Both Dell and HP officially support Linux. Compare Dell and Linux and Open Source and Linux from HP. But Dell also has Dell Linux Engineering Web and Dell Home & Home Office Ubuntu pages.
So, it might appear Dell is a better source if you want to buy hardware with Linux installed. And maybe that’s the case, going by the rest of the web. First off, there’s this: The LXer Interview: John Hull of Dell a conversation with John Hull, manager of the Dell Linux Engineering team, who talked about things like getting hardware driver support in Linux.
Dell is getting the Linux desktop job done, apparently. For example, one of the big issues with Ubuntu is getting it to play DVDs, right out of the box. Not possible with vanilla Ubuntu, but Dell has gone ahead and fixed that (in other words, adding value for their customers). Linux Update: Ubuntu 7.10 and Built-In DVD playback. Read the article, because it points out other added value Dell provides with their Ubuntu installs, as well as pointing out how customers made the suggestions–and Dell listed to them.
If I were in the market for a new PC, dude, I’d be getting a Dell.
Not an HP. Because there’s this from Matt Parnell: Gee, Thanks HP…Your Support Stinks! Now, HP hardware is probably just as good as Dell’s, but it turns out that they’re still relying on the old "unsupported software voids our responsibility for fixing bugs" excuse. Matt quoted a response he got from HP Total Care when he reported a BIOS bug, and it’s just too good not to repeat here:
HP does not recommend installing of Linux Operating System, it could not guarantee a high level of compatibility for all basic hardware and software components of the PCs.
Now, I realize that this is just a semi-automated response from the outsourced tech support team, and it probably doesn’t accurately reflect the corporate message that HP wants to send–but it sends a strong message to anyone who might ever want to consider using Linux.