How To Find A Computer With GNU/Linux Pre-Installed

Posted by grouch on Aug 3, 2006 7:00 AM EDT
LXer Newswire; By DC Parris
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LXer Feature: 3-Aug-2006

One LXer reader's quest to find and list vendors selling computers with GNU/Linux pre-installed leads to the development of a GNU/Linux vendor database.

Just about two weeks ago, cyber_rigger, one of LXer's active readers, announced he was putting together a list of computer vendors selling GNU/Linux pre-installed. The list also includes vendors selling computers without any operating system installed. This comes amid the discussions around the Windows Refund movement, and helps people who want to avoid paying for a Microsoft Windows license they know they will not use.

The Windows Refund movement began several years ago, and LXer editors and contributors have been discussing the difficulties involved in getting a refund for Windows licenses from major manufacturers, such as Dell, HP, and others. Although a few people have expressed recent successes, obtaining a refund for unused Windows licenses has been a long and frustrating experience for most. One alternative is to buy computers with GNU/Linux pre-installed, or with no operating system at all. Finding such vendors is not always easy, as some vendors seem to hide the fact that they pre-install GNU/Linux.

Recognizing that people have a difficult time finding vendors selling computers with GNU/Linux pre-installed, cyber_rigger sought to compile a list. In the ensuing discussion, others began contributing links to additional vendors. The result is a listing of more than forty vendors from various countries that offer computers with GNU/Linux pre-installed, and twelve vendors that offer computers with no operating system. What's more, LXer is working to develop a database that will simplify the vendor search for users.

Perhaps one of the more interesting side effects of the discussion is that it inspired one vendor to rethink its approach to offering GNU/Linux. They haven't made any changes yet, but the owner of the business has begun to see things from a different perspective. The owner's comments have fueled further suggestions from the LXer community. Who knows? It's just possible that the vendor could actually make changes to their offerings. Even if they don't see the benefits immediately, they can be sure to earn the commendations and recommendations of the community.

Meanwhile, the LXer team is working to implement the database, so that users will be able to have one place to find vendors offering GNU/Linux pre-installed. LXer has not announced a launch date for the database, but it is being developed. In fact, some readers even contributed suggestions for the design. The idea of the database is that users will be able to discover those vendors who advertise GNU/Linux on the front page, what distributions they offer, and whether they offer support. Additionally, users can find out what types of computers each vendor offers, such as desktops or laptops.

In keeping with my experience, the proactive and positive attitudes of Free and Open Source Software users continues to lead to creative solutions to challenging problems, whether technological or otherwise. So, next time you go to buy a computer, and you know you don't want Windows, consider buying from a vendor that actively promotes GNU/Linux and offers it pre-installed. And now you know where to find them.

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» Read more about: Story Type: LXer Features, News Story; Groups: Community, GNU, Linux, LXer

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Subject Topic Starter Replies Views Last Post
Build it Yourself pogson 13 2,416 Aug 6, 2006 7:44 PM
More Vendors Being Added Frequently dcparris 4 2,292 Aug 4, 2006 1:08 PM

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