Dell will officially launch its first three consumer PCs running the Ubuntu 7.04 Linux OS today: two desktops and an Inspiron E1505n notebook PC.

The new models give buyers a third choice when shopping for a PC at Dell: a machine with Windows installed, a machine with no OS, on which they can install one of their choice, and now a machine with Ubuntu Linux already installed. Other PC makers, including HP and Lenovo, also sell PCs that run Linux, but mainly on customised machines, because retail demand for the open-source OS is tiny compared to that for Windows.

The PCs will be available in the US after 4 pm Central Time from Dell's website. The laptop starts at $599, while the two desktops, the Dimension E520 and XPS 410n, start from $599 and $849 each respectively. A comparable XPS 410 with Windows Vista Premium costs $899.


Dell announced what flavour of Linux it would use in the PCs, Ubuntu 7.04, earlier this month. It's the same OS Michael Dell, the chairman and CEO of the company, uses on his Dell Precision M90 laptop at home.

Dell is targeting the Linux enthusiast market with the PCs, and said the choice of systems is a response to customer feedback collected at, a website set up to solicit customer suggestions. Over 100,000 people participated in surveys about the systems and what kind of Linux to install in the machines, Dell said in a statement.