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I am looking to buy a new development machine and would like to run Ubuntu natively. I have been looking at the Dell 15z, but it looks like there are some compatibility problems. However, I also saw a an article that made it look like most everything was working.

These may be somewhat out of date, so I was wondering if anyone had any updated information. I would hate to buy the laptop and then have it not work well with Ubuntu. Also, I don't know much about how compatibility changes over time. If it isn't that compatible now, will it likely be more compatible in the future? Will developers likely resolve the compatibility issues, it is just a matter of time? Are we dependent on Dell to release driver fixes for stuff? Thanks!

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The Ubuntu Forums thread gives you a recent and fairly accurate picture of what the current status is. There appear to be several ongoing issues with this laptop (wireless, optimus grapihcs, trackpad). All are getting viable workarounds but none of them seem to amount to full fixes.

People are going to keep working on the graphics and wireless because they're fairly widely used technologies (on other laptops) so it's probably just a matter of time. I doubt Dell will be helping out because it's not one of their officially supported Ubuntu machines.

Personally, I'd just shop for a better laptop because with the hacking around and the (currently) diminished featureset is going to mean you spend a lot of time just getting it working and still won't get what you paid for. A lot of other machines "just work".

You could also let Dell know you're not going to purchase it unless they support Ubuntu on it. They're not telepathic so even if they ignore your request, if enough people request support, they'll realise they're losing money to other manufacturers.

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+1 for suggesting to contact Dell. –  Rafał Cieślak Aug 22 '11 at 15:07

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