Meet the project Sputnik team + Case Study

July 29, 2015

The other day Canonical came to Dell for a show and tell.  The Sputnik team, normally located in various buildings in Austin and Round Rock, all found ourselves in attendance at the event.  Here is a quick meet-the-team video introducing ourselves, saying where we’re from and declaring our favorite TV show.

Additionally,  here is a short case study giving the Project Sputnik history.

Pau for now…


XPS 13 developer edition on pause

July 20, 2015

We are aware of some issues that need to be addressed with our XPS 13 developer edition.  While patches have been made available (or coming soon), we are working to add these fixes to the systems at the factory.

Given that we want our customers to have the best experience possible, we have temporarily stopped new sales of the XPS 13 developer edition. Our desire is to bring back the system as soon as possible, but only after we have resolved the outstanding issues at the factory level. [Please realize that this DOES NOT AFFECT the windows version of the XPS 13]

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your support and patience.

Reference

Pau for now…

 


Updated Developer Edition Knowledge base: XPS 13 and M3800

July 15, 2015

Once again we want to thank the entire community for your posts containing feedback and questions to the Dell TechCenter forum and this blog regarding the Ubuntu-based XPS 13 and M3800 developer editions.

Last month we posted links to four knowledge base articles addressing:  wireless drivers, keyboard repeat, suspend/resume and cursor freezes.   Today we are adding three more that have been hot topics recently: creating recovery media, OOBE crashing, and 15.04 UEFI install.  So we have all the articles in one place I have also included the previous ones below.

Knowledge Base links:

How to create recovery media for the XPS 13 9343 and Precision M3800 Developer Editions:

http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/HOW10851/en

Dell-Recovery Utility May Crash During Out of Box Experience:

http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/SLN298209/en

How to install Ubuntu on a Dell XPS 13 (9343) developer edition configured for UEFI:

http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/04/SLN297060/en

Trackpad cursor freezing issue:

http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/SLN297219/EN

May not resume from suspend running 14.04:

http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/04/SLN297551/en

Unwanted keyboard character repeat

http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/SLN297563/en

How to Install Broadcom Wireless Driver on XPS 13 9343 from Ubuntu 15.04 Install Media:

http://www.dell.com/support/article/uk/en/ukbsdt1/HOW10806/en

Leverage your support contracts

Remember, in addition to posting your feedback here, we encourage customers to utilize their support contracts and contact the included Dell support (either Consumer Support or ProSupport, depending on whether you purchased it from the Consumer or Small Business sections).  This will help us to officially track issues and tackle them systematically.

How to reach ProSupport:

Please continue to give us your feedback on the Developer Edition systems.

Pau for now…


Value Ubuntu systems available for consumers in US along with high end XPS 13 developer edition

June 8, 2015

In the last few weeks Dell has expanded its consumer line up with additional Ubuntu machines:  both the economical Inspiron series as well as the high-end, XPS 13 developer edition.

The new economical Ubuntu laptops are made up the Inspiron 14 Inspiron 14 3000 Series Laptop Ubuntu Edition3000 and Inspiron 15 3000 (14 & 15 denote the screen size) which each offer four configs.  All configs of both the 14 and 15 are non-touch.

Here are the specs:

Inspiron 14 3000 + Ubuntu 14.04 SP1

  • Celeron/2GB/500GB: $219.99
  • Celeron/2GB/500GB + optical drive from SAPP: $259.99
  • Pentium/4GB/500GB: $279.99
  • Pentium/4GB/500GB + 2 year mail in service (the above all come with 1 year mail in service): $329.99

Inspiron 15 3000 + Ubuntu 14.04 SP1

  • Celeron/4GB/500GB: $249
  • Celeron/4GB/500GB + optical drive from SAPP: $279.99
  • Pentium 4GB/500GB: $279.99
  • Pentium/4GB/500GB + 2 year mail in service (the above all come with 1 year mail in service): $349.99

XPS 13 developer edition

The smallest 13-inch on the planet with the worldThe XPS 13 developer edition, which in the states has been available only to businesses, is now available to consumers as well.  The four consumer configs are a bit different than those in business:

 

Check them out, you may find one just right for you.

Pau for now…


Developer Edition Knowledge base: XPS 13 and M3800

June 2, 2015

Update June 26:  How to Install Broadcom Wireless Driver on XPS 13 9343 from Ubuntu 15.04 Install Media

http://www.dell.com/support/article/uk/en/ukbsdt1/HOW10806/en

================================

We want to thank the entire community for your posts containing feedback and questions to the Dell TechCenter forum and on this blog regarding the XPS 13 and M3800 developer editions (Ubuntu).

In response to your feedback, here are the first three Knowledge Base articles focusing on the hottest issues.  This post and the Knowledge Base will be updated if new issues crop up.

  • Trackpad cursor freezing issue:

http://www.dell.com/support/article/SLN297219/en [to be promoted to the Dell archive hosted by Canonical – stay tuned].

  • May not resume from suspend running 14.04:

http://www.dell.com/support/article/SLN297551/en

  • Unwanted keyboard character repeat

http://www.dell.com/support/article/SLN297563/en

Remember, in addition to posting your feedback here, we encourage customers to utilize their support contracts and contact the included Dell support (either Consumer Support or ProSupport, depending on whether you purchased it from the Consumer or Small Business sections).  This will help us to officially track issues and tackle them systematically.

Please continue to give us your feedback on the Developer Edition systems.

June 3, update: How to reach ProSupport:

 

Thanks!

The Dell Sputnik team


4th gen Dell XPS 13 developer edition available!

April 9, 2015

I would first like to thank everyone for their patience and support as we worked through various bugs that crept up.  This has taken longer than we would have liked but I’m happy to say that as of today, the Dell XPS 13 developer edition is now available in the United States, Canada and Europe!

A short history

As many of you may known, the developer edition began its life as Project Sputnik.  Funded by an Image result for images sputnikinternal incubation fund set up to drive innovation within Dell, Sputnik went from open-ended exploratory project to official product within nine months.

The entire program was conducted in the open in order to identify what you — developers — demanded in an ideal Ubuntu-based laptop. It was also your interest and support that drove Sputnik from project to product.

At the beginning of the year we launched an expansion to the line, the Precision M3800 developer edition, and today we are announcing the availability of the 4th generation of the XPS 13 developer edition.

General specifications of new Dell XPS 13 developer edition (see configs below. Note we realize that some of the tech specs are incorrect, they are in the queue to be fixed.  We made the decision to go ahead launch since we have had so much interest and we wanted to make it orderable as soon as possible)

  • Ubuntu 14.04*
  • 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-5200U or i7-5500U
  • 13.3-inch infinity display
  • 8GB Dual Channel DDR3L at 1600MHz
  • Intel (R) HD Graphics 5500
  • 1 Year ProSupport with Next Business Day Onsite Service
  • 2.8 lbs

* We recommend that users use the factory shipped Ubuntu image with the XPS 13 with at least BIOS A02.  We do however recognize that users will want to use other Linux distributions, Ubuntu versions or kernel versions so we’ve assembled a list to indicate problems users should expect with other distros.  In general you will have the best experience on the latest in development distributions with newer kernels.  For more information and instructions please see the technical notes at the end of this post.

US/Canada configurations:

i5/8GB

  • 128GB, Non Touch FHD (1920×1080)
  • 256GB, Touch TL QHD (2560×1440)

i7/8GB

  • 256GB, Touch TL QHD+  (3200×1800)
  • 512GB, Touch TL QHD+  (3200×1800)

Europe configurations/Countries

The XPS 13 developer edition is available in both the consumer and business channels in the following countries:

  • Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The United Kingdom

European configurations

  • i5/8GB — 256GB, Touch TL FHD (1920×1080)
  • i7/8GB — 512GB, Touch TL QHD+  (3200×1800)

A big shout out

I wanted to give recognition and a big thanks to the members of our small but mighty Sputnik core team: Mario Limonciello, Jared Dominguez, Amber Huang and Amit Bhutani.  These are the folks who have worked their butts off and made this a reality!

Technical Notes:

Updated April 16, 2015: new information with regards to current status quo from some people who have used Debian as well as 4.0 updates.

Updating to BIOS A02 or later

  1. Download the executable from support.dell.com and save it to a FAT32 formatted USB disk.
  2. Reboot the computer.
  3. At the Dell POST screen, press F12 to bring up the BIOS boot menu.
  4. Select the option to flash the BIOS.
  5. In the popup menu, select your USB disk and select the BIOS executable.
  6. Follow on screen directions.

Systems shipped with A01 or A00 BIOS

If you purchased the machine with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and it contains BIOS A00 or BIOS A01, please update the BIOS to A02 or later.  If you choose to run a kernel version earlier than 3.15 you should also append the following to your kernel command line:

psmouse.resetafter=0

If you machine was shipped with A02 or later, you will not need this kernel command line change.  The developer edition units will ship with A02 or later.

Ubuntu 14.04

Ubuntu 14.04 includes kernel 3.13.  The touchpad will run in PS2 mode and the soundcard will run in HDA mode.  Currently (4/15) out of the box the HDA microphone will not work, and you will need some packages from the factory shipped image to make it work properly.  The patches needed for microphone support are available here:

https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/tiwai/sound.git/commit/?h=for-next&id=e1e62b98ebddc3234f3259019d3236f66fc667f8

and

https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/tiwai/sound.git/commit/?h=for-next&id=f3b703326541d0c1ce85f5e570f6d2b6bd4296ec

Ubuntu 14.10

Ubuntu 14.10 includes kernel 3.16.

With BIOS A00 or BIOS A01 the touchpad will run in I2C mode and the sound will not function.  Please update to at least BIOS A02 and the touchpad will run in I2C mode and the sound in HDA mode.  Currently (4/15) the microphone will not work and you will these patches for microphone support: https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/tiwai/sound.git/commit/?h=for-next&id=e1e62b98ebddc3234f3259019d3236f66fc667f8

and

https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/tiwai/sound.git/commit/?h=for-next&id=f3b703326541d0c1ce85f5e570f6d2b6bd4296ec

 

Ubuntu 15.04

Ubuntu 15.04 includes kernel 3.19.

With BIOS A00 or BIOS A01 the touchpad will run in I2C mode and the sound will not function.  Please update to at least BIOS A02 and the touchpad will run in I2C mode and the sound in HDA mode.  (4/15) All of the relevant patches have been backported and all functions will work out of the box.

Fedora 21

Fedora 21 includes kernel version 3.17.  With BIOS A00 or BIOS A01 the touchpad will run in I2C mode and the sound will not function.  Please update to at least BIOS A02 and the touchpad will run in I2C mode and the sound in HDA mode.  Currently (4/15) the microphone will not work.  You can track the backporting of the patches here: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1188741

Debian 7.0

We recommend that Debian 7.0 users upgrade to a kernel 4.0 and apply those two patches.  The above notations will apply to Debian 7.0 then.

Debian 8.0

Debian 8.0 will use kernel 3.16.  With BIOS A00 or BIOS A01 the touchpad will operate in I2C mode and sound will not work.  The system will fail to suspend and resume due to a bug in the touchpad driver.  This patch: https://github.com/torvalds/linux/commit/109571cf3ec78a39477eedd6b11927f52cbcb1e8

Will need to be backported for it to work properly.

With BIOS A02 the touchpad will operate in I2C mode and the sound in HDA mode.  Currently (4/8) the microphone will not work.  The patches needed for microphone support are available here:

https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/tiwai/sound.git/commit/?h=for-next&id=e1e62b98ebddc3234f3259019d3236f66fc667f8

and

https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/tiwai/sound.git/commit/?h=for-next&id=f3b703326541d0c1ce85f5e570f6d2b6bd4296ec

We recommend for Debian 8.0 users upgrade to kernel 4.0 and apply the two extra microphone patches.

Also, there are some problems with the xserver-xorg-video-intel package today with Debian 8.0.  You’ll presently (4/15) need to backport from experimental to resolve them.  More details are available here: https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=782690

Other Notes

Extra credit reading

  • Designed for developers – Dell launches two new Ubuntu-based systems — Ubuntu insights

Pau for now…


Available in Europe: Precision M3800 developer edition

February 16, 2015

At the end of January we announced the launch of the Dell M3800-ubuntuPrecision M3800 mobile workstation, developer edition.  This beefy complement to the existing XPS 13 developer edition is the direct result of feedback from the community who have been asking for a larger system.

Over the past few weeks we have been adding EMEA availability.   Here is the list of countries where the M3800 developer edition is available online.  For those countries that don’t appear here, the system is available offline by calling a sales representative.

M3800 developer edition — European online availability

We are currently working on rolling out the M3800 developer edition in the Asia Pacific/Japan region as well.  Stay tuned!

Extra-credit reading

  • Welcome the Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation, developer edition – Barton’s Blog
  • Update: Dell XPS 13 laptop, developer edition – Sputnik Gen 4 – Barton’s Blog

Pau for now…


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