7

Is Dell pre-installed Ubuntu the same as the general release? Or does the Dell pre-installed version have special Dell drivers etc?

I bought a Dell XPS 9730 with 16.04 which I replaced with 18.04. It is working fine (except suspend-on-close doesn't really suspend but that seems to be a known problem). I am just wondering if I need to look out for a Dell-special 18.04 when Dell finally start shipping it, or do they just ship the standard version of Ubuntu? (The XPS 13 is one of Dell's "Canonical approved" machines.)

Output of fdisk -l (all the 'loop's are snap apps but each app appears twice in lsblk, but that is the subject of another Question!):

Disk /dev/loop0: 3.7 MiB, 3813376 bytes, 7448 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Disk /dev/loop1: 86.6 MiB, 90812416 bytes, 177368 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Disk /dev/loop2: 21 MiB, 22003712 bytes, 42976 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Disk /dev/loop3: 12.2 MiB, 12804096 bytes, 25008 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Disk /dev/loop4: 140 MiB, 146841600 bytes, 286800 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Disk /dev/loop5: 2.3 MiB, 2428928 bytes, 4744 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Disk /dev/loop6: 140 MiB, 146841600 bytes, 286800 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Disk /dev/loop7: 86.6 MiB, 90759168 bytes, 177264 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Disk /dev/nvme0n1: 953.9 GiB, 1024209543168 bytes, 2000409264 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Disklabel type: gpt Disk identifier: 81530E63-3D66-4216-8090-8DA401ADA1B5

Device Start End Sectors Size Type /dev/nvme0n1p1 2048 1050623 1048576 512M EFI System /dev/nvme0n1p2 1050624 2000408575 1999357952 953.4G Linux filesystem

Disk /dev/loop8: 1.6 MiB, 1691648 bytes, 3304 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Disk /dev/loop9: 13 MiB, 13594624 bytes, 26552 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Disk /dev/loop10: 86.6 MiB, 90828800 bytes, 177400 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Disk /dev/loop11: 3.3 MiB, 3411968 bytes, 6664 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Disk /dev/loop12: 139.5 MiB, 146276352 bytes, 285696 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Disk /dev/loop13: 21.6 MiB, 22609920 bytes, 44160 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

  • After you run your first update you should be current. On Windows will install machine specific drivers and apps. They might do that in Linux world too. – WinEunuuchs2Unix May 30 '18 at 21:58
  • Dell merely maintains separate repository for it's own hardware drivers. There is no separate or special Dell-specific version of Ubuntu - simply that one additional repository. – user535733 May 31 '18 at 0:06
  • @user535733 That's not a comment! That's an answer! Please post an answer, ping me [at]Fabby and I'll come back and upvote! – Fabby May 31 '18 at 1:30
  • @user535733 thank you for expressing the question I was trying to ask in Linux lingo, and for providing the answer! – B.Tanner May 31 '18 at 11:27
  • @DK Bose thank you for the links, I know where to look now, though if it's going to disable super key as some have said I might just stick to running without the Dell repository. And if you look in the parent directory of those links, there are already Bionic-related things, I haven't investigated further yet. – B.Tanner May 31 '18 at 11:31
9

Is Dell pre-installed Ubuntu the same as the general release? Or does the Dell pre-installed version have special Dell drivers etc?

Based on my experience with a Dell laptop that came with Ubuntu 16.04, the Dell version has quite some additional material, not just related to drivers:

sudo fdisk -l lists

 Device          Start        End   Sectors   Size Type  
/dev/sda1        2048    1026047   1024000   500M EFI System  
/dev/sda2     1026048    7317503   6291456     3G Microsoft basic data  
/dev/sda3     7317504  380581887 373264384   178G Linux filesystem  
/dev/sda4  1937289216 1953523711  16234496   7.8G Linux swap  
  • /dev/sda2 is described as "Microsoft basic data" and appears to be related to restoring the original Ubuntu OS installed on the system.

Dell /dev/sda2 image

  • /dev/sda3 is the partition containing the Ubuntu 16.04 OS. I've reduced its size to accommodate other flavors of Ubuntu.

  • Looking at /boot shows several subfolders with Dell-related executables.

  • /usr/share/applications lists two .desktop files: "Dell Driver Installer" and "Dell Recovery"

  • man dell-recovery tells us that "dell-recovery is a tool for generating recovery media for Dell factory shipped systems. This media can then be used to rebuild a system with a factory image in the event of a hard drive failure."

  • The Dell version may come with the Super key disabled by default and requires several steps, described in the link to get this basic functionality.

  • If you view System Details, the image includes the Dell logo.

Dell System Details

  • The GRUB menu has two entries not, in my opinion, available in a standard release.

Dell GRUB

  • /etc/apt/sources.list.d/xenial-dell.list has http://dell.archive.canonical.com/updates/ xenial-dell public.

  • http://dell.archive.canonical.com/updates/dists/xenial-dell/public/binary-amd64/Packages lists what will be included (depending on your system). One can download that list (as, say, "dell-packages.txt") and run grep -E "(^Package|^Description:)" dell-packages.txt to get a summary.

  • Currently, the corresponding bionic area is empty.

  • Given that Dell has recently released laptops with 16.04 pre-installed, I think it will be a while before they do anything for 18.04.

I am just wondering if I need to look out for a Dell-special 18.04 when Dell finally start shipping it ...

That'll be your call. I'm quite happy running Kubuntu 18.04 alongside the version of Ubuntu 16.04 installed by Dell, but if you have need of specific drivers, you'll need to keep a watch for their availability.

  • 1
    thank you, I too am happy running generic 18.04. But in my case upgrade of pre-installed 16.04 failed and I had to do a new install of 18.04 and so could no longer see the Dell-specific bits, causing me to wonder what goodies I might be missing out on. I am not interested in Dell logos, disabled super key or extra clickies that take me to Dell pages, but I would be interested in things like enhanced drivers but it all seems to be working so far. Will keep an eye on those files and directories - maybe sometime after .1 is released. – B.Tanner Jun 1 '18 at 13:28
2

Here is the backup of all the source-list added by dell, xps13' 2018 developper edition

-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  166 mai   24 07:59 bionic-dell-beaver-italia.list
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  138 juin   8 11:27 bionic-dell.list
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  154 avril 25 11:24 bionic-dell-service.list
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  134 mai   17 08:36 bionic-oem.list
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  189 oct.   9 17:17 google-chrome.list

trif@xps:/etc/apt/sources.list.d$ cat bionic-dell-beaver-italia.list
deb http://dell.archive.canonical.com/updates/ bionic-dell-beaver-italia public
# deb-src http://dell.archive.canonical.com/updates/ bionic-dell-beaver-italia public

trif@xps:/etc/apt/sources.list.d$ cat bionic-dell.list
deb http://dell.archive.canonical.com/updates/ bionic-dell public
# deb-src http://dell.archive.canonical.com/updates/ bionic-dell public


trif@xps:/etc/apt/sources.list.d$ cat bionic-dell-service.list
deb http://dell.archive.canonical.com/updates/ bionic-dell-service public
# deb-src http://dell.archive.canonical.com/updates/ bionic-dell-service public

trif@xps:/etc/apt/sources.list.d$ cat bionic-oem.list
deb http://oem.archive.canonical.com/updates/ bionic-oem public
# deb-src http://oem.archive.canonical.com/updates/ bionic-oem public

Here it is for xps13 2019 :

deb http://dell.archive.canonical.com/updates/ bionic-dell-italia-whl public
# deb-src http://dell.archive.canonical.com/updates/ bionic-dell-italia-whl public
deb http://dell.archive.canonical.com/updates/ bionic-dell public
# deb-src http://dell.archive.canonical.com/updates/ bionic-dell public
deb http://dell.archive.canonical.com/updates/ bionic-dell-service public
# deb-src http://dell.archive.canonical.com/updates/ bionic-dell-service public
deb http://oem.archive.canonical.com/updates/ bionic-oem public
# deb-src http://oem.archive.canonical.com/updates/ bionic-oem public
  • Thanks. Just seen this though on dell.com/en-uk: "Sorry, this item is not available anymore for purchase online. Please see our recommended replacement product." 4 months later I am still happy with generic 18.04...now upgraded to kubuntu-desktop which does more of what I want, so less fighting the system! – B.Tanner Oct 16 '18 at 17:11
  • Update: Dell seems to be listing the XPS 13 agaoin...now with 18.04! dell.com/en-uk/shop/cty/pdp/spd/… – B.Tanner Oct 30 '18 at 13:59

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