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Dell's Ubuntu PCs available Thursday?

Blogger cites an e-mail from a Dell employee that says three Linux-based computers will be officially available Thursday, though Dell will not confirm that.

Several sources are reporting that Dell's previously announced Linux-based PCs will be available Thursday, though Dell is keeping mum.

Blogger Jeremy Garcia says on his blog that a Dell employee e-mailed him to say that the Ubuntu Linux OS will be available pre-installed on the E520 model desktop, XPS 410 gaming desktop, and 1505 model laptop, starting Thursday.

Garcia doesn't name his source, and Dell is not talking. Spokesman Kent Cook said he could not confirm models, dates or availability of the forthcoming Ubuntu PCs. He did say that the release is still on track for the "end of the month."

The world's second-largest PC maker announced in early May that it had chosen the "Feisty Fawn" Ubuntu version of Linux to be pre-installed on a few of its PCs after polling its customers on its IdeaStormblog.

This is not Dell's first go-round with offering Linux on its PCs. In 1999, it began offering Linux on some desktops, and on laptops the following year. In 2001, Dell dropped Linux from its offerings due to lack of demand.