|This kit makes a great dev server, using one of the most energy-efficient x86 pocessors availble to deliver good performance for a system you can feel good about having available to you 24/7.
This Foxconn barebones is compatible with Ubuntu 12.04 out of the box all the way down to the wifi - but with Gigabit Ethernet, who'll be using wifi?
It uses the dual-core Atom D2550 to deliver good performance for a test server or even light-duty workstation, burning only 10 watts of power.
The on-board graphics have worked well in the Fourth World offices connected to a 1600x1200px monitor. While the GMA 3650 won't be able to drive Ubuntu's rich compositing options at this time, this isn't the sort of system you'd want to use for high-end gaming anyway. The graphics performance is good with the scalable Ubuntu Unity interface.
As a barebones unit, this Foxconn computer lets you choose your memory and storage options.
The motherboard on this barebones uses a single slot and supports up to 4 GB, very affordable at today's RAM prices. But if you're looking to trim a few dollars off your budget you'll find Ubuntu runs well with 2 GB.
To keep this system as green as possible I've selected an SSD drive over a traditional magnetic drive, which also bosts performance to allow this modest system to boot from a cold start in about 10 seconds. While there are some 30 GB SSDs available for a few dollars less, the 60 GB SSD will provide more than enough room for most common web applications and the sale price brings the cost down close enough to the 30 GB models that it's well worth the extra few dollars.
The barebones unit comes with an opening tool which includes a screwdriver for the four screws holding the case, and a slender wedge to gently remove the case to install the RAM and SSD. Total assembly time for this kit was less than five minutes.