Knowledge Base

How to create a Dell-Ubuntu Image on your Dell PC



This article provides information on how to create a Dell / Ubuntu image for your Dell PC.


Table of Contents:

  1. Preparing to create a Dell/Ubuntu Image
  2. Starting Out
  3. Base Image
  4. Overlay Framework
  5. Overlay Packages
  6. Destination Media
  7. Summary

1. Preparing to create a Dell/Ubuntu Image

This article is going to take you through how to create a Dell/Ubuntu image using open source content and a how to guide that has been on our community site for some time.

The Dell Linux Engineering team publishes the open source content that is overlaid and used in the Dell factory for installation. Because the original live filesystem from the Ubuntu media will be used, you can generate an image that emulates the open source portions of the Dell factory process.

The benefits of using an image like this, is that you'll get the Dell customizations applied on top of your standard Ubuntu image.

  • The Dell recovery framework will be put in place. This allows you to do a recovery from a recovery partition.
  • Adobe Flash is pre-installed.
  • The AMD or NVIDIA proprietary drivers will be pre-installed if needed.
  • The Broadcom Wireless drivers will be pre-installed if needed.
Note: Additional packages can be injected post-install into the media. If you already have a Dell system with Ubuntu shipped on it, you should use that DVD to perform the recovery. The DVD playback software and media playback codecs are NOT included in an image generated by this tool. This tool will produce a system very similar to what you receive when ordering Ubuntu, but not identical.


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2. Starting Out

To start out you will need the following.

  • A copy of the latest version of the dell-recovery tool.
    This can be found at Launchpad External Link
  • An Ubuntu installation, version 9.10 or later.
  • A copy of the Ubuntu Live DVD you would like to use as a base image.
Note: While this article and the pictures used were created around Ubuntu 9.04, the steps listed are still valid for the latest LTS versions.
Note: DVD media is recommended because it will include the AMD and NVIDIA graphics drivers on the media as well as full language support. CD media will work, but you'll have to manually modify these things post install.
  1. After installing the tool, you will find it located in System->Administration menu.

  2. If you run the tool on a computer that didn't ship with Ubuntu on it, it will offer to run in BTO Image Builder Mode.

  1. If this is factory shipped computer then start the tool like this # dell-recovery-media --builder


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3. Base Image Page

  1. The first question will be about what to use for the base media.

Any of the following are valid base targets:

  • Ubuntu Live CD or Live DVD image
  • Extracted CD or DVD image
  • Already generated image
  • Ubuntu Recovery partition from Dell factory or generated image
  • Other sources may also work, but will require some extra workarounds.


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4. Overlay Framework Page

  1. You'll need a copy of the Dell factory content.

Note: If the base image contains this, you can use it from there. if not then it can be fetched using GIT. The GIT tree is fairly large, so it can take a while for it to fetch.

  1. If there is any support by Dell for this Operating System (OS) version, you will see it in the list of tags. If it's not supported yet then use the origin/master tag.

Note: This is the least likely to work as it would represent the latest development.


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5. Overlay Packages Page

  1. Next you can add in the additional overlay packages. as this is an advanced feature, we recommend you get your media working first, without adding in these types of packages.


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6. Destination Media Page

  1. The last question asks how you want media generated? Either way an ISO image is created, but you can optionally burn it to a USB stick or writable DVD.


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7. Summary Page

  1. The summary page displays the content you selected as well as lets you set the version number.

  • If you are generating the image from a GIT tag, it will automatically be set to the version in the GIT tag.
  • If you are generating the image from the GIT tag origin/master, it will automatically be set to X00
  • If you are generating the image from an existing recovery partition or generated image, it will be set to the old version with a decimal and number appended to it to represent a variation of an existing image.


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Additional Information :

Note :
Software support is provided by Canonical through the following methods:
Technical Support is provided by Dell :


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Article ID: SLN265886

Last Date Modified: 04/03/2017 05:29 AM


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