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I am considering purchasing a Dell XPS 15 (http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-15-l521x/pd?oc=dncwx16bw7&model_id=xps-15-l521x)

Intel® Core™ i7-3632QM processor 
NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 640M with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM
750GB 7200 rpm SATA Hard Drive + 32GB mSATA Solid State Drive

I plan on dual booting windows and ubuntu. I'd like to keep windows around to play some games on the laptop, but I plan on primarily using Ubuntu as my workstation.

What is the easiest way to setup a dual boot for this setup? Do I have to worry about UEFI e.g. (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI)? Which Ubuntu should I install? What other problems should I look out for?

Links to guides would be appreciated!

edit: looks like the 32gb mSATA SDD is used as a cache device for the most frequently accessed data for faster access using the Intel Smart Response Technology. Is Ubuntu able to take advantage of this system?

Similar question: http://superuser.com/questions/459578/ubuntu-on-an-xps-14-ultrabook-with-msata-cache-and-500gb-hd-how-to-partition-f

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You have to turn off Intel Smart Response (switch to AHCI), to even get it to boot from dvd on one of these machines.

You need to turn off "Rapid start" technology or suspend will resume automatically in Ubuntu, and use up the battery.

Installation is mostly like any other computer, it runs 13.10 just fine. You can manually make a system partition on the SSD, and a home directory on the hard drive during the setup.

See also: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardwareSupport/Machines/Laptops/Dell/XPS/L521X#preview

It looks like the only no-go is the Bluetooth, at least in Kernel 3.11 until the drivers improve.

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Some more links. Not just precision model as XPS is similar.

http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/b/techcenter/archive/2013/11/14/ubuntu-on-the-precision-m3800.aspx

Installing Ubuntu on a Pre-Installed Windows 8 (64-bit) System (UEFI Supported)

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Repair

Some that are mainly Windows users turn the Intel SRT back on after install. Others that use Ubuntu more leave SRT off and install / (root) into the SSD and all data or /home partitions on the hard drive. With the larger SSD, it may only be using part for the SRT and you can still have / on the SSD.

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Thanks these links are helpful. –  Benjamin Dec 5 '13 at 21:23

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