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Thread: Support for new release (20.04 LTS) on a Dell notebook?

  1. #11
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    Re: Support for new release (20.04 LTS) on a Dell notebook?

    Ok, so I see the problem could be with proprietay / third party software. In that case I assume I'll just try and switch to 20.04.
    Thanks for your answer.

  2. #12
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    Re: Support for new release (20.04 LTS) on a Dell notebook?

    Quote Originally Posted by pamctn View Post
    I'm also somehow concerned that "newer" software on Ubuntu 18.04 might fail to work because you need to upgrade your system, file "XXX" is obsolete, driver "yyy" is no more supported, ecc. and thus needing an early upgrade.
    Well. we'll see.
    This is where you're wrong. This kind of concern I've labelled "Microsoft thinking", and it's hard to get away from (but you'll learn ).
    Fact is, that once a driver or other necessary stuff is in the Linux world, it stays there and is available for later installations/hardware. This is decidedly different to the M$ approach, where "planned obsolescence" is part of the business model.

    This was a major revelation to me when starting with (x)Ubuntu.

  3. #13
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    Re: Support for new release (20.04 LTS) on a Dell notebook?

    Ok, I think I'll get one of the models with 18.04 preinstalled and cross my fingers when I'll need to upgrade... hope all of the hardware will be supported alsp under 20.04 and work fine!
    Thanks for all the replies

  4. #14
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    Re: Support for new release (20.04 LTS) on a Dell notebook?

    If the HW works under 18.04, it will also work under 20.04. You really need to get away from the MS mindset

    I've never bought a PC with preinstalled Ubuntu myself, but perhaps it's not a bad idea.
    Last edited by ml9104; June 16th, 2020 at 09:42 PM. Reason: Corrected typographical error to "MS"

  5. #15
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    Re: Support for new release (20.04 LTS) on a Dell notebook?

    This is what still confuses me.
    If I understand well, Dell have their own images (in this case it is a customized 18.04), with tweaks for each of their models, to ensure everything is working properly.
    If a new release comes out (20.04), I would be installing the "standard" version without the tweaks from Dell as they don't support the upgrade (from their site). Or does everything get "passed on" to the next release as well? So, also specific tweaks for existing hardware?

  6. #16
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    Re: Support for new release (20.04 LTS) on a Dell notebook?

    If Dell have had to heavily customise the image for that hardware, and those customisations haven't made it upstream yet, then you would miss out on those customisations by switching to a vanilla install.

    However, Dell try to pick Linux-friendly hardware in the first place, since they don't want to do lots of customisation. They just want to sell things with Linux on that work easily with Linux on.

    They have repositories where they put their own bits, should they be needed. If you get a Dell machine with Linux pre-installed make a note of these repositories and then you'll be able to add them again to still have access to Dell's software if you switch to a vanilla install. An upgrade will disable external repositories, but you could also re-enable them again.

  7. #17
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    Re: Support for new release (20.04 LTS) on a Dell notebook?

    Quote Originally Posted by pamctn View Post
    This is what still confuses me.
    If I understand well, Dell have their own images (in this case it is a customized 18.04), with tweaks for each of their models, to ensure everything is working properly.
    If a new release comes out (20.04), I would be installing the "standard" version without the tweaks from Dell as they don't support the upgrade (from their site). Or does everything get "passed on" to the next release as well? So, also specific tweaks for existing hardware?
    That's not how GNU/Linux works. There are no "proprietary" Dell "tweaks" as such. If there are, Dell is obliged to share them with the community*. All old "tweaks" are in the common Linux repositories. I'm working on a 12 years old HP/Compaq and have had zero problems getting drivers installed for it. As soon as it's in the Linux repositories, it stays there.

    I'd have absolutely no qualms about installing 20.04 on a new Dell PC, even if Dell does not have an "official" release.

    I strongly suspect that the Dell position is about warranty when delivering a PC with factory-installed OS, not about functionality.

    *) there are exceptions to this, mainly concerning GPUs where only proprietary drivers are available.

  8. #18
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    Re: Support for new release (20.04 LTS) on a Dell notebook?

    Quote Originally Posted by ml9104 View Post
    There are no "proprietary" Dell "tweaks" as such.
    As an example, the very first Developer Edition XPS 13 had a touchpad that was really finicky. They fixed up the configuration for the software they distributed, upstreamed what they'd done, and moved all their XPS 13s (Developer Edition and Windows both) to a more Linux-friendly touchpad for later hardware revisions. That's the kind of thing. For current hardware I know that the fingerprint reader is something that they're working on, so that may come sooner if you're getting your software directly from Dell. It all gets upstreamed, because who wants to keep maintaining that stuff?

  9. #19
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    Re: Support for new release (20.04 LTS) on a Dell notebook?

    @pamctn:
    Just for translation (I see you're relatively new to this), "upstream" and "upstreaming" means that when you (or Dell) improve or optimize something, you send these changes back to the original/previous developer/maintainer of the package you've changed.
    This way, it will be spread to all users along the way, as it will then be incorporated in the Linux repositories/installs (pending approval, of course).

    It's a fantastic mechanism, and to my mind has brought Linux way ahead of M$ at this point. 10 years ago I would have said something different, but with the momentum it's developed, it's immensely powerful.

  10. #20
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    Re: Support for new release (20.04 LTS) on a Dell notebook?

    Thanks for all the info. Actually I don't know much about how new releases are developed, and how support for new /old "stuff" works.
    All of your answers have been really useful and provided lots onf info and useful suggestions.
    Thanks for clarifying the meaning of upstreaming, it actually wasn't clear at all for me. Also, thanks for the suggestions about the repositories.
    Now it's all about choosing between a G3 anda a G5, but that's a differents history!

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