Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook to Have Ubuntu Option

Written by John Ponio    Tuesday, 08 May 2012 13:38

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While Ubuntu is remarkably easy to use nowadays, one of the big hurdles the operating system needs to overcome if it wants to become mainstream is adoption. The average user doesn't know how to install the OS, even though it's very simple, and because Ubuntu barely ever comes pre-installed on laptops an desktops, Ubuntu's users are most all the minority of people who are actually good with computers. A while ago Dell was shipping computers with Ubuntu pre-installed, but that quietly stopped a while ago. Aside from there there have been a few laptops here or there from various places with Ubuntu pre-installed, but there really haven't been many. But there is good news for Ubuntu, Dell has announced that they will be offering Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) as an operating system option for their XPS 13 ultrabook. If you missed out on having Dell install it, you can install it yourself with the official XPS 13 ultrabook image from here.

The team leader for Project Sputnik (the name of this project), Barton George, said,

"Hardware enablement is table stakes but where Sputnik starts to get interesting is when we talk about profiles. No two developers are alike so instead of stuffing the system with every possible tool or app a developer could possibly want, we are trying a different approach. As mentioned above, the actual “stuff” on the install image is pretty basic, instead we are working with a few developers to put together a tool that can go out to a github repository and pull down various developer profiles. The first profiles we are targeting are Android, Ruby and JavaScript. [...]

"What I’d like to see is not only a gold-standard configuration, but also a meta-system to manage your developer configuration… The devops revolution is about configuration as code. How cool would it be if my laptop configuration were code that I could store in a source repo somewhere?"

So it looks like the image they used is a more stripped down version of the usual Precise Pangolin image. This is sadly aimed at developers, not so much regular users, but it's at least a start. The easily-acquired developer packages is a tempting offer, because with a few lines typed into the terminal you'll have all the tools you'll need. For the developers out there, does this make the XPS 13 ultrabook more attractive to you? Or were you fine with installing Ubuntu yourself?