Selling systems with Fedora preloaded.

Gain Paolo Mureddu gmureddu at
Sun Nov 27 20:11:23 UTC 2005

Hash: SHA1

    I posted this on http//
and at Rahul Sundaram's suggestion/request I'm posting this here also.
The verbatim copy of the posted test follows:

- ---- Begin Original Text ----

A friend of mine for whom I built a system, recently approached me and
asked me why didn't I started selling Linux based PCs... My primary
field of work is not system building or integration, but what moved
the most was what he said regarding the predominant position or a
certain company from north-western US, and I'm like  (sarcastic)
"Yeah, let's sell Wallmart's $300 USD PCs! Jeeze!" That started a
discution which turned into a plausible plan to kickstart (or at least
try to, anyway) a company, however I have some questions. Anyway I'm
affraid I may end up sending a couple e-mails to the lawyers in Red
Hat to better grasp this.

Well the plan is simply that: Build and put together Linux PCs and
then sell them. That's the basic idea. Now I've got some questions:

*) How far could we (if we walk down this path, anyway) modify the
default Fedora installation to better fit customers? (installing some
Extras packages and maybe Flash/RealPlayer/mPlayer/Xine; 32-bit apps
for backwards compatibility on 64-bit Linux boxes)

*) As far as Look'n'Feel go, would there be problems if the default
desktop settings are changed a bit (theme, icon set, color schemes)?

*) Even though Fedora does not ship with them, could we be able to
deliver the built systems with all necesary drivers, provided a
warning in the manual that stated the drivers are not part of the
distro DVD the customers will get, with instructions on how to get
them and install them?

*) The cost of the systems would be based only on the price for the
hardware, being the software totally free, and possibly a small fee
for support (for instance 30 bucks for 6 months of extended support
and installation help). We've not completely outlined the systems we'd
be offering, but they'd all be x86_64 based (and we yet have to decide
whether to install 64-bit versions or 32-bit of the OS).

I know we could be using other distributions which would allow us to
have the systems installed that way, but we'd like to stay with Fedora
(since we both use Fedora and like it above other distros). We are
aware of the legal issues surrounding applications, especially
multimedia apps, I'm more worried about hardware dirvers and the like,
though. We are also pondering (if the multimedia apps is such a
pitfall) to only provide in the documentation instructions on how to
install such programs, but probably we would like to know also if
there would be any problems by having other repositories (like Livna)
configured in the systems.

I appreciate your comments and I'm very excited about this project.
Maybe we could manage to at least place Linux a bit higher down here
in Mex. Though we are thinking on offering pretty much higher-end
systems and probably Workstations.

- ---- End of Original Text ----

I know that this may bring some legal issues. But first I feel
compelled to carify some of what I wrote up there. First and foremost,
the only modifications planned to the "default" installation would be
regarding theme and icons, however not modifying the Red Hat/Fedora
logo for the menu entries (it'd be a custom icon-theme that we plan on
releasing on, and if we manage to make
one, an RPM for Extras). No other logos/trademarks would be removed
from the installation.

In the event there would be a problem by providing any of the other
packages (Flash/RealPlayer/etc), how about providing only selected
programs from Extras? Or would the users be required to get the Extras
programs they want from Extras, leaving only a default install of
Core? As I said above, I'm especially worried about device drivers. At
the moment I'm going through all the material there's at, just wanted to post this earlier
(while I still read) so you guys cand advise. Thanks.
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