Dell's Current Ubuntu Image For The XPS 13 Developer Laptop 2015 Disappoints

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 8 June 2015 at 08:29 AM EDT. 13 Comments
Earlier this year Dell released their XPS 13 laptop with an Intel Broadwell processor and all-around looks like a great developer laptop. Back when the hardware first appeared, the Linux support wasn't in great shape. Dell is now shipping the XPS13 2015 model with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS preloaded, but sadly, there's still some issues with the initial pre-install.

Ubuntu developer Timo Jyrinki had bought the XPS 13 2015 model with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS pre-loaded and the image that Dell is using for this laptop isn't in the best shape for making use of the hardware. Timo noted, "Unfortunately the first batch of XPS 13:s with Ubuntu are going to ship with some problems. They're easy to fix if you know how to, but it's sad that they're there to begin with in the factory image. There is no knowledge when a fixed batch will start shipping - July maybe?"

These first XPS 13 2015 laptops for the next few months with Ubuntu may have issues with software updates stopping, the fixed touchpad driver is included but not enabled, and the graphics stack for supporting the latest-generation Broadwell HD Graphics are out-of-date. The internal microphone on the laptop also doesn't work out-of-the-box but requires a kernel patch.

While the pre-installed image isn't in the best of shape, Jyrinki concluded, "[the] Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is an extremely capable laptop + OS combination nearing perfection, but not quite there because of the software problems in the launch pre-install image. The laptop looks great, feels like a quality product should and is very compact for the screen size."

Those looking for other interesting, Broadwell-based laptops for Linux use should check out the Lenovo ThinkPad T450s and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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