Misleading and deceptive information regarding Dell & Ubuntu certification

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 :wink:

I just finished a lengthy conversation with Dell Corporate. I’ve been informed that Dell no longer supports the Mobile Precision line entirely with respect to either Ubuntu or Redhat. It’s not possible to be sold a Precision 7720 with Ubuntu pre-installed at this time, and neither is it possible to modify or update a warranty or service tag to allow access to the Ubuntu recovery image. That recovery image is effectively locked up behind a service tag “password”, and it’s not certain that a service tag for a Ubuntu pre-install can still download it.

Considering that Dell officially no longer supports Ubuntu/Redhat on the entire Precision line, and utterly refuses to work with the open source community in good faith by providing downloads for Linux drivers with additional installation information, it is wholly inaccurate for Ubuntu to have those certification pages up. They’re no longer reflective of the reality a tech faces when trying to install Ubuntu on Precision laptops.

Ubuntu really should revisit its relationship with Dell, and especially should reconsider the logic of certifying hardware that does not have the drivers readily available for download, or publicly published. The difference between “Standard” and “Pre-install” should be eliminated, and “Pre-install” should never receive certification.

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For a signal boost you could cross-post this to https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-website-content/+filebug (which is what ‘Report a bug on this site’ on the certification site links to)