I'm thinking of replacing my elderly Dell Dimension 5150 with an XPS 8500, but the only reference to this PC's compatibility with Ubuntu mentions to a video failure on booting up, with no solution recorded.

Has anyone installed Ubuntu 12.04 on this model?

  • Having a problem myself on my own machine XPS 8500, 2TB HDD, 16GB RAM, Win7 Home premium then upgraded in place to Windows 8 Pro, 32GB SSD (Cache drive) and the last one is the problem... I could never installed Ubuntu successfully using WUBI installer as I don't want to do any partitioning... Will crawl some more to get an answer
    – Ahmadgeo
    Mar 25, 2013 at 1:44
  • Installed an additional SATA HDD and tried to install on it directly (no WUBI) and still failing.
    – Ahmadgeo
    Mar 31, 2013 at 4:59

4 Answers 4


I didn't. However, running a live Ubuntu system from a flash drive or CD costs you next to nothing. If your graphics, wireless, ethernet and power management work with a live system, then they will also work with a normal installation. Moreover, the older the system is, the less trouble you should expect.

  • I'm thinking of replacing my elderly computer with a current model, so the experiment will cost me >£1000! I'm hoping someone else has already taken the plunge...
    – user69245
    Aug 21, 2012 at 19:39

I have. It took a little doing. The problem is with the drivers for the video card. The following steps worked for me (note my machine has an nvidia geforce gt 620):

first standard install cd did not work so use the alternate cd (http://releases.ubuntu.com/precise/). After install normal start up breaks just before log in screen. Instead boot into recovery mode and select "drop to root shell prompt" and type "restart." Now log in screen is displayed. Log in and install the nvidia 295.33 driver (http://www.techlw.com/2012/03/install-nvidia-drivers-on-ubuntu-1204.html).

  • what is your exact PC model? The question is on DELL XPS 8500/Elite edition that is with SSD Cache drive + 2TB Hard Drive.... The problem with this model is in installation itself as it doesn't recognize HDD partions and fails installing GRUB.... Not in display drivers :)....
    – Ahmadgeo
    Apr 5, 2013 at 17:20

I have XPS 15z and I had to do the following:

  • during boot select the acpci=off with F6 (otherwise the booting hangs)

  • Keyboard doesn't work. Connect a mouse, open

    • vitual keyboard

    • terminal

    type in terminal:

    sudo kate /etc/default/grub

    in there add change the following line



    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash acpi_backlight=vendor dell_laptop.backlight=0 acpi=noirq"


  • run

    sudo update-grub

    Then on reboot You'll have keyboard working.

As to Your video card -- Radeon -- I think It will be solvable (I have Nvidia).

  • thanks for your reply. But we are talking here about a DELL XPS 8500 Desktop Computer :)
    – Ahmadgeo
    Mar 28, 2013 at 16:00
  • Ok. Still -- I had to acpci=off also on some Samsung ultrabook -- so it might be common.
    – Adobe
    Mar 28, 2013 at 17:18

I got duo Windows 7 / KUbuntu on my dell M8500.

My KUbuntu basically can replace Windows on all my daily development and entertainment. I evens has Office 2010, and all the tools I need (except Visual Studio)

I used Kubuntu daily and the only major issue is the video card driver (AMD Radeon HD 7570). One times / 10 after reboot, the VGA crapped at the login screen, and I have to reboot again (blindly via command line) to get back to normal

Here is my experiences on installation of Ubuntu on this machine https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cHYU8KpTle3LMJuadls9hcvQf8l-5D1LQZX2NLM-XOo

You might lost 1 week of frustrating to get Ubuntu the way you want, and working on a stranger OS might not as productive as your familial OS. For me, I love to test, and as a .NET developer for my daily work, I tried to get out of Windows OS at home, and taste other techno

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