Does the Dell XPS 13 Plus run Linux?
The Dell XPS 13 Plus is one of the most interesting laptops we’ve seen so far this year. It has a very modern design, a great display, and top-tier performance. Like most laptops, the Dell XPS 13 Plus is mostly known as a Windows device, but what if you want to run Linux on it? Thankfully, you can, either by buying it with Linux out of the box or by installing it yourself later.
The Dell XPS 13 Plus Developer Edition comes with Ubuntu
If you want to buy the Dell XPS 13 Plus with Linux out of the box, you’ll want to look for the Developer Edition. This isn’t new to Dell, and the regular Dell XPS 13 also comes in a Developer Edition that runs Linux. Specifically, the Dell XPS 13 Plus comes with Ubuntu, which is one of the most popular Linux distributions. The version that comes installed is 20.04, the latest one available as a long-term support (LTS) release. You can always upgrade to a newer version if you want to.
This is great to see considering so few premium laptops come with Ubuntu. With the Dell XPS 13 Plus being one of the best laptops out there, it’s great to have the option to run Linux and have it be officially supported by the manufacturer. We don’t yet know what configuration options will be available since the laptop hasn’t launched yet, but the standard Dell XPS 13 didn’t make any big sacrifices with Linux compared to the Windows version.
Windows Subsystem for Linux
Another option you might want to consider is just using the Windows Subsystem for Linux. For a while now, it’s been possible to run Linux on Windows, with various distributions available on the Microsoft Store. These are mostly CLI-based versions of the OS, but you can run GUI apps, too.
You can enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux by going to the Settings app, then going to the Apps section and choosing Optional features -> More Windows features. Simply scroll down the list, enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux, and restart. Then you can look for a Linux distribution on the Microsoft Store and install it. Ubuntu, Kali Linux, openSUSE, and others are available.
Installing Linux on the Dell XPS 13 Plus
If you want Linux to run natively on your PC, access a GUI version of it, or you want to replace Windows entirely, you can install it using an ISO file or a bootable USB drive. It’s relatively easy to install Linux on a PC, and since most Linux distributions are free, you don’t have to worry about buying a license.
For example, if you want to install Ubuntu, you can download the latest ISO from the official Ubuntu website or you can look for one of the many Linux distributions out there you can install. Only Ubuntu is officially supported, but if it runs well, other Linux distros should work just fine on the Dell XPS 13 Plus.
As to how you can install it, it depends on how invested you are in switching. You can use virtualization software such as VMware Workstation Player to create a virtual machine if you just want to test out Linux. Or you can use Rufus to creatable a bootable USB drive to install Linux natively on the laptop. We have a guide on how to dual-boot Linux and Windows 11, if you want to keep using them side-by-side.
The Dell XPS 13 Plus isn’t available to buy just yet, so if Linux is really your preferred choice, you can still buy it with Ubuntu preinstalled. We’ll have a purchase link above once it’s available. In the meantime, if you’d rather not wait, you can check out other Dell laptops you might like. Technically, any Windows 11 laptop can run Linux in some form, specifically through the second and third options above. And if you’re looking to expand the ports on your laptop, you may want to check out the best docks for Dell XPS laptops.