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HP Selling Systems With Linux 302

jeffy124 writes: "We were all very upset last August when Dell discontinued selling Linux on their machines. Good news - HP's picking up the slack. They're shipping machines pre-installed with Red Hat 7.1. Unfortunately, checking their website shows that only business machines will have a Linux option; home machines are still WinXP only."
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HP Selling Systems With Linux

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  • For servers nix is amazing. For desktops, X still lacks too much to offer it as an alternative to Win.
    • What precisely does it lack? Specifics please, and quite a few given that you specified "too much".

    • X offers lots that Windows doesn't. The most useful to me is one app in one place that I can access anywhere. My job requires me to have two different offices. I run my X apps from one large system we provide to everyone. Mozilla, licq, etc, are all configured once, my prefs once, my contacts, once, etc, etc... I'm running the app on the same box irregardless of location. The only way I could do something similar in Windows is run a vnc server on a workstation and have vnc client everywhere, and then it's a dog...
  • by SlideGuitar ( 445691 ) on Monday February 18, 2002 @01:40PM (#3027268)
    "Unfortunately, checking their website shows that only business machines will have a Linux option; home machines are still WinXP only."

    The last thing "linux needs" right now is a bunch of unhappy home users with an OS that isn't quite ready for a casual user.... And it just isn't.
    • I'm a home user... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Marx_Mrvelous ( 532372 ) on Monday February 18, 2002 @02:13PM (#3027478) Homepage
      And i'd like to order Linux. I very much doubt that there'd be too many people accidentally choosing the Linux option.

      If anythimg it'll lower the cost of their machines as they get out from the Microsoft tax, making them better options for us system builders.
      • by Otter ( 3800 )
        I very much doubt that there'd be too many people accidentally choosing the Linux option.

        IMHO, what Linux really doesn't need is to be a $30 cheaper option in build-to-order lists.

        There's always complaining that Linux costs more, at least not less, than the same box with Windows. Leaving aside why that is (mostly far higher support costs, I'd guess), can you imagine what would happen if Linux boxes started winding up in the hands of users who knew nothing about it other than that they could save a few dollars by getting it?

      • Prepaid MS Tax (Score:3, Informative)

        by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 )

        If anythimg it'll lower the cost of their machines as they get out from the Microsoft tax, making them better options for us system builders.

        You haven't been paying much attention to OEM licensing discussions, have you? Linux Refund Day provided a great object lesson. The per-unit price for Windows is negligible. And that price is already paid whether your unit ships with Windows or not. To avoid the "Microsoft tax", OEMs will have to abandon Windows. And as much as I would like to see OEMs have that option, right now they don't.
    • Linux is _more_ ready for the home user than
      Windows is...
      Each user does need a "sysadmin" or a person
      who does "sysadmin" duties. Attempting to
      administer your own box without knowledge is
      not a terrifically good idea. If there are
      people in the neighbourhood who can help with
      the administration of a Windows system, Windows
      may be a good choice. If the "sysadmin" is remote,
      Linux is a better choice.

      Many users do _not_ play the latest whiz-bang
      games (certainly my grandma doesn't). My grandma
      needs a reliable information appliance that:

      1 - works reliably
      2 - is easy to use
      3 - is crash resiliant
      4 - software shouldn't cost more than hardware.

      Linux fits the bill nicely. Point 1: Linux 2.2
      is stable, Windows XP may be stable. 2: Windows
      is point and click; so is KDE. I can configure
      KDE to "protect" grandma from herself, I can't
      do this with Windows 9x, maybe with XP... 3:
      Linux offers logging file systems. Last time I
      checked (Windows 98), the check-disk procedure
      for a 60GB drive took in excess of 1/2 hour.
      Maybe XP solves this... Also, Linux handles
      application crashes more gracefully than Windows
      9x. 4: Here is the big item. Grandma uses a
      Pentium 266, purchased second hand, _without_
      a Windows license. Putting on Windows 9x (XP)
      would run around $200CDN, Office would be another
      chunk of money. The entire machine is worth
      $600CDN. Can't really justify the cost of Windows
      here, given Linux does a _better_ job than
      Windows 9x (not sure about XP though).

      I remotely administer this box on behalf of
      Grandma, and she is quite happy with the result.
      Yes, the "why not Windows/Office" question has
      come up, because that's what the neighbours use,
      and that's what the grandkids _want_ to use
      (for those shiny games), but the cost issue put
      the kibosh on the idea.

      Yes, Linux is READY for mass consumption.

      • I think your point about remote admin is the key one: unix may be too complex for a normal individual to look after, but so is securing your home windows server against network attacks.

        But all these home users need to know someone who will remote manage the box. Do we need to start a 'mentor a home PC user' program?

        I should point out that I did work in a tier 1 home PC operation, and there is enough of a minority of purchasers who dont know how to use a mouse to kill support margins. These are the people who drive down to walmart and buy a PC, and they and their friends are some of the people that the home vendors target. Linux is too much for them; hey, even WinXP is dangerously complex.

      • I agree with you, but get ready for some flames, Windows users get mad when you suggest they paid $189 dollars for something they could have gotten for free.
    • Besides, would you really want some company installing and configuring Linux for you?

      I for one, have gotten so far into the "Buy computer, reformat computer" mindset that it would be hard for me to accept a prefab computer even if it *did* have my obscure operating system of choice.

    • It's so refreshing to see somebody with common sense on slashdot. Casual desktop users don't want or need Linux yet; or BeOS for that matter. As much as I hate to admit it, W2K makes a pretty decent desktop for the average person.

      Also, a correction on the story, you can still buy a Dell with Linux [], Dell was just pragmatic enough to realize that Linux is currently a great choice for servers, but doesn't make sense for the desktop today.

  • But... RH 7.1 is a poor distro... Why not 7.2?
  • Dell... (Score:5, Informative)

    by L-Wave ( 515413 ) on Monday February 18, 2002 @01:40PM (#3027273)
    Dell is still installing Redhat on its servers/workstations.

    here [] is a link.
    • Re:Dell... (Score:2, Interesting)

      I tried buying a Dell Linux machine back in the days when they supposedly supported it. You could only get it on a few models, you were not given the option on their website, and they did not set up machines for dual boot. It wasn't much of a surprise that they didn't sell that many of them.
  • by drew_kime ( 303965 ) on Monday February 18, 2002 @01:41PM (#3027277) Journal
    Unfortunately, checking their website shows that only business machines will have a Linux option; home machines are still WinXP only.

    So much for the claim that Linux is only a toy, not ready for the business environment.
    • So much for the claim that Linux is only a toy, not ready for the business environment.

      In fact, it's only ready for the business environment. They're the only ones who can through the resources at it necessary to use it. Joe Average User doesn't have the money to buy books or time to read them in order to figure out Linux when he knows how to use Windows just fine.

  • Laptops (Score:2, Interesting)

    What about the laptops?

    I want all the sweets like hot-plug IDE devices (CD, DVD, CD-RW and floppy!), halt to memory and DVD playback.

    Until all those are made available out-of-the-box, Linux does not exist for me on laptops (or desktops for that matter). That's why I still use WinME on my laptop. At least that way I can watch my DVDs and swap DVD/CD-RW to a 3.5" drive without resetting the computer.

    • Re:Laptops (Score:2, Interesting)

      by filtrs ( 548248 )
      I've been using Linux on a laptop for quite a while now ... Although I don't have DVD, I have to disagree about the swapping bit of your statement. I regularly hot-swap CD and 3.5" and it works every bit as well as under Win.
    • Redhat 7.2 and the latest Compaq Evo.

      I got all that, except for the hot plug IDe devices (floppy isnt ide, and 98,me200,xp all freak when you hotplug a floppy and it becomes a DVD drive.) The floppy will not come back after switching back on compaq's at least.

      besides, when has anyone used a floppy drive on a laptop anymore? leave the dvd drive in there and forget the one silly little requirement that hasn't impacted any users for the past 2 years.

      I love watching dvd and divix files on my linux laptop... it's cool when people look over your shoulder and then say... "what is that!" and you say, "a free operating system that you can legally give copies to anyone you want. want a copy?" and then show them open office, and the plethora of other productivity apps.

      I gained 5 new members to the local LUG that way.
      Stealing microsoft customers one at a time is quite fun....

    • Yeah, for all that I use... wait for it.... a tv and a DVD player. Wow the technological advances in the new century.
  • No OS option (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drachemorder ( 549870 ) <brandon&christiangaming,org> on Monday February 18, 2002 @01:43PM (#3027294) Homepage
    You know, while the Linux option is a very good thing, I'd be just as happy buying a box with a blank hard drive. What makes the Linux option good is simply that it doesn't come with a Microsoft OS that I don't intend to use in the first place. I really don't want to pay for something I have no plans to use, and I'm quite capable of installing Linux on my own from CDs I downloaded and burned.

    So what I'd really like to see is the ability to buy an absolutely clean system from a major vendor at a significant discount (i.e. no MS tax).

    • Re:No OS option (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DrCode ( 95839 )
      Why do you require a 'major vendor'? PC's are built with generic parts, and lots of local shops will put one together for you for little more than the cost of those parts.

      Frye's also sells 'bare' systems.
    • Agreed. How in the heck can I be sure that they picked the right programs out of about 9000+ available for Debian? I'm sure RH and others have similar numbers. How do I know how it is set up?

      If you are running a Linux box, at home, or anywhere, knowing what is there is very important. That much power can be a good thing, or it can be very, very bad.

      Look at some of the specialty race cars of the late 60's that were sold as 'street cars' for homologation purposes. I know that the Boss Mustangs and many of the Hemi powered Chryslers had stickers saying "no warranty, you break it, you bought it" etc, etc. Even though these were the highest performance vehicles available at the time (for their intended purpose. No comments from the Porsche/Jaguar crowd). But they were also really dangerous in the hands of the untrained. The person buying this better damned site know what is going on.

      Same thing with a Linux box.

      Of course, perhaps M$ is best compared to Porsche 911's. Lot's of performance, but they pretend it is safe for the average slob. If you go from your Toyota/Honda FWD into a 911 with a 40/60 weight ratio... Guess you'll be learning mighty quick what oversteer means:) (Yes, I know this is largely corrected on the latest 911. I only hope M$ has fixed this on the latest XP:)

    • Well, M$ has always strongly fought this option. Afterall, according to M$, if people buy a blank computer, they are software pirates intending to load illegit copies of windoze on them.

    • No real discount (Score:4, Informative)

      by HardCase ( 14757 ) on Monday February 18, 2002 @04:51PM (#3028323)
      So what I'd really like to see is the ability to buy an absolutely clean system from a major vendor at a significant discount (i.e. no MS tax).

      Alas, it won't be so. The so called Microsoft Tax amounts to about $100. I was a technical support supervisor for one of the major PC manufacturers, so I had some involvment in cost analysis of the PC's we sold. Our licensing costs on the OS was between $35 and $45 (depending on the version) and Office ran about $45. Why so cheap? Obviously volume plays a significant role, but also Microsoft had no involvment in the manufacturing of the media. We received a "master" set of discs that were in turn shipped to our manufacturer who then made the media that we shipped. Microsoft incurred no costs outside of development.

      Another reason that you probably won't see "clean" systems is that most computer manufacturers are seeking to reduce the number of configurations available in order to reduce the cost of building the systems. Before I left my job in the PC manufacturing industry, my company had an exraordinarily broad catalog with substantial overlap between home and business systems, as well as a number of configurations that were rarely selected. That variety costs money...and also leads to mistakes, such as an overly ambitious salesperson who happily bundles a DVD drive, CD drive and CD-RW drive into a desktop system that has two 5.25" bays. But I digress...

      The number of systems that customers would order blank is vanishingly small as a percentage of total sales. My company would do it, but only for their "key" customers, organizations that ordered systems by the hundreds. Otherwise, it just wasn't worth it, particularly with the razor-thin margins in the business.

      I guess one way of looking at it is that because of the rapacious competition in the industry we're paying extraordinarily low prices for computers today. Sure, the extra $80-$90 that you pay for the OS and application software seems unfair, but on the other hand, the total system price is, quite frankly, a bargain, even with the inclusion of the unwanted OS.

      My suggestion (and I'm sure there's no shortage of those similar to it) is that if you want a system with a clean drive, you should build it yourself.


  • by Indras ( 515472 ) on Monday February 18, 2002 @01:44PM (#3027304)
    Imagine a Beowulf... ::head rings as he his slapped collectively by hundreds::

    By the way, what is the difference in cost on these machines without the Microsoft Tax?
  • No big deal (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ed Avis ( 5917 ) <> on Monday February 18, 2002 @01:44PM (#3027305) Homepage
    Who would want an HP 'home machine' anyway? Esp. after the previous Slashdot story with lots of comments about how badly made they are and how clueless / obstructionist the tech support is...
    • Amen!

      I have a lot of experience with many of the ranges of HP home and business machines *hint-hint*

      Currently the most productive box on my network is a 64mb P200 Vectra running OpenBSD - it serves as router, firewall, SMB server, MP3 streamer and web server - this machine now has as uptime of over 190 days (brought down to add an extra SCSI hard drive and is shoved in a closet. Fantastic hardware quality all round. It has never given me any problems (except for an unsupported AMD Lance NIC - swapped out for a Realtek). This was a surplus machine flogged for $20 from my workplace - best investment i ever made!

      As for Pavilions.... *spits*
    • HP...home...machines.....

      The number of times I've had problems with HP/Packard Bell home computers still ceases to amaze me. Duff CD drives, faulty memory, dodgy proprietary motherboards, the list goes on and on. There is no way you'd catch me or anyone I know going out and buying an HP. Ever.
    • Good point. Do you get the CD's if you buy Linux pre-installed?

      And if so, did they scratch out the 'CheapBytes' logo on them?
  • hp and linux (Score:2, Informative)

    by yobbo ( 324595 )
    Why are they shipping a distro that is nearly 1 year old! Especially considering it's successor has been out for months.

    Also, what happened with this rumoured mandrake on hp i've been hearing about? Were't they putting Mandrake as an option on home PC's ?
    • Testing... (Score:5, Informative)

      by cnelzie ( 451984 ) on Monday February 18, 2002 @01:53PM (#3027364) Homepage

      The reason that they are shipping a year old system is that that is what they tested with. They confirmed that their hardware will all function fine under that version of Linux. They must have fully tested and configured all aspects of the machine to be confident that what they are selling will work with the minimal amount of fuss.

      Since they may have spent six months or more testing, tweaking and then retesting, that is what they will ship. The testing cycle of any new product takes time and care. Simply slapping it together and seeing that is "mostly" works is just not good enough to put your name on something.

      HP is probably beginning to test or are nearing completion of testing Red Hat 7.2 on their systems. In another 6 months or so, they will probably have those systems ready to ship.

      That is the way that business operates. You will understand when, or if, you get into a position with a company that is looking at updating systems. Knowing that something "works" is not the same as knowing that it works by testing the heck out of it.

      .sig seperator
    • Most of our customers install their own loads anyway. But the ones that don't, don't run a leading-edge distro. And yes, there is a contract with Mandrake, and another with Progeny to work on Debian.


  • by Sarlok ( 144969 ) on Monday February 18, 2002 @01:45PM (#3027314)
    I get more coffee breaks due to reboots!
  • It's sad really... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by markph ( 255673 )
    The govt has been stepping up ... this is where they should step up. Let the consumer choose the OS they would like.

    Don't give me the, they have to because of a license agreement crap. It CAN be done if they choose to. That is why I ALWAYS suggest to a friend to by their computers LOCAL, you can always pick what OS you would like to use.

    Only one of the many reasons buying your own custom system from a local vendor makes sense.
    • I agree, it is sad.

      I also make the same recommendation. When I bought this computer six months ago, it was only because I knew the manager at the store - friend of a friend - that I could get it without an OS.

      The total cost for the system was NZD 2100, and the system would have cost NZD 2600 with WinME + XP Upgrade. I was lucky to be able to save that money.

      I talked to 3 of the national / international retailers at the time, and their deals were terrible - and none of them allowed sales of non-Windows operating systems, or for the machine to come with no OS installed.

  • LHr (Score:2, Informative)

    by xtype ( 41544 )
    What about the HP LHr series, intel based, servers? They have been shipping with RedHat Linux for years.
    Sure they are "servers" but they make a decent SMP workstation too with a Matrox G400 MAX installed.
    It is not a very big step for HP, packing Linux on the workstations.
    Not in my opinion.
  • Local Fry's (San Jose, CA) is selling PCs with Linux preinstalled. If you want WinXP, you need to pay extra.
  • Unfortunately, checking their website shows that only business machines will have a Linux option; home machines are still WinXP only.

    The big problem I see with this is that it really handicaps people that want to purchase a machine and either:

    A) Install an OS they already own, maybe Windows 2000 or another Windows version
    B) Install Linux

    This really just adds to the overall cost and is not something that everyone should have to pay!

    I can't find the link on Wired right now either (from yesterday I think), but some companies are shipping thier PCs without a recovery disk, instead putting the recovery data in a separate partition on the hard drive. This eats up (from what the story said) 4GB or so of space, not to mention the fact that if you get a new PC, you won't be able to carry over the OS to that machine...

    It's unfortunate that users have to purchase expensive software they might not need or even want.

  • first I want to hate them for this []
    but now they go and start ptting linux on there machines. What a person to do???
  • Definitely not new (Score:2, Interesting)

    by red_dragon ( 1761 )

    HP has been selling Linux workstations for a long time now. Their first ones were the Visualize xl and pl, and came with RedHat 6.something preinstalled. Only now they have been replaced with the x**00 series; some more information about them is available here. []

  • by pubjames ( 468013 ) on Monday February 18, 2002 @01:59PM (#3027395)
    We keep seein these articles with titles like is linux ready for the desktop?, is linux good enough for business, etc. I think these tend to blind us to the fact that the update of Linux has been nothing short of stunning.

    Remember, just four years ago sys admins had to hide their Linux systems so the boss wouldn't find out about them. And now, IBM, HP, Compaq, Sun and other heavy hitters of the IT industry are increasingly basing their strategies around it. And we all know that Sun didn't even really want to, they were forced to by changes in the market. That demonstrates the power of the change that is taking place.

    I had a go at using Linux in 1998. From many perspectives, it was, frankly, crap. Look where we are today, less than four years later.

    People always assume that everything happens really quickly in the IT industry, but it isn't so. Things take time. Decades sometimes. The amount of mindshare that Linux has got in the last four years is just fantastic. The revolution is happening, and it's happening quickly.

    People say that Linux can never compete on the desktop. I'm not so sure. At the moment it's grabbing bites out of virtually every other niche market in a way that Bill Gates must have dreamt about doing in the past. Now it must be giving him nightmares.

    I can't wait to see what's going to happen in the next four years.
  • On a business PC, I see a "OpenOS with Mandrake CD option" but no Redhat option.
    xe310-s2 system.
  • Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Monday February 18, 2002 @02:03PM (#3027426) Homepage Journal

    Our organization is looking at these closely as an possible replacement for Sun machines on the desktop. Running Linux on Intel hardware is very compelling from a price/performance perspective.

    The Good Thing® about HP supporting these is the assurance of the big name. Linux may be ready for the enterprise, but no one wants to be the pioneer, anymore than anyone wants to be the pioneer for WinXP in the corporate environement. Conservatism rules.

    In corporate IT support, you'd get real nervous rolling out brand X hardware and a Linux distribution whose track record of worthiness is only proven on the desktops of individual expert hackers. When hundreds of newbies pound the keyboards, you want to be reassured and know what to expect to face in terms of support issues.

    Enterprise-wide experience coming from a large company like HP (it could just as well have been IBM or Sun) is precisely helpful in this regard. The slightly outdated distribution is actually an encouraging sign that a lengthy test period has gone into the whole setup.

    • by pmz ( 462998 )
      Our organization is looking at these closely as an possible replacement for Sun machines on the desktop. Running Linux on Intel hardware is very compelling from a price/performance perspective.

      Be wary, though. Going from a Sun workstation to an HP PC is sort of like trading in a BMW for a Chevy Cavalier. Don't be suprised when those "up-front savings" dissappear when your support staff doubles and overall productivity drops due to flaky hardware.

      Brand-name UNIX workstations may look expensive up front, but my experience is that they wear like iron and take outright (computational) abuse. My experience with choice-component PCs has been bland at best. PC components--even good ones--just seem to fail more frequently.

    • Linux may be ready for the enterprise, but no one wants to be the pioneer, anymore than anyone wants to be the pioneer for WinXP in the corporate environement. Conservatism rules.

      You won't be the first one to put Linux on a desktop in a corporate environment. Cisco Systems already has an official Linux desktop distro (although they also support Win2k and Solaris/Sun workstations - part of an excellent program to give their employees the tools they need/want). And I was rather shocked to hear that an aerospace contractor in the local area has a Linux desktop deployment (I've always seen Aerospace contractors as ultra-conservative with IT).

      I have to wonder how many other corporate environments are quietly implementing Linux. Not in their server room. Not in their product. On the desktop.

  • I will be a trully happy man when HP can give tech support to those of us who insist on putting Linux on their Laptops.
  • Just out of curiosity, are there any major manufactures who will install non-redhat distros?
  • You want to integrate the robustness (is this a word) of Linux in a Corporate environment FIRST. This way, when the people who are running these systems go home at the end of the day, and have to use Windows on their home PC, they will wonder why.

    Microsoft dominates the Home User due to the fact that it is what people most run AT WORK. If the foothold takes, and Linux actually gets more than "Geek" approval, it will be a major step towards eliminating the Microsoft dominated users.

    It will require applications, and with home access via Broadband, people will also want to use the same applications. this could start a trend towards "If it isn't available, I will create it" similar to what happened under Windows. the development tools are already there. Linux just needs to be a presence and illustrate its effectiveness in daily Business Use.

    It would be great if DELL and COMPAQ would get back on the bandwagon, but sometimes you take what you can get.

  • This is no loss.
    1. Home users have time to build and install their own systems.
    2. Regular Linux users never buy prebuilt computers.
    3. People interesting in learning Linux are also plausible to build their own system.
    4. Joe Ordinary considering Linux will also consider having his friend - Joe Geek - build and set up a Linux box as his desktop machine.

    In otherwords, people considering Linux don't turn to HP.

    A little digression: how would Joe Ordinary react if his new PC didn't come with Windows, but with Linux? He just ordered a PC assuming it ran Windows.
    • you're point are valid, but if we want Linux to get more "brand awareness" it needs to get in fornt of more average users.
      I think it would be great if Joe Ordinary didn't have to call Joe Geek to use Linux.
      I also no a few Linux users that have bought low end cheepo machines. Linux can give them the usefullnes Windows can not.

  • by Thagg ( 9904 ) <> on Monday February 18, 2002 @02:31PM (#3027598) Journal
    HP was gracious enough to loan me one of these machines for a couple of weeks; so that I could write a review of it. I've only had it for a day, but it appears to be everything that one could ask for in a Linux graphics workstation. It's incredibly fast, has unbelieveable graphics, and has a customized RedHat configuration that just works.

    HP has seen the light, too, and is running XFree86 instead of the custom Xserver inherited from their HPUX platforms. Their first Linux boxes, released about a year ago, weren't running XFree, IIRC.

    More to follow, of course. One line summary -- The machines are real, and they rock.

  • I'm a life-long MS prisoner who recently made the transition to Linux. I had tried it a couple of years ago; when it started asking all sorts of geek questions about refresh rates and things like that, I figured, "not worth the bother."

    (Not that I couldn't have found the info -- I'm a tech-type/engineering dood, after all -- but I just didn't have the time. If it's not in the user manual for the hardware, I'm not going to search for it.)

    In December, I purchased Mandrake 8.1 and was blown away. It's actually *easier* to install than Windows was. Yes, the desktop has its irritations -- for example, because of my eyes, I can't go higher than 800x600, and some of the windows in KDE are "fixed" at higher resolution, so part of the window runs off the screen -- but I am having a blast.

    My point, of course, is that zillions of people like me are discovering Linux for the first time. We are enjoying it very much. Like one poster says here, rather than being upset that Linux is taking two steps f'wards and one step b'wards, be glad of the fact that it's making inroads. Plus, you DON'T want it to be released to the unwashed masses until it's completely ready.

    (My own experience a couple of years ago almost soured me to Linux, but a fellow engineer encouraged me to try the latest distros. I'm glad I did.)

    The only reason I keep Windows in a dual boot was so that I could run Turbo Tax and a few games. But everything else is done in Linux now. I also expect this problem to go away in the future. I'm committed.

    Patience, folks. Linux is getting there. Rather than worrying about a minor setback today, be confident of where Linux will be in a year or two.

    Even YOU might be surprised. :)

  • I'm pretty sure HP ships Mandrake, not Red Hat: []

    "HP to support Mandrake Linux on desktops
    By Matthew Broersma
    ZDNet (UK)
    January 30, 2002, 11:00 AM PT

    France's MandrakeSoft has teamed up with Hewlett-Packard in the open source camp's latest foray into the desktop PC market. The agreement, announced on Tuesday ahead of the LinuxWorld Expo, will see HP build and promote Mandrake Linux-based desktop PCs for European and North American businesses.

    Linux is based on an open source license that prevents any one company from owning the software, and competes against Microsoft's dominant Windows operating system, which is kept under tight proprietary control. So far, however, Linux has mainly succeeded in the server market, where ease-of-use is less important than reliability and performance.

    The HP deal aims to address some of the problems that have prevented desktop users from adopting Linux, such as the lack of technical support.

    Mandrake Linux will be certified on all of HP's business PCs, and will be offered in a premium package that includes telephone, on-site and remote support. MandrakeSoft is to provide technical support for HP's teams, according to the companies. The PCs will also be available without support.

    "This alliance is a testament to HP's strong commitment in Linux market," said Eric Rueda, software marketing manager of HP Business Desktops division, in a statement.

    Other companies have tried selling Linux on desktops in the past. Dell stopped offering Red Hat Linux on its desktop and notebook PCs last autumn, citing lack of demand, but says there is more potential for the software on servers and workstations."
  • by Sj0 ( 472011 )
    Why are they using RedHat 7.1? 7.2 is much better. It supports ext3(which irradicates the one problem I had with linux -- file systems could get hurt far too easily by a power failure) and the second-newest KDE(which is a fairly significant step in the right direction regarding eye-candy from the KDE in 7.1)

    Sometimes I wonder about these companies............
  • Unfortunately, checking their website shows that only business machines will have a Linux option; home machines are still WinXP only."

    And they'll likely stay that way, remember back a while on /., this story [] (I sure I remember a more recent and more applicable one shortly after the death of BeOs but I couldn't find it anywhere. Either way HP does not have the option of selling a duel boot machine with linux and windows due to their agreement with M$. Acorrdingly the only way to sell a home machine with linux is to sell it with only linux. I suspect that most users who are good enough to use only linux will probably build their own machines in the first place.

  • ...cause Linux ain't personal yet. Microsoft already has a monopoly on the desktop; it's not like Linux will be losing marketshare.

    With that in mind, it's probably better that Joe Sixpack doesn't get exposed to Linux at this point. Right now, it is likely that he will be turned off to it and hate it. When replaced with WinXP, Linux on the desktop, from a newbie point of view, will look horrible from a usability point of view.

    Better to wait until it actually is easy to use without looking at half a dozen HOWTOs before unleashing on the masses.

    For example: how does one install a new program on RedHat? Assuming it's an RPM, the user opens a command prompt and *bzzzt!* Linux just lost. On Debian, assuming you have a deb file, the user opens a command prompt and *bzzzt!* Linux just lost again. Are there GUIs for this? Sure. Are they sufficiently easy to use for a newbie (Are they easily accessible from the system menu or an icon)? Not yet.

    Sure there's apt and Red Carpet, but those are for specific channels -- mainly Ximian and RedHat. The vast majority of Windows users use programs that are not in the standard Windows install. As such, installing programs on Linux that are not part of a standard distribution seems logical to me and necessary.

    Browse to software site and download (or insert CD), double-click on file, and have it installed and ready to run without ever opening a command prompt or needed to read a manual or a HOWTO. You want Joe Sixpack who doesn't "get" computers and has no desire to "get" computers? This is the entrance fee.

    After all, how many of you drive a car, but don't know how an engine works (or even what kind of airbag it has)? Knowing how it works should not be a prerequisite to using it.
  • Yup, but I'm not sure that it's such a great deal since the reason for this is them dropping HP-UX.

    Everybody repeat with me, there's 1 less version of Unix out there...
  • by big.ears ( 136789 ) on Monday February 18, 2002 @03:04PM (#3027778) Homepage
    I don't know if they are going to convince themselves that selling linux is a good idea. From here []:
    The hp workstation x1000 with Intel® Pentium® 4 processor running at 1.7GHz. This minitower configuration includes Windows 2000 Professional®, 20GB IDE Hard Drive, 128MB SDRAM, 48X CD-ROM, Matrox G450 graphics plus keyboard, mouse, power cord and recovery media.


    and from :here []:

    hp workstations x1000 - Linux
    Red Hat Linux 7.1, Intel Pentium 4 processor at 1.7GHz, 20GB IDE HDD, Matrox G450, 128MB SDRAM, 48X CD, power cord, media and manuals.:


    I think I'll get the windows version and install debian myself.
  • Unlike XP - do you suppose that you actually get the Linux CD's instead of a recovery partition? ;-)

  • A client needed some work done on a few of their Linux systems. They allow incoming traffic onto their LAN only through their Intel NetStructure VPN appliance. No problem, "send me the client software" I said, and they did. It was for Windows only!

    So I undertook some research. Intel bought their NetStructure line from Shiva some time ago. After a few of their (Intel's) chip customers complained long and hard about competitive issues a la pre-packaged devices such as NetStructure, Intel decided to get out of the appliance biz. Then stopped making the NetStructure VPN appliance. They sold it to HP. Here's Intel's announcement [] and here's HP's announcement []. Here's an IT World story [] about the same thing. They all tell how Intel's NetStructure 31xx VPN Gateway product line will still be available through HP as the HP VPN Server Appliance SA3xxx series. These are basically old Shiva products - hence their use of SST (Shiva Secure Tunnel) tunnels which are AFAIK unique to these products.

    Here's the catch: while these server appliances run Linux (I know I saw that somewhere but I can't remember where) they have no Linux client software! Here's Intel's support page [] (look for their client software support) and HP's support page - don't have the URL handy but I'm sure of it - contains the same information.

    The upshot of all this is that in order to work on Linux systems at a remote location from my local PC, I have to pass through a VPN Gateway which also runs Linux, but I have to use Windows on my end for the VPN client. What a crock! I looked into free/Swan but it doesn't do Shiva Secure Tunnels. Until HP gets serious about this one particular product line and gets some Linux client sotware into the picture, I'm steering clear of anything else they may trumpet as part of their "We do Linux" hype.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972