Dell plans Ubuntu laptop for developers

Dell plans Ubuntu laptop for developers

Summary: Dell is working on plans, known as 'Sputnik', to sell laptops running the Ubuntu open source operating system, aimed at web developers.Dell wants to sell developers XPS13 laptops pre-loaded with Ubuntu 12.

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TOPICS: Security
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Dell is working on plans, known as 'Sputnik', to sell laptops running the Ubuntu open source operating system, aimed at web developers.

Dell wants to sell developers XPS13 laptops pre-loaded with Ubuntu 12.04, and plans a management tool to pull down developer configurations for Android, Ruby and JavaScript from a github repository, Dell web marketing director Barton George said in a blog post on Monday.

"After we build the management tool and some basic profiles to get the effort started, we are hoping that the community will take over and began creating profiles of their own," said George.

Dell plans for a developer laptop to come loaded with a basic image, tools, and utilities. One eventual outcome of the project could be for Dell and Canonical to put together cloud tools for developers to use with OpenStack, said George.

Dell has been working with Ubuntu backer Canonical to get around problems such as a lack of Linux drivers and patches, said George.

"In putting together the project, the area that we focused on first was hardware enablement," said George. "As Linux users are all too painfully aware, Linux drivers are not always available for various platforms."

Dell said it has sorted out problems with brightness and a Wi-Fi hotkey, but is still working on touchpad and multi-touch driver issues, including the cursor jumping by mistake when a user rests their palm on a touchpad.

Developers can give feedback in the form of comments on a Dell web page, said George. The Sputnik project is six months old.

Topic: Security

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com. He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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