Dell and Canonical have announced that Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is now available as a pre-loaded option for the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop starting at US $1,099.99 (£887).

Dell’s popular developer laptop is the first system available on the market with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, which was released in April 2020 and brings several enhancements to user workflow and performance, in addition to new and updated applications including LibreOffice 6.4 and Thunderbird 68.7.0.

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The combination of Canonical’s most popular open-source desktop operating system and Dell’s flagship developer machine “is designed to offer developers their ideal laptop based on input received from the community,” according to Canonical.

“We’re delighted to see the first Dell systems ship with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS,” said Martin Wimpress, the software company’s director of desktop engineering.

“Enterprises are increasingly equipping their developers and engineers with the operating system of their choice ensuring high end-user productivity. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on the latest Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition offers the performance developers demand with the assurance of security and long-term support that IT management needs.”

Dell has faced increased competition in the OEM Linux space, with Lenovo announcing in early June that it would begin certifying both Red Hat and Ubuntu for select P Series workstations and laptops.

Rob Herman, general manager and executive director of the Workstation & Client AI Group, told TechRepublic that it was increasingly seeing its workstations used within data science and artificial intelligence workloads, where software required greater customization and flexibility – something Linux is well-suited to provide.

Dell partnered with Canonical in 2012 as part of Project Sputnik, an initiative that set out to develop Ubuntu-based devices designed for developers and engineers, with a focus on usability, stability and performance. Borne out of this initiative was the developer edition of Dell’s XPS 13 laptop.

Barton George, founder of Project Sputnik and XPS Developer Edition, at Dell Technologies, said: “Ubuntu 20.04 LTS continues our long-standing partnership with the Linux developer community to provide Ubuntu-certified hardware that works out-of-the-box, enabling the highest levels of productivity.”

As with all LTS releases, Canonical will provide security updates for up to ten years and perform regression testing throughout the software’s lifecycle.

One of the most notable features of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is the inclusion of GNOME 3.36, which brings a number of cosmetic changes as well as under-the-hood tweaks to improve stability and performance.

This includes a handy ‘do not disturb’ toggle to help users minimize distractions as well as new login and lock screens, as well as easier app folder management and a “suspend” option, which puts the system into a lower power state.

Be sure to check out Jack Wallen’s full take on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and what it brings to the burgeoning Linux ecosystem.