Ubuntu 7.10 Update


As many of you know, the Ubuntu community is planning to release their next version Ubuntu Linux, version 7.10 (a.k.a “Gutsy Gibbon”), this Thursday. At this time, we’re not yet ready to announce our product plans around Ubuntu 7.10, but I would like to share information on some of the work my engineering team has been performing with the OS.

Over the past few months, our focus with Ubuntu 7.10 has revolved primarily around hardware functionality and stability on the systems we plan to support. This has involved a great deal of testing, identifying and troubleshooting bugs, and working with the Ubuntu community to get those bugs fixed in the OS. In particular, much of our testing has focused on the following areas: graphics (laptop native resolution support, monitor compatibility), wired/wireless networking, suspend/hibernate, laptop webcams, audio, and touchpad mouse scrolling, to name a few. We have also focused on performing OS upgrade testing, to make sure the OS upgrade process is as smooth as possible for Dell customers. As always, our goal is to have Ubuntu 7.10 “just work” when installing it on supported hardware, and I think customers will have a very good experience using the OS on our supported hardware.

We have created a new Ubuntu 7.10 page on our wiki, and have begun updating it with information. After Ubuntu 7.10 is available on Thursday, please review the content on this page before updating your operating system from 7.04 to 7.10. For additional information and help, please check the Dell Desktop Linux mailing list, the Dell Linux Forum, or the Ubuntu/Dell forum.

In addition to all of our technical work, the team has also been spending a lot of time talking to customers, reading community and media reviews, sorting through Dell Ideastorm postings, and reviewing the Dell and Ubuntu Linux forums, in order to learn how we can improve our Ubuntu Linux offerings. We have incorporated much of that information into shaping our test plans, bug fixing efforts, and product plans, and we think our customers will be pleased with the progress we have made.

We’ll provide more information soon on those product plans around Ubuntu 7.10, including supported systems, supported hardware features, availability timeframe, and countries. Please stay tuned.

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  • Anonymous

    Wow – that’s awesome to know! I built my own Ubuntu box, but I would consider a Dell next time – less time fussing with sleep and wireless would be great!

  • Anonymous

    Now if you would either dump Lexmark as your OEM partner or develop Linux drivers for the All In One devices………..




  • DELL-John Hull

    Ben: No plans to sell Kubuntu at this time. However, it’s very easy for users to turn an Ubuntu install into Kubuntu

  • Anonymous

    Dell selling Ubuntu machines is great, it’s a shame I just
    bought an Acer laptop not long ago. When I need a new work laptop, I will
    likely get a new Ubuntu Dell.

    Is there any chance that you will start selling Kubuntu
    laptops as well?

  • Anonymous

    I got my new XPS M1330 last week (with nVidia graphics and WLED screen) and installed Ubuntu 7.10 Beta on it, and – it just works!

    All hardware works out of the box. For the video driver, I got a notice that there was a restricted driver available when starting up Ubuntu for the first time, and activating it was a matter of a few mouse clicks.

    So I’m very happy that Ubuntu 7.10 works perfectly on the M1330.

  • Anonymous

    Please sell Ubuntu Dell computers in the Netherlands! We are waiting such long time already!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Hull, for all your efforts, as well as all your team. I’m really having that ‘warm feeling’ from Dell’s new initiative on Linux desktops.

    That’s the main reason why I recently bought an Inspiron 1720 from Dell UK, specially to run Ubuntu on it: I want to financially help Dell into developing its Linux offerings. I must say I’m impressed with the ‘just works’ aspects of your hardware. I intend to buy many more from you in the near future because of that warm feeling.

    My only complaint is the fact that your top and latest hardware offerings do not come with Ubuntu preinstalled, and that refrained me from buying more than one laptop: I’m waiting them to come with Ubuntu. Indeed, I was only able to buy my 1720 with Vista, which I promptly wiped out and threw the DVD away (seriously, Windows for me is like the plague). Therefore, mine (and many other buyers) financial efforts to support Linux on Dell will not show up in your Linux statistics.

    I saw your interview in LXer. Someone cites a 1% figure for the amount of Dell hardware sold with Ubuntu. Put it in 2% or 3%, because I know many people who bought your latest hardware (which only comes with Vista), wiped Vista and are using Ubuntu. I’m sure that if you provided Ubuntu, this number would probably become 4% or 5% because these same people want to financially help Dell’s efforts on Linux.

    Please make sure that in the near future you provide Ubuntu not only in your bottom products, but at least in some of your top-notch laptops and desktops. Linux users usually are power-users which like to be on the edge of the technology, and your basic hardware offerings for Ubuntu just are not good enough for most of us. If you give us what we need (Ubuntu on top offerings) we will buy!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for helping to make Linux “just work” on DELL hardware. It would be very cool if DELL would offer an Ubuntu laptop with an integrated webcam.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you.  I’m a happy Dell-Ubuntu owner.  I got  an E520N on June 6.  I’ll install 7.10 on a fresh partition and keep the older version until I’m sure I’ve got all the little customizations just like I want them.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Hull

    Many Canadians have been  waiting for Dell Canada to ship computers with Ubuntu installed. So far nothing. We re in mid-october already.

    Your input would be appreciated 

    Thank you 

  • DELL-John Hull

    sakuramboo: We do indeed work with kernel developers to get our drivers and bug fixes to the upstream kernel and to X.org. Ubuntu is really the test-bed for most of what we do, since we sell it on our systems. What you don’t see is the behind-the-scenes iwork we do with the kernel community and our HW vendors (Intel, Nvidia, AMD, etc.) to get that driver support pushed upstream for all the Linux distributions to use. Our goal is for customers to be able to run whichever Linux distribution they want on our hardware, and I think that’s the case for the most part.

  • Anonymous

    It’s great that you are helping get the hardware supported with Ubuntu, but what about the other distributions? Wouldn’t it be better for you guys to work with the kernel developers to get the drivers built into the kernel instead of just with on specific distribution? That way, every distribution will “just work”. I’m sorry, but I don’t like any Debian based distributions and I feel like i’m getting the short end of the stick just because Fedora and Slackware work better for me.

  • Anonymous

    So it looks as though more models are being planned to have Ubuntu on. Nice.

    I was in the market for two 6400n but decided against it as the price for UK customers is much higher (50 pounds) than our German and French neighbours. And the baseic spec for the french and Germans is higher than for the UK.

    I know this has nothing to do with the Linux team but it still smarts.

    Now, what about drivers for Dell’s printers.

  • Anonymous

    Well, this sounds all nice and shiny, but what about the users who decide not use Ubuntu?
    Won’t they have hybernate support and so on, because Ubuntu is using a patched kernel. Or will those issues be fixed upstream?

  • DELL-John Hull

    morrione: you raise a valid point. We haven’t performed testing with the direct upstream kernels or with other distros, so we can’t guarantee 100% that suspend and hibernate with work outside of Ubuntu. However, our strategy is to push any code necessary to get our hardware to work to the upstream kernel, so we do expect that it will work for most of the newer distributions.One way to look at it is that we’re using Ubuntu as our primary test vehicle for our Linux hardware support, which allows us to enable Ubuntu specifically, but also enable all Linux distros in a more general sense. As always, if there’s a feature that doesn’t work on with any Linux distro on our hardware, we’d love to hear about it on our desktop mailing list.

  • DELL-John Hull

    Matthias: we now have various Linux efforts across most of our product lines now. Red Hat and SUSE on our PowerEdge servers, Red Hat on Precision, Ubuntu on consumer systems, and SLED certifications on OptiPlex and Latitude. We are doing work with the Linux distribution that makes the most sense for each product line, and that work usually ends up trickling down into other distributions as well.

     For the apt repository, that is something that we’re working on.

  • Anonymous

    I really like the Linux effort, but as said before: expand the effort to all devices including Optiplex, Precision and of course PowerEdge, but also accessories and peripherals.

    But the main problem is proprietary hardware and closed source, but that’s mostly due to restrictions made by the chipset manufacturers – non-disclosure agreements are widely used for W*ndows-only hardware.

    IMHO the best way would be to get open source hardware support in the kernel sources or some Dell-repositories. By using Ubuntu as distribution, which is based on Debian, a .deb-repository would do well and could easily be integrated in every Debian-based distribution.

    Just to put my two cents in…

     by the way, I am a pure Debian user and I am willing to pay more for hardware, if I can use open source kernel drivers

  • Anonymous

    I appreciate the efforts on Dell’s part.  This seems to be a nice two way street.  We buy their hardware and they extend kernel patches to improve compatibility with the kernel.  The Linux world may be balkanized between fedora, suse, debian, the respective derivative, and others.  However, all of the Linux distros share the kernel.  Debian stable may not benefit from the new kernel patches from Dell, but certainly newer kernels (such as rolling released Arch, Debian testing, and new distros) will have those benefits.

    I bought an Inspiron 530 for my son and it has been a great machine.  We updated to 7.10 a little while back and it did great.  I am more inclined for KDE personally…Are there any issues with KDE on the Dell machines, or should I be able to “upgrade” to KDE without much trouble?

    Thanks, Bryan 


  • Anonymous


    I’ve been running Ubuntu on an old Inspiron 6000 since 5.06. It is good to hear that you plan to start selling Dell laptops with 7.10 pre-installed, but it’d be even better if you offered a wider range of configurations in all markets, desktops and laptops.

    Based on the above, I’m tempted to buy the XPS M1330 next time I am in the US, wipe Vista and install 7.10.

    The Inspiron runs fine except that it is a little slow for many applications (eg, XP emulation under Qemu). And I’d like to see an integrated webcam and microphone and full support of external monitors.



  • DELL-John Hull

    Bryan: you should be able to run KDE without a problem on our systems. Many customers (and people at Dell) already do

  • Anonymous

    I bought an Inspiron E1505n (Ubuntu 7.04) as soon as they became available and I’ve been very satisfied.  However, it’s not Linux if you don’t fiddle with it <g>, so…

    I installed the Tribe 3 alpha release when it became available and have been updating since.  I also did a fresh install when the RC was released and so far, everything looks very good.

    I’ll definitely keep an eye on your 7.10 wiki page.  After all, if you guys don’t know more about this stuff than I do, we’re all in big trouble…

    Thanks to your team for all the effort that’s gone into the Ubuntu project! 

  • Anonymous

    Hello Mr.Hull,

     I fully support what James-UK said. I purchased a Dell XPS M1210, wiped Vista from the drive and installed Ubuntu (even though it meant that I can not use the integrated ricoh card reader).

     Best regards.

  • Anonymous


    I buy latitudes at my organization and have been waiting for Dell to expand the preinstalled Ubuntu offering to the Latitude product line. Can you tell me if this will happy anytime soon since this summer I was due to buy a new laptop plus our organization is rethinking their desktop strategy for the future.  Ubuntu will be the preferred distro so if Dell is planning on expanding the Ubuntu support across all desktop/laptop PCs you would be the preferred vendor.  Any information you could provide would be helpful.  We can not plan while being in the dark about Dell’s intentions.


  • DELL-John Hull

    Don: we don’t have plans at this time to expand the Ubuntu program to Latitude systems. The focus right now with Ubuntu is for consumer-oriented systems (Inspiron and XPS)

  • Anonymous

    Hello everyone. I am really glad that Dell offers Linux operating program. Now my question is why that linux program why not Sidux program thats what I use on my Dell computer and I love it. If I wanted to buy another Dell computer I like to have that option to have Sidux onit not the other linux program so next time have that option. Have 3 operating systems Windows,Unbunto, and Sidux give that option for the public.

  • Anonymous


    Will there be more laptop options November 5.  I can settle for an inspiron i guess but would prefer some graphics card other than Intel and really would like the choice of a flash drive instead of a micro hard disk.  Any of these options on the horizon.

  • Anonymous

    I am using your E520n with Ubuntu 7.04, I added a 2nd SATA 500 drive and use it with VMworkstation 6.0.1 so I can use XPPro as a virtual Machine….

    I have 2 questions: 

    I notice that the E520n is no longer available and that the E530n is not offered with a SATA 500 drive. Can one (or 2) be installed?

    Will I be able to get a custom version of the DRU version of 7.10 for the 520n so I can upgrade or reinstall? ( Will the new 23 kernel allow  use of VMworkstation?)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your continued efforts with Linux, they are much appreciated.  Our research team uses CentOS, so when we bought our new Precision 690, we opted to get WinXP64 over RedHat, but the CD will probably just sit on the bookcase forever.  We would have chosen FreeDOS or No OS had that been an option because the hospital’s IT department handles all installs.

    The Precision 690 has been very stable and everything works most excellently under CentOS.  Thanks again for your Linux work.

  • Anonymous

    Be successful!Thanks for your work on Linux.

  • Anonymous

    I upgraded my Inspiron 6400 to 7.10 with no real problems. I don’t use the modem, so I’m not worried about that.

    The only fiddling was that the addition I had made to /etc/init.d/bootmisc.sh to get 1280×800 to work in 7.04 (/usr/sbin/915resolution 5a 1280 800 32) was removed, but it warned me about that, so I knew to reinstate it. [It would be nice if the wide screen modes worked out of the box.]

    The upgrade got my MediaDirect buttons working with Rhythmbox, which was a pleasant surprise.

    Incidentally, I do recommend everyone, who hasn’t already done so to have a play with:

     System | Preferences | Appearance | Visual Effects

    The effects are very nice indeed on the 6400. 

  • Anonymous

    I would also like to see Dell selling Ubuntu PCs in Canada.

  • DELL-John Hull

    Tom Gilliard: all of the necessary drivers for the 520n are already in the Ubuntu 7.04 and 7.10 media. You won’t need a custom Dell version for your upgrade.



  • Anonymous

    John –

    Thanks so much for you – and your team’s – great work!

    I’m a newbie to this, and recently got an Inspiron 1420 (with all Intel insides – same as the 1420n) – and am going to set up a dual-boot. Should I wait for a Dell remastered 7.10 iso, or go ahead with the standard ubuntu 7.10 iso?

    (It seems like there has been problems with Compiz and the intel chipset – but wasn’t sure if Dell would be able to fix that, and have the video work at the same time, etc….)



  • Anonymous

    I have a Dell E520n with the factory loaded Ubuntu 7.04: Is it safe to
    do an upgrade to 7.10 from the factory 7.04? Are there any known issues
    that would affect me. (I am using VMworkstation 6.0.1 linux with a
    virtual XPPro machine installed.)

  • Anonymous

    We need a final solution for problem with brightness control on dell laptops with ubuntu linux.

    I’m searching all foruns and internet, but i don’t find solution for this. 

  • DELL-John Hull

    rodrigo: what brightness control problem are you referring to? I’m not aware of any issues

  • Anonymous

    Ubuntu 7.10 works just fine with the Dell XPS 700 and it seems from other comments with other high-end consumer systems. Please give us the option to buy these systems with Ubuntu rather than Windows.


  • Anonymous

    My Statement: I bought a new Dell XPS 410 as soon as they announced they were shipping with Ubuntu to try and support the cause.  Except, I purchased it with Vista because it was ~$850 vs ~$1100 for the same machine.

    My question: I’m having problems with what I’m assuming is ACPI.  I’ve set 7.10 up to sleep after 40 min.  But when I turn it back on, it appears to wake up, but then immediately hibernate.  After that, another power on brings it out of hibernation.  Any suggestions?  Do I need to add any special Dell repositories?

  • Anonymous

    Any ETA on laptops with 7.10 pre-installed?

  • Anonymous

    Please pass the following to whoever makes the decisions:

    the availability of business class systems with Ubuntu (UK) would be enough to make Dell our primary PC/laptop hardware supplier. While not a huge organisation by Dell market standards, we purchase upwards of 50 systems annually and are rapidly growing.

    I have supplied my email address to encourage further discussion 




  • Anonymous

    John Hull, Manager of Linux OS Engineering said:

    rodrigo: what brightness control problem are you referring to? I’m not aware of any issues

    November 1, 2007 7:52 AM


    John, the FN Keys don’t work on ubuntu and there aren’t a place to change brightness. I read on launchpad that is a problem with HAL, etc. But i’m a basic linux user and i don’t understand how to solution this. 

    I have a Dell Vostro 1000.


  • DELL-John Hull

    Rodrigo: please send an email to our desktop Linux mailing list about the problem you’re seeing. That’s the best place to have the discussion with the engineers on my team to get this resolved.

  • Anonymous

    John, thanks for your help, but i think my problem does’t have solution yet.

    Michael E Brown send this:


    and Matt Domsch send this:


    I hope Dell is working to solution this fast with linux and ubuntu developers. 


  • Anonymous

    I bought an Inspiron 530 with Ubuntu 7.04 installed. I am loving it. When the upgrade notice for 7.10 showed up, out of inexperience, I just proceded with the install.

    Fortunately everything seemed to go fine. When the upgrade scripts were flying by, I did notice that there was a failure on a DELL script. The scripts were scrolling so fast, I couldn’t see what failed. However, it all seems to operate properly.

    I installed the nvidia proprietary graphics driver to support the included graphics card. Now I get 3D graphics support.

    Under 7.04 the highest monitor resolution available for the Dell SE178WFP LCD monitor was 1024×768. Under 7.10, I chose another monitor (Dell SE177FP and checked the wide screen box. The refresh rate was set at 60HZ. This gave me a wider range of resolutions to choose from. I now have it set at 1280×800. This seems to be working fine. Hope it dosent destroy the monitor.



  • Anonymous

    Just a note to also let Dell know I appreciate their new official Linux and Ubuntu support. In the past I have carefully purchased Dell machines only once I could be sure that Ubuntu would mostly work on them. My E521 is such an example (I also dumped Vista that I was forced to purchase with it …). The E521 had some problems with Linux during its initial release but Dell addressed them fairly quickly, It would be nice to have an expanded range of desktops/laptops pre-installed with Ubuntu – or at least some degree of (informal) Dell driver support – the wiki/mailing lists should help with this.



  • Anonymous

    1-I have upgraded my E520n to 7.10 and it works fine. EXCEPT for having to eject the cd 2 times  to get it to work properly….. I know this is a known bug but thought it would be fixed by now.

    2- I go to Dell site /support and when it asks for service tag I enter
    it….Ubuntu is not listed on OS drop down box. WHY DOES IT NOT
    RECOGNIZE service tag is for E520n and direct me to linux drivers?

    #2 also sent to: US_CAG_Customer_Care



  • Anonymous

    Fixed the problem in Ubuntu where fn brightness keys don’t work. 



  • Anonymous

    My XPS M1330 arrived today. Everything works as I expected.  I was considering a laptop from another vendor but the deciding factor was the built in dvd support.

    My only gripe is that I was rather limited in my selection of models and the sales channel. I'm used to buying from the small business channel with rapid and knowledgeable pre-sales support. 

    So far, I'm quite pleased! 

  • Anonymous

    Ubuntu 7.10 on an optiplex 755 intel core 2 quad


    sound does not work out of the box, with A06 upgrade…been searching for "fixes" for almost 3 weeks, to no avail.



    any ideas anyone?      

  • Anonymous

    Bought a Dell bookshelf PC dimension. Try install Linux of all distro, non able to properly install without drivers problem. I even try liveCD version from Fedora to Unbutun to little Linux, all the same.

    Linux is a major pain in the nexk, still far away from desktop user friendly stage yet. Linux should focus more on the common standard drivers 1st for the convneience, then let the users adjust to a more define proper driver for maximun performance.