Brand-new Linux system on the cheap

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I recently discovered a few options for inexpensive "thin client" or basic desktop Linux systems on the cheap.

The Linux-powered Everex TC2502 "gPC" is available via Walmart.com and select Walmart locations for $199. The system comes with a VIA 1.5 GHz CPU, 512 MB RAM and a DVD-RAM/CD+-RW drive. The pre-installed Linux-based "gOS" operating system is based on the latest Ubuntu, though the Enlightenment environment was chosen over Gnome & KDE.

You can also purchase the motherboard (with cpu) separately for $59 from Club-IT. Not only is the board completely compatible with Linux, but it also comes with a copy of the gOS distribution included, so you won't have the hassle of 'rolling your own' configuration. You could, however, if you had to, install (blech) Windows versions XP, 2000, or CE, but not Vista.

Even cheaper, but a lot less powerful (300MHz x86-compatible), comes Norhtec's MicroClient JrSX platform, starting at a measly $85 (single unit price!). According to their product page, it will run Linux distributions compiled to support floating-point emulation. This is smaller and faster than the system I paid $30 for (used) to use as a CarPC (266MHz).