My friend is unfortunately the owner of a multi-thousand dollar door stop from Dell. I recommended Dell to him because of its long relationship with Ubuntu, and that Ubuntu certifies specific Dell models to run Ubuntu on them.
Glancing over the certification (https://certification.ubuntu.com/hardware/201611-25214/), it would seem Ubuntu is supported. However, those disclaimers are not nearly big enough, or contain strong enough language. There is no “maybe” about it, stock Ubuntu cannot be installed on a Mobile Precision M7220. The difference between pre-install systems and standard images does not inform the user of the nasty truth:
Dell will never allow you, or anyone else, to download the Ubuntu Recovery Image for a 7720, unless you purchased the unit with Ubuntu pre-installed, and have a warranty.
Considering that it’s impossible to put Ubuntu on the 7720, I urge the community to change the wording of these certifications, and STRONGLY warn people NOT TO PURCHASE REFURBISHED DELL HARDWARE if they wish to run Ubuntu. You need to very emphatically state that ONLY pre-installs will ever work.
Moreover, this whole situation violates the principles of open source software in the first place. Dell hoards the knowledge and refuses to share any information about drivers, kernel parameters, software settings, etc.
We’ve been told that it will never be possible to Ubuntu to work with this specific 7720, even though it is certified. That is because of policy, not capability.
Ubuntu should revisit its relationship with Dell, and IMHO, strongly urge Dell to not lie and misrepresent its support of Ubuntu on its hardware, and all certification pages for Dell equipment on Ubuntu’s site should be updated to reflect the truth of Dell’s policies.
Specifically, that if you buy anything certified for Ubuntu, but it comes bundled with Windows 10, that you’re vendor locked into Windows 10.
I’m sure it would come to no surprise to the people here, that I would cut off my genitalia with a rusty salt encrusted spork, before running Microsoft on our hardware