Xtops.DE is offering Apple PowerBooks and iBooks with Linux pre-installed. Customers may choose Debian/GNU Linux or any other PPC edition of their choice.

The company is also offering models with pre-configured hard-drive partitions running OS X and Linux on-board.

A 17-inch PowerBook will cost £2,517 and a 14-inch 1GHz iBook G4 will cost £1,265 (both prices include VAT). Prices are available on the Xtops Web site.

This move reflects the growing interest among Linux and Unix users who are considering adopting Macs. Apple's move to a Unix-based OS and open standards mean the company is seen as innovative and non-hostile to open-source solutions by many in the Linux/Unix world.

Apple's Mac OS X integrates open-source development. The kernel of the OS (Darwin) is available to a wide church of developers under an open-source licence.

Mac OS X can run X11, which enables XFree86, the most popular Windowing application for Linux and Unix systems. It means open source solutions can be run side-by-side with off-the-shelf software.