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I am running 16.04 on my Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition. The laptop came with Ubuntu pre-installed and that's exactly the reason I bought it.

One awesome feature is the Dell firmware updates showing up in the Software center. A simple click and reboot and I my laptop is running the latest and greatest firmware again.

Would I loose this when I manually install, say, 17.04? I would like to play with 17.04 but I am afraid I would need to keep a dual boot around to get the firmware updates, is that correct?

3 Answers 3

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Dell firmware updates, if I am not wrong, are located in the restricted repository.

If you manually install Ubuntu 17.04, just type in a terminal sudo add-apt-repository restricted. Then, search for Dell firmware updates in GNOME Software center. It will work like Ubuntu 16.04, where you still receive firmware updates, unless Dell really decided to abandon Ubuntu's firmware updates (which in this case, Ubuntu 16.04 will also be affected.)

But the best choice, of course, is to keep your existing Ubuntu 16.04, install 17.04 alongside, so that even if you encounter problems, you can still fallback to 16.04 and ask something here.

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    There is no non-free repository in Ubuntu. That's a Debian thing. Ubuntu has restricted and multiverse.
    – muru
    Sep 20, 2017 at 9:19
  • Corrected?? I think... Sep 20, 2017 at 9:20
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    restricted is usually already enabled by default. In any case, to enable one of those, you should do sudo add-apt-repository restricted, for example.
    – muru
    Sep 20, 2017 at 9:25
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    It seems that Dell has a lot of delay for pushing the firmware into that repository, at least for my computer (optiplex 7040), the firmware is four verion older than the firmware on the dell website.
    – pim
    Sep 20, 2017 at 13:24
  • Sorry. I think the repository stuff is plain wrong. The firmware updates in software center come from fwupd. Updating should be no problem. Jan 21, 2020 at 8:45
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Dell firmware updates come from fwupd repository and the corresponding daemon. Support for this repository was introduced with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

It is safe to update. The service doesn't depend on a specific distro version (if its current enough for fwupd-support).

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Currently running Ubuntu 17.10 on XPS 9350 (which came with Windows) - firmware updates still coming in fine.

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