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Linux (Xubuntu 20.04) on Dell XPS 9310 install notes

Dell XPS 9310 Linux install notes (Ubuntu/Xubuntu 20.04)

My NL i7/16GB XPS 9310 has a Killer AX1650s WiFi chip, which eventually worked. Other Killer chips may not work.

I ordered the Windows Home edition, because developer edition with Linux was not available in my country. Apparently you can reclaim €100 from Dell if you don't use Windows.

Install

  • Bios:
    • Change the SATA Mode from the default "RAID" to "AHCI"
    • Disable Secure Boot
    • Disable both Sign of Life features
  • Boot & install from USB stick with default Xubuntu 20.04
  • After reboot, no wifi. Connect ethernet using USB-C hub.
    • sudo apt update && sudo apt install oem-somerville-bulbasaur-meta oem-somerville-meta which will install Dell's Linux APT repo and kernel 5.6.0-1034-oem
    • Wifi now works
  • Firmware: default Bios was 1.0.1, update with fwupdmgr get-upgrades && fwupdmgr upgrade, reboot

Problems

  • Suspend/resume
    • xfce4-screensaver blocked the screen after suspend. Had disabled and re-enabled it, not seen again.
    • Audio sometimes crashes after resume (stuck in "firmware loaded" loop). Similar to this bug report. Have tried latest 1.6-stable SOF firmware but this results in other crashes. Have reverted to default fw for now.
    • The Dell XPS 13 only supports S2 sleep (cat /sys/power/mem_sleep), despite mentioning S3 sleep in the BIOS. Many people not happy about battery drain in S2. Dell hasn't responded yet. this and this.
  • Fingerprint scanner: driver works technically, but UX is absolutely horrible in Xubuntu. No retry, wrong focus, still need to click a lot of buttons to login. Main turn-off: it seems impossible to use libpam-fprintd to unlock your keyring.

For the rest, it works quite well. Display, special function keys, hooking up external display & hub via TB cable.

Useful references

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Dell_XPS_13_(9300)

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