Does the Dell XPS 13 (2022) run Linux? Can you install it?

Does the Dell XPS 13 (2022) run Linux? Can you install it?

The 2022 Dell XPS 13 is one of the best laptops you can buy right now, but like most other laptops, it’s mostly known for being a Windows machine. SO what if you’re not a Windows fan? No need to worry, you can run Linux on the Dell XPS 13, and Dell even gives you the option to get it with Linux out of the box if you prefer it that way.

If you’ve already bought the Dell XPS 13 with Windows and you want to run Linux, you can still do it, too. Let’s take a closer look at all your options.

Buying the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition

If you’re a full-time Linux user and you don’t want to use Windows at all, Dell has you covered with the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition. This is a version of the XPS 13 that runs Ubuntu out of the box, but it’s the same great laptop aside from that. You get all the configuration options of the regular versions, including up to an Intel Core i7-1260U processor. If you want that, you can buy it below:

    The Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition gives you the option to get the laptop with Ubuntu installed out of te box, and it still comes with high-end Intel processors and other great specs.

The Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition ships with Ubuntu 20.04, which is the latest LTS (long-term support) release, and you won’t be forced to upgrade for a long time. You can always upgrade to a newer version free of charge. Plus, buying it with Ubuntu is cheaper than the Windows version.

Using the Windows Subsystem for Linux

If you just want to run some Linux on your PC but you’re still mostly a Windows user, the best solution for you may be to use the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). This is a feature that’s been part of Windows for a few years, and it’s been getting better with each release. In Windows 11, WSL lets you run proper Linux apps with graphical interfaces, instead of just CLI-based apps.

Linux apps open right alongside your Windows apps, and you can switch between them as you would with any other app. They run in a special virtualization mode, so you don’t need to create a whole separate environment for them.

Linux version of GIMP and xcalx running on Windows 11

If you want to use the Windows Subsystem for Linux, your best bet is to download the Windows Subsystem for Linux preview from the Microsoft Store. After that, restart your PC and go back to the Microsoft Store to find your favorite Linux distribution, with options like Ubuntu and Kali Linux already available.

Installing Linux on the Dell XPS 13

Finally, if you want to use both operating systems as completely separate experiences, you can install Linux on the Dell XPS 13 alongside Windows 11. You can do this by using a virtual machine or by dual-booting the two operating systems.

Virtual machines (or VMs) are the easier and more risk-free approach. You can use virtualization software like Hyper-V (built into Windows 11 Pro) or VMware Workstation Player, then download your favorite Linux distribution, such as Ubuntu, and create a virtual machine to run the OS. This means you’ll still be running Linux inside Windows 11, but you get the full Linux interface and you can get more of a feel for what it’s like. We have a guide on how to install Windows 11 in a VM, and you can follow the same general steps for Linux.

Screenshots of Windows and Ubuntu side by side

Dual-booting is a bit tricker, but it has a major benefit in terms of performance. Both operating systems will be running natively on your PC, meaning you get the full performance your hardware can offer. However, it does come with the downside of having to reboot your computer every time you want to switch operating systems, and there’s also a bit more risk if anything goes wrong during the process. If you need help, follow our guide on how to dual-boot Windows 11 and Linux on the Dell XPS 13.

That’s all there is to know about running Linux on the Dell XPS 13, particularly the 2022 model, though most of these steps apply to previous models as well. Depending on what kind of user you are, each of these methods has merit, so it’s up to you what makes more sense to you. It’s great that you have all these options, as this is truly one of the best Dell laptops you can buy right now, and it would be unfortunate if you were stuck with an OS you don’t like. Hopefully, this article helped assuage any concerns you may have had about buying the XPS 13.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor 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.

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