Introducing the 2020 XPS 13 Developer Edition — (this one goes to 32!)

January 1, 2020

We are proud to announce the latest and greatest Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition. The system, which is based on 10th Gen Intel® Core™ 10nm mobile processors, represents the 10th generation of the XPS 13 Developer Edition (see a list of the previous nine generations below).

This 10th generation system features an updated design and comes with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS preloaded.  Two areas of note are that the new XPS 13 will be available with up to 32GB of RAM as well fingerprint-reader support.  (suppport for the fingerprint-reader support will be available post launch and initially as an update.)

The Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition, 10th generation

 

The Developer Edition, as well as the 32GB Windows configs, will be available in February (initial Windows configs will be available on January 7).  When the Developer Edition launches next month it will be available in the US, Canada and Europe and start at US $1,199.99 (this represents an i5-based Developer Edition with 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, an FHD display and with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS preloaded).

But wait, there’s more: Latitudes and monitors

As with the preceding generation, today’s announcement of the latest XPS 13 Developer Edition is not a decoupled event but is part of a broader Dell product unveiling. In addition to the XPS 13 Developer Edition and its Windows counterpart, Dell Technologies is introducing new products and software across its premium Latitude 9000 series and display portfolios.

Dell UltraSharp 43 4K USB-C Monitor

Latitude 9000 series: Featured as the first devices within the new 9000 series, the Latitude 9510 notebook and 2-in-1 laptops represent a new ultra-premium class of products targeted at executives and mobile professionals.  The 15” commercial PC delivers 5G mobile broadband capabilities, AI-based productivity capabilities, and targets 30-plus hours of battery life.

UltraSharp 27” 4K monitor:  In addition, the new family of monitors includes an 86”4K interactive touch monitor, an UltraSharp 27” 4K USB-C Monitor for creatives with VESA DisplayHDRTM 400 for true color reproduction, and the new Alienware 25” Gaming Monitor with 240Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time.

XPS 13: 32GB, FPR support, larger display & improved unboxing 

Returning to the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition, as mentioned in the opening, many will be happy to know that when it debuts next month, it will be available with up to 32GB of RAM.  The addition of an option above 16GB is something is a direct request from the community and we are happy to be able to deliver on it.

Fingerprint-reader support:  Another awaited feature is fingerprint-reader support.  While not available at launch, support will soon follow, first as an OTA (over-the-air) update and then as part of the preloaded image.

Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition, 10th gen

4-sided InfinityEdge display:  What’s also very cool is that the latest XPS 13 boasts the first-ever 4-sided InfinityEdge display, which means it is virtually borderless.  In addition, the new display features a 16:10 aspect ratio (up from 16:9 on the prior gen) and while this may seem like a small detail, the extra screen space is noticeable. 

Keycaps and trackpad: A larger display, along with larger keycaps, and trackpad are all contained within a form factor both smaller and thinner than the previous generation.

Unboxing experience: As a result of customer feedback, both the XPS 13 Developer Edition and Windows variant will ship with an improved unboxing experience.  This experience is cleaner, simpler and based on more sustainable packaging. While all Dell packaging is sustainable, the new design greatly increases the ease of recyclability by eliminating foam and single use packaging.

XPS 13 Developer Edition specs in brief

The 2020 XPS 13 developer edition will be available with

  • 10th Gen Intel® Core™ 10nm mobile processors
  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • Fingerprint reader support (driver initially available via OTA update)
  • Up to 32GB memory
  • Up to 3x faster wireless with Killer™ AX1650 built on Intel WiFi 6 Chipset, supports up to 2TB PCIe SSD
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD+ (3840 x 2400) display

Project Sputnik and Dell’s Linux portfolio – from then to now

The first generation of the XPS 13 developer edition debuted over eight years ago and represents the first system in the Project Sputnik portfolio of developer systems. (See the list of the initial nine generations below).

Guided by feedback:  Project Sputnik, it began as an exploratory effort to find out what the community wanted in a developer-focused laptop. Since the project’s beginning it has been guided by direct input from the developer community and in fact it was the power of the community that pushed the effort from project to product.

Precision joins: Three years after it launched, the svelte XPS 13 developer edition was joined by a beefy Ubuntu-based Precision Mobile workstation.   Within a year this initial power system became a set of four systems and are now in their fourth generation.  Today the Sputnik portfolio consists of the 2020 XPS 13 developer edition along with the Ubuntu-based Dell Precision 5540, 3540, 3541, 7540 and 7740 mobile workstations.

150+ Linux systems:  While project Sputnik is the most visible Linux-based offerings from Dell, it is only a small fraction of the over 150 systems that make up Dell’s Linux portfolio.


The Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition through the generations


Generation One
(L321X) — November 29, 2012

  • Ubuntu 12.04LTS
  • CPU: 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ processor (Sandy Bridge)
  • RAM: 8GB
  • SSD: 256GB
  • Display: 1366×768

Generation Two (L322X) — February 18, 2013

New features

  • FHD display (1920 x 1080)
  • 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ (Ivy Bridge)

Generation Three (9333) — November 15, 2013

New features

  • Touch-enabled FHD display
  • 4th Generation Intel® Core™ (Haswell)

Generation Four (9343) — April 9, 2015

New features

  • Ubuntu 14.04
  • 5th Generation Intel® Core™ (Broadwell)
  • 512GB
  • QHD+ touch (3200×1800

Generation Five (9350)March 3, 2016

New features

  • 6th Generation Intel® Core™ (Skylake)
  • InfinityEdge™ display — FHD and QHD+ versions available
  • 16GB and 1TB

Generation Six (9360) —  October 04, 2016

New features

 

  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • 7th generation Intel® Core™ (Kaby lake)

Generation Seven (9370) — January 4, 2018

New features

  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (launched with 16.04 LTS upgraded to 18.04 in July 2018)
  • 8th generation Intel® Core™ (Kaby Lake R)

Generation Eight (9380) — January 23, 2019

New features

  • 9th generation Intel® Core™ (Wiskey lake)
  • 2TB
  • Camera moved to the top of the display

Generation Nine (7390) August 21, 2019

New features

  • 10th Generation Intel® Core, 6 cores (Comet Lake)

 

 

 

Extra-credit reading

  • The best Linux gifts to buy in 2019 – ZDNet
  • Dell’s Newest XPS 13 Ubuntu Laptop Just Got 16 Additional Configurations – Forbes
  • Dell bets big on Ubuntu Linux laptops for developers – ZDNet
  • Dell XPS 13 7390 Review: The Best Laptop For Desktop Linux Users – Laptop Capri
  • Dell announces new Linux XPS 13 developer edition 7390 laptop – TechBuzz

 

Pau for now…

 


XPS 13 developer edition portfolio up 8X in the States, 6 core and more!

October 31, 2019

At the beginning of last month, we announced the roll out of the first configurations of Dell’s latest XPS 13 developer edition.

Today, in honor of Halloween, we are excited to announce that we are increasing the number of configurations in the developer edition portfolio by a factor of eight.  In total, we now offer 18 different configurations of the 9th generation developer edition, 16 of which are available both online and offline.

If you venture offline you also get two bonus systems to choose from, one featuring a 1TB SSD and one that boasts an even beefier 2TB solid stated drive.  These offline offerings can be ordered via chat or phone (877-BUY-DELL).

 

All of these configurations come with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS preloaded and are powered by the Intel 10th Gen Core™ U series processors, over half of which are based on the i7 hexacore processor.

What’s also cool about today’s news is both the Linux and the Windows XPS 13 lines are being rounded out at the same time.  Linux has officially become a first among equals. 😉

Please see the complete list of configs for the US, Canada and Europe below.

7390 Specifications

For your reference here are key features of the 9th generation of the XPS 13 developer edition.

  • Processor Options
    • 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-10210U processor (4 cores)
    • 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-10710U processor (6 cores)
  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS preloaded
  • Killer™ AX1650 (2×2) built on Intel WiFi 6 Chipset + Bluetooth 5.0
  • InfinityEdge display with top camera placement
  • FHD and UHD resolution support
  • Up to 16GB of LPDDR3 memory at 2133MHz

The XPS 13 developer edition lineup

The United States

US Online configurations

When you get to the XPS 13 developer edition product page you’ll notice that there is only “one” system displayed.  This is the base configuration which you can then configure to create 16 different options.

i7 – 6c | 16GB | 256SSD | FHD non touch

i7 – 6c | 16GB | 256SSD | UHD Touch

i7 – 6c | 16GB | 512SSD | FHD non touch

i7 – 6c | 16GB | 512SSD | UHD Touch

i7 – 6c | 8GB | 256SSD | FHD non touch

i7 – 6c | 8GB | 256SSD | UHD Touch

i7 – 6c | 8GB | 512SSD | FHD non touch

i7 – 6c | 8GB | 512SSD | UHD Touch

US Offline additional configurations

i7 – 6c | 16GB |1T SSD | UHD Touch

i7 – 6c | 16GB |2T SSD | UHD Touch

Canada – Online

i5 | 8GB | 256SSD | FHD NT

i7 – 6c | 16GB |1T SSD | UHD Touch

i7 – 6c | 16GB | 256SSD | FHD NT

i7 – 6c | 16GB | 512SSD | FHD NT

i7 – 6c | 16GB | 512SSD | UHD Touch

Europe – Online and Offline

i7 4 core | 16GB | 512SSD | FHD NT

i7 4 core | 16GB | 512SSD | FHD NT

i7 4 core | 16GB | 512SSD | UHD T

i7 4 core | 16GB | 512SSD | UHD T

i7 4 core | 16GB | 1T SSD  | UHD T

i7 4 core | 16GB | 1T SSD  | UHD T

 

Project Sputnik

The original XPS 13 developer edition from 2012

Nearly seven years ago the community-driven Project Sputnik went from skunk works project to official product.  The original “line up” consisted of only one system and one configuration.

The system, which represented the top of the line XPS 13 system came with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS-preloaded, was powered by a 1.6-GHz Intel Core i5-2467M processor and featured 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD.

Fast forward to today and instead of a 1.6GHz i5 processor the top config of the 9th generation XPS 13 developer edition is based on Intel’s i7 six core processor, along with 16GB of RAM and a 2TB drive.  Who knows what specs and features will define the future generations to come of the XPS 13 developer edition.

Stay tuned and find out! 😊

Extra-credit reading

9th generation developer edition news

Podcasts

Articles and blog posts

 

  • Dell’s Newest XPS 13 Ubuntu Laptop Just Got 16 Additional Configurations – Forbes
  • Dell releases latest Linux developer laptop with Comet Lake CPU – ZDNet
  • Best Laptop for PC Users is Here: Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition – TFIR
  • Dell XPS 7390 Developer Edition with Intel Comet Lake and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS announced – FOSS Linux
  • Dell announces new Linux XPS 13 developer edition 7390 laptop | tww
  • Intel Introduces 10th Generation Comet Lake Y and U-Series Processors – cnx-software.com
  • New Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Announced, Powered by Ubuntu – OmgUbuntu!
  • Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition with Ubuntu Linux, Intel Comet Lake coming in September – Liliputing
  • Dell XPS 13 (7390) Developer Edition laptop comes with Ubuntu Linux, Wi-Fi 6, and 10th Gen Intel Core CPU – BetaNews
  • Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Announced with Ubuntu – debug point
  • Dell XPS 13 (7390) Developer Edition laptop comes with Ubuntu Linux, Wi-Fi 6, and 10th Gen Intel Core CPU – Angle News
  • Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition with Ubuntu Linux, Intel Comet Lake coming in September – Go Gadget News
  • Dell releases latest Linux developer laptop with Comet Lake CPU – The Gizmo Effect
  • Dell XPS 13 (7390) Developer Edition Powered by Ubuntu | Hurahu
  • Dell XPS 13 laptops get 10th-gen Intel Core chips – Liliputing
  • Dell releases latest Linux developer laptop with Comet Lake CPU – Technology latest news
  • Dell Announced the XPS 13 Developer Edition “7390”, Which Powered by 10th Generation | LinuxTechNews
  • The Bestest Laptop Computer – Thar She Blows! – Orcaflotta
  • Dell announces new Linux XPS 13 developer edition 7390 laptop – tech-tutorials.com
  • Nuevo Dell XPS 13 con Ubuntu a la vista » MuyLinux
  • Dell presenta una nueva XPS 13 con Ubuntu – Consejero Digital
  • Dell XPS 13 (7390) Developer Edition – Ubuntu i Comet Lake procesori | Lokator.Blog – Novosti kako ih Vi želite!
  • Dell XPS 7390 Developer Edition lançado com Ubuntu 18.04 LTS – edivaldobrito
  • Arriva il nuovo Dell XPS 13 developer edition (7390) – Aggregatore GNU/Linux e dintorni – laseroffice
  • Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition, 9ª generación, el próximo juguete de Dell – ubunlog

Pau for now…


Dell’s Linux landing page goes live!

September 27, 2019

One subject we often get feedback on, and it doesn’t tend to be the positive kind, is the difficulty in finding Linux systems on Dell.com. The following tweet does a good job of summing up people’s frustrations

Im sure you get this all the time – but I dont understand why it’s so hard to just search for and find detail on which laptops ship with @ubuntu on a beautiful understandable page.

Earlier this month we took a big step in addressing this issue when launched the new Linux landing page, http://www.dell.com/linux.

Dell’s new responsive landing page as viewed on a mobile or desktop

Out with the old

While we had a previous landing page, it wasn’t anything to write home about and it certainly didn’t leverage the slick and responsive new dell.com template.  When our old page was taken down in a recent web clean up it gave us the push we needed to bump it up on our list of things to do.  The web team who helped us through the process was awesome and we got the new page up in record time. 

The page features the following product lines (we plan to add products over time):  

  • Dell XPS 13 developer edition
  • Dell Precision Mobile workstations, developer edition
  • Ubuntu-based and Red Hat-certified Dell Precision fixed workstations

All roads lead to…

Besides dell.com/linux you can get to the page using any of the following: 

  • dell.com/sputnik
  • dell.com/developer
  • dell.com/developers

A journey of a thousand miles

While we still have more to do to make Linux systems easy to find on dell.com we see this as a great first step and are looking forward to bringing you more good news in the future!

Extra-credit reading:

The new site

  • Dell Has A New Dedicated Site For Ubuntu And RHEL-Certified Linux Desktops And Laptops – Forbes
  • Dell Makes It Easier to Find Its Growing Linux Range – omg!ubuntu!
  • Dedicated Linux site for DELL  (starts @20:33)- LWDW 187
  • Dell’s new web page makes finding Linux laptops and desktops easier – Liliputing
Forbes
  • Linux Laptop Buyer’s Guide 2019: Tips And Resources To Find A Laptop That Meets Your Needs – Forbes
  • Dell’s Beautiful New Linux Laptop Features Ubuntu, 10th Gen Intel CPUs And Super Fast WiFi – Forbes
  • Dell Launches New Ubuntu-Powered XPS 13 9380. Nose Cam Not Included – Forbes
  • Exclusive: Dell Opens Up About Its Linux Efforts And Project Sputnik – Forbes
  • Dell Shipped Linux On 162 Unique Platforms In Fiscal Year 2019 – Forbes
  • Ditching Windows: 2 Weeks With Ubuntu Linux On The Dell XPS 13 – Forbes

 

Pau for now…

 

 


The new Dell XPS 13 developer edition now available in the US, Europe and Canada

January 23, 2019

Last January the Dell XPS 13 developer edition (9370) made its debut.  Today we’re excited to announce that one year later its successor, the XPS 13 developer edition (9380), is now available in the US, Canada and Europe.  (Note: both the 9370 and 9380 will coexist for a period of time.)9380 xps 13 developer edition 3500x1924

Project Sputnik

The 9380 represents the eighth generation of Dell’s Ubuntu-based XPS 13 developer edition series.  The first generation of the developer edition debuted over six years ago and it, along with the Ubuntu-based Precision mobile workstations that launched in 2015, make up Project Sputnik.  In case you’re not familiar with it, Project Sputnik is Dell’s skunkworks initiative driven by input from the developer community (see the timeline at the end of the post for the complete XPS 13 developer edition progression).

Dell XPS 13 developer edition (9380) — System highlights

Although there are many great features and specs that characterize the latest developer edition (see below), the one that will likely bring the most joy is the new placement of the webcam.  In the 9370 the camera is located directly below the screen.  In the new 9380 the camera has been moved to the top, providing a much more flattering view of the user while still maintaining the system’s sleek, compact design.

Not only that but the 8th generation developer edition supports Suspend-to-idle natively which allows the system to resume much more quickly from sleep.

 9380 Specifications

  • Intel 8th generation i3, i5 and i7 processors (Intel Whiskey Lake U, 15W, non-vPro)
  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS preloaded
  • InfinityEdge display with top camera placement
  • Easier to open
  • FHD and UHD resolution support
  • Up to 16GB of LPDDR3 memory at 2133MHz
  • 1 x NVMe slot for 2230-128GB / 2280 up to 2TB
  • Thunderbolt 3 (x2) with USB3.1 Gen2 + type-C x1 with USB3.1 Gen2 speed
  • Improved Thunderbolt runtime power management
  • Killer® 1435 802.11ac [2×2] + Bluetooth 4.2

The United States and Canada 

In the US and Canada there are four base configs that can be configured in a multitude of ways, yielding 22 configurations.  These base configs are:

  • i7 QC|8GB|256GB|FHD T
  • i7 QC|8GB|256GB|UHD T
  • i7 QC|16GB|512GB|UHD T
  • i7 QC|16GB|256GB|UHD T

(Note: unlike Europe, in the United States and Canada the developer edition can only be purchased in the “For Work” section.)

Europe

Beating the US and Canada to the punch, on January 9th the first configurations of the new XPS 13 developer edition became available in Europe.  At the end of last week two more joined to complete the lineup:

  • i7 QC|16GB|512GB|UHD T
  • i7 QC|16GB|1TB|UHD T
  • i7 QC|8GB|256GB|FHD NT
  • i7 QC|16GB|512GB|FHD NT

The above configurations are available in both the “For Home” and “For Work” sections on Dell.com and are available online in the following countries:

  • Austria
  • Belgium (Dutch and French)
  • Switzerland (German and French)
  • Germany
  • Denmark
  • Spain
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • The United Kingdom <- The developer editions will be added to shortly to the 9380 product page.  Until then, the systems can be purchased via chat on the product page or by calling the number that pops up.

Stay tuned

Being able to announce the next generation of the XPS 13 developer edition is a great way to begin the year.  Watch this space to see what is next on the agenda for 2019.

XPS 13 developer edition timeline

2012

2013

2015

  • 4th gen Dell XPS 13 developer edition in US and Europe — April 9, 2015

2016

2018

Extra-credit reading

  • Exclusive: Dell Opens Up About Its Linux Efforts And Project Sputnik – Forbes
  • Dell Shipped Linux On 162 Unique Platforms In Fiscal Year 2019 – Forbes

 

Pau for now…


Sputnik turns 6! Presenting the folks behind it

November 29, 2018

Six years ago today the first Project Sputnik system appeared on dell.com.

It all started at the beginning of 2012 with a pitch to an internal innovation committee.  A month after the pitch, on the ides of March, the committee gave the go ahead for an exploratory project to test out the idea of a developer laptop.

The original XPS 13 developer edition

Thanks to the interest and support of the community, eight months later, the project became a product.

On November 29, 2012 the Dell XPS 13 developer edition was born.

 

It takes a village

Beyond the developer community, the reason why Project Sputnik is alive and thriving today is because of the support, both official and unofficial, from dozens of people across Dell.

These individuals have come from marketing, engineering, sales, finance, PR, operations… Here are some of the key contributors over the last six years

From then to now

With help from the folks above, Project Sputnik has continued to evolve.

The XPS 13 developer edition, which debuted with only one config and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, is now in its 7th generation, comes with Ubuntu 18.04 and boasts multiple configurations.  Along the way the project also expanded when the Linux-based mobile Precision workstation line joined the effort.

This year was a particularly busy one for the project with new versions of all five Sputnik platforms launching:

Thanks

Thanks once again to the community and everyone within Dell who has driven Project Sputnik from idea, to product, to product line.

Stay tuned and see where we go next!

 

Project Sputnik timeline

2012

  • Project Sputnik announced — May 7, 2012
  • Project Sputnik to go from Pilot to Product — July 18, 2012
  • 1st gen Dell XPS 13 developer edition in the US — November 29, 2012

2013

  • 2nd gen developer edition in US and Europe — February 18, 2013
  • 3rd gen developer edition in US along with instructions on getting Ubuntu up and running on a Precision 3800 mobile workstation — November 15, 2013
  • 3rd gen developer edition in US and Europe — December 20, 2013 

2015

  • Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation joins Project Sputnik  — January 27, 2015
  • 4th gen Dell XPS 13 developer edition in US and Europe — April 9, 2015

2016

  • 5th gen XPS 13 Developer Edition in US, Ubuntu-based Workstations (5510, 3510, 7510, 7720) available worldwide — March 3, 2016
  • 5th gen XPS 13 developer edition in Europe — March 31, 2016
  • 6th gen XPS 13 Developer Edition in Europe and US — October 04, 2016

2017

  • Next gen Ubuntu-based Precision line-up announced, 5520 and 3520 available — January 9, 2017
  • Precision 7520 and 7720 available — March 18, 2017
  • Precision All-in-One available – April 18

2018

  • 7th gen XPS 13 Developer Edition in Europe and US – January 4
  • Next gen Precision line announced, 3530 available – March 24
  • Precision 7530 and 7730 available – July 2
  • XPS 13 developer edition upgrades to 18.04 – July 27
  • Precision 5530 available – August 31

(For a detailed project history please see last year’s 5th anniversary blog)

Extra-credit reading: news and reviews

Overall program

  • An update from Dell’s Barton George on their Linux initiative Sputnik – Linux Unplugged (starts at 40min)

XPS 13 developer edition

 

Precision xx30 developer edition line

  • Dell Precision 5530 with Ubuntu Review – Linux Unplugged (review starts at ~36min and goes to ~52min)
  • Dell Precision 5530, Ubuntu Pre-Installed – This Week in Linux  (13:44)
  • Dell Unveils New Ubuntu Laptops — OMG!UBUNTU!
  • Dell Precision ‘Developer Edition’ mobile workstations run Ubuntu Linux and are RHEL certified – betanews
  • Dell refreshes Precision laptops with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed – ZDnet
  • Dell stuffs Intel Coffee Lake CPUs and Ubuntu into latest Precision workstations – The Inquirer
  • Dell launches new Precision mobile workstation line-up powered by Ubuntu – Softpedia
  • Dell Precision 5530 sale a la venta con Ubuntu y certificado para RHEL » MuyLinux
  • Welcome the new Dell Precision developer editions – Barton’s blog
  • Developer Editions of Precision Workstations Now Available — Direct2DellEMC
  • Introducing the Dell Precision 7530 and 7730 with Ubuntu — Ubuntu blog
  • Precision Developer Editions 7530/7730 now online — Welcome the power pair – Barton’s blog

Pau for now…


XPS 13 Developer Edition — the 7th gen is here!

January 4, 2018

-> Updated June 22, 2018 – Three 16GB/FHD configs added to the line up in the US

-> Updated Jan 26, 2018 – Added list of countries that offer the XPS 13 developer edition offline.

Today I am excited to announce the availability of the 7th generation of the Ubuntu-based XPS 13 developer edition.  Project Sputnik’s latest and greatest system is now simultaneously available in Europe, Canada and the United States.

The new XPS 13 developer edition (9370) features the 8th Generation Intel Quad Core, a brand new chassis, an improved display and smaller borders.

The 9370 is even thinner, lighter and smaller than its already svelte predecessor, the 9360. (Note, the 9370 does not replace the 9360, as the two will coexist.)  If you want more detailed specs, please scroll down dear reader. Before we get to the product details however, here’s a quick Project Sputnik backgrounder.

Project Sputnik, a recap

It all started back in 2012 with the wacky idea of creating a high-end Linux laptop targeted at developers.   An internal innovation fund gave the scrappy project team a little bit of money and six months to see if this idea would fly.

From day one, project Sputnik publically solicited input from the developer community.  It was this input and the tremendous community support that pushed the effort from project to a product.

The initial XPS 13 developer edition, available only as one configuration, debuted on November 29, 2012.  Fast forward five years and not only are we announcing the 7th generation of that initial product but the project itself has now expanded to become a full line of developer-targeted systems.

US and Canadian configurations

In North America, as mentioned above, the new XPS 13 developer edition is available in both the US and Canada.  The following are the available configurations in the two countries (Note: the links below point to the US configurations).

CPU | Memory | Storage | Display

Available as of April 3, 2018

European configurations

The new XPS 13 developer edition is available online in Europe in the following countries:

Online: UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland (French and German), Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark.

In the following countries you can get a hold of the XPS 13 developer edition offline (phone or chat):

Offline: Czech Republic, Denmark, Emerging countries , Finland, Greece , Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Turkey, South Africa.

The following configurations are available both online and offline.

CPU | Memory | Storage | Display

  • i7 | 16GB |      1TB | UHD touch (3840 x 2160)
  • i7 | 16GB | 512GB | UHD touch (3840 x 2160)
  • i7 | 16GB | 512GB | FHD non-touch (1920 x 1080)
  • i7 |  8GB | 256GB | FHD non-touch (1920 x 1080)

9370 Specifications

Here’s a bit more detail behind the system specs.  These options are available as noted above.

  • 8th Generation Intel® Quad Core™, i5 (US and Canada only) and i7 versions
  • Memory options: 4GB, 8GB or 16GB Dual Channel SDRAM
  • Storage options: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB
  • Ports
    • 2x Thunderbolt™ 3
    • Noble lock slot
    • Headset jack
    • DC-In & DisplayPort 1x USB-C 3.1
    • MicroSD card reader
  • Display options
    • UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160) InfinityEdge touch display
    • FHD (1920 x 1080) InfinityEdge display
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS preloaded
  • 1 year ProSupport

Who’d a thunk it

I gotta admit that five years ago the team and I would never have thought that we would be posting a blog announcing the 7th generation of the XPS 13 developer edition.  The thought of even a third generation would have bogled our minds.

Five years ago, thanks to the support of the community, Project Sputnik reached escape velocity.  This support, input and direction has not only continued but has grown over the last five years, enabling the Sputnik team to stop focusing on survival and instead focus on supporting a broader range of developer needs.

As we go forward, please keep driving us by sharing your input and experiences, be they be good, bad or ugly. 🙂

Thanks!

Barton

Extra-credit reading

  • 2018 starts with the best Linux laptop by Dell – Swap and I discuss the new system – VIDEO
  • Meet the New XPS 13: Stylish, Powerful and Better by Every Measure – Direct2Dell
  • Line up — New XPS 13 developer edition —  (9370)
  • Line up — XPS 13 developer edition — (9360)
  • Project Sputnik Turns Five! – November 29, 2017
  • 2012 — year one

Pau for now…


Project Sputnik Turns Five!

November 29, 2017

It was five years ago today, on November 29, 2012, that the first Project Sputnik system was launched.  Who would have thought we would have made it this far.

The reason why Project Sputnik is not only still around but keeps growing is because of the developer community.

In fact, without the input and support of the community, Project Sputnik would have been an interesting idea that disappeared after six months.

So how did we get here?

In the beginning

The project began back in early 2012 when I pitched the idea of creating a Linux-based developer laptop.  My audience was three guys in Dell who had put together an innovation fund and were asking employees to bring them their ideas.

When I made my pitch I stressed that in order to be successful, equally as important as what we created, was how we created it.  Development of the system needed to be in the open, and based on input directly from the developer community.  The committee asked me a few questions and told me they’d get back to me.

Ready, set, go

A month later I heard back from the committee.  They had given me the thumbs up, a little pot of money and six months to see if the idea of a developer laptop would fly.  From there I recruited some top and passionate talent and we had ourselves a team.

We started by cobbling together an initial install image that people could test.  In parallel we also sanity checked the idea with a local developers and a couple of web companies.  Since nobody threw up on the idea, on May 7, 2012 we went public.

The power of the community

In the blog post that introduced Project Sputnik we explained that project was “a six month effort to explore the possibility of creating an open source laptop targeted directly at developers.”  We pointed people at our rough install image and asked them to head to the Storm Session we had created and submit feedback, comments and ideas.

The amount of interest and input our initial post generated far exceeded anything we expected.  From there interest kept growing.  The tipping point however, came in response to our beta program.  We asked interested individuals to submit an online form.  We expected a few hundred responses, we got over 6,000.  Senior management was convinced and from there it was the march to launch.

 

Lift off and beyond

On November 29, 2012, a little over 6 months after the initial blog post, the first XPS 13 developer edition became available.  This first system, which came preloaded with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and 1 year pro support, was available only as one configuration.  We chose to go with the highest end config we offered:  3rd gen Intel core i7 (Ivy Bridge), 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and a screen resolution of 1366×768.

Less than two months later the second generation XPS 13 developer edition was launched.  From there the line has continued to grow and grow (see timeline below).  We will soon be introducing the 7th generation XPS 13 developer edition and over this past year we have rolled out four Ubuntu-based Precision mobile workstations as well as the new Precision All in One.

Thank you

On behalf of myself and the whole Sputnik team we would like to thank the developer community for making project Sputnik possible.  Over the last five years you have let us know what you’ve liked and where we could do better.  It’s because of this amazing support that we are still here today.

Thank you!

Project timeline

2012

2013

  • 2nd gen developer edition in US and Europe — February 18, 2013
  • 3rd gen developer edition in US along with instructions on getting Ubuntu up and running on a Precision 3800 mobile workstation — November 15, 2013
  • 3rd gen developer edition in US and Europe — December 20, 2013 

2015

  • Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation joins Project Sputnik  — January 27, 2015
  • 4th gen Dell XPS 13 developer edition in US and Europe — April 9, 2015

2016

  • 5th gen XPS 13 Developer Edition in US, Ubuntu-based Workstations (5510, 3510, 7510, 7720) available worldwide — March 3, 2016
  • 5th gen XPS 13 developer edition in Europe — March 31, 2016
  • 6th gen XPS 13 Developer Edition in Europe and US — October 04, 2016

2017

2018

  • 7th gen XPS 13 developer edition to become available

 

Extra-credit reading

  • Original input from the community with regards to what they wanted in a developer laptop – Dell Idea Storm
  • Dell, Developers & Desktop Linux: the story of Dell’s project Sputnik – Video interview
  • How Dell’s Project Sputnik came to life – CIO.com
  • Project Sputnik News & Reviews, 2012 – 2017

 

Pau for now…


Video Walk thru of the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition (9350)

December 15, 2016

Last night as I was surfing the interwebs, I came across a “Tech Pills” video that covers the XPS 13 developer edition (9350).  [The 9350 is the generation that proceded the current offering (9360) which came out in October.  The two systems utilize the same chassis and the former features the Skylake processor whereas the latter comes with Kabylake.]

The host does a great job of running through the developer edition from both a hardware and software perspective.  In his case, his distro of choice is Arch and the review was originally posted on the Arch Wiki.

Check it out:

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Of Linux Laptops, Open Source and Hawaiian Food

August 8, 2016

In the last two weeks I’ve had the opportunity to participate in two podcasts.  The first was the wild and wacky Lunduke & Whatnot (with Matt) show where System76 founder CEO, Carl Richell and I talked with our hosts about pre-loaded Linux laptops.  

In the second, which was recorded last week at SpringOne platform, Michael Cote hosts me as we talk about the evolution of Free Software/Open Source as well as the history of Hawaii and it’s foods.

Check them both out below.

Some of the ground Lunduke, Matt, Carl and I  cover:

  • [First I video bomb the intro by mistake]
  • How long System76 and Dell have been selling Linux preloaded on laptops
  • Mandriva as Lunduke’s favorite Linux distro
  • How System76 went from Carl’s basement to an office and a portfolio of 60 offerings
  • Why both companies went with Ubuntu first and why only Ubuntu
  • What are the biggest issues that System76 and Dell face when producing Linux laptops

Podcast #2

Open source and devs at Dell and the changing nature of OSS

The second podcast is audio only and, like the one above, is chock-a-block full of information and zaniness.  Here’s how Cote describes the occurrence:

“I’ve had a theory that the hard-line philosophy of open source has softened in recent times. Rather than thinking closed source is to be avoided at all costs, I think most developer types are a lot more willing to accept closed source bits mixed in with open source bits. That is, open core has “won.” I discuss this topic with my long time pal, Barton George, while at SpringOne Platform, plus the work he’s doing in the developer and OSS worlds at Dell.  We also talk about Hawaiian food.”

Take a listen

Extra-credit reading

  • Cuisine of Hawaii – Wikipedia
  • The XPS 13 Developer Edition THE best Linux laptop. Dell’s fifth-generation open-source developer laptop isn’t just good, it’s great — ZDNet
  • The XPS developer edition: Dell continues to build a reliable Linux lineage – Arstechnica 
  • Dell XPS 13 Skylake (2016) review: A lot for a Linux user to like – CIO
  • Review: The Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop is nearly perfect – Network World

Pau for now…


Dell at DockerCon — Config guides, developer laptops, plugins and more

June 29, 2016

Today you would have to be under an IT rock if you haven’t at least heard of containers.  Containers, which have recently been made easily usable by a wide audience, allow applications to flow in a uniform package from development, to test, to production.  Containers also allow applications to be moved between public and private clouds as well as bare metal environments.  All of this increases agility and reduces friction in the overall development to deployment cycle, increasing the speed that organizations can deliver services to customers.

The 800 pound gorilla in the space is Docker which makes the most widely used container format and is building out additional offerings in the greater container ecosystem.

DockerCon

Last week in Seattle Docker held DockerCon 2016, its fourth conference promoting the general container ecosystem.  The event featured dozens of participating companies as well as a plethora of talks.  There was a ton of energy and the event even included a “full on kitty laser death match” on the main stage:

Laser cats

I attended the show and while there I attended sessions, conducted a bunch of interviews (see below) and spent time working at the Dell booth supporting Dell’s presence.

Dell Booth

At our booth we showed off four major offerings/projects in the Docker and container DockerCon Dell boothspace (here’s a video I did giving a brief overview what we were featuring).

We showed:

 

  • BlueData configuration guide:  BlueData’s platform provides customers with Big Data as a service, giving them the ability to leverage one pool of storage across multiple versions and distributions of big data tools.  The platform leverages Docker to deliver bare-metal performance with the flexibility of virtualization.  The configuration guide details the configuration set-up for BlueData’s Big-Data-as-a-Service (BDaaS) platform on Dell’s PowerEdge Servers.
  • Developer laptops: In the booth we showed off our line of Ubuntu-based developer laptops (Project Sputnik). These Linux-based systems provide a native platform for Docker-based development and allows developers to push their container-based apps to the cloud.  On the second day we gave away a “Sputnik” laptop (see below for the crowd on hand for the drawing).
  • Flocker plugin: This plugin allows ClusterHQ’s Flocker to integrate with the Dell Storage SC Series. This allows developer and operations teams to use existing storage to create portable container-level storage for Docker.
  • Docker Swarm plugin: This plugin, which is in the proof of concept phase, connects Docker Swarm with Dell’s next gen networking operating system, OS10.  The plugin automates configuration of vlan & routers for Docker’s Macvlan/Ipvlan driver orchestrated using Docker Swarm.

All in all a great show, helping to raise Dell’s presence in the space and providing us with greater insight into customer needs and the ecosystem evolution.

Waiting in front of the Dell booth for the Sputnik drawing

Waiting in front of the Dell booth for the Sputnik drawing

Video interviews:

 

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Live in Europe: Next gen XPS 13 developer edition

March 31, 2016

[Update — April 8: Offline country URLs added]

A couple of weeks ago we announced the worldwide release of the Ubuntu-based mobile Precision mobile line as well and the US availability of the next gen XPS 13 developer edition.

Today I’m happy to announce that the Skylake-based XPS 13 developer edition is now available in Europe!

Background: As you may remember, as a part of Project Sputnik, these systems began as an open-ended exploratory project to identify what developers wanted in an ideal laptop. With the community’s input, Project Sputnik became an official product and continues to evolve.

Next gen XPS 13 developer edition specsDino

  • 6thGeneration Intel® Core™Processors
  • Preloaded with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  • Augmented with the necessary hardware drivers, tools and utilities
  • InfinityEdge™ display, FHD and QHD+ versions available

Configurations

The following configurations will be available both online and offline in Europe.  All of three of the XPS 13 developer edition configurations come with the Intel wireless card.

  • i5/8GB: 256GB, FHD, Intel 8260
  • i7/8GB: 256GB, QHD+T, Intel 8260
  • i7/16GB 512GB, QHD+T, Intel 8260

OTA (Over-The-Air) Fixes

There were several minor fixes that were not available in time for launch but have been made available as over the air updates so make sure to run all Ubuntu updates.  (These fixes pertain to both the XPS 13 and Precisions.)

Where to order your system

The following, URLs will take you to the product pages for the developer edition in the various countries.  The countries listed below will offer the XPS 13 online.

There is a second group of nations where the developer edition is available by contacting your local Dell representative.  We will be adding that list, along with URLs, in the next couple of days. – Update: added April 8

Available online

United Kingdom www.dell.co.uk/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Ireland www.dell.ie/XPS13DeveloperEdition
Germany www.dell.de/XPS13DeveloperEdition
Austria www.dell.at/XPS13DeveloperEdition
France www.dell.fr/XPS13DeveloperEdition
Italy www.dell.it/XPS13DeveloperEdition
Spain www.dell.es/XPS13DeveloperEdition
Switzerland (German) www.dell.ch/XPS13DeveloperEdition
Switzerland (French)  www.dell.ch/fr/XPS13DeveloperEdition
The Netherlands www.dell.nl/XPS13DeveloperEdition
Belgium (Dutch) www.dell.be/XPS13DeveloperEdition
Belgium (French) www.dell.be/fr/XPS13DeveloperEdition
Denmark www.dell.dk/XPS13DeveloperEdition
Norway www.dell.no/XPS13DeveloperEdition
Sweden www.dell.se/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Available offline

Estonia http://www.dell.com/ee/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Ghana http://www.dell.com/gh/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Croatia http://www.dell.com/hr/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Israel http://www.dell.com/il/en/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Iceland http://www.dell.com/is/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Finland http://www.dell.com/fi/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Lithuania http://www.dell.com/lt/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Latvia http://www.dell.com/lv/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Libya http://www.dell.com/ly/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Nigeria http://www.dell.com/ng/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Slovenia http://www.dell.com/si/XPS13DeveloperEdition

South Africa http://www.dell.com/za/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Democratic Republic of the Congo http://www.dell.com/cd/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Congo http://www.dell.com/cg/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Algeria http://www.dell.com/dz/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Ivory Coast http://www.dell.com/ed/fr/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Gabon http://www.dell.com/ga/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Moroccο http://www.dell.com/ma/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Senegal http://www.dell.com/sn/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Tunisia http://www.dell.com/tn/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Bahrain (Arabic) http://www.dell.com/ae/ar/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Morocco (Arabic) http://www.dell.com/ma/ar/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Tunisia http://www.dell.com/tn/ar/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Algeria http://www.dell.com/dz/ar/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Russia http://www.dell.com/ru/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Belarus http://www.dell.com/rs/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Ukraine http://www.dell.com/ua/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Czech http://www.dell.com/cz/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Greece http://www.dell.com/gr/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Hungry http://www.dell.com/hu/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Israel http://www.dell.com/il/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Portuguese http://www.dell.com/pt/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Romania http://www.dell.com/ro/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Slovakia http://www.dell.com/sk/XPS13DeveloperEdition

Turkey http://www.dell.com/tr/XPS13DeveloperEdition

 

Thanks!

The entire Sputnik team would like to thank everyone in Europe for both their patience and support!  Happy hacking!

Extra-Credit reading

Pau for now

 


XPS 13 Developer Edition launches in US, Ubuntu-based Workstations available worldwide

March 10, 2016

[ Update– April 7: i5 config now available]

[Update March 28: Precision 7510 and 7710 now available]

Today I am excited to announce the worldwide launch of the Precision line of Ubuntu-based workstations along with the US launch of the 5th generation of the XPS 13 developer edition.

Part of Project Sputnik, these systems began as an open-ended exploratory project to identify what developers wanted in an ideal laptop. With the community’s input, Project Sputnik became an official product and continues to evolve.  For more of the Sputnik story, including why this has become the perfect platform for Docker, see below.

Before getting into today’s details I would like to thank the entire community for their patience and support as we’ve made our way to launch.

The 5th gen XPS 13 developer editionDino

  • Preloaded with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  • Augmented with the necessary hardware drivers, tools and utilities
  • 6th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors
  • InfinityEdge™ display, FHD and QHD+ versions available
  • Availability: United Sates (Both Canada and Europe are being readied for launch as we speak, stay tuned for more details.)

Configurations: We are starting out with three i7 configs and plan to add an i5 option.  The i5 configuration will come with 8GB RAM, a 256GB SSD and FHD NT.  The timing of the i5 config is dependent on the depletion of the current inventory on hand. — Update: i5 config available as of April 7

All of these  XPS 13 developer edition configurations come with the Intel wireless card.

i7/8GB

  • 256GB, QHD+T, Intel 8260

i7/16GB

  • 512GB, QHD+T, Intel 8260
  • 1TB, QHD+T, Intel 8260

i5/8GB

  • 256GB, FHD NT, Intel 8260

The Ubuntu-based Precision mobile workstation line

22029-smb-laptop-precision-5510t-262x157The Precision mobile workstation line up is composed of four systems.  Joining the Precision 5510, successor to the M3800, we have added the Precision 3510, 7510 and 7710 mobile workstations.

This represents our complete Precision mobile workstation portfolio.  All of the systems below are fully configurable.

Dell™ Precision 5510, mobile workstation

  • Preloaded with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  • Next generation of the world’s thinnest and lightest true 15” mobile workstation
  • PremierColor™ 4K InfinityEdge™ display
  • Starting weight of just 3.93lbs (1.78kg) and a form factor that is less than 0.44” (11.1mm) thick
  • Up to: 6th generation Intel Xeon mobile quad-core processor, professional grade NVIDIA Quadro M1000M graphics, and 32GB of memory
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • Availability: worldwide

Dell™ Precision 3510, mobile workstation

  • Preloaded with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  • Affordable, fully configurable 15” mobile workstation
  • Up to: 6th generation Intel Xeon mobile quad-core processor, professional grade graphics, and up to 32GB of memory
  • FullHD (1920×1080) anti-glare matte screen option plus optional touchscreen
  • Availability: worldwide

Dell™ Precision 7510, mobile workstation 

  • Preloaded with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  • World’s most powerful 15” mobile workstation
  • Up to: 6th generation Intel Xeon mobile quad-core processor, professional grade graphics, 3TB of storage and 64GB of memory
  • PremierColor™ UltraSharp™ 4K UltraHD (3840×2160) screen option
  • Availability: worldwide

Dell™ Precision 7710, mobile workstation 

  • Preloaded with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  • World’s most powerful 17” mobile workstation
  • Up to: 6th generation Intel Xeon mobile quad-core processor, professional grade graphics, 4TB of storage and 64GB of memory
  • PremierColor™ UltraSharp™ 4K UltraHD (3840×2160) anti-glare screen option
  • Availability: worldwide

Ordering a Precision:  To get to the Ubuntu option, click on the “Customize & Buy” button on the system landing page.  Select Ubuntu Linux in the Operating System section and away you go!

Towers and racks too:  In case you didn’t know, we also have a portfolio of fixed Precision workstations — tower and rack — that are available with Ubuntu.

OTA (Over-The-Air) Fixes

There were several minor fixes that were not available in time for launch but have been made available as over the air updates so make sure to run all Ubuntu updates.  These fixes pertain to both the XPS 13 and Precisions.

In addition to the OTA fixes,  there is a wireless OOBE issue that will be fixed in the factory in the coming weeks.   Until then, please follow the following directions http://www.dell.com/support/article/SLN301251

16.04LTS

With regards to updates, although 16.04LTS will be shipping next month, we don’t have a date for when factory installation will become available.  That being said, we do plan to support 16.04 LTS for those who choose to upgrade.

To upgrade to the latest LTS, please follow the instructions at http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/upgrade

Project Sputnik — A quick history

How we turned a $40K investment into 10’s of millions of dollars in revenue by focusing on developers.

From humble beginnings

As many of you may know Project Sputnik, as this effort is called, originated with a pitch made to an internal innovation fund four years SputnikScientist2ago.  The fund provided a small pot of money (the $40K mentioned above) and six months to see if the idea of a developer laptop would fly.  A couple months after we had been given the green light, on May 7, 2012 we announced the project publically asking the community what they would like to see in a developer laptop.

A rough ISO was provided for people to kick the tires and folks were told that if we got enough interest we might be able to turn this project into a product.  10 weeks later, thanks to the amazing interest we received around our beta program, we got the OK to turn project Sputnik into an actual product and in November of 2012 the XPS 13 developer edition became available.

You say you want an evolution

As the project has evolved we have continued to solicit and incorporate feedback.  Thanks to your support the XPS 13 developer edition has gone from one, to multiple configs.

On the higher end, we kept getting requests to add a larger system to the lineup.  OS architect Jared Dominguez took note of this and spent a bunch of late nights putting together instructions on how to get Ubuntu running on the Precision M3800.  From here interest kept mounting and a year later the Ubuntu-based M3800 became an official product.  As of today this original workstation offering has expanded to four systems.

DevOps, Cloud launcher and Docker

One of the big ideas we had when we first kicked off project Sputnik was that it would be a DevOps platform.  A key piece of this platformSputnik+Docker
would be a “cloud launcher” that would allow developers to create apps within “micro clouds” on their laptops and then deploy said apps to a public or private cloud.  Unfortunately this turned out to be a lot more difficult than we had hoped and we put it on hold.

As luck would have it however, a couple of years later Docker serendipitously came along.  Docker containers provide the functionality of our envisioned cloud launcher, allowing applications created locally to be pushed, as is, to the cloud.  Because Docker containers run on Linux, with our Ubuntu-based systems, developers can run the containers natively rather than within a virtualized environment like they would on other platforms.

Forward march

Stay tuned to see how, with your support and input, project Sputnik will continue to evolve.  Once again, thanks for all the support and stay tuned for the Canadian and European roll outs!

Extra-Credit reading

Pau for now

 


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