I’ve loved Dell’s Linux laptop for developers, the Dell XPS 13 since the first unit rolled out from the factory gate. Now, the latest Dell XPS 13 Plus Developer Edition will soon be rolling out the door with Ubuntu 22.04 Long Term Support (LTS). I can’t wait. The first will arrive on August 23rd.
This means, of course, Canonical and Dell officially have been certified for Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. So if you already have a current XPS 13 Plus, you can install Ubuntu 22.04 and automatically receive the same hardware-optimized experience that will ship with the new Developer Edition.
What this certification means is that all of XPS’s components have been tested to deliver the best possible experience out of the box. Ubuntu-certified devices are based on Long Term Support (LTS) releases and therefore receive updates for up to 10 years. So if you actually still have an XPS 13 that came with Ubuntu back in the day, it’s still supported today.
The Ubuntu certification lab continuously tests hundreds of certified devices every day. These tests examine key hardware components and functionality. This ensures that devices work not just for today but throughout their lifecycle.
Certified devices also include specific software or drivers that differ from the default distribution where required. These are defined in a meta-package that automatically installs the optimal configuration of packages, drivers, and kernel to deliver the device’s best experience.
These changes make up the factory images. Partners like Dell then use them in their machines. These are also upstreamed to the main Ubuntu distribution, so that certified devices receive the appropriate meta-package, even when you install Ubuntu yourself.
Dell and Canonical have been at this for years. Today’s Dell’s Developer Editions are the official continuation of Project Sputnik. This initiative began 10 years ago to create high-end Dell systems with Ubuntu preinstalled. These were, and are, designed with programmer input and built for developers.
As Jaewook Woo, Dell’s product manager, Linux, explained:
“XPS is an innovation portal for Dell – from its application of cutting-edge technology to experimentation of new user interfaces and experiential design. By bringing the enhanced performance and power management features of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS to our most advanced premium laptop, Dell and Canonical reinforce our joint commitment to continue delivering the best computing experience for developers using Ubuntu.
I haven’t seen it yet — darn it! — but based on past designs, I expect it to be an outstanding Linux laptop.
The forthcoming Dell XPS Plus Developer Edition’s specifications are impressive. The base configuration is powered by a 12th-generation Intel i5 1240P processor that runs up to 4.4GHz. For graphics, it uses Intel Iris Xe Graphics. This backs up the 13.4-inch 1920×1200 60Hz display. For storage, it uses a 512GB SSD. The list price is $1,389.