Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has written an analysis for Desktop Linux about Dell’s announcement yesterday, concerning their official support for Linux on Dell notebooks and desktops. Over the next month or two, Dell will be releasing certain desktops and laptops with pre-installed Linux. Which laptops and which Linux distributions are going to be installed/supported is unknown at this time. It is known that hardware modems will be a necessity (assuming you use dial-up) as the WinModems won’t be supported, and Dell is not going to make changes in their lineups to accommodate hardware modems. There shouldn’t be a problem here, as there are several options – PCMCIA/PC Card Express/USB 2.0
Excerpt from the article:
While the Austin, Texas-based computer company was unwilling to go on record as to which distributions it will support, comments from Dell officials indicated that it is likely to offer support for multiple distributions. Recently, Dell asked users which distribution they’d like to see out of a selection of Novell/SUSE, Red Hat, Fedora, openSUSE, and Ubuntu. The results of that survey are still not known.
It does seem likely, based on comments from Dell insiders, that Novell SLED 10 (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) will be one of the supported distributions. Dell is already known to have been working with Novell to certify SLED on its business desktop line, including OptiPlex desktops, Latitude notebooks, and Dell Precision workstations.