HP Finally Offers Pre-Installed Desktop Linux

For years now, HP has been slowly edging towards releasing a pre-installed Linux for general users. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols reports that this week, HP finally took the big plunge.
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For years, HP has been slowly edging towards releasing a pre-installed Linux for general users. This week, the company finally announced that it would be releasing Novell's SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) 10 SP 2 on its low-priced business class HP Compaq dc5850.

This new desktop offering is aimed at SMB (small-to-medium sized businesses) and education users. Anyone interested in a Linux-powered work desktop, though, will be able to put the SLED-powered dc5850 to use. While HP would sell you desktop Linux on a business PC in the past, it had to be 'ordered.' Now, you'll be able to get it 'off-the-rack.'

The dc5850 is a small form-factor desktop. It comes with a wide variety of AMD processors. These range from the 2.2GHz AMD Sempron LE-1250 processor to the quad-processor 2.3GHz AMD Phenom X4 9600B processor. The system can hold up to 8GBs of RAM, but typically comes with 512MB to 2GBs of RAM.

You also get a variety of choices for your graphics. These include integrated AMD Radeon 3100 Graphics; NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS or the ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT. You also have many hard drives to choose from. The one thing the drives have in common is that they're all fast. At the low end, there's a 80GB 7,200 rpm drive and you can go up to a 500GB 7,200 rpm drive or a smaller, but faster, 160GB 10,000 rpm drive. You an also pick from one of three removable SATA drives.

Why has HP finally taken the pre-installed Linux desktop plunge? Because, Lance Stevens, software product marketing manager for business PCs at HP, explained in a Linux Planet interview, "You're right. The Linux desktop option has been on the table at HP for several years. We evaluate the market, the customer requirements and competitive situation on an ongoing basis. We talked to educational customers in particular and it became apparent to us that now was the appropriate time to roll this product out."

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Tags: Linux, HP, AMD, Novell, nVidia

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