We haven’t heard much about Ubuntu Light – the simplified ‘instant on’ version of Ubuntu intended for use on dual-boot laptops preinstalled on Windows – since it was announced back at UDS-M in Brussels last May.

But it is – apparently – shipping pre-installed alongside Windows 7 on select Dell notebooks.

You’d at least expect a bit of fanfare, right?

Ubuntu Light: the quick start OS

Utilizing the Unity interface the ‘light’ is not named by chance: Ubuntu light is said to boot in as quickly as eight seconds when installed on an SSD drives and a still-rather-neat 15 seconds when used on a traditonal hard-drive.

So what else is so special? Ubuntu Light ‘includes a very targeted set of applications and is optimized for a fast startup time and a fast connection to the Internet’ according to the Canonical. This ‘light’ ethos means results in the OS not sat there as competition for Windows 7 but  solely to augment the users experience.

The .iso

Now, an intrepid reader called Devin got in touch with a link to a DVD .ISO of Ubuntu Light is available on the Dell website. It’s a hefty 759MB download but considering mum has been the proverbial word on Ubuntu Light availability it’s exciting – if unexpected – to see it turn up.

Named ‘ubuntu-light-10.04-A04.iso’ the file is specified for use with the ‘Dell Inspiron M101Z’. Installation instructions state that the file ‘…will need to be copied to USB media using the Ubuntu Light OS Recovery Tool for Windows 7, which is also available on support.Dell.com.’

But before you get too ahead of yourselves, hit download and bang your head trying to install note the reason why it’s available from Dell – the .iso is designed to check for compatibility before it will run/install. (I.e. needs to be on a Dell Inspiron M101Z).