Dell touts Linux laptop for Android, JS devs

Dell is prepping a dev-centric laptop that runs Ubuntu 12.04 on XPS13 Ultrabook hardware.

Dubbed Project Sputnik, the laptop and accompanying Ubuntu build features a range of profiles and other goodies for Linux, Android, Ruby and JavaScript developers. 

“Hardware enablement is table stakes but where Sputnik starts to get interesting is when we talk about profiles. No two developers are alike so instead of stuffing the system with every possible tool or app a developer could possibly want, we are trying a different approach,” Dell rep Barton George explained in an official blog post.

“The actual ‘stuff’ on the install image is pretty basic, instead we are working with a few developers to put together a tool that can go out to a github repository and pull down various developer profiles. The first profiles we are targeting are Android, Ruby and JavaScript.”

George also told Klint Finlet of DevOps Angle that although only download images are available, Dell would ultimately “like to ship laptops with a basic configuration pre-installed, and then have the profiles available for download from a repository.”

Interestingly enough, George is also in touch with Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth, who says he has some “big ideas” about tying Sputnik to OpenStack clouds to help create a true DevOps-centric laptop.

Ubuntu – based on the Debian Linux distribution – was first released on October 20, 2004. Named after the Southern African philosophy of ubuntu (“humanity towards others”), the OS is distributed as free and open source software, using its own desktop environment.

Canonical has steadily rolled out new versions of Ubuntu every six months, maintaining a commitment to support each release for eighteen months by providing security fixes, patches to critical bugs and minor updates to programs. Every fourth release, issued on a two-year basis, receives long-term support (LTS).

By the time Ubuntu reaches 14.04, the OS will offer full support for smartphones, tablets, TVs and smart screens.