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Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and Ubuntu 20.04 Compatibility: What Works and What Doesn’t?

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The Microsoft Surface Pro 7, a powerful and versatile device, is often paired with Windows OS. However, some users prefer the open-source nature and flexibility of Linux distributions like Ubuntu. This article will delve into the compatibility of the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 with Ubuntu 20.04, detailing what works and what doesn’t.

Quick Answer

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is mostly compatible with Ubuntu 20.04, with a few exceptions. The core components like the processor, RAM, storage, display, and wireless work well. However, the cameras and Surface Pen functionality are not supported.

Ubuntu 20.04: A Brief Overview

Ubuntu 20.04, also known as Focal Fossa, is the latest LTS (Long Term Support) version of the popular Linux distribution, Ubuntu. It offers a host of improvements over its predecessors, including a refreshed desktop environment, updated applications, and enhanced hardware support.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7: Hardware Compatibility with Ubuntu 20.04

When it comes to hardware compatibility, the Surface Pro 7 is mostly compatible with Ubuntu 20.04. The Linux Surface Project, a community-driven initiative, has been working tirelessly to improve compatibility between Surface devices and Linux distributions.

Here’s a quick rundown of the key hardware components and their compatibility status:

  • Processor, RAM, and Storage: The Intel Core i7 processor, RAM, and SSD storage are fully supported and work without any issues.
  • Display: The touch screen and display work well with Ubuntu 20.04.
  • Keyboard and Touchpad: The Surface Type Cover (keyboard and touchpad) is fully functional.
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are supported and work without any major issues.
  • Ports: The USB-C and USB-A ports, along with the Surface Connect port, work as expected.
  • Battery: Battery status can be monitored accurately.
  • Audio: The speakers and 3.5mm headphone jack work, but there may be some minor issues with the microphone.

However, there are a few components that are not fully supported:

  • Cameras: The front and rear cameras do not work.
  • Pen: The Surface Pen functionality is not supported.

For the most updated compatibility information, refer to the compatibility table provided by the Linux Surface Project on their GitHub page.

Installing Ubuntu 20.04 on Surface Pro 7

To install Ubuntu 20.04 on your Surface Pro 7, you’ll need to create a bootable USB drive with the Ubuntu 20.04 ISO. Once created, you can boot your Surface Pro 7 from this USB drive and follow the on-screen instructions to install Ubuntu.

If you encounter any issues during or after the installation, you might need to update the kernel. The kernel is the core of the operating system and provides the necessary drivers for your hardware.

You can download the latest kernel from the Ubuntu mainline kernel website here. Once downloaded, you can install it using the following commands:

sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-5.7.0-xxxxxx_all.deb linux-headers-5.7.0-xxxxxx-generic_5.7.0-xxxxxx_amd64.deb linux-image-unsigned-5.7.0-xxxxxx-generic_5.7.0-xxxxxx_amd64.deb linux-modules-5.7.0-xxxxxx-generic_5.7.0-xxxxxx_amd64.deb

In the command above, xxxxxx represents the version number of the kernel. This command installs the new kernel along with the necessary headers and modules.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is mostly compatible with Ubuntu 20.04, with a few exceptions. While the cameras and Surface Pen functionality are not supported, the core components like the processor, RAM, storage, display, and wireless work well. For the best experience, it’s recommended to use the latest version of Ubuntu and keep your kernel updated.

Can I dual-boot Ubuntu 20.04 and Windows on my Surface Pro 7?

Yes, you can dual-boot Ubuntu 20.04 and Windows on your Surface Pro 7. During the installation process, you will have the option to choose the dual-boot setup, allowing you to select which operating system to boot into each time you start your device.

Will Ubuntu 20.04 automatically detect and install the necessary drivers for my Surface Pro 7?

Ubuntu 20.04 has improved hardware support and will automatically install many of the necessary drivers for your Surface Pro 7. However, in some cases, you may need to update the kernel or install additional drivers manually to ensure full compatibility.

Can I use the Microsoft Surface Pen with Ubuntu 20.04 on my Surface Pro 7?

Unfortunately, the Surface Pen functionality is not supported in Ubuntu 20.04 on the Surface Pro 7. You will not be able to use the Surface Pen for drawing or handwriting input.

Are there any known bugs or issues when running Ubuntu 20.04 on the Surface Pro 7?

While Ubuntu 20.04 is mostly compatible with the Surface Pro 7, there may be some minor issues or bugs. For the most up-to-date information on known issues and workarounds, it’s recommended to check the Ubuntu community forums or the Linux Surface Project’s GitHub page.

How can I update the kernel in Ubuntu 20.04 on my Surface Pro 7?

To update the kernel in Ubuntu 20.04, you can download the latest kernel version from the Ubuntu mainline kernel website and install it using the sudo dpkg -i command, as mentioned in the article. It’s important to note that updating the kernel can potentially introduce new issues, so it’s recommended to backup your data and proceed with caution.

Can I use the front and rear cameras on my Surface Pro 7 with Ubuntu 20.04?

No, the front and rear cameras on the Surface Pro 7 are not supported in Ubuntu 20.04. You will not be able to use them for taking photos or video conferencing.

Will all software and applications work on Ubuntu 20.04 on the Surface Pro 7?

Most software and applications that are compatible with Ubuntu 20.04 should work on the Surface Pro 7. However, it’s important to note that some Windows-specific software or applications may not have a Linux version available, so it’s recommended to check the availability of your required software before switching to Ubuntu.

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