Ten years after launching a groundbreaking combination of Linux preinstalled on a commercial laptop with Project Sputnik, Dell and Canonical announced that the XPS 13 Plus is the first OEM PC to be certified for Ubuntu 22.04 Long-Term Support (LTS) . That makes this an easy way to have a PC that just works without worrying about whether or not every component is ready to work with Linux.
Linux-equipped Developer Edition models of the laptop were already available, starting at $1,289.00, but currently ships with the older 20.04 LTS software. Long-term support releases deliver what they promise, with standard support for this version scheduled to end in 2027 and end of life in 2032. Certified devices are lab tested to verify the compatibility of each component, meaning your device gets the specific drivers installed that ensure that all functions work correctly.
Of course, this applies to the machines sold as Developer Edition with Linux out of the box, but it also applies if you’re installing a new operating system on a machine that originally shipped with Windows 11. Marketing Director Barton George was one of the people at Dell behind Project Sputnik. In an interview in 2019 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. Today, Dell ships Ubuntu on many other machines — and other flavors of the XPS line, including the redesigned XPS 13 standard bearer — so it seems unlikely that the certified list will be this short forever.
The Ubuntu 22.04 LTS package was officially released on April 21 and has a long list of upgrades you can read here, including better power management, new touchpad gestures, and improved support for Bluetooth audio devices.
If you want to get your XPS 13 Plus and its “capacitive touch feature row” set up with a hardware-optimized version of 22.04, there are a few ways to do that, according to Dell. One is to order a new XPS 13 Plus laptop and wait for it to ship in August. Otherwise, if you’re in a hurry (and back up everything anyway), you can do a fresh install and you’re good to go. The last option is to wait until August 4 when Ubuntu 22.04.1 is released as it will flash on the upgrade path for all LTS users so you can do as little work as possible.