I have purchased computers in the past from System76 (and been extremely happy with them) because they offer Ubuntu pre-installed. I’ve heard so many people praise ZaReason that I wanted to check them out. I just bought a (highly customized) Limbo 7110. So far, I am really happy, although I should confess I only received the system a few hours ago.
I’m also happy with how easy it is to migrate my entire setup using Linux (well, Debian-based, anyway). For those unfamiliar, here are the basic steps, with the same operating system and version installed on each computer (I have Ubuntu 10.10 on both of mine):
On the old computer, enter:
sudo dpkg --get-selections > pkg.list
Save the file and transfer it to the new computer along with your data (copy everything in /home, including all hidden files/folders that begin with a dot).
On the new computer, ensure that you have the same set of software repositories enabled (you can copy /etc/apt/sources.list or use another method as you prefer). Then, enter:
sudo dpkg --set-selections < pkg.list
to mark the packages for installation and:
sudo apt-get -u dselect-upgrade
to install them. Wait.
Reboot when done. Voila, your computer has been cloned. I make a lot of customizations and have a ton of data and non-default packages. Even so, the entire process took me less than three hours. My new system is set up identically to my old one, but faster and with more storage and memory. Rock on!