Note from Lionel: It's been a while since I've talked about Linux on Direct2Dell. Shortly after Ubuntu 9.04 was released in April 2009, we had a request from IdeaStorm user Shannon VanWagner to start pre-loading 9.04. Though it's late, we're now offering Ubuntu 9.04 on a few more Dell machines to customers in the United States. Specifically the Studio XPS 13, Inspiron 15, and the Inspiron 537 desktop. The Mini 10 and the 10v are still running a customized version of the 8.04 version of the Ubuntu OS. And the Mini 10v can be ordered with Ubuntu Moblin Remix Developer Edition.
To see all the systems we're offering with Linux, go to www.dell.com/ubuntu.
With that context, I'll turn things over to John Hull so he can shed light on what to expect from Ubunu 9.04.
I'd like to give a quick update on the technical details for what we have added with our 9.04 release. We have continued to build and improve upon on what we did for our previous Ubuntu offerings, and here are some of the highlights:
- We now provide Cyberlink's PowerDVD application for DVD playback (instead of LinDVD which we previously shipped). We also continue to provide Fluendo GStreamer codecs for mp3, wma, and wmv playback, which will work with your favorite Linux media player.
- We created and provided a new GUI tool for creating recovery/restore media for the OS
- We provide a new method to recover your Ubuntu preload from the hard drive
- We have chosen to use GRUB 2 bootloader instead of the Ubuntu default GRUB 1 (a.k.a. GRUB legacy) bootloader. We have been testing GRUB 2 for over a year now, and feel it is ready for general use. The Ubuntu community has decided to make GRUB 2 the default in Ubuntu 9.10, so our customers will already have that feature enabled.
- A common complaint we heard a few years ago was that there were no Linux drivers for Dell wireless cards. As of the date of this blog post, all currently-shipping Intel- and Dell-branded wireless cards (as well as most from the past several years) are now supported natively in Ubuntu 9.04. These drivers should also be included in most other newer Linux distributions as well.
- Our Ubuntu 9.04 offering is still the 32-bit version and not the 64-bit version ("amd64" architecture). We continue to evaluate when to make the transition, and the main sticking point continues to be solid, stable Adobe Flash support for 64-bit. There are currently options
available in the community, including a beta of a native 64-bit Flash
plugin. However, none of these have proven to be reliably stable, so we'll continue working with Adobe until a viable option is available.
Update: Fixed broken links