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Let's buy GNU/Linux computers!

11 replies [Last post]
libervisco's picture
Joined: 2006-05-04

I've just read a great (though long) article: The Linux Desktop Myth. At first I wasn't too fond of the premise, but then I became unsure where is it leading to until the conclusion with which I can completely agree.

No matter how good, beautiful, polished, featureful, easy to use and install we make GNU/Linux it still wont be enough to to rapidly start growing towards desktop computers domination. The reason is simply that most desktop computer users don't really make choices at all when it comes to the operating system they run. Most of them use what comes pre-installed on a PC they buy. Now while this is to many a known argument, this article made me want to emphasize it alot harder and see it a bit clearer.

So what do we do to promote rapid growth of GNU/Linux on the desktop is "vote with our wallets", so to speak, and buy PC's with GNU/Linux pre-installed whenever we can. There is a good chance that there is a PC vendor somewhere near you which offers GNU/Linux PC's. You just may not have yet heard of them. One place to start looking is LXer's list of companies selling preinstalled Linux and no-OS computers.

This is important because if alot of us start buying GNU/Linux pre-installed machines more than usuall we are creating a market force which has a potential to attract larger vendors like Dell, HP, Lenovo etc. to start offering GNU/Linux computers more rapidly and advertising them more than they do now. This in turn leads to many people buying PCs with GNU/Linux pre-installed which otherwise wouldn't, even if the reason for that decision is the cute Tux logo on a PC case. Eye The thing is that often the price may be the tipping point as PCs with same technical specifications, but with GNU/Linux pre-installed, may actually be cheaper than those with Windows.

It's an awesome opportunity. So if you're about to buy a new computer. Don't buy a "white box" (no OS) or even worse a Windows PC. Buy a PC with GNU/Linux on it and add to the statistic which may lead to the turning point for GNU/Linux. Smiling

So, what do you think?

Joined: 2005-12-20
I decided that I am never

I decided that I am never going to buy an off-the-shelf pc again, you get so much better parts and a faster computer for a lot less money building it yourself.

Although, $1000 is a lot of money, I built my amd64 3000+, 512mb RAM, ATI Radeon 9700 and 160gb hard drive with mobo and case for about £230, which is nearly $500, which doesn't seem too bad cos parts are more expensive here Eye

dylunio's picture
Joined: 2005-12-20
I'll look into buying with

I'll look into buying with GNU/Linux preinstalled next time I need a brand new computer, though I don't think I'll be looking until I go off to Uni.

Thanks for linking the LXer list libervisco.


free-zombie's picture
Joined: 2006-03-08
I'm with onlinebacon when it

I'm with onlinebacon when it comes to desktops, but in general it's a good idea libervisco ! I'll keep that in mind when I start seriously looking for a laptop Smiling (which I don't ecpect to happen until maybe in two years)

Joined: 2006-06-19
I haven't brought another

I haven't brought another desktop yet - keep stalling.
But ...

I in favor of buy a linux preinstalled desktop/latop for
practical reason. I've seen too many problem(s) from
people trying to get linux working on their computers
due to non-standard parts, stuffs that are window-based
(e.g. winmodem), etc. By buying a linux preinstalled
box, you know everything work (peace of mind) and even
if you wipe it out with another distro, everything will
probably still work (because all parts are standard

Just my 2 cents.


libervisco's picture
Joined: 2006-05-04
I completely understand the

I completely understand the preference of building it yourself. It *is* cheaper most of the time. However, if you care about GNU/Linux starting to dominate you might consider contributing a bit to that goal by buying a finished PC with GNU/Linux from a vendor instead of building yourself. That's a vote with your money and the more people do that the more attractive will GNU/Linux PC business become to larger vendors and conseuquently the GNU/Linux foothold on the desktop will be increasing.

And yes, there are even some practical benefits of that too. If we get major PC vendors to start advertising their own GNU/Linux PC offerings more, then more newbies will buy PC with GNU/Linux on them, saving them the trouble of burning a CD, installing and configuring their hardware to work. That's actually why it is such a clean ticket for GNU/Linux to desktop domination.


a thing's picture
Joined: 2005-12-20
nonfree preinstalled

There's a big problem with doing this now: Every GNU/Linux-preinstalled PC comes with nonfree software. Perphaps if there's a vendor that only supplies Fedora when FC6 comes out, it will be good though. Also a lot of OEMs have Windows as the default OS.

libervisco's picture
Joined: 2006-05-04
Hmm that's probably right.

Hmm that's probably right. I've never checked what the local company sells, but it's good to check yours if you're buying a PC as there may be some which sell without proprietary software.

a_thing wrote:

Also a lot of OEMs have Windows as the default OS.

That's exactly what we'd be trying to change by buying GNU/Linux PCs in as big numbers as possible.

Whistler's picture
Joined: 2006-01-03
Lenovo already compromised

Lenovo already compromised as they are now pre-installing SuSE GNU/Linux 10 with ThinkPads, which is (IMO) a good thing (although there are still non-free components like RealPlayer, Flash Plugin, Founder GB18030 Chinese fonts, etc). I just hope resellers won't wipe this out and install (mostly unauthorized copied) Windows for their customers.

btw, Fedora Core isn't a totally free distribution either as it contains trademark-encumbered images and some slightly non-free packages (e.g, OpenMotif, whose license restricts all the _uses_ of the software on "open source operating systems").

dylunio's picture
Joined: 2005-12-20
Whistler wrote:Fedora Core
"Whistler" wrote:

Fedora Core isn't a totally free distribution either

I agree that Fedora 5 and earlier are not Free, but according to this thread on Libervis, it seems that it's trying to become Free by the FSF standards.

AndrewB's picture
Joined: 2005-12-18
The next computer I get

The next computer I get [unless I get an Apple Mac] will prob be built by myself. I have done on my previous computer and also found, like onlinebacon it is cheeper and you know your hardware inside out that way.
I also dont really like any distro out the box, and find myself trimming it down and/or replacing things.

It is a great idea to distibute computers with linux though.

Moparx's picture
Joined: 2006-01-28
As soon as I have enough

As soon as I have enough money saved up for a laptop LXer's list of companies that are selling computers preinstalled with GNU/Linux is going to be very helpful indeed. Smiling

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