Dell is set to start selling consumer-targeted desktop and laptops pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux at the end of the month. This is really fantastic news and I’ll probably order on day one, I just hope they offer some Latitudes.
Yes, I’m working on it right now, and it makes even the Mac OS seem like a forest of unnecessary gizmos. Linux is blazingly fast compared with Microsoft’s OS, utterly simple, complete with any application you can imagine and – more amazingly – based on an entirely different philosophy than Windows. There’s a spirit of abundance and transparency in this Linux universe. Need something, and you just grab it. Pay, if you like, what you like, when you’ve determined its of value to you.
Linux Journal has a sample chapter from Scott Granneman’s new book [*Linux Phrasebook*](http://safari.ciscopress.com/0672328380?tocview=true), which looks like an introduction to the Linux command line only organized by task with lots of examples. I like this format because it’s how I try to keep [my own notes](http://benw.pbwiki.com/LinuxPhrases) on things I need to do. It’s also much easier than wading through man pages for the options you need.
Trolltech will ship a Linux-based GSM/GPRS/WiFi phone in September. I want one!
Greg Kroah-Hartman’s OLS keynote on Linux Kernel Myths is very interesting.
>And by secure, I really mean it. A lot of times a security problem will be found in one driver, or in one core part of the kernel, and the kernel developers fix it, and then go and fix it up in all other drivers that have the same problem. Then, when the fix is released, all users of all drivers are now secure. When other operating systems don’t have all of the drivers in their tree, if they fix a security problem, it’s up to the individual companies to update their drivers and fix the problem too. And that rarely happens. So people who buy the device, and then use the older driver that comes in the box with the device, which is insecure.
Cory Doctorow is switching to Ubuntu! How many tech luminaries can Ubuntu rack up in the span of a few weeks? [Tim Bray](http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2006/06/15/Switch-From-Mac) is switching, too. Next Walt Mossberg will post a [glowing review](http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/ptech-20050428.html) and [Scoble](http://scobleizer.wordpress.com/) will replace his Vista Beta install with [Dapper](https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DapperDrake).
Updated: I keep a more current list on the wiki.
Now that Mark Pilgrim has switched to [Ubuntu](http://www.ubuntu.com/) he’s updated his essential software list. Here’s mine:
1. [Ubuntu](http://www.ubuntu.com/), Linux for human beings.
2. [Vim](http://www.vim.org/) + [Markdown Vim Mode](http://plasticboy.com/markdown-vim-mode) + [bufexplorer](http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=42) + [svncommand](http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=922), for people who don’t like taking their fingers off of home row.
2. [Nautilus File Manager](http://www.gnome.org/projects/nautilus/). Put Nautilus in spatial, tree-view mode and create some connections to remote servers you access regularly and you won’t know how you lived without it.
3. [Firefox](http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/) + [Adblock](http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fadblock.mozdev.org%2F&ei=UD2hRIHlBZqAwgK7nun4Cg&sig2=pOR8eyXD_Rjbb303-05LsA) + [Firebug](http://www.joehewitt.com/software/firebug/) + [Greasemonkey](http://greasemonkey.mozdev.org/) + [Gmail Smart-Delete Button](http://smart-delete-button.blogspot.com/) + [mplayerplug-in](http://mplayerplug-in.sourceforge.net/). I try to keep things simple.
4. [Gmail](http://mail.google.com/mail/). I still haven’t found any other web or desktop mail reader that has one-key archiving plus fast, indexed search, which is the killer Gmail combination.
4. [Google Reader](http://www.google.com/reader). I was using [feeds.reddit.com](http://feeds.reddit.com) but it recently lost the essential feature of hiding read items.
4. [Backpack](http://www.backpackit.com), I’m [still](http://plasticboy.com/archives/2005/05/11/backpack-and-web-only-gtd-the-verdict/) keeping my life in here.
4. [GAIM](http://gaim.sourceforge.net/). GAIM has plugins? Who knew?
5. [gThumb](http://gthumb.sourceforge.net/). Who needs camera software? I use a card reader and organize photos in good old-fashioned folders before uploading them to [Flickr](http://www.flickr.com/).
6. [Rhythmbox](http://www.gnome.org/projects/rhythmbox/), mostly just for downloading podcasts.
7. [Rhapsody.com](http://www.rhapsody.com/), all-you-can-eat, Linux-compatible, DRM-free (I think) music streaming.
8. [Beagle](http://beagle-project.org/Main_Page), fast, indexed desktop search.
9. [GNUCash](http://freshmeat.net/projects/gnucash/). It’s old and ugly but rock-solid and I have years of data in it.
10. [GNU Screen](http://www.gnu.org/software/screen/). Run console apps detached! Do everything in a single terminal window! Impress your friends and strike fear into the hearts of your enemies!
10. [OpenSSH](http://www.openssh.com/). Kind of goes without saying.
10. [rsync](http://samba.anu.edu.au/rsync/) + scripts based on [Mike Rubel’s](http://www.mikerubel.org/computers/rsync_snapshots/contributed/ben_gardiner) for backups.
CRN do a head-to-head comparison of Windows Vista and Novell SUSE Linux and like what they find.
> The basic question here is, can solution providers count on Linux to fill the gaps? The simple answer is yes.
> SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 has the feature set, compatibility and flexibility to meet the needs of most corporate desktop users. What’s more, at a price point roughly one-tenth of what Vista and Office 2007 will cost, SUSE Linux becomes harder to ignore.