The number of laptop computers sold each year is skyrocketing, and nearly half of all PCs now in operation are laptops. Is there currently a laptop Linux operating system distributor prepared to take advantage of this PC user migration from desktops to laptops?
Yes, there is, and as more Linux desktop users decide to go the wireless route, the number of laptop Linux OS distributors will increase. The laptop Linux picture improved dramatically when Dell introduced its, complete with the Ubuntu 7.04 version of the Linux OS.
But Dell, somewhat surprisingly, is only the latest in a series of laptop Linux vendors. An earlier effort at marketing laptop Linux systems, even more surprisingly, came from Walmart. Perhaps in an attempt to compete with the marketers of the world’s best-known computer operating system, MS Windows, the world’s best-known retailer chose the Linux distributor Linspire to build its Balance laptop Linux OS, which it introduced in 2004 with a $498 price tag.
The Walmart effort at mainstreaming laptop Linux computers has been suspended for the time being at least, but an online search does reveal several sites which offer information on vendors of laptops pre-installed with Linux Tuxmobil.org not only lists laptop Linux vendors, it lists vendors of laptop Linux accessories, Linux training, Linux PDA and PDA accessories, and Linux based mobile phones.
Of course, for the technologically gifted or the nothing-to-lose laptoppers among us, there is always the do-it-yourself approach to laptop Linux installation. Tuxmobil comes through again with installation guides for putting Linux on a variety of laptop models from different makers, all prepared by laptop users who have actually completed the task.
Installing laptop Linux systems can be a challenge even for those who have successfully migrated their desktops to Linux from Windows. Laptops, with their batteries, docking stations, and PCMCIA cards, are beasts different from desktops and frequently have hardware limitations because of their smaller disk capacity and slower CPU speed. It is also more difficult to change the hardware of a laptop Linux system.
If hardware support for any laptop system is problematical, and it is, and finding it for laptop Linux systems is even more so. Laptops frequently depend on specially engineered hardware for which finding drivers take considerable effort, and because laptops are meant to be used in different settings, they may require implementation of extra security measures. Installing a laptop Linux system may require configurations for both single-user and network use, and the security features which will protect it in both situations.
According to some who have been through the process, the secret to successfully installing a laptop Linux system is he key to getting a laptop working with Linux lies in investigation the architectural and peripheral details of the laptop and purchase one with graphic and wireless peripherals already established being compatible with Linux.
The perfect laptop/Linux marriage may be upon us in the Ubuntu-bearing Dell Inspiron Notebook 1420 N. But for those laptop users who are tired of Windows but do not want to surrender their present machines, there is the DIY Linux alternative. They simply need to develop the technological know-how to implement it.