You asked for it: Ubuntu officially on the Precision M3800 worldwide

You asked for it: Ubuntu officially on the Precision M3800 worldwide


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You asked for it: Ubuntu officially on the Precision M3800 worldwide

Dell Project Sputnik logo


A year ago, I published a blog post about running Ubuntu on the Precision M3800. Being involved in Project Sputnik and a life-long Linux user, I knew that this is a system Linux users would love, so I thought I'd make their job of getting the M3800 up and running a little easier. Since then, that blog post has seen 40,000 views, with a follow-up post to it receiving 10,000 views. Since my blog post, aside from the view count, we've received an overwhelming response from the community desiring an officially supported product. With the momentum we've built, I'm proud to say that the Precision M3800 is joining the XPS 13 Developer Edition as its official big brother. Oh, and I should note that the XPS 13 DE, now in its fourth generation, is more svelte than ever. The fourth generation XPS 13 DE will be available for sale soon.

As the M3800 is in the Precision line, it's possible for us to offer this system out of the gate with Ubuntu as a build to order offering worldwide. That means that you will have a full range of configuration options. I'd like to say thank you to the Precision product marketing team for enthusiastically helping with this launch. Note that their Precision M4800 and M6800 systems already have been orderable with Ubuntu or RHEL for some time. (Want a mobile workstation with full RAID 5 and 32GB of RAM? Dell's got you covered.)

The refresh of the M3800 now has an optional UHD "4K" display in addition to the base FHD option. That's up from the previous QHD+ display. Additionally, the latest Precision M3800 adds hardware support for Thunderbolt 2.0. Because our Ubuntu factory installs only ship Ubuntu LTS releases, we were not able to ship with official Thunderbolt support. However, thanks to the hardware-enablement stack in Ubuntu, starting with upcoming Ubuntu 14.04.2, you will be able to upgrade your kernel to add some Thunderbolt support. We plan to be working with Canonical to recertify the Precision M3800 with official Thunderbolt support.

So, do you want a system running Linux? Dell has more client and server systems certified with Ubuntu than anyone else. For me, as a lifelong Linux user, the choice is clear.

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  • I can't wait for the XPS 13 DE. Is there any way that I could be notified when it's available for purchase? I want that baby ASAP

  • But the prices are atrocious. Is it that Microsoft have somehow forced you not to sell Linux computers at competitive prices, or is Dell happy to charge people more for the "privilege" of having a free OS pre-installed?

  • HCRuss:

    Mark the lad: You mean how the price is $101.50 less than the Windows version? And that Canonical makes money on each system to, y'know, support the development they do? Did you actually look at the price?

  • I feel this is a great initiative in support of the Linux community. Please consider a cheaper 128GB solid state drive option and a cheaper graphics card option for the M3800 running Ubuntu.

  • This is great in general... except that I ordered one of these M3800s for a user and it showed up with Windows. :p

    Is there a guide somewhere about installing Ubuntu onto the M3800 from scratch? I want to make sure that when I install Ubuntu, it's as close to the factory image as I can get it.

  • jrronimo: That's not good. Could you open a ticket with ProSupport so we can look into this?

  • Is there a place to download an image to put on windows M3800?

  • I have the same issue, looking at out-fitting a team of 5 with m3800s/ubuntu.  However, this first order came down with Windows installed.  

    Trying the support route now but based on previous forum entries, doesn't look like people have a lot of luck asking support for the "linux queue."  

    Right now the issue I have is the Dell Driver Installer just sits at "preparing to install package" when trying to install the M3800 fish package.  So... fun.  

  • This post is getting old but searches for my issue turn up little to nothing. I'm running 16.04 on my M3800, which for the most part works well. One thing that has never worked well and I decided to get to the bottom of it is the integrated camera. The video quality is horrible. Very grainy, which I assume is related to lack of a driver. Is there a solution to this?

    Thank you.

  • @coulir007: The camera is only HD per

    I don't know what sort of image quality you're seeing, but the driver is there. You may want to reach out to Dell ProSupport if you need further help.