Your Next Laptop OS Could Sync from GitHub

Curtis Chen
Jun. 21 2012, 02:30PM EDT

If you're a coder who cares more about software packages than 3D graphics hardware specs, you may be the target demographic for "Project Sputnik," a Dell initiative to create a "developer laptop" based on Ubuntu 12.04 and Dell’s XPS13 hardware. The project is just getting started, and they want your input.

Barton George, Director of Marketing for Dell's Web vertical, has been blogging about the progress of Sputnik. A self-described "skunk works project," Sputnik was funded by a Dell internal innovation fund and given six months to prove its worth. George's blog posts and the discussion on IdeaStorm have attracted quite a bit of attention, and one of the big ideas is profile configuration. As George explains:

No two developers are alike so instead of stuffing the system with every possible tool or app a developer could possibly want, we are trying a different approach. As mentioned above, the actual “stuff” on the install image is pretty basic, instead we are working with a few developers to put together a tool that can go out to a github repository and pull down various developer profiles. The first profiles we are targeting are Android, Ruby and JavaScript.

Project Sputnik is also supported by Canonical, the company providing commercial support services and open source leadership for Ubuntu. The latest update announced that a new touchpad driver was available, enabling multi-touch usage. That in itself may not seem terribly exciting, but the fact that three disparate groups--Dell, Canonical, and hardware vendor Cypress--can work together on this project bodes well for its future.

Want to get involved? Join the Storm Session, comment on Barton's Blog, or download the Sputnik image to try it out on your own laptop.

(Hat tip: DevOpsANGLE)

Curtis Chen Once a software engineer in Silicon Valley; now a science fiction writer and puzzle hunt maker near Portland, Oregon. You may have seen his "Cat Feeding Robot" Ignite presentation. Curtis is not an aardvark.

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