I just got a Dell XPS13 (i5, 4GB ram, 128GB solid state drive). My other computers have a dual-boot partition with Ubuntu12.04/Win7. I'd like to install Ubuntu only in this machine to force myself to work with Linux better.

Has anyone seen a description of the installation process? I've found many threads on fine-tuning the system, but very little on installation step-by-step.

Some issues I'd like to get feedback on include:

(1) Installing from a USB pen drive (I've always installed from a cd-rom, this machine has none)

(2) Partition recommendations for optimal performance (size for swap, for system, for data)

(3) How can the machine be recovered to its original state if so wished? (no recovery cds in this generation of machines)

Thanks in advance,



Ubuntu has a great walk-through on how to create a bootable USB drive to install Ubuntu. I just did the install on my XPS 13 and it looks like it was working pretty well. The touch-pad isn't working too good though and it tends to overheat. Still working out the kinks on those items.


Dell XPS should work great as it is the part of sputnik project. The kernel support for trackpad has been incorporated in raring so you can use linux-image-generic-lts-raring package in ubuntu 12.04 for good performance or You can use these 2 ppas.

  1. Sputnik Kernel PPA

  2. Sputnik Policykit PPA


You can download the iso itself which comes with developer edition software as well from here.

As far as installation from USB is concerned you can create a bootable usb from ubuntu using startup disk creator or unetbootin and install from it. You may need to choose to boot from usb during your computer booting or from BIOS.

Also go for manual partition and I recommend creating a /, /home and swap partition. You can create swap as much as your RAM.

As far as recovery is concerned, you should keep the partition where your Windows image reside and you need to install windows wiping ubuntu if you are dissatisfied AFAIK.

What are PPAs and how do I use them?


I've just done an install for dual-boot from a Pen drive on a Dell XPS 13.

1) For creating the USB drive, I followed these instructions and they worked perfectly: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-usb-stick-on-windows

For booting the USB stick from windows 8: Hold the shift key while clicking "restart". Then choose, "Use a device".

2) When you run the ubuntu installer, it lets you choose the option of wiping everything and JUST installing ubuntu. It will setup your partitions for you automatically.

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