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Last active Mar 26, 2020
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Installation notes for Ubuntu 19.10 on a Dell Inspiron 13" 7386


  1. Two thumb drives, at least 4GB
  2. A Dell Inspiron 13" 7386. It may be labeled as a 7000-series 2-in-1. If you're not sure of the model number, check your purchase materials, or in the OEM-installed Windows open the Dell Service application.

Optional prereqs:

  1. A second computer, for displaying things like manuals, instructions, and for burning bootable drives. You can do this project without it; it's just not really recommended by me.
  2. Print off the service manual.
  3. Print off this list.
  4. Generate the following:
    • device admin password
    • device system boot password
    • device Secure Boot password
    • user account password
    • computer hostname
    • encryption passphrase for drive

Process: 0. Back up anything you care about from this machine. We'll be wiping the drive.

  1. Create a bootable Ubuntu 19.10 stick
  2. Following the links in SwiftOnSecurity's Windows Security from the Ground Up, prepare a Windows bootable media drive, as a backup.
  3. Test both bootable drives by booting into them.
  4. Realize you don't know how to boot a bootable USB drive on this machine.
    1. Shut off the machine
    2. Insert a drive
    3. Press the combination fingerprint reader and power button
    4. Spam the F12 key as soon as the Dell logo appears
    5. Choose the USB drive when you see the BIOS menu. If you do not see the BIOS menu, but instead boot into the already-installed OS, you'll need to try again from step 1.
  5. Test both bootable drives. When they work, proceed to the next step.
  6. From Windows, disable "Fast startup". The reasoning for this is detailed at Ask Ubuntu
  7. Get back to the F12 boot menu and find the "Boot settings" option. Enter it.
    1. In Settings > General > Boot Sequence, remove any "Legacy External Devices" option. Leave enabled any UEFI USB disks you see, and don't touch anything else there.
    2. In Settings > System Configuration > SATA Operation, change the SATA Operation setting to "AHCI". The reasoning for this is detailed at Ask Ubuntu
    3. In Settings > Security > UEFI Capsule Firmware Updates, check the box to "Enable UEFI Capsule Firmware Updates"
    4. In Settings > Secure Boot > Secure Boot Enable, check the box to "Secure Boot Enable"
    5. As a personal preference: In Settings > POST Behavior > Fn Lock, check the box for "FN Lock". The key combination to toggle Fn Lock will now be enabled: Fn + Esc will swap the function of the Function Key row between the labels printed on the upper and lower halves of the keys.
    6. In Settings > POST Behavior > Fastboot, set this to "Thorough", but I'm not sure if I should set this to "Auto" later.
    7. In Settings > Maintenance > Service Tag, copy your service tag information down onto a sheet of paper somewhere.
    8. You may also want to set an admin/setup password (controls boot menus, access to bios settings) and a system password (required at boot)
  8. Save the changes to the BIOS settings.
  9. Exit the BIOS settings manager
  10. Boot into your Ubuntu thumb drive. If you set a system password, you'll need that when the computer turns on. If you set an admin/setup password, you'll need that to boot off the thumb drive.
  11. Connect to a local wireless network.
  12. Begin the Ubuntu install process.
    1. Check the box to download updates while installing.
    2. Check the box to enable third-party drivers. You will be prompted to set a Secure Boot password to manage these.
    3. Check the box to encrypt the new Ubuntu install for security.
  13. Reboot into Ubuntu.
  14. Install software updates
  15. sudo apt-get install gnome-tweaks
  16. Install for three- and four-finger gestures.
    • three-finger swipe up to show the Activities switcher: dbus-send --session --type=method_call --dest=org.gnome.Shell /org/gnome/Shell org.gnome.Shell.Eval string:';'
    • three-finger swipe down to dismiss it: dbus-send --session --type=method_call --dest=org.gnome.Shell /org/gnome/Shell org.gnome.Shell.Eval string:'Main.overview.hide();'
  17. Configure Firefox:
  18. Disable the snapshot sound from gnome-screenshot by making a custom sound theme:

Still to do

  • research getting all mouse buttons supported
  • update to 20.04 when it's released
  • pick a note-taking app
  • pick a drawing app


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