Novell/SUSE, Red Hat, and TurboLinux.

But, buy a Lenovo system with Linux preinstalled? If theres a way for Joe User to do it, I cant find it.

And, then theres Dell. Dell has been toying with the idea of offering a mass-market Linux desktop or laptop for years now. The Round Rock, Texas-based PC vendor does offer Linux-powered workstations and PCs without an operating system, but thats about it.

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