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Dell's Ubuntu love-in expands to new laptops

Existing gear gets Hardy Heron

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Linux lovers take note, Dell is feeling another round of the community spirit tugging on its heartstrings.

The Round Rock vendor said it will pre-load the Ubuntu operating system on two new boxes, starting early next month.

It's also arming its current selection of Ubuntu PCs and laptops with an updated version 8.04 (AKA Hardy Heron) operating system.

Just in time for the LinuxWorld expo in August, Dell customers will be able to purchase XPS M1530n and Studio 15n laptops with Ubuntu installed. (The n at the end means it's a non-Windows system.)

Models currently offered with the open-source OS - the XPS M1330n and Inspiron 1525n notebooks and Inspiron 530n desktops - will now come pre-loaded with Ubuntu 8.04. Note unfortunately the hardware doesn't receive a refresh.

The company said in the Direct2Dell blog it spent months in development and testing to provide more peripheral support on the OS. Things like ATI Video Graphics, Dell Wireless, Fingerprint Readers, HDMI, Bluetooth and MP3/WMA/WMV are now good to go on the systems.

Dell also said it has taken steps towards making Linux more accessible to a global marketplace by adding the ability to select different languages during the first boot.

"While this does not mean we’re shipping in every country (yet), it’s a step in the right direction," wrote Dell product group strategist, Daniel Judd.

The updated systems are now available in the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and select parts of Latin America. ®

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