Dell’s New Linux Laptop Built For Developers Will Query Github Repositories for Profiles


Dell’s new Linux laptop built for developers will query github repositories for profiles that are shared and extended among people using the open-source laptops.

In a blog post update about “Project Sputnik,” Dell’s Barton George writes that Canonical, is now heavily supporting the project to develop an open-source laptop. The two companies, which have been collaborating quite a bit lately, are primarily focusing on two efforts:

  • The ProfileTool: In an interesting development, Dell and Canonical have decided that shoving every imaginable tools and app on the laptop makes no sense at all. The developer may instead go out to a github repository and install Android, Ruby, Javascript, etc.
  • Touchpad: A capability to allow mulit-touch support for the touchpad. The status of the driver to allow the multi-touch has been one of the biggest requests by the community. Baron writes: “Last week Dell and Canonical received two code drops from the vendor and they are looking very good.  Its only a matter of time now before we have driver in the XPS enablement PPA.  Stay tuned.”

What Comes Next

In the first phase, the teams are focus on installing bundles of packages with a YAML-driven approach.  According to Barton, this will allow developers to get installable components of the toolchains they need.

In the second phase, they will develop the user configurations with a focus on automating the set up of the developer’s toolchain and environment, using a model-driven automation tool like Chef or Puppet.

The goal is to get the configurations set up so developers can share their profiles, extend them and take the laptop into a new dimension.

This is a new way of thinking about hardware. It means sharing not just code but hardware configurations, too. With such an open-hardware  approach, the possibilities open up for a new generation of devices that give developers the opportunity to configure their machines in ways they never could before.

That’s pretty cool.

The team is looking for feedback. Comment on Barton’s blog.