Dell spins customized Ubuntu

Bad things can happen even to good computers. If something bad happens to a Dell PC with pre-installed Ubuntu, Dell is now providing a customized Ubuntu to make certain that everything returns to turn to tiptop shape.
Earlier the week of Sept. 10, Dell announced that it was making “remastered” Ubuntu 7.04 CD and DVD ISOs available for download. According to John Hull, Linux OS engineering manager for Dell, based in Round Rock, Texas, these images are intended to “help with installing the OS on the Inspiron 1420 and 530. This media includes the drivers and fixes necessary to get the OS up and running with supported hardware on those systems.” In addition, the ISO images will work with the Dell Inspiron E1505n.

In particular, these disks make getting everything back into order on misbehaving 1420n laptops go much more smoothly. In the past, getting Ubuntu 7.04 back to being fully functional on a 1420n was a job better suited for a Linux guru than an ordinary Linux user.

The remastered Ubuntu images are specifically for the 1505, 1420 and 530 models. However, they might also serve to put a more fully functional Ubuntu on other Dell models. In a response to a question on a Dell forum about whether the images could be used to install Ubuntu on a Vostro series notebook, a series of inexpensive SMB (small to midsize business) notebooks, Hull replied, “We have only tested this on the systems we support, but it should provide at least an equal experience to the standard Ubuntu images. We’d be [glad] to receive feedback on how it works with other systems.”

Hull also said that while Dell had no plans to offer Kubuntu, the version of Ubuntu that uses KDE as its desktop, Dell would be providing “information soon on how we made the ISOs that you may be able to use to make your own with Kubuntu.”

All these images, both the ones from Dell and the ones that people might make for themselves, “are both unofficial Dell recovery media. They are not officially Dell-supported.” So, in the event of trouble with them, the Dell Linux team recommends looking for help on the Dell Linux-desktops mailing list.

Both the DVD and CD ISO images are available now for download.

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