Ten years after releasing a groundbreaking suite of Linux preinstalled on a commercial laptop with Project Sputnik, Dell and Canonical announced the XPS 13 Plus as the first OEM-certified PC for Ubuntu 22.04 Long-Term Support (LTS). This makes this a straightforward path to just owning a working PC without worrying about whether or not every component is Linux ready.
Linux-equipped Developer Edition models were already available, starting at $1,289.00, but currently shipped with the older 20.04 LTS software. Long-Term Support releases deliver what they say on the box, with standard support for this release due to end in 2027 and the end of life in 2032. Certified devices are lab tested for compatibility with each component, which means your device gets specific drivers installed that make all of its features working properly.
This obviously applies to devices that were sold as Developer versions with Linux out of the box, but it also applies if you’re installing a new operating system on a device that originally shipped with Windows 11. Barton George was one of the folks at Dell behind Project Sputnik. In a 2019 interview with ForbesHe explained that the Developer Edition branding is intentional, and implemented to prevent people from accidentally buying a Linux laptop to save a few dollars and get an unexpected experience. These days, Dell ships Ubuntu on many other machines — and other flavors of the XPS line, including the redesigned modular XPS 13 stand — so it’s unlikely that the list of approved will stay that short forever.
The Ubuntu 22.04 LTS package was officially released on April 21 and has a long list of upgrades that you can read here, including better power management, new touchpad gestures, and improved support for Bluetooth audio devices.
According to Dell, if you want your XPS 13 Plus and its “class of capacitive touch functionality” with hardware-optimized version 22.04, there are several ways to achieve it. The first is ordering a new XPS 13 Plus laptop and waiting for it to ship, starting in August. Other than that, if you’re in a hurry (and backed up everything anyway) you can do a fresh install, and you’ll be good to go. The last option is to wait until August 4th when Ubuntu 22.04.1 is released, as all LTS users will click on the upgrade path so you can do as little work as possible.