The world literally runs on Linux, the kernel. But Linux is also the preferred platform for developers and sysadmins who use it build and manage the services that we all use.

These IT professionals needs powerful – and at the same time elegant – hardware to run the most widely used technology in the world.

Barton George, a Senior Architect at Dell saw this demand and started a project within the company called Project Sputnik. The goal of the project was to bring the best of the breed Dell systems to Linux users.

One big difference between average home users and IT professionals is that pros want to extract every ounce of performance from their machines. Instead of leaving the Linux users to their own devices and figure out how to install Linux on these machines, Dell become the only major brand to offer systems with Linux pre-installed.

Dell maintains its own stack of software, including drivers, fully optimized for these machines so users get the complete ‘out of the box’ experience.  Officially, Dell supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Canonical’s Ubuntu.

The fact is, no matter how uncanny it sounds, Linux will never capture the desktop space with traditional operating systems like Ubuntu.  Windows and macOS will remain the dominant platforms; Chrome OS might make some dent but it’s not ready for engineers like Linus Torvalds.

The reason behind Linux’ failure on desktop is more complex than many make it to be. Companies like Red Hat, SUSE and Canonical have been smart enough to realize that and have walked away from desktop to squarely focus on enterprise users instead of average PC users. Dell is also looking at the same professionals.

Earlier this month, Dell announces some entry level Sputnik Laptops aimed at average Linux users, now the company has released a slew of powerful machines that are capable of running Machine Learning frameworks like TensorFlow.

George has announced three new ‘Developer edition’ laptops running Linux: Precision 5540, Precision 7540 and Precision 7740.

Precision 5540 gives you Intel Xeon E or 9th Gen Intel Core 8-core processors along with 4TB of storage, 64GB of memory and NVIDIA Quadro T2000 (4GB).

Precision 7540 let’s you choose Intel Xeo E or 9th Gen Inte Cor 8-core processors and go all the way to 128GB of 2666MHz ECC memory.

The most powerful of these machines is Precision 7740 which also offers the latest Intel Xeon E or 9th Gen Intel Core 8-core processors. The 7740 comes with up to 128GB of ECC memory, and a large PCIe SSD storage capacity (up to 8TB). You can run he latest NVIDIA Quadro RTX graphics, up to the RTX5000, deliver real-time ray tracing and graphics-based AI acceleration. If you are in the AMD camp, you can also choose the next-generation AMD Radeon Pro.

George hasn’t shared the availability or pricing of the machines yet.


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