Does the Dell XPS 15 come with Linux? Can I install it?

Does the Dell XPS 15 come with Linux? Can I install it?

Most of the best laptops on the market today are based on Windows, and there’s a good reason for that. It’s been the most popular desktop operating system for decades, so everyone is familiar with it. But that doesn’t mean it’s a perfect fit for everyone. Laptops with Linux are rare, but they do exist, and the Dell XPS 13 is one of the few premium laptops available with Ubuntu. But what if you want a bigger display? Can you also run Linux on the Dell XPS 15? Yes you can, but it’s going to take a bit of work.

With the smaller XPS 13, Dell gives you the option to buy the Developer Edition, which runs Ubuntu out of the box. Unfortunately, you can’t do that with the Dell XPS 15 or 17. You have to buy it with Windows. But the great thing about Linux is it’s free, and for the most part, widely compatible. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can still install it.

Dell XPS 15

Can I install Linux on the Dell XPS 15?

Installing Linux on the Dell XPS 15 is possible, and you can do it in a couple of different ways. Regardless of what method you choose, the first thing you’ll need to do is download the Linux distribution you want. Linux is available in a lot of different flavors, and you can choose your favorite. One of the most popular is Ubuntu, and if you want to go with that, you can download it here. What you’ll download is an ISO file, which you’re going to need for what’s next.

If you just want to try out Linux, and Windows is going to be your main operating system, one way you can do it is by using a virtual machine. VMs are the safest way to try different operating systems on your computer. They don’t require you to mess with your computer’s hard drive, dual-booting, or anything like that. Virtual machines are sandboxed environments that run inside your current operating systems, so you run them like an app, and nothing you do inside the virtual machine can damage your PC.

To run a virtual machine, you’re going to need virtualization software. There are a few options for this, but you can always stick with Hyper-V, which is included with Windows 10 Pro. If you have Windows 10 Home, you can follow this guide to enable Hyper-V on your PC. To set up the virtual machine, you can follow the general instructions in this guide, although keep in mind you’re installing Linux, not Windows 11. Most of the steps will be the same.

Screenshots of Windows and Ubuntu side by side

Another option if you want to use Linux on your XPS 15 is dual-booting. This makes it possible to use both Windows and Linux at native performance, but it can be a bit more cumbersome since you have to reboot to switch operating systems. If you’re interested in dual-booting, you can follow this guide on how to do it.


That’s how you can run Linux on your Dell XPS 15. This is one of Dell’s best laptops and one of the best laptops in general. It comes with 11th-generation H-series Intel Core processors, up to 64GB of RAM, and you can even add NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics. It’s an incredibly powerful machine in a compact and thin chassis, and you can use it for all kinds of demanding workloads. Plus, it has Thunderbolt support, so you can expand your capabilities with a dock or add an external GPU if you need more power. If you haven’t yet, you can buy it below.

    Dell XPS 15
    The Dell XPS 15 is a powerful 15 inch laptop in a compact and thin design. It has up to an Intel Core i9-11900H, 64GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Writer at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.