back to article Shaky liftoff for Sputnik: Dell's Linux lappie runs its own cloud, ish

Want a laptop running Linux? You could do worse than Dell's XPS 13. This svelte model began life a year or so ago as a Windows Ultrabook. More recently it was updated with Intel Ivy Bridge processors and a 13.3" 1080p screen. The XPS 13 Developer Edition - because only software developers use Linux, right? - uses a high-end …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  2. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Gloss kills it

    The rest seems OK.

    It seems suspicious that somehow Ubuntu seems to have problems with that hardware. They may have used some very oddball components there. From the photographs it doesn't look like it was well designed, but appearances can be deceptive.

    What I'd like to see are the results of the "coffee spillage" and "drop" tests. A device like this, which costs several times as much as a used Thinkpad better lasts a decade. Is the battery easy to replace?

    So all in all it's just Dell slapping Ubuntu onto one of their stock consumer models, something which the buyer needs to do again anyhow since they probably want full disk encryption. It's probably just another alibi product so they can continue claiming that nobody buys their Linux models.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Tom Chiverton 1
      FAIL

      Re: Gloss kills it

      Small screen, lack of resolution kill it.

      Just get any other Dell - it'll be fine as they required all their components to upstream Linux drivers...

      Tom

      1. Arbee
        FAIL

        Re: Gloss kills it

        "Small screen"

        Small laptops necessitate a small screen. The success of netbooks and the Macbook Air, as well as Intel's massive Ultrabook push demonstrate that this is a compromise lots of people are happy to make.

        "lack of resolution"

        The resolution is 1080p (i.e. 1920 x 1080). What the hell resolution do you want on a 13" screen!

        1. alexcox

          Re: Gloss kills it

          A small glossy screen is not inevitable on a small laptop. Screens have got smaller (the 16X10 factor) because they are cheaper for the manufacturer that way. I don't know if there's an economic explanation for the horrible glossy screen.

          But the solution is very simple. Install your preferred GNU/Linux system on an older laptop such as the Lenovo X61 on which I write this (the OS is Linux Mint 14). That way for a couple of hundred bucks you have a very capable, small netbook with a large, matte screen.

          What is the point of this Dell laptop anyway? It's marketed to developers. But surely developers know how to format a hard drive and install an OS!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gloss kills it

      Hmmm, save 20 pence by wiping the installed crap, and replacing with Warez Windows - it might just sell a few...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > The XPS 13 Developer Edition - because only software developers use Linux, right?

    vs

    >Steam for Linux, which runs perfectly after a bit of fiddling with dependencies.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

    "Shutdown can be problematic; sometimes it shuts down, sometimes it only logs out. Hibernation fails with a "device failed to thaw" error message. I had no success with Bluetooth; neither a keyboard nor an audio streamer would connect. Perhaps the biggest annoyance was when I connected a Canon camera and got the error message "unable to lock camera" and no access to my pictures."

    So one of the largest PC manufacturers in the world builds a dedicated Linux machine and it can't be relied on to shutdown properly! Absolutely laughable.

    No doubt the fanbois will be out in force trying to explain this away with the same tired old excuses, but the fact remains, after nearly 20 years Linux is still not ready for the desktop.

    1. Ru
      Facepalm

      Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

      Or to put it another way: "Dell still not capable of deploying Linux".

      Hibernate works fine on my linux-running laptop, desktop and sundry virtual machines. If Dell cannot get an operating system of their choosing working on a machine which they specced, then surely they are to blame... Ubuntu didn't choose Dell's hardware, so why is their underlying platform even remotely relevant in the face of Dell's inability to test or correctly configure their own products?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Ru (Thursday 11th April 2013 09:33 GMT) What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

        "Or to put it another way: "Dell still not capable of deploying Linux"."

        - WHO is, then? Which Laptop/Desktop/PC maker CAN?

        Hibernate works fine on my linux-running laptop, desktop and sundry virtual machines.

        - and which brand of laptop is that?

        1. Chemist

          What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

          "- and which brand of laptop is that?"

          Well mine are a Lenovo 3000 N100 and an Asus 901 and yes everything works every time

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          The title is too long.

          « - and which brand of laptop is that? »

          I do not know about the other bloke, but if I may answer: two Asus netbooks (including the one I'm typing this on, last shut down / rebooted about three weeks ago), two HP laptops, more than half a dozen (not sure the exact count) HP Z800s, a few Dell (hehe) rack-mounted servers, various models and vintages, two Dell (hehehe) desktop machines, and two more no-name desktop PCs. Distros used are OpenSUSE (starting with 10.x, currently 11.4 to 12.3), Debian 4 to 6, and RHEL 4.x., 5.x, 6.x.

          There are other machines, but I have never tested hibernate on them. I agree with the poster above that Dell's Linux support is quite weak--the guys working on it seem well intentioned but vastly underfunded.

          I hope this helps.

      2. HereWeGoAgain

        Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

        Er, no. Software an OS written for hardware.

        Why does Ubuntu not work with ordinary, everyday components?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @HereWeGoAgain - Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

          For the same reason I had to download and install appropriate drivers for my Asus motherboard and NVidia cards in (what do you know!) Windows 7. To return your question, why, please tell does Windows not work with ordinary, everyday components ? To enlighten you, it's not Microsoft job to write device drivers for each and any type of component, it's the hardware manufacturer that has to make it work. Back under the rock, troll!

      3. eulampios

        hibernate

        As far as hibernate is concerned, there's supposed to be a line in the

        /etc/default/grub file

        GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="resume=/dev/sdaX"

        where X is a/the swap partition number (sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda)

        This line is missing because:

        1) Hibernate is not as popular as suspend-to-ram and rarely needed, although given an ssd drive, I'd wonder if it would be comparable in speed with s2ram

        2) it won't work if the aforementioned drive is encrypted which might be the case with this Sputnik lappy, I presume.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

        Here's an example I ran into myself, for all the sceptics that disagree when I say that linux (specifically Ubuntu in this case) is not ready for the desktop.

        Just try formatting a USB stick or SD card in Ubuntu 12.04 or 12.10 with the only GUI tool (Disk Utility) that ships as standard with these versions. Unbelievably, it can't be done! The bug has been known since at least October last year, but amazingly for such a fundamental operation, it's been replicated in the beta version of 13.04 as well. Now sure, there are workarounds, such as installing GParted which is unaffected by the bug, or diving into the command line, but that's not something that Average Joe should have to get involved with in a modern OS. If the core basics like this can't be put right then linux on the desktop will forever be relegated to niche status, suitable only for hobbyist that have the time to study and fix problems that were ironed out literally decades ago in Windows.

        "Ubuntu 12.04 and 12.10 can not format a usb stick or drive without using the terminal.

        In day to day use this function is used a lot by users to clean the drive before adding new data like pictures etc. I'll use the terminal for this, but some people will return to windows for this"

        Error formatting disk using disk utility: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/udisks/+bug/1059872

        1. eulampios

          @formatting issue, AC

          Ok, it is kind'a strange. start-up disk creator used to work for me all the time. I never knew there is anything besides gparted (and the parted or cmd) . This more of Ubuntu issue that wouldn't ship this indispensable tool by default (it's on the live install media though). I got it on my lmde system by default.

          As far as these weird issues are concerned, no Windows will "see" everything on mufti-partitioned sd/usb drives. Isn't it a stopper? Sometimes Windows (XP it was) won't boot on damaged disk, nor would the Windows rescue utilities see it. A live Linux media sees it, it can mount it without transfer stuff back and forth.

          1. mmeier

            Re: @formatting issue, AC

            A "Linux" may be able to "see" a damaged NTFS partition - but accessing it and doing it properly? NTFS drivers are still Beta.

            Besides - bad drives are "replace, install backup, trash old drive" not "play around and waste time".

            1. eulampios
              Linux

              Re: @formatting issue, AC

              but accessing it and doing it properly? NTFS drivers are still Beta

              Yes it did just that, access it and was doing it properly using he beta driver letting me back up the user's data onto an external hdd. The real shame was that the none of the Lenovo-MS tools (5or 6 cds) could not make out a single file out of it and lead me right to the moment of "Reinstall Windows XP". So I decided : screw you, MS and Lenovo, wiped that crap out of the machine, installing Linux. it is still working (with backlight died) and every half a year needs to run the rescue kernel (bootable from the grub menu) and takes less than a minute. Yes, GNU Linux is much more resilient than this amateurs' OS called MS Windows.

        2. hamsterator
          Linux

          Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

          Right click on the drive in the launcher bar, select "format", click "format. No problem (Ubuntu12.04). Just did it on my Toshiba Portege Z835 ultrabook which has been running flawlessly for a year. I came from the Mac world & haven't needed the command line once. All laptop features work including keyboard backlight, webcam audio, etc.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

      Generally speaking, I've always had more luck with Linux on Dell hardware than Dell has had. It's almost as if they don't know what they're doing and don't much care either.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

        I've installed linux on a few Dell machines, and a lot of other laptops with great success. Even with ubuntu and sometimes even with NVidia.

        Linux is ready for the desktop - Dells are ready for Linux and they seem to want to make it look like they're trying to push Linux but they dont seem to mind looking like complete assholes when they screw up. When they always screw up.

        I really cant imagine it has anything to do with a hidden licensing arrangement with anyone at all, no siree not in the least. Must be for a nod and a wink

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Black Helicopters

          Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

          >>> I really cant imagine it has anything to do with a hidden licensing arrangement with anyone at all, no siree not in the least. Must be for a nod and a wink <<<

          Only in the reg comments could the blame for rather half-assed linux laptop be put down to a conspiracy by Microsoft.

          1. eulampios

            @cap'n

            It's called Sabotage. The idea is that hundreds of different types of laptops, including models supplied by Dell, are working flawlessly with GNU Linux nowadays. If there is any effort worth trying, it is letting people choose an OS when they buy a machine or letting them get no OS at all. This would be perfect for every OEM, including Dell. If Linux or whatever is not ready, there nothing to bother about. If Linux becomes a bestseller sensation, better for the OEMs, and f** you, MS!

            Contrary to any logic, they either won't give you any choice or come up with stillborn babies like, Sputnik, that are doomed, because they (Dell) are not being honest.

            1. mmeier

              Re: @cap'n

              Last time I ordered DELLs we phoned them and asked for units without OS bundled/installed since the company had a volume licence - no problem. The Online shop can not do it but DELL can.

              Same for Lenovo, the last batch my employer ordered came "blank" - volume licence again

              With some chains (german Atelco) I can order "no OS" as well. There it is even doable in the online shop IIRC

              So it is doable, it is not complex but most units still end up with Windows. Because the current version of Windows (Win7/8 currently) simply works with the current hardware. No "compatibility lists", no "half assed drivers", no "dies with the update 9month from now". Buy x86 hardware, install, use.

              That's what the customer wants. That's what sells Windows (and iOS/MacOS) and what killed i.e OS/2 (and will kill Android IMHO). For most people computers are not the hobby itself, they are the platform FOR their hobby (or work).

              1. eulampios

                @mmeier

                Because the current version of Windows (Win7/8 currently) simply works with the current hardware.

                Either you're not being honest, or were born only yesterday,

                So when a current version of Windows stops working all of a sudden, who/what do you blame? Viruses? Drivers? Hardware? Global Warming/Cooling? Should I count you how many times I installed GNU Linux on the broken Windows machines that were supposed to work?

                1. mmeier

                  Re: @mmeier

                  I have yet to see a x86 unit that does NOT work with Windows. And I have NOT seen one fail since the days of Win98 except for hardware errors (Dead harddrive, dead power supply, bad CPU cooling). And I have seen a few hundred boxes in that decade or more. All big manufacturers as well as some "backyard boxes". BlueScreens have been history since XP for me - and I do software engineering so I stress the boxes a lot

                  I HAVE seen quite a few x86 boxes where one or more components did not or not to full capacity work under Linux (WLAN and Graphic cards are the most common). So IF one is lying here - it is not me.

                  1. eulampios

                    @mmeier

                    Are you kidding me? Do you claim there are no driver issues on Windows? A Toshiba laptop Win7 would shutdown out of the blue spitting out some enigmatic error numbering. You google for it and get that Toshiba points at MS, MS nods at Toshiba, and everyone else is blaming dying hdd, and of course viruses. You don't get an answer anyways. It had turned out to be a driver, not a hardware issue, since the lappy was very happy with Ubuntu on the newer kernels.

                    AMOF, one reason I installed Linux first time to see if the problem with XP desktop I had on a fresh Dell E510 many years ago was not hardware related. Now Windows is long gone, many generation of Linux' ran on it of various distros. The last one is the newest LMDE, and it is simply awesome!

                    1. mmeier

                      Re: @mmeier

                      Of the four boxes I use THREE won't run under Linux

                      EP121 - Wacom not supported

                      T731 - Wacom not supported, graphic not supported

                      Compaq E450 based unit - Graphic not supported

                      The only box that should work is the HP Pavilion and even there I am not sure (Scanner, Wireless Mic/Speaker) and NVidea support is "depends on kernel"

    3. Jean Le PHARMACIEN
      Stop

      Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

      I have a [work issued] HP mini 311; it refuses to hibernate properly and will not awake requiring power cycling - every time. It runs WinXP; conclusion : after 30+ years Windows is not ready for the desktop.

      (FWIW: SAME machine runing Linux [stock Ubuntu 10.04] hibernates and reawakes perfectly: Conclusion Linux is ready for netbooks?)

      I have many other examples with WinXP and wireless cards - and before you say "bad/misconfigured drivers" - that is EXACTLY what you are bleating about

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

      The biggest problem in this respect is linux fragmentation into all this myriad of distributions. Great for freedom but not good for suppliers to be motivated to build drivers for the 1% of linux users...sorry, I mean a driver for each linux fragment of 1%.

      To be clear, I have Mint Linux installed on one PC and it's really great for many tasks, but over the years I have had myriad of frustration with linux not working.

      Having said that, the amount of time wasted on issues and re-installing and security threats on XP and even of W7 are countless, so it's like comparing apples and oranges, you take your pick and use it, not slag someone off because the prefer an apple to an orange, or vice versa, it's crazy.

      1. Chemist

        Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

        "sorry, I mean a driver for each linux fragment of 1%"

        AFAIK the drivers are the same for all distros and are distributed with the kernel

        1. HereWeGoAgain

          Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

          No true.

          Some of the eight million distros out there have open-source only drivers, others provide drivers that should work properly.

          1. eulampios

            @HereWeGoAgain

            others provide drivers that should work properly.

            Nvidia? The worst and least reliable crap ever.

            1. JEDIDIAH
              Linux

              Re: @HereWeGoAgain

              > Nvidia? The worst and least reliable crap ever.

              ...a weak attempt at disparaging the best kit and drivers out there.

              Nvidia is what you install when you don't want to suffer with the onboard shovelware anymore.

              A cheap trailing edge nv card can turn a relic into a proper game machine. Works well for Linux or Windows.

              1. eulampios
                Linux

                @JEDIDIAH , nvidia

                Yes, that's why I prefer nouveau. My point is that nVidia is a (well-known) "Dog in the Manger" that neither would write good drivers nor would open necessary specs for more competent people to write them. However, despite all nVidia's efforts, we might see nouveau mature to the point when it gets on par with radeon and i915.

                My suggestion is NOT to buy from nVidia ... at least for now

              2. eulampios

                @JEDIDIAH

                Ok, reread your post again and would suggest you to not use the Penguin pic when praising nVidia with its proprietary habits.

                ..a weak attempt at disparaging the best kit and drivers out there.

                How come they are are best drivers? What's wrong with supporting kms, opening the source and/or specs? I have several nVidia chips and they are ALL problematic with the proprietary nVidia drivers. I don't give a damn about games, computer is a tool for computing first and foremost. I have the following issues with them:

                1) hardware mouse disappears regularly with every screen sleep, need to reboot

                2) no reliable suspend-to-ram and resume

                3) fonts go awry with compiz effects on or when using cinnamon desktop

                4) frequent kernel freezes

                this is with the proprietary nVidia drivers, unfortunately nouveau is not better in many cases, hopefully it'll improve.

                When you have any of this problems (more rarely) with AMD or Intel cards, upgrading the kernel almost always fixes it.

    5. HereWeGoAgain

      Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

      Correct.

    6. alexcox
      Linux

      Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

      Again, this is a problem with Dell, not with the GNU/Linux system. Just buy a used Thinkpad for a couple of hundred bucks (or pull one out of the IT closet) and install whatever flavor you prefer. Fedora installs easily; Linux Mint is my preference; there's also Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, and many others to choose from.

      Installed from a flash card on this Lenovo X61 Mint performs flawlessly. Wireless works, all the ports work, no problem whatsoever with shutdown or suspend.

      GNU/Linux has been ready for the desktop for a long long time. Come join us!

      1. mmeier

        Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

        Okay, now we do the same on systems younger than five years and with a dedicated graphic card. Or with the convertible X61 version (or any other penable). And we ask for support of build in features like WIDI/Miracast (Not uncommon in better notebooks). Or support to the 3G/LTE modem...

    7. Snar

      Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

      Really?

      I've had Ubuntu running on my Vaio VPCEB4L1E for a few years now - It's running 12:04 and Bluetooth works perfectly for me - I can use my phone as a modem with it. Hibernate works when I close the lid. Granted, I'm limited to 802.11G at the moment as it has the Centrino 1000 chippery but that doesn't cause me any problems.

      Then there is my main home office machine which is another Ubuntu box. Dual monitors with an Nvidia card, Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, serial port and works perfectly, as does my wireless printer - It does everything that I want it to do including controlling my radio station. Same as the old machine that this replaced. Runs Ubuntu and does what I want it to do without fuss or waiting around. With this machine I had to faff about to get the wired Ethernet chippery working - but if you are delivering a platform with an OS, then there are no excuses for not getting the basics right before shipping. Sounds to me like Dell haven't done their job in putting together a build to support their hardware.

      Unfortunately, Ubuntu is not really ready for main-stream release because it is not an out-of-the-box experience. But if it does what you want it to do and you have the time to mess about, it's a much tighter solution than Windows. Stuff I can't do on Ubuntu (audio editing mainly) I can do on my Mac.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!

        you should (re)try ardour as the long awaited version 3 has been released and your soul hangs in the balance!

  5. Ru
    Paris Hilton

    You would think that using free software would mean a lower price. The same-spec Windows version is £1,079, and the Linux edition is £1,078.80. The

    Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but comparing the £899 base price models... the Windows one has a lower spec processor. This suggests that you are getting a better deal from taking the Linux option here. Did I miss some configuration step?

    1. jm1222

      You would think that using free software would mean a lower price.

      The pricing is designed so that you pay £1.01 for the microsoft licence. That was if you disagree to the EULA and try and claim the money back, your only entitled to a quid.

    2. James 51 Silver badge

      That's ex-VAT.

  6. nichomach
    Windows

    Multiple desktops on windows...

    *cough*

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/cc817881 - OK, so you have to download and install it, but it's there and free.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Multiple desktops on windows...

      Only up to 4. I'm on an XP machine here (don't ask) and using Virtual Dimension to give me the standard 10 desktops I've been using on Linux for nearly 15 years now, swapping with the function keys (+ctl).

      I can also log on to my machine at home and have a desktop there (with 10 virtual desktops) at the same time my wife uses it at the keyboard. Again, this has been standard stuff on Linux for longer than I've been using it.

      1. nichomach
        Angel

        @Robert Long 1 - Re: Multiple desktops on windows...

        Yes, only 4 - which matches Workspaces on the Dell; there are other options for Windows, however, free and paid for:

        http://virtuawin.sourceforge.net/ - up to 9

        http://virt-dimension.sourceforge.net/ - Unlimited

        http://vdm.codeplex.com/ - Unlimited

        ...and so forth.

        I'm such a helpful soul... :-P

      2. HereWeGoAgain

        Re: Multiple desktops on windows...

        And before Linux, it was standard on other Unices. Linux has not invented anything except a gaggle of losers who cry that mainstream manufacturers do supply fully supported systems with their distro of choice pre-installed. For less than the same price as a Windows pre-installation. Even though it costs considerably more to support. Boo hoo.

    2. RonWheeler

      Re: Multiple desktops on windows...

      Thanks - just tiried it on my screenspace-deficient netbook and works a treat.

    3. Paul 135

      Re: Multiple desktops on windows...

      KDE's Activities over a superior work-flow for complex projects than just having multiple desktops (not of course that you will ever get to use it if you are using a retarded distro like Ubuntu as Dell are offering).

      1. Paul 135

        Re: Multiple desktops on windows...

        *over -> offer

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Multiple desktops on windows...

        No, it's not like Ubuntu offers you the option of using KDE as your default desktop during the install or anything...

        As an ever-so-clever KDE user, I thought you might understand the basic difference between a distro and a DE?

    4. Fatman Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Multiple desktops on windows...

      NOW, WAIT A MINUTE!!!

      Ubuntu comes with those workspaces configured BY DEFAULT.

      You have to know where to find that before you can download and install those additional desktops.

      Most WindblowZE (l)users could not find their ass even with a GPS!!!

      1. nichomach
        Meh

        Re: Multiple desktops on windows...

        @Fatman - My experience has been that, actually, most Windows users are perfectly capable of finding whatever applications they want. By the way, could you perhaps post using the word "Microsoft", but spelt with a dollar sign? That one always cracks me up...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Multiple desktops on windows...

          "My experience has been that, actually, most Windows users are perfectly capable of finding whatever applications they want."

          I work in tech support, and I can assure you that they can't. Some of them are lucky if they can find the Start button.

    5. mmeier

      Re: Multiple desktops on windows...

      What is that good for in a graphics based windowing environment?

      I used that stuff back in the "Terminal days" for Unix. Useful in the text only/non windowing time. As soon as XWindows came out opening more than one XTerm most often did the job.

      Today I have dual/triple (With the Notebook screen as number three) or even quad monitor setups and more than enough screen real estate that I can "see" instead of having to switch.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Multiple desktops on windows...

        "What is that good for in a graphics based windowing environment?"

        Lots.

        "As soon as XWindows came out opening more than one XTerm most often did the job."

        Xterm doesn't support graphics applications very well.

        "Today I have dual/triple (With the Notebook screen as number three) or even quad monitor setups and more than enough screen real estate that I can "see" instead of having to switch."

        I have dual screens at work but once I set up the multiple desktops I turned off one of the monitors as it was serving no purpose. I don't actually WANT to see the other screens all the time; I just want a fast context switch. Actually having two whole screens full of stuff was only making visual clutter; having 10 would just be nuts. Before you moan, I know there are applications that do benefit from having two or more screens; but I'm not using one.

        1. mmeier

          Re: Multiple desktops on windows...

          Thanks for the answer. Matter of usage then. I only used them in "Text mode" under Unix so the XTerm and graphic apps part never came up and the rest is "different way of using the box"

  7. cowslayer
    Thumb Up

    I got one the day it got released, and have had no problems to date. Hibernation works, Shutdown works (every time), Bluetooth works, and most importantly it doesn't try to lift off by running the fans at full speed constantly like my old Viao. So there.

    Although I never got a ubuntu sticker on the front, only the logo etched into the base plate. Might need to return it now.

  8. sysconfig

    If the XPS was a bit cheaper, I'd be tempted to get one and try myself. But Ubuntu and its logos have got to go.

    Would be interesting to know just how much effort Dell has put into the hardware drivers and whether they'd work with Fedora as well. Or maybe even FreeBSD...

    1. eulampios

      Fedora

      whether they'd work with Fedora

      As was pointed by Chemist already, there is usually very little difference between the ubuntu kernel and upstream. Also given that RedHat is a major kernel contributor, while Canonical might only be a minor one, Fedora's generic kernel should be fine as well. As far as FreeBSD is concerned, I'd doubt it. FreeBSD, despite all efforts in getting into Apple's bed, is still light years behind Linux pace of development. However, the Linux compatibility module might be of much use there.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not impressed

    I compare-

    "It turns out that Dell's main effort has been to deliver a premium Linux notebook on which all the hardware works out of the box"

    with-

    "Shutdown can be problematic; sometimes it shuts down, sometimes it only logs out. Hibernation fails with a "device failed to thaw" error message. I had no success with Bluetooth; neither a keyboard nor an audio streamer would connect. Perhaps the biggest annoyance was when I connected a Canon camera and got the error message "unable to lock camera" and no access to my pictures."

    I am a fair noob to linux. I use it on my work machine, my home desktop and my laptop but it is only recent I migrated. However my £300 laptop runs mint (ubuntu version) with no problems with all control keys, camera, bluetooth, sound and most important shutdown. It is a dell machine btw.

    I also dont understand this-

    "I could not resist installing Valve's gaming platform Steam for Linux, which runs perfectly after a bit of fiddling with dependencies."

    I installed this on my home desktop with no issues. My fiddling with dependencies I believe it mentioned having to install some (do you want to install them 'yes' 'no'). It is still less installation screens than the windows install (I have it on my winbox too).

    As a developer I would be happy that the basics were installed and I can use the very simple install centre to add my choice in tools (purists can use apt-get if they wish). Also what happened to the dell selling point of choice? What if I dont want an SSD? And what the hell is wrong with them?!? Soldered memory!!! 8G is enough for what I do but for other developers this is an absolute minimum or even not enough.

    A feature like "such as the hardware battery status button on the right, which indicates the remaining charge by illuminating up to five LEDs" is worth little if the audio, camera, bluetooth and shutdown doesnt work properly.

    As a linux machine I find this shocking and embarrassing. Ubuntu/mint are great desktops and this offering is expensive and yet only seems to perpetuate the myth that linux isnt ready for desktop. Yes linux has problems with some hardware, often the seriously closed and poortly supported by manufacturer.

    When samsung made a mess of their secure boot it took little time for the clueless to blame linux. So assembling a poorly constructed machine as a linux offering is shameful and should reflect badly on the manufacturer. Just as providing a poor windows machine would be typically blamed on the manufacturer not the OS.

    I am not sure why Tim Anderson felt the need to mention some of the features of ubuntu itself (multiple windows, office already installed) unless he was trying to make up for a poor laptop by highlighting good features in the OS.

    Offering such a high price tag which compares with the windows version just because it gets upgraded support is also poor. What if we dont want the upgraded support, just some working drivers? If Tims experience with this laptop was my first experience of linux I would never use it. Lucky for me I have had few problems with various linux on any of my machines.

  10. Tank boy
    Linux

    Junk.

    For that price in the states I could buy something that I could upgrade the memory, with far more storage, and have money left over. In fact, I could buy two. I appreciate what Dell is trying to do, but this just rebranded (as in unsold) laptops that they couldn't give away, and I don't care that it's an i7. Not at that price, your mileage may vary.

    1. Captain Save-a-ho
      Coat

      Re: Junk.

      It wouldn't have a 13" screen that does 1080P. It also wouldn't weigh less than 3 lbs.

  11. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Linux

    the absence of any and all OEM crapware

    Always a benefit.

    1. M. B.

      Re: the absence of any and all OEM crapware

      It's also a contributor to the cost, the crapware vendors often subsidize the cost of the laptop somewhat by having their software preinstalled. In this case, those subsidies look to cover the cost of the Windows license.

      Unfortunate. I'd still take a Linux box, myself. Can't get them in Canada yet.

  12. AJ MacLeod

    Soldered-in memory is to me a worrying trend - not so much from the upgrading point of view (that's annoying enough), but I have seen an awful lot of memory go bad after a few years and it seems like an unacceptable risk to me.

    The touchpad on that machine looks like it might be quite decent - any comparison to the Macbook Pro items?

  13. tabman

    Interesting

    For a while now on these forums, I have read postings calling for a linux laptop to be available at point of sale. This would be the second time that Dell have offered something like this as a mainstream offering. There are lots of arguements why the first offering failed and I have to wonder how successful it will be the second time around.

    Now is the time to see if Linux really is ready for the desktop and ready to replace Windows as the preloaded OS of choice for consumers.

    If Linux really is ready for the desktop (laptop) then an average user should at the very least be able to buy one of these and just continue as if nothing had happened. If Linux is not only ready for the desktop (laptop) but superior (as the evangelists are so fond of saying) then the user experience should be enhanced. Sales should go through the roof. MS dies, everyone switches to FOSS.

    I suspect that this offering will go the same way as it did the first time around. It will be interesting to see though.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Interesting

      The results might be different if the choice of Windows or Linux were to be made at the three or four hundred quid price point... and to more than one brand of computer.

      Though of course there will be the same effect as Acer had with the 'One' - "Take this back, it won't run XYZ.exe windows software." Er, it won't run apple software either, but no-one complains about that...

      The joke is of course that it's an almost cost-free option for a maker to drop Linux onto the machine. If it doesn't sell, revert to Windows (or perhaps don't install software until point of sale for mail order). Extra support costs, in the short term - but if my octogenarian technophobe parents can manage linux for the usual browse, skype, email, photos stuff, anyone can

    2. Lars Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Interesting

      "Now is the time to see if Linux really is ready for the desktop and ready to replace Windows as the preloaded OS of choice for consumers."

      Sorry, but that is silly. On my desktops Linux has been ready for 14-15 years now. The problem is not Linux but the "chain". There is no incentive to sell Linux on the desktop anywhere. I have seen Linux a few times in computer shops, but then, try to find a person who knows anything about it or has any interest in selling it. And why should they!. There are no marketing campaigns for Linux anywhere. Ok IBM had a small Linux boy on TV a long time ago. I have Linux on the desktop but why should I care if there are those who have not. I don't give a shit.

      What is Dell expecting to "win" with a Linux desktop, I simply don't know. The only way I can think of to get Linux on the desktop is to sell, in the chain, multi booting desktops and let the customer later decide on what to use and when. But I suppose it's something a OEM is not allowed to do because of Microsoft.

      I have Linux in my router, in a ebook reader, perhaps in a printer and a TV and a washing machine. Did I ask for that, no, that choice was done elsewhere. So what the fuck about "Linux on the desktop", it will never happen (happened long ago) if there are no incentives for anybody to sell it.

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Interesting

        Adding to my previous post, what prevents Dell from selling a bare bone laptop and information on which Linux distros it will work, or a set of DVDs with Linux. Microsoft again?.

    3. HereWeGoAgain

      Re: Interesting

      "Now is the time to see if Linux really is ready for the desktop and ready to replace Windows as the preloaded OS of choice for consumers."

      Did you not read the list of normal things that just do not work on this Linux box? That is why people don't buy Linux. Instead they buy Windows because it works better.

      1. eulampios

        Windows is always without a problem

        list of normal things that just do not work on this Linux box?

        And how many times something even more normal won't work on a Windows box? Just google for "insert_normal_thing doesn't work on my Windows {Vista,7,8}" string .

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Windows is always without a problem

          For example, Windows 7 occasionally decides to disable the volume control.

          So you can drag it up and sounds happens, but it immediately fades it back to zero.

          This will continue to happen until you reboot, when it will have set all volume controls to zero (masters and per-application), but now lets you raise them - one at a time.

          There might be some incantation to fix that, but I haven't found it and the hundreds of Windows help fora appear clueless as to why.

          Seems to be related to other MS software - like MS Messenger or MS Skype.

          There are many other similar issues. Not surprising, as no software is perfect, but it is strange that they are so readily glossed over.

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Mushroom

        Re: Interesting

        > Did you not read the list of normal things that just do not work on this Linux box? That is why people don't buy Linux. Instead they buy Windows because it works better.

        No. That's why people shouldn't buy Dell.

        It's their job to set this stuff up right. It's their job to make sure that their choices actually work.

        This nonsense makes me glad that I didn't buy a Dell X51 for my last HTPC despite the fact that I was seriously considering it. It's far better to support a real Linux vendor.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @HereWeGoAgain

        Living up to your name, are we?

  14. billium
    FAIL

    Glossy screen no ethernet port.

  15. 27escape

    Generally not had a problem

    With recent-ish (last 3 years) Dell laptops and Linux, distro of choice goes on and laptop works.

    Not sure why they need to create a special one.

  16. HereWeGoAgain
    Devil

    Linux users = moaning losers

    "The machine comes with two bits of open-source software:"

    Ignoring all the open-source GNU/Linux software that is otherwise installed.

    "Sputnik is a cool project, but remains in an early stage of development "

    It doesn't work.

    "Dell directed me to the people who know about Sputnik"

    It's too hard for any usual form of technical support.

    "We got the touchpad to be full multi-touch"

    Something Windows/Mac did years ago.

    "there is still a Windows key"

    Maybe some people will install Windows. Just think: there should be a Linux key. For the <1% of people who might install Linux.

    "the only documentation in my review sample"

    RTFM. man man. You have the source code, you don't need documentation.

    "I also notice that although the GNU GCC compiler is installed"

    But I only develop in Perl/PHP/Python/Lua/Erlang/Tcl. Am I covered? Else I won't buy it.

    "I have yet to see this list, but neither LXC nor Juju was installed on the review sample."

    I'm definitely not buying it then.

    "Developers are unlikely to care much about what is installed, since it is easy to add and remove packages "

    So why complain about LXS or Juju?

    "Still, the lack of documentation is an annoyance"

    RTFM. man man...

    "getting devices to work under Linux is often a challenge."

    It has often been a challenge. If you don't want a challenge, install Windows.

    "the audio works"

    So did audio on OS/2. So what?

    "after a bit of fiddling with dependencies."

    Usual problem with Linux. It does simply not work properly for average Joe User.

    "the absence of any and all OEM crapware"

    That's cos there ain't any for Linux. Apart from things like "ls", "ps", and "less". And "more" too, as none of those tools are Linux-specific.

    "I had my share of things that do not quite work"

    Work/not work is a binary thing. If it does not work, it does not work. It does not "not quite work".

    "first thing I did was to install all available updates"

    Cos Linux packages get updated almost every day, you are now on a conveyor belt of updates.

    "Shutdown can be problematic; sometimes it shuts down"

    Linux can't even shut down properly?!

    "Hibernation fails with a "device failed to thaw" error message"

    Hibernation does not work.

    "I had no success with Bluetooth"

    Bluetooth does not work.

    "no access to my pictures."

    But this is a developers, developers, developers machine. Why do you need pictures?

    "But such is Linux"

    Yes. It does not work properly. In just about every field of desktop usage, Linux sucks donkey balls.

    "most problems of this kind can be solved with sufficient effort "

    Or by using Windows instead.

    "patience in trawling through forums"

    Full of "me too" messages, where 1% of posters have a clue and the rest don't know jack.

    "Still, it is not quite the first-class experience I was hoping for."

    Dream on.

    "It is a shame Dell offers no customisation options"

    That's cos they don't want Linux losers asking for Debian/Centos/Mandriva/Slackware/Ubuntu/Edubuntu/Yellow Dog/Red Flag/ etc.

    "You would think that using free software would mean a lower price."

    Quite the opposite if you count your time into getting it working.

    "the Developer Edition comes with Pro support"

    That's because, as mentioned, Linux is too difficult for usual tech support teams.

    "if you buy a Windows laptop and use with Linux, you will not get any joy from the supplier when trying to get Bluetooth working."

    If you use Windows, you won't need any help getting Bluetooth working.

    "a worthwhile effort but one that is currently half-baked"

    It doesn't work. Like Linux on the desktop generally.

    "given its slow progress"

    Linux is a moving target. No sooner does somebody write something for version x.y.z of a package, it changes to x.yz.1 and then suddenly no longer works.

    Linux is not fit for the desktop. It never has been, and is unlikely ever to be. Dell should not waste their time for the developer proportion of the <1% of Linux desktop users. If losers want to buy Dell hardware and install their own Prancing Penguin Linux that is their pleasure. And waste of time.

    1. Paul 135

      Re: Linux users = moaning losers

      What you call "moaning" is more constructive criticism. Linux users at present tend to be technical people who are more likely to have perfectionist tendencies.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Linux users = moaning losers

      Kettle!!! This teapot over here wants to tell you something!!

      @HereWeGo: Just don't fucking buy it mate, but stop whingeing will ya sad bastard.

  17. DB9

    FIX THE SCREEN!!! WUXGA FTW!

    What all of us Linux folks want is a 4:3 video screen.

    1920x1200 on 15.something inches is nirvana for us Linux geeks

    1680x1050 on a smaller screen in ok too.

    But get rid of these BluRay video screens. We geeks don't want them. We don't care if we get black bars at the top/bottom of movies being played back.

    What we geeks what is rows upon rows of text. And since we all wear glasses and have laptops 15" from our faces, the text is not too small. Ever.

    IF Dell came out with a WUXGA "Linux" laptop that was under $1000 with i3 or i5, it'd sell faster than they could make them. Every Linux geek wants one.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: FIX THE SCREEN!!! WUXGA FTW!

      ^^^ THIS ^^^

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it just me...?

    ...or does "No Ethernet" pose a problem? I know everything has to wireless nowadays, but when working in an office or at home there is a lot to be said for wired networking. Security, for one thing. How much would it cost to add an Ethernet port?

    I stopped thinking about buying one of these when I read that, anyway.

    1. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Re: Is it just me...?

      Wow, I didn't think anybody would still have the audacity to build a laptop without Ethernet. No wonder it won't sell. That's just idiotic.

      I stand by my point that this is a deliberate train wreck.

  19. Nelbert Noggins

    But it's not a designed for Linux laptop. It's the XPS 13 for Windows with Ubuntu and an alpha set of tools for developers.

    The software tools aren't even even specific to the laptop. The only part that makes this a linux specific machine is dell have tried to get the hardware drivers, which are also in a repository, and pre-install them.

    Unfortunately that doesn't seem to have worked well. Looking through the forums, there have been ongoing hardware issues since the release. The biggest benefit for the Linux version is for companies with volume license wanting an i7 Windows machine cheaper.

    Buy the Linux Edition, install the corporate VL edition of windows, save money and avoid the Windows crapware... The mandatory 2yr AV subscription in the Windows version is one of the main reasons for the price increase between the Windows and Linux i7

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    nope. Not acceptable

    I'll take my T420 thanks.

    soldered on ram, glossy screen and no ethernet? nope nope nope.

    Running FC18, T420, 16G ram and 480G SSD, *everything* works, including kvm, Direct Rendering etc.

    But hell, I'm a paid linux admin. I suppose it damned well should work.

  21. Paul 135

    Why do laptop manufacturers STILL not get and make hardware that people would PAY for?

    Why are laptop PC manufacturers still not listening to what users who want a machine to be PRODUCTIVE by giving them the hardware they want? It isn't so hard, as they almost had it perfect about 7 years ago, only to lose all sense with the era of glossy "HD" screens.

    First and foremost give us a goddamn matte screen with sRGB coverage and a screen ratio that is taller than the GOD AWFUL 16:9.

    Secondly, stop going backwards by removing things that are useful such as ethernet, soldering in RAM, making it difficult to get at batteries.

  22. Rufus
    FAIL

    Keyboard kills it!

    I don't know about other developers, but shrinking the size of the cursor keys and making them share functionality with the Home and End is a FAIL for me.

    Selecting blocks of code now becomes a convulted 3 finger process - if I wanted to press unecessary extra keys I'd choose a Macbook Pro!

    Now if Dell put a high res screen in the E6230 - that would be near perfect!

  23. Paul 135

    Why is there not an EU law?

    Why is there not an EU law mandating that any PC vendor must also offer the option to any customer to buy their PC at a cheaper price, without an operating system pre-installed? The fact is that, at present, not very many people like Windows 8, yet have no other option than to buy it if they want a new PC (this case being the rare exception).

    I understand that this could cause support headaches, but there could be a clause stating that if the user is having software difficulties with their own software then the vendor is not obliged to give support for non-hardware issues. However, the vendor at an extra charge equivalent to no more than the original price difference between the OS and no OS, must offer post-sales service to install the manufacturer's OS of choice to cover software support.

    This is not only useful for those of us who do not want to use Windows, but also for those of us who do not want to be presented with retarded Linux distros such as Ubuntu (or "Um Bongo-grade bonkers" as El Reg called Ubuntu in their openSUSE review)

    1. mmeier

      Re: Why is there not an EU law?

      Oh, you can give back the Windows licence. Dell will even refund you what THEY paid for it - around 10-15€.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Why is there not an EU law?

        You cant give back a windows licence if the laptop and os come as a 'package' though. Found a few places that will take the machine and give you a full refund but not cough up a license refund.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why is there not an EU law?

          " You cant give back a windows licence if the laptop and os come as a 'package' though. "

          Yes you can Tom. They may tell you you can't, but respond that you will solicit the advise of your local consumer organisation or your administration's commerce department, and they will soon back off.

          1. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: Why is there not an EU law?

            I see you haven't tried - it would have cost me more to do so - they do not back off easily and you obviously haven't contacted your local consumer organisation lately - they dont seem to respond to emails and are over an hours drive away.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why is there not an EU law?

      « Why is there not an EU law mandating that any PC vendor must also offer the option to any customer to buy their PC at a cheaper price, without an operating system pre-installed? »

      Because a specific law is not needed. Notwithstanding what their respective EULAs may say (Dell's used to have something about them wanting you to return the whole thing if you didn't agree with certain third parties' licences), it is not the case that you are obliged to buy someone else's software that might come pre-installed with the machine.

      I do not remember the details (not that I really understood them) but in civil law countries, generally you cannot be forced into an agreement with a third party which is not also a part of the original contract.

      Until about three years ago I always asked for, and got, a refund or discount off the sale price equivalent to the price of the third parties' (usually OEM) licence costs. Nowadays it seems a lot easier for me to buy pristine hardware so I haven't had to negotiate this for a while, but it was never a problem, not even with Dell.

      1. Paul 135

        Re: Why is there not an EU law?

        Dell may do so, and you may have had personal luck, but the problem is that it isn't a consistent experience across PC manufacturers and not a consistent experience across retail outlets, and not a consistent experience between countries.

        The EU is in the perfect position to simplify this and make it more obvious for average consumers. I also think that you should not have to submit any claim retrospectively.

        Heck, it shouldn't only affect Microsoft either -- if it were to apply to all PCs and Apple (who won't get away with an argument that they don't sell PCs) were forced to decouple their software and hardware if that's what the consumer wants then I might even consider a MacBook, I wouldn't then feel as uncomfortable about contributing to crApple's lock-in ecosystem through crappy and obscure OSX.

  24. Paul 135

    while I'm ranting about Europe...

    ...can someone in Europe not redesign European keyboards? This has been bugging me for years, but why do European keyboards all insist in having a tiny shift key on the left and a humongous shift key on the right? Could you not take that extra key added on the left side and move it to the right side so that the two shift keys are roughly the same size?

  25. Jim 59
    Stop

    Microsoft

    No chance. Absolutely no chance. Microsoft will act fast to get this off the market. They have kept choice out of the desktop market for 20 years and they are experts at it. Right now, Ballmer will be heading round to the Dell head office with a garden gnome under his arm.

    You WILL forcibly purchase windows with every PC.

  26. JEDIDIAH
    Linux

    Stupid design, different logo.

    I wouldn't buy the Dell branded version of this thing for the same reason that I wouldn't buy the Apple branded version of this thing. A Unix box without a wired ethernet port? Really?

    This was never a Unix developer's mobile workstation.

    A half-hearted and lackluster attempt all around from the beginning.

    How about just marking the penguin friendly configurations? Better yet, just build a website with decent search features so we can sort this stuff out for ourselves.

  27. ecofeco Silver badge

    Overpriced

    That is all.

    Carry on.

  28. mmeier

    Linux will be ready for the desktop when

    I can go down to the "big outlet" (Saturn/Mediamarkt here in germany), pick up hardware, take it home and get it running with a resonably current (say 4 year old) version of Linux without using Google / reading manuals etc. Just plug in, insert disk (if at all) and click "Default installation"

    Or buy a box there and get a similar current version to run and support all the features of the unit. Again "Default" and be done.

    As long as that is not the case (and it isn't) - Linux is not ready for the desktop of Joe Average.

    1. Paul 135

      Re: Linux will be ready for the desktop when

      "take it home and get it running with a resonably current (say 4 year old) version of Linux without using Google / reading manuals etc."

      Not even Windows can do that at present with its near-monopoly market share, so to expect it with Linux in the future is a little unrealistic.

      Most users do not want to fart about with installing or setting up operating systems and drivers, and would not know how to install Windows or Windows drivers either. The only way that Linux can become mainstream is if it comes pre-installed with Linux out of the box. The only way I see that possible is if there is some sort of EU regulation that forces retailers to give consumers a CHOICE of OS at the point-of-purchase.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. mmeier

        Re: Linux will be ready for the desktop when

        Oh? I have yet to see recent x86 hardware that does NOT run under Windows 7 or Windows 8. Printers, scanners, graphic cards, WLan - it all works. And straight forwared as well. And as said due to my work I see a lot of boxes.

        As for the rest - any product that needs "The State" to succeed - should not. Be it "solar power" or "linux". Either it works on it's own merrits - or it is simply CRAP! Protectionism is stupid and has kept technology back a lot, just ask the "Bundespest" in germany

        And in large company environments most computers actually come "Blank" because companies (and cities) have volume licences and simply put a "clone" on the boxes and then use WSUS or similar tools the argument is moot anyway. These companies HAVE the choice already and they do choose - Windows! UNIX and other OS (OS/400, zOS) are found on some servers and mainframes but clients are 90+ percent Windows. Because that is the one that works reliably, that is available over a decend (10 years on average) time and is not picky about hardware.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @mmeier

      "get it running with a resonably current (say 4 year old) version of Linux without using Google / reading manuals"

      I honestly recommend you try it. Burn a Ubuntu or mint (I prefer mint) disk and put it in and it will either automatically take you to the live CD (no install) boot of the OS. Give it a try and see if you honestly have any problems. If you do then I would say you are unlucky, if it does work (which is most likely) then try the install process, its easier than installing windows and I wouldnt say windows was difficult to install. You will likely get the added shock concerning how easy it is to install new software. The lack of install screens and dependencies handled for you (occasionally a yes no prompt if you want to install it).

      I am not saying linux is better than windows or even the other way around but if your concern is just plugging it in and it working then I will be surprised if it doesnt just work. If you reject an OS because it doesnt always work with all hardware then no OS is good enough. I can easily list benefits of windows over linux but I can easily list linux over windows too-

      When you install windows it has few drivers for anything. Not even for the network which you need to get drivers!

      I often find screen resolutions are abysmal when you install windows until you install the driver for your graphics card, except you cannot find in windows the make or model of your card because windows doesnt know!

      I will add that once you have a network connection it is highly probable that windows cant find all of the drivers you need.

      Once installed there will be loads of updates for both OS's, however windows will install and then demand to shutdown/reboot a few times.

      I will add that you havnt installed any basic programs yet, no office no nothing. After hours of install you may get a system you can do something with.

      When you want to install any program you get install screen after install screen which baffle some users.

      I have yet to suffer the above with a linux install. It will be up and running inside an hour and typically be fully working. As I said I am not being biased and linux has its own issues too, but it is ready for the desktop of joe average. And it will have problems, just as every OS does.

      In my experience (I run both) your demand: "Or buy a box there and get a similar current version to run and support all the features of the unit" is more likely with linux than windows, only due to the above list. You can usually easily make windows work as long as you have the various driver disks and understand how to navigate the many install screens. But when it does have driver issues (I have one at the moment) it is just as difficult to find a solution.

      What desktop OS you like is personal preference and I am not trying to change your mind, but hopefully I have helped clear up some of the misconceptions you have of linux.

      I am amazed that dell managed to have so many issues with this laptop. I so far have only 1 linux system with any problems and that is only with the manufacturers drivers, the open source ones work.

      1. mmeier

        Re: @mmeier

        Of the four boxes I have in use three won't run under Linux. Two because a key hardware component has no stable/usable driver support (Wacom penable digitizer) and two because the graphics card is not supported (one is the add-on card in the penable the other the card in an AMD E-series based Compaq/HP). The latter was tested recently (late 2012) with the then current Suse since I prefer that over xBuntu.

        So my choice would be "run two different OS" (Susie on the tower and Win8 on the penables/mini). Not going to happen, even less so since Windows is set in my work environment anyway. I even sold an Android tablet. It was light and had good endurance (On par with the T731 for 1/3 the weight) but was an "alien" in al other departments

        The "reboot after updates" is no problem on a workstation. I schedule updates for "when system is shut down" and that happens daily. No need to keep a client running when not in use. Servers are another thing. OTOH on privat servers I prefer Solaris for it's long term stability

        Installing Win7 or Win8 was easy, cards where detected, drivers where found in Windows and then updated automatically. Last time I had to search lengthyly for updates was in the days of XP.

        And that is all before I come to the needed software that simply does not exist on Linux. No equivalents to MS Journal, OneNote (No, EverNote is not since it is a cloud solution), ArtRage, Handwriting recognition, Speech recognition (Yes, I use that a lot)...

        (1) Graphics card is optional there / base driver is enough

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @mmeier -- Wacom

          http://www.wacom.com/en/shared/downloads/drivers/linux-drivers

          http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/linuxwacom/index.php?title=Main_Page

          http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/lucid/man4/wacom.4.html

          1. mmeier

            Re: @mmeier -- Wacom

            First and second link are basically the same, the Wacom page just directs to Sourceforge. And that in turn deals with external tablets NOT the digitizer in a tablet pc. Not the same stuff.

            Third link also deals with external (USB or serial) devices.

            And only for certain kernel versions not a "general supported" driver in both cases. But even with driver support there would still be the lack of HWR and software that can compete with Journal or OneNote

  29. Mage Silver badge

    1080p

    Rubbish resolution for Development work

    1200 lines minimum.

    Maybe as a 2nd machine?

  30. Spoddyhalfwit

    I guess all the comments here illustrate why so few PC manufacturers want to touch Linux.

    Those pointing their fingers at some black helicopter mind control conspiracy headed by Darth Ballmer need to look a bit closer to home. I doubt with all this flack and vitriol posted here that Dell will be planning another such product anytime soon.

  31. jdieter

    Dell has shipped linux laptops for at least 7 years now

    I've been buying laptops from Dell with Ubuntu Linux for years. They work great. Forever. Even the crappiest old laptop with the slowest hardware SCREAMS with Ubuntu installed. Windows machines slow down over time and need complete wipe re-installs and pay for new versions of windows, and too slow for new versions, and get viruses, and people literally throw them away and get new ones every 3 or 4 years. Ubuntu is bad for Dell. Now that everyone in my family has an Ubuntu laptop, we will never need to buy another computer.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019