Dude, you don't have to get a Dell

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Dude, you don't have to get a Dell

If you're a newb looking to dip your toe into the waters of the Linux world, Dell's line-up of preinstalled Ubuntu PCs is a very good first choice. After all, you'll be able to get started right out of the box, without having to struggle with unsupported hardware and missing drivers. (Frankly, I've been using Linux almost since it first appeared, and that proposition doesn't sound half bad to me, either. So I'm not bashing any newbs here.) But while Dell certainly appears to have the best offering of Linux desktops and notebooks at the moment, it isn't the only choice out there. Here are five alternatives for Linux-ready PCs.

Note: Many vendors still consider Linux an enterprise-only OS, and deliberately avoid selling it directly to end users. So don't expect to find Linux on the list of config options in the online ordering system. In many cases, you'll have to call up the vendor and place your order over the phone, usually through their corporate sales number. You may even want to avoid telling them that the system is for personal use.

The purpose of this post is not necessarily to recommend any of the vendors listed, but to give you an idea of what's out there today. IMHO, the best option is still to build your own PC from the ground up, choosing the components that fit your personal needs. And while Linux-certified workstations do have their merits, I don't really suggest newbs run out and buy them as starter Linux systems.

HP
HP is still gunshy about the prospect of supporting home users on the Linux Desktop, but its deep roots in the enterprise world make it a good source of Linux desktop and mobile workstations. HP offers a number of Linux-certified systems for as little as $359. While they don't ship PCs with Linux installed, they do offer machines preconfigured with FreeDOS and bundled with the HP Installer Kit for Linux, which contains all the drivers you need to get the system's hardware working well in Red Hat Enterprise Linux. (Many of the systems are also certified for a variety of other distros.) Because these machines are enterprise-focused, you'll find their multimedia features lacking.

IBM
I shouldn't need to introduce anyone to IBM. This is the company that gave birth to the PC. In recent years, the IBM brand has faded from view in the mainstream PC world, but remains strong in the corporate sector. As such, IBM is big on Linux, and offers some serious desktop workstation solutions. Preconfigured. Ready to run. IBM IntelliStation workstations aren't cheap. Low-end machines start at $1,307, and performance systems quickly leap into the upper $3,000 range. If you choose the "Build your own" option on the IntelliStation ordering page, you can pick a Red Hat preinstall, or choose "drop in the box" to get the discs but do the installation yourself.

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kmax

Another vendor selling pre-installed linux computers is ZaReason.com. They sell a full line of laptops and desktops that are very customizable, even allowing you to choose which of the *ubuntu variations you want installed.

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vaemor

Linux is way overrated.

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hackman2007

I'm kind of curious as to why you are mentioning this on a linux blog vaemor. No one is forcing you to like Linux and no one is forcing you to get the operating system either. It's just a matter of choice. In a way I think Linux is a bit underrated and under supported among vendors. You could also say Windows is overrated.

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Koolmist2

Since I am new to the world of Linux i wasn't aware of any of these companies building Linux systems.Thanks for the info I think I will be ordering me a Dell Laptop tomorrow!

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