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Dell releases Ubuntu Ultrabook

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The XPS 13 includes: Intel i5 Ivy Bridge CPU, 8GB of RAM, 256 GB SATA III SSD, and 13-inch 1366x768 display resolution. The launch hardware costs $1,549 and includes one year of Dell's "ProSupport."

The Profile Tool is almost a "reverse cloud" deployment utility, pulling distributed resources down from the cloud to your local workstation.

For example, if you want to develop a specific type of Ruby application, you can use Profile Tool to locate a preconfigured Ruby "profile" on Github that matches what you want to do, then clone that profile to your computer. Profiles can contain all the fiddly bits necessary to actually begin working—libraries, whole frameworks, dependencies, or anything else. Developer Edition users can build and share their own profiles for others to use. Someone who has painstakingly built the perfect environment for developing Node.js and Redis applications, for example, can quickly create a profile out of his setup and share it. Others who clone the profile will wind up with the same set of libraries, binaries, packages, dotfiles, and anything else included in the profile—all neatly contained in a sandbox in their home directory.

George even suggests there might be an opportunity for "signature profiles," where high-profile developers can package and share their specific working environments.

The other tool, the Cloud Launcher, is designed to let developers quickly and easily deploy projects to a cloud provider. It leans on Ubuntu's Juju cloud service deployment tool, which we touched on in our Ubuntu 12.10 review. Cloud Launcher is intended to let developers model an environment on the Developer Edition laptop, then click a button and have that environment automatically duplicated to a production location at a cloud service provider like Amazon EC2. Hawk-eyed readers will notice the Cloud Launcher GitHub repo is currently empty, but George assures us as the application matures and branches away from Juju the code will appear in the repo.

Both the Profile Tool and the Cloud Launcher are centered around the increasingly popular "DevOps" approach to development, which tries to remove barriers between developers and IT operations personnel. Building applications with a focus on DevOps means linking things together with an eye toward making it easy for developers to go from thinking things to prototyping them to deploying them. This angle is particularly important for a device like the Developer Edition laptop and Project Sputnik in general. The intended customers are cloud-minded developers, and gaining their trust and acceptance is critical for the product's success.

Fascinating that this is not competitively priced with buying a MacBook Air and loading Ubuntu on it.

Does Dell think DevOps people are too lazy to load their own Ubuntu's?

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