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I'm looking at purchasing a Dell XPS 15 with the Ultra HD display (3840 x 2160), but haven't been able to find any information on whether or not it works with elementary OS, and have a feeling it doesn't. A search on the Ubuntu Desktop certified hardware page says that the XPS 13 works on Ubuntu 14.04, but I get nothing for the XPS 13 on 16.04 (I'm wondering if perhaps the database just hasn't been updated yet, and that this isn't true). This thread on Reddit points out that the XPS 13 (with the Ultra HD display of 3200 x 1800) does in fact work on Freya, but that there remains some work to be done on Gala for it to work at its best (fair enough).

Regardless, the Ubuntu Desktop certified hardware page comes up with nothing for the XPS 15, be it on 14.04 or 16.04. I'm not sure what exactly the problem is, but I've read that the hard drive, a Samsung PM951 of the new NVMe type, doesn't work with Linux. If I understand correctly in this very long Ubuntu Forums thread, the XPS 15 with regular HD display (1920 x 1080) can be made to work with a lot of tweaking (which would be rather daunting for a noob like myself). That being said, that doesn't imply that the XPS 15 with the Ultra HD display would work though. At the same time, I'm wondering if the 4.4 Kernel in Ubuntu 16.04, available in the upcoming Loki release, might fix things a bit.

I ultimately want to use the computer solely with elementary OS, so am wondering if I will have to get the 13 instead of the 15 (as I would like to get that Ultra display, and ideally the 15).

Anybody have any luck, or can shed some light? Thanks in advance!

(I'm rather Linux and computer-hacking illiterate, so please bear with me as I try and understand any possible answers.)

Update 30/04/2016: I finally found a store here in New Zealand that carries Dell computers, and was able to try out the XPS 13, but not the XPS 15. As the XPS 13 seems plenty large enough for me, I'm going to go with that one instead of the XPS 15. That being said, although one of the comments here seems to assert that elementary OS works on the XPS 15, it hasn't been confirmed whether that's the XPS 15 with the i5 cores, or with the 6th generation i7 cores, and that has the QHD 3840 x 2160 screen, which would have different internals that might conflict with elementary OS / Ubuntu. I'll leave the post here for anybody's future reference, and will refrain from accepting an answer until I it's confirmed that elementary OS (be it Freya or Loki) works with the 2015 Dell XPS 15 with QHD display.

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I have installed eOS in my Dell XPS 15, Core i7, in dual boot with Windows 10. eOS works very, very fine, I can see all my files of Win 10, so only in a few times I boot in Windows. The system is up in only 11 seconds, in Windows more than 2 minutes. If you want more details, ask to me. I have not had any difficult to install and have no problems. Actually, is the system than I am using more of the time for work, study and social networks, more than my MacBook and Windows.

  • Thanks for sharing, that's great to hear. And yes, I do have a few questions to ask. Would it be the 3840x2160 display that U have, or the 1920x1080? If it's the higher quality screen U have, how does it look with eOS? Second, I've heard there's a difference between dual boot systems and single (eOS) boot systems. As I'm interested in a single-boot system, is it possible that the eOS works, as you say, only because Win 10 is also loaded on it? (Regardless, even if eOS requires the dual boot system of Windows, it does apparently work one way or another, so thanks for letting me know!) – Stromfeldt Apr 27 '16 at 20:20
  • Sorry, one more question. Is it the 9530 that you have with the 4th generation i7, or the 9550 with the 6th generation i7? It's the 6th generation with the i7 and 3840x1920 screen I'm curious about, if that makes a difference. – Stromfeldt Apr 27 '16 at 20:26
  • Thanks for the update, although to clarify a bit it's the 2015 Dell XPS 15 with the Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ that I'm curious about, as that one has the newer hardware that could be posing the problems I've read about. I think yours is the 2012 model. Thanks for getting back, regardless. – Stromfeldt May 2 '16 at 21:31
  • Anything special you have to do when installing? – Tristan Wiley Nov 16 '16 at 20:56
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Theory you should be able to install to any pc you want however I know that certain laptops like lenovo or hp needs extra work to get wifi card working; so I don't understand what you meanly does elementary work on your pc as theory it will install, but weather certain parts work or not that is depend on drivers that comes with elementary. Why don't you try the live boot? and if everything seems to be working on that then there's your answer.

  • By "live boot" do you mean running elementary OS off of a USB stick? Good idea, although I don't own said computer yet, and is why I'm asking -- to see whether or not I should buy it or not. For example, this guy is selling his XPS 15 as he claims Linux won't work on it. A live boot as you mention seems to be the best option I have so far, so perhaps I'll see if I can find a store that carries the XPS 15 and that I can surreptitiously stick a USB stick inside and boot from. Thanks. – Stromfeldt Apr 27 '16 at 0:17
  • @InAussieland "I'll see if I can find a store that carries the XPS 15 and that I can surreptitiously stick a USB stick inside and boot from." - Your going to get caught and they'll think you are installing malware.Maybe a good idea but don't get caught :) – Suici Doga Apr 27 '16 at 2:58
  • @SuiciDoga Yeah, you're totally right (I was trying not to listen to that voice in my head for a moment there). Perhaps I'll ask politely and tell them that if it runs it I'll buy the computer. Then again, I've noticed that it's tough to find Dell computers in stores, so it might all be a moot issue anyway. For the moment I'll keep waiting and see if anybody responds to this thread, and/or I might just write to the Ubuntu thread. – Stromfeldt Apr 27 '16 at 3:12
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My PC is a XPS 15 (L521x), resolution 1920x1080, elementary works very fine, better than the Windows driver.

  • Thanks for the update, although to clarify a bit it's the 2015 Dell XPS 15 with the Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ that I'm curious about, as that one has the newer hardware that could be posing the problems I've read about. I think yours is the 2012 model. Thanks for getting back, regardless. – Stromfeldt May 2 '16 at 21:31
  • With cat /proc/cpuinfo the output is as follows: processor : 6 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 6 model : 58 model name : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3632QM CPU @ 2.20GHz stepping : 9 microcode : 0x15 cpu MHz : 1200.632 cache size : 6144 KB physical id : 0 siblings : 8 core id : 3 cpu cores : 4 apicid : 6 initial apicid : 6 fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 13 wp : yes – Laurence May 7 '16 at 23:26
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Developers of elementary OS are paying extra attention to make elementary OS works well on high-resolution screen (as seen, for example, in this blog post), probably even more so than the developers of other distributions, so it's pretty safe to assume that elementary OS will work well on your device.

After all, you could always try running from a stick. Maybe ask people from the store that it's important for you to try this, and that it's a make-or-break factor for you.

  • Thanks for the link, that's good to know. The problem with the Dell XPS 15 with the i7 Cores that I mention is more of a hardware issue though (from what I've read). Something with the Samsung HDs not having Linux drivers, and possibly other hardware issues. The XPS 13 with i7 Cores don't seem to have this problem, and according to Daniel, pretty much all that's left on the elementary side is adapting Gala for the high-res. As soon as I have some spare cash I'll be adding to the cause. – Stromfeldt Apr 30 '16 at 22:16

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