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My Good Experience with XPS13 9360 and WD15 Dock and Fedora 25

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My Good Experience with XPS13 9360 and WD15 Dock and Fedora 25

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Hi all,

I thought I would share my happy experience with this combo. Long post, sorry about that.

I bought an XPS 13 9360 with windows 10 Home, and 512gb NVME, 16GB RAM, Core I7, 4k Touch display.

I formatted this machine and installed Ubuntu Gnome 16.10 straight away after setting disk to AHCI mode, and as an UEFI booted system. No problems with install.

Ubuntu Gnome 16.10 with stock kernel had a number of the well known issues such as touch screen not working after suspend. Touchpad quirky, bluetooth stop working after some time. Also general speed and responsiveness was laggy and slow. Installing Main line kernels helped, that was kernel 4.9 or so.

Along the way I have been updating the BIOS (twice so far) to the latest currently on bios 1.3.2. I cant say I have noticed any changes with bios upgrades. I have had no problem installing them from USB stick.

I was not completely happy with Ubuntu 16.10 and so decided to try Fedora 25. I have been an Ubuntu user for 10 years, but got curious as to how far fedora had come along.

Fedora 25 seems to run a more aggressive / faster update program and so has more recent versions of Kernel and Gnome.

I have to say that out of the box Fedora 25 works very well. I would say 98%. After installing and doing the initial "dnf upgrade" upon which a very recent 4.9 kernel was installed, I have found everything to work really well. I have no touch pad issues, touch screen works after suspend perfectly.

Also Fedora 25 is VERY fast compared to ubuntu. I even went to check if preload was installed by default, but it wasnt.

So, I went and purchased the WD15 Dock (its a displayport dock as opposed to the TB16 which is a thunderbolt based one). There have been a lot of complaints about docks here, but here are my findings.

Out of the box, VGA, all USB ports, front sound port and ethernet work perfectly. Also Mini DP worked for a while. Then decided not to. In the end, resetting my monitor to defaults made it all work again. Weird.

Anyway, it says in large text on the WD15 packaging to update the firmware. So, how do you do that when you have Linux? Here is what I did.

1: Download windows 10 Iso from Microsoft.
2: Download and install WINTOUSB tool to create a windows to go disk.
3: Use WINTOUSB on a USB3 Mechanical Hard Drive (dont use flash media)

Once this is done, boot the laptop from this USB disk, and configure windows. Then go to the dell support site and download and install ALL the drivers and software for the system and reboot.

At this point I noticed, crazy load coil whine when windows was running, but before the drivers were installed. As soon as all drivers were installed the coil whine went away. I have not noticed any coil whine with Fedora.

So, once you have a clean Windows USB Disk with all drivers, go ahead and follow procedure to update the WD15 Dock Firmware.

This has certainly made things more stable.

With the WD 15 Dock, I dont understand the 5 LED on the front. Seems pointless. Its always on.

I haven't tested HDMI Yet.

This brings me to the DA200 portable dock that I also bought. With this VGA, Ethernet, and USB work fine. I cant get HDMI to work. This is the same as others have reported here in the forums.

So, all in all, I am a happy camper since moving to Fedora 25 with XPS 9360 and WD15 Dock.

Cheers,

Alex

All Replies
  • Dear Alex

    Could you tell me how to upgrade the WD15 BIOS ?

    Thank you so much!

    All my best

    David

    Ubuntu 16.04 - Gnome 3.18 - Kernel Linux version 4.4.0-59-generic - XPS 13 9360 - BIOS version: 1.2.3