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Linux-friendly (or agnostic) vendors

This page collects Linux hardware vendor links. Its purpose is to help others and myself find vendors who will either sell PCs with Linux pre-installed, no OS installed (or FreeDOS), or which provide explicit linux support on their accessories.

Linux PC Vendors

FreeDOS/No OS PC Vendors

Other Vendor Lists



It can be a royal pain to get a PC with any OS other than Windows (or even just without Windows!) I tried several years ago and failed. Additionally, the Linux-hostile vendors (e.g. Toshiba, and quite possibly Dell) even make accepting the Windows license required for purchasing their PCs. When I bought my Toshiba Satellite 1605 CDS back in 2000, it came shrinkwrapped. On the shrinkwrap was a message which said in effect that breaking the shrinkwrap (to get at the notebook) implied consent to purchase Microsoft Windows with the PC. This was almost certainly in response to the Windows Refund Day back many moons ago (other links readily available from googling, along with various (horror, sometimes) stories about trying to get back the money for the copy of Windows, as guaranteed under the Microsoft Windows End User License Agreement (EULA). It makes for very interesting reading if you ever care to peruse them.)

Things weren't as bad as they were back then, but it's still not a terribly simple matter to get a PC without Windows (see also, Microsoft's "Naked PC" initiatives), let alone with Linux pre-installed. While some mainstream vendors have sold (and do sell) Linux PC's, it's generally quarantined off in a special section on their web page (e.g. with Dell, you must select their "Small and Medium Business" sections (apparently home users have no need for the option of Linux or no OS), and then NOT click on the shiny PC lines (those are all Window-only), but rather on a special link ("Dell Open Source Desktops"), one link in ("click on the desktops link at the top, and then avoid the "Business Power", "Business Optimized", and "Standard"; only Windows there). No notebooks are offered, of course, with Linux or even sans OS. And even then, you may only choose from 3 Linux desktops; the others come with FreeDOS (to avoid that pesky Naked PC thing). HP's site is very similar. From the University of Iowa site, only customizing your own notebook will give you a FreeDOS option (no Linux option), but you can get notebooks with FreeDOS instead of Windows (and you even get to save some money that way (about $60 last I looked; a real rarity from mainstream vendors--most charge you as much or even more than their Windows offerings (and almost always with a while different model, which often differs from the original Windows model). For instance, Polywell wanted $100-200 (not certain of the exact number) more than the Windows option (though, to their credit, they at least gave you the option for the same model, in one of the drop-down lists).

Because of this, I've put together this page, both to help me collect the information in one location for my next upgrade, as well as in the hopes of helping other Linux users out there avoid the Microsoft Tax on their Linux (or BSD, or BeOS, or Amiga, or whatever) PCs.

If you found this page helpful, please drop me a line at linux_vendors@digitasaru.net and tell me of any changes (adds/deletes). I may put this in a database at some point, but for now it should work manually.

Page last modified Sunday, 16-Apr-2006 14:15:15 EDT