Ten years after pioneering a combination of pre-installed Linux on a commercial laptop with Project Sputnik, Dell and Canonical have announced that the XPS 13 Plus is the first OEM PC certified for Ubuntu 22.04 Long-Term Support (LTS). This makes it a simple way to have a PC that just works without worrying about whether or not each component is ready to work with Linux.
Linux-equipped Developer Edition models of the laptop were previously available, with prices starting at $1,289.00, but currently ship with the older 20.04 LTS software. Long-Term Support releases deliver what they say on the box, with end of mainstream support for this release expected in 2027 and end-of-life in 2032. Certified devices are lab tested to verify each device’s compatibility. component, which means that your device gets the specific drivers installed that will allow all of its features to work properly.
This obviously goes for machines sold as Developer editions with Linux out of the box, but also applies if you’re installing a new operating system on a machine that originally shipped with Windows 11. The Marketing Manager Barton George was one of the Dell people behind Project Sputnik. In a 2019 interview with Forbes, he explained that the Developer Edition branding is intentional, applied to prevent people from accidentally buying a Linux laptop to save a few bucks and get an unexpected experience. Dell ships Ubuntu on many other machines these days – and other variants of the XPS line, including its revamped XPS 13 standard support – so the certified list is unlikely to stay this short forever.
The Ubuntu 22.04 LTS package was officially released on April 21 and comes with a long list of upgrades which you can read about here, including better power management, new touchpad gestures, and improved device support Bluetooth audio.
According to Dell, if you want your XPS 13 Plus and its “Capacitive Touch Feature Line” configured with a hardware-optimized version of 22.04, there are several ways to accomplish this. The first is to order a new XPS 13 Plus laptop and wait for it to ship starting in August. Alternatively, if you’re in a hurry (and backing everything up anyway), you can do a clean install and you’ll be good to go. The final option is to wait until August 4 when Ubuntu 22.04.1 is released, as it will leaf through the upgrade path for all LTS users so you can do as little work as possible.