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Ubuntu Friendly Notebooks


This page aims to collect information on how to get a Ubuntu Friendly Notebook in Australia.

A Ubuntu Friendly Notebook is also a Community Friendly Notebook. Emphasis will be given to those manufacturers and retailers who provide equipment and services in ways which benefits the entire Ubuntu community.

  • The details for this page are currently still being collected. Of most use would be details of any Australian retailers who are supporting pre-installed Ubuntu notebooks... see the notes at the end on how you can help.

If you are a laptop retailer in Australia.. a BIG hearty welcome! We would love to add you to our lists, particularly if you would like to be one of the first retailers in Australia to provide Ubuntu certified laptops. If not, well that's OK as well, but please be aware of some of the practices that will drive Ubuntu users away from you. (See the notes at the end of this page for more details.)

Ubuntu Friendly Notebook Retailers

Ubuntu Friendly Notebooks can be purchased from Ubuntu Friendly Notebook Retailers. Ubuntu Friendly Notebook Retailers have been divided into the following categories:

  • Retailers of Notebooks with pre-installed and supported versions of Ubuntu.

  • Retailers who will provide Laptops with a different distribution of Linux from Ubuntu.

  • Retailers who sell laptops with Linux overseas, but sell the same models in Australia without the choice of Linux.

  • Retailers who will provide Laptops without charging for unwanted operating systems or software and are suitable for installing Ubuntu.

  • Retailers which will sell you a 'standard' Laptop with another operating system installed, but who will provide you with a cashback for any software you don't use.

Retailers who Provide Pre-installed Ubuntu Laptops

These retailers supply Ubuntu pre-installed on their laptops.

See AustralianTeam/Projects/NotebooksWithUbuntu

Retailers Who Will Supply Notebooks With a Different Distribution of Linux

These retailers will supply notebooks with Linux, but not specifically Ubuntu. This normally implies a high degree of Ubuntu compatibility, and there's usually a good chance that they can be made to work well with Ubuntu. However, compatibility might be problematic if binary drivers are required.

See AustralianTeam/Projects/NotebooksWithADifferentDistro

Retailers Who Supply Linux Laptops Overseas

These vendors supply Linux on laptops outside of Australia, but do not offer Linux with the same models when sold in Australia. If the model is identical, you can get Linux working on it after purchase.

See AustralianTeam/Projects/NotebooksWithLinuxOverseas

Retailers Who Will Supply Notebooks Without an Unwanted Operating System

This section also includes retailers who may have a pre-installed operating system, but they don't charge for it. (FreeDOS, FreeBSD etc.)

See the following link for more details. It includes details on all retailers who have been kind enough to respond, and includes those who do and those that don't sell Notebooks without unwanted operating systems.

See AustralianTeam/Projects/NotebooksWithoutOperatingSystem

Retailers Providing a Refund or Credit on Unused and Unwanted Software

In the past, there have been retailers who have paid a refund for software which has not been wanted or used.

This is becoming more of an issue as retailers are bundling more software with their products to attract customers and make them more 'user-friendly'. Most of this software though has proprietary licenses and is not community friendly.

A Story - Why You Shouldn't Take 'No' as an Answer.

Geoffrey Bennett from Adelaide received a refund of $110 from Toshiba for an unused Microsoft Windows licence in 1998. For details see http://www.netcraft.com.au/geoffrey/toshiba.html

This case lead to International Microsoft Windows Refund Day, and caused Microsoft to rewrite their End User Licence Agreement (EULA) so that partial refunds for just the unused software was not possible.

How can I help?

Contacting Retailers

The Ubuntu AustralianTeam would like your help in tracking down Ubuntu Friendly Notebook Retailers.

If you are in contact with Notebook retailers, the following e-mail can be used to gauge their Ubuntu Friendliness. Please add your details to the list below so that we can avoid duplicating or effort.

We have also listed a couple of suggestions for follow-up emails.

Contact Letter

Subject: Are you able to supply PCs without an operating system?


I am carrying out research into PC retailers that supply PCs and Laptops capable of running Linux and in particular Ubuntu 6.06 LTS.

Do you:

  • Provide to customers any machines without an operating system installed?
  • Support Ubuntu Linux on any of your range of computers?
  • Provide a refund or sales credit for unused pre-installed software, should a customer not require it?


Follow-up Letter (User concerns)

Subject: How can a Laptop be made Ubuntu Friendly?

Ubuntu is a complete Linux-based operating system, freely available with both community and professional support and is developed by a large world-wide community.

When a Ubuntu user purchases Laptop hardware they usually have the following concerns:

  • How well is the hardware supported?

New laptops usually have at least one or two hardware support issues. One of the benefits of the Ubuntu operating system is that for popular models of laptop, these issues are mostly worked out by the volunteers of the community within 6 months. If a laptop is not as popular, then issues can easily persist. Early hardware support is one of the things that makes a laptop popular.

Ubuntu provides a Hardware Certification Program to assist vendors in this area. See: http://www.ubuntu.com/partners/certification/hardware

  • Do I have to pay for unnecessary software?

Should a user have to pay for something they are not going to use? By all means provide a bundle of user-friendly propriety software with your Laptops, but the Ubuntu community are more than likely already using equivalent software that is better supported, has more features and costs them nothing.

You can either provide Laptops without this software, or allow customers to return their unused software licenses for a refund.

The Ubuntu community is concerned about obtaining suitable systems for it's users and would welcome any progress that you could make on the above issues.


Follow-up Letter (Hardware Certification)

Subject: Ubuntu Certified Hardware

With regards to hardware certification, Ubuntu offers a Hardware Certification Program. Details can be found here:

This certification lets Ubuntu users know that they can install Ubuntu on your hardware and be assured that the unit will work as expected. It also ensures that third party support can also be made available through the community and Ubuntu's support channels.


Retailers Who Have Been Contacted

  • Digitac Pty Ltd - 15th June, 2006
  • Alienware - 15th June, 2006
  • Pioneer Computers Australia - 16th June, 2006
  • TwinHead - 17 June 2006

  • p4laptops.com.au - 19th June, 2006
  • Dell Australia - Email send via website - PaulSchulz - Sat, 17 June 2006

  • Sony Australia - Email send via website - JoshuaHenderson - Sat, 17 June 2006

  • The Recycled Office Shop, Adelaide - by Email - PaulSchulz - Sat, 17 June 2006

  • affordablelaptops.com.au - 19th June, 2006
  • Laptop Choice - 19th June, 2006
  • Acer - Email send via website - JoshuaHenderson - Thu, 22 June 2006

  • IBM Certified Used Equipment - Email via website - PaulSchulz - Thu, 6 July 2006

    • Replied - Fri, 7 July
  • BuyQuick.com.au - Email to website contact - PaulSchulz - Fri, 7 July 2006

Other Resources

AustralianTeam/Projects/HardwareDocumentation/UbuntuFriendlyNotebooks (last edited 2011-02-27 00:52:58 by joeladdison)