Dell announced on Tuesday via its corporate blog that it has begun installing Ubuntu 7.10, aka Gutsy Gibbon, and LinDVD on its Dell consumer Linux PCs in the US and will also make it available on the Inspiron 530 in England, France and Germany later this week.
Dell began offering consumer systems running Ubuntu in May. Ubuntu's Gutsy Gibson has been available since October.
The OEM has been testing the code for several weeks and is ready to launch.
"We believe Ubuntu 7.10 is a solid step forward for both Linux enthusiasts as well as the mainstream consumer market," wrote Daniel Judd, Product Group Strategist on the Dell2Dell blog on Tuesday. "The answer is simple. With any operating system, we take gold code and take the time to do extensive testing on our systems to make sure that customers have as few issues as possible."
The Dell product manager cited "cool" 3-D visual effects, easier desktop search for applications and the "ability to quickly switch between users and easily share a system with family members" as key new features of Ubuntu's 7.10 release. He also cited two Dell developed innovations -- pre-installation of Flash and improved recovery options -- as other significant enhancements for Gutsy Gibbon on Dell consumer PCs.
Judd also one key request was the ability to watch DVD movies from the Dell Linux desktop. "We totally agree and that's why we now include built-in DVD movie playback with all Ubuntu 7.10 systems.The experience we wanted is simple — when you put a movie in, it plays. It is easy enough for a child and an example of the steps we are taking to make Ubuntu as enjoyable as possible.
Dell also promotes on its blog site a discussion between a Dell engineer and Mark Shuttleworth, CEO and Founder of Ubuntu. As part of that, Shuttleworth discussed the next version of Ubuntu due in April 2008 that will provide client support for three years and server support for five years, as well as enhanced integration with Windows networks.
ZDnet e-mailed Dell to inquire about its progress with Ubuntu before the blog posted on Tuesday but the company offered no comment.