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


Update: Dell XPS 13 laptop, developer edition – Sputnik Gen 4

February 5, 2015

We have been getting a ton of questions around the 4th generation Sputnik (XPS13 Sputnik_Sticker_Finallaptop, developer edition) and when it will be available.  As you may have seen, last week at Sundance we broke the news of our brand new Dell Precision M3800, developer edition pre-loaded with Ubuntu.

The XPS 13 isn’t far behind. We’re getting close and will have more to share soon but ultimately are spending time making sure everything works to provide the best customer experience possible.  A word of caution, if you purchase the Windows version of the new XPS 13 and try to load Ubuntu on it you will run into a few issues that we are currently addressing.

Please realize this DOES NOT AFFECT the Windows version of the XPS 13 laptop that recently launched.

Stay tuned for more updates soon.

The Reviews are in

XPS 13:  For your reference here are just a handful of awesome reviews that the Windows version of the recently launched XPS 13 laptop has garnered.  (The developer edition is based off this.)

  • Dell’s New XPS 13 Laptop Makes Me Seriously Regret My MacBook Air Purchase – Forbes
  • The MacBook Air Meets its Match – Wall Street Journal
  • Stunning screen, compact design make XPS 13 the first great laptop of 2015 – CNET
  • Dell’s Gorgeous New Windows Laptop Has An Amazing Screen And Is Cheaper Than The MacBook Air – Business Insider
  • Dell puts Apple’s MacBook Air on notice at CES – FOX News
  • Dell XPS 13 Boasts Thinnest Screen Bezel Ever – LAPTOP Mag
  • Dell’s New XPS 13 Sounds Like The Laptop Of My Dreams – Gizmodo

M3800 developer edition: Also for your reference, here is a bit of the press coverage the M3800  developer edition received

Extra-credit reading

 

Pau for now…

 


Welcome the Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation, developer edition

January 27, 2015

Update March 17:  Great  review in Network World — Review: Dell’s Ubuntu-powered M3800 Mobile Workstation is a desktop destroyer

Since the planning stages of project Sputnik over two years ago we wanted to offer two versions of our developer-focused systems.  The idea was to have both an ultra mobile laptop and a beefier workstation offering, a beauty and the beast line up if you will.  Due to the need to focus our resources however, we worked with the community to first build out the laptop, delivering the XPS 13 laptop, developer edition.Soyuz

Moving towards the beast

The first year after launching the XPS 13, we got a steady stream of requests for a bigger system.  This wasn’t lost on team member Jared Dominguez who decided to work on his own time with the Dell Precision M3800 mobile edition and put together instructions on how get Ubuntu running on the system.

A little over a year ago with the launch of the 3rd generation of the XPS13 developer edition we also announced its “unofficial big brother” and provided Jared’s instructions.  We received a lot of great feedback but there were also folks asking when we were going to deliver an officially supported version of the M3800.  What we told the community was — like the initial project Sputnik offering, if we got enough positive feedback — we might be able to offer it as an official pre-installed system.

A thread was started on the Sputnik Forum for people to express their interest in an official system.  We got a tremendous amount of positive feedback and as a result we listened to our customers and have added the M3800 to our developer edition lineup of Ubuntu-based systems.

Introducing the Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation, Developer Edition

One of the main features people were looking for in the Precision M3800 was 16 GB of RAM.  The new Ubuntu-based M3800 introduced today, has that and a whole lot more:

Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation, dev edition – Key features

  • Preloaded Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  • Next generation of the world’s thinnest and lightest true 15-inch mobile workstation
  • Starting weight of just 4.15lbs (1.88kg) and a form factor that is less than 0.71 inches (18mm) thick
  • Fourth generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, professional grade NVIDIA Quadro K1100M graphics, and up to 16GB of memory
  • 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160) screen option
  • Availability: worldwide

Unfortunately, one of the features that wont be available right out of the gate is thunderbolt support.  As Jared explains in his blog:

Because our factory Ubuntu installs only ship Ubuntu LTS releases, we were not able to ship with Thunderbolt support. However, thanks to the hardware-enablement stack in Ubuntu, starting with upcoming Ubuntu 14.04.2, you will be able to upgrade your kernel to add some Thunderbolt support. We plan to be working with Canonical to recertify the Precision M3800 with official Thunderbolt support.

How do I get one

You can get to the M3800 developer edition by going to the Dell Precision M3800 Mobile Workstation page: www.dell.com/create and choosing the system labeled “Fully Customizable” on the far left.  Or you can go directly to configurator, where under “Operating System” you can select Ubuntu 14.04 SP1 and away you go!

M3800Menu

What about the additional software?

This time around we went with the vanilla image of the most recent LTS release (14.04).  A vanilla image was actually one of the top requests when we gathered input on our initial Storm session.

Since the original launch we have been working on a profile tool and Cloud launcher.  We are still working on these but it’s been a bit more difficult than we originally thought :).  Stay tuned for more news on this.

Will there be a new XPS 13 developer edition?

You bet!  The 4th generation of the XPS 13 laptop, developer edition will be available soon.  It will based on the the new XPS 13 laptop that debuted earlier this month.

A Big Thanks

Thanks to everyone in the community for the tremendous support of the Sputnik program.  Without your support, this program would not be possible!

 Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


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