The 'Green' Linux PC

Lora Bentley

For $99 plus a $12.95 monthly subscription fee, Zonbu can save you up to $10 a month in electricity. So why am I writing about an energy service in an operating system blog? Because Zonbu is a computer maker, and its product is an appliance-like, Linux-based, 15 watt PC. The standard PC is 200 watts.


Company founders Gregoire Gentil and Alain Rossmann say their PC, which they will begin selling this summer, is the first consumer PC to receive a "gold" rating from the Green Electronics Council. According to, the organization aims to

help consumers make educated choices when buying computer-related equipment and encourage electronics makers to build products that are more energy efficient and have a lower impact on the environment.

The system's size (think cigar box) and memory (4 GB of flash rather than a disk drive) make the energy difference, as does its low-power Intel-compatible processor and the fact that it's missing a fan.


Gentoo is the Linux variety of choice for the Zonbu machine, which will come with a variety of applications, (Firefox, Mozilla and Skype, for starters). But, it will be sold sans keyboard, mouse and monitor -- unless you add them as options. The company will also offer the system to open source developers for a flat fee of $250.

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