Ubuntu on my XPS 12

I’ve recently taken delivery of my new laptop, a Dell XPS 12. It’s a great convertible laptop with a screen which flips over to become a tablet.
I bought it with the intention if running Linux on it (specifically Ubuntu or XenClient), but was wary as I had read some posts around the interwebs that the screen uses WiDi for comms which isn’t supported under Linux.

I checked with Dell’s customer support that Linux does work before buying so I had some comeback if it didn’t work and after 2 Months wait have just taken delivery of my new shiny thing.

Both XenClient and Ubuntu work on the machine with very little Bios fettling. Just ensure legacy boot is on and the UEFI security is kept off. I even dual-booted Ubuntu and Windows 8 by shrinking the main Win8 partition and installing Ubuntu there. I haven’t yet tried to get a grub menu to appear, but hitting F12 at boot allows me to select UEFI (Win8) to boot or Legacy hard drive (Ubuntu).

I installed Ubuntu 12.10 which supports the touch screen and also tried Unity and Gnome 3. Both allow you to drag windows round, launch applications and bring up a virtual keyboard using the touch screen.

Written by Rob in: Buggy |


  • drugantibus

    Other few weeks and I’ll try too….

    Comment | March 9, 2013
  • Tim

    Did XenClient pick up you wireless network adapter? I’ve tried on my Duo (the new 2013 model – Haswell) and XenClient doesn’t see any adapters.

    Comment | December 17, 2013
  • Rob

    Tim, XenClient Enterprise or XT? I tried XT, but I shouldn’t expect a problem with wireless with either.
    I am aware that USB network dongles will give you trouble, though.

    Comment | December 17, 2013
  • andy

    Have you determined for sure that the Wi-Fi on the XPS 12 works with XenClient? The dongle you are referring to is for Ethernet connections to the XPS 12?

    Comment | December 21, 2013
  • andy

    How did your XPS 12 / XenClient solution turn out?

    Comment | December 21, 2013
  • Rob

    If I remember rightly, it was OK. I sent back my XPS12, though as I found it far too heavy to use as a tablet.

    XenClient Enterprise should work better now as the kernel used has been upgraded since I tried it, but the XenClient SKUs have always worked better on business grade laptops rather than ultrabooks IMO.

    *Disclaimer* I work for Citrix on the XenClient team :)

    Comment | December 23, 2013
  • andy

    Thanks Rob… I am a former Citrite now leading a Citrix Partner and we have a couple of XenClient projects and POCs in progress. For the past 6 months I have been using XenClient 100% of the time (in some cases as the end-point for accessing VDI) and I bought a XPS 12 to see how XenClient on a tablet would work. Love to chat with you at some point to get some of your insight on XenClient.

    Comment | December 25, 2013

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