Dell #1 system vendor on is an open source project started by the fabulous Mike McGrath, Fedora Infrastructure leader, which lets users opt-in to provide information about their hardware and OS.  Perhaps you’ve seen the opportunity during Fedora‘s firstboot to submit your hardware profile, and wondered what that was.

Fedora firstboot smolt screenshot

Fedora firstboot smolt screenshot

Users can use the statistics gathered by smolt to see which systems are popular, and to rate and see the ratings other users give.  The Dell Latitude D630 currently shows as the top-rated name-brand system, noting that everything “just works” – just like I like it.

Smolt statistics can also be used to influence companies to invest in Linux.  I’m pleased to see Dell ranked as the most popular system vendor listed (see Vendor tab).   This isn’t simply people expressing their opinion and wishes, but people voting with their wallets.  This reflects the commitment I and my teams have made for the last 10 years to ensure Linux “just works” wherever we can.

Smolt Vendor List

Smolt Vendor List

Smolt is available for Fedora, Ubuntu, RHEL/CentOS, openSUSE, and perhaps your other chosen distribution as well.  If not, visit the project page (above) to help include it.

7 thoughts on “Dell #1 system vendor on

  1. appreciate all of you effort. I am especially impressed with your personal dedication to participating in the Fedora community above and beyond just what makes Dell better. Now if we could just get Mr. Brown a kitchen pass. . .

  2. So…. can you reach into the Dell empire and get Canonical to commit to including smolt support in Ubuntu as a benefit to Dell? If the smolt statistics are useful for your linux work inside Dell, would there be additional benefit by having those Ubuntu-Dell installs in the composite stats?

    There is a debian ticket open with some discussion about getting this in debian. Both Mike and Ricky are communicating in it. Ubuntu appears to be waiting for debian to a smolt package first before making it available in Ubuntu. That’s reasonable I guess. But there’s no standing commitment from Canonical to integrate smolt into the default user experience over its on in-house Ubuntu-specific system reporting tool. If this isn’t important to Canonical, then it makes sense for them to wait. Does Dell as a business partner think it should be important to Canonical? If a cross-distro tool like Smolt is more valuable to Dell than a set of distro specific tools.. you should probably try to find a way to get the person at Dell who plays golf with Shuttleworth to vigorously relay that information.


  3. Generally Canonical is reluctant to including any tools that would send any personal information by default. This is why popularity-contest is disabled by default. If you don’t know what it is, it counts the stats for what packages are installed.

    It would indeed first be important to see smolt in Debian though first anyway. It then comes to Ubuntu maintenance free and Canonical can decide whether to integrate it.

  4. Bernie, there is a significant difference between what works, and what a company chooses to productize. While it’s true that Dell chooses not to produce, test, certify, and “support” (I hate that word…) the OMSA software on Fedora, the hardware happens to run Fedora just fine, because of our strong insistence on open source device drivers, maintained in, for all our server components. Fedora, as a close follower of the mainline kernel, benefits from this.

    As for blog software, it’s straight-up wordpress…

  5. Great stuff, Matt — I note that I spend most of my time (in both a workday and a general life sense) on my Dell XPS M1330 and love it. I used to have an all Intel model, which was awesome because everything worked out of the box with completely free and open source software. When I had an accident with the first one, Dell replaced it (without any hassle, mind you) with an upgraded model with Nvidia graphics. Mind you, I wasn’t going to complain because of all the other stuff they threw in, but I do miss the days of 3D hotness on Intel.

    Make this one big thumbs up for Dell from a happy user and customer. It’s nice to see Linux users recognizing vendors who are doing the right thing by the free software community wherever they can.

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