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Dell XPS 13 (9365) Debian Stretch experience

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Dell XPS 13 (9365) Debian Stretch experience

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Hi,

I'm in Australia, where the XPS developer edition isn't available, so we have to install linux ourselves, in my case, I've installed Debian Stretch.

BIOS / Firmware / Booting:

  1. The first thing I did was flash update the bios to 1.0.15
  2. Disabled secure boot
  3. Set hard drive to ACPI, not RAID
  4. I tried using the legacy mode to boot from a USB flash drive, however this only results in a blank screen and no booting.   In addition when legacy booting is enabled, the laptop freezes during startup for about five minutes. The only way to boot was to use UEFI. 
  5. I prepared a USB 3.0 16GB flash drive with a GPT partition table and FAT32 partition and copied the files over from the debian cdrom.  I also created a second partition on the disk with an ext2 file system containing cdrom images.  The flash drive booted in UEFI mode but I found myself at a grub command prompt.  I copied the /efi/boot directory from an Ubuntu iso image, but retained the debian grub.cfg, the debain install then booted. 
  6. I dropped out to a command line, mounted the second ext2 partition on /mnt and mounted the debian iso image in loop mode to /cdrom.
  7. To get networking working I copied the intel wifi  firmware deb package into the firmware directory on the FAT32 partition on the flash drive and rebooted.
  8. I was then able to install Debian stretch.

User experience:

Suspend resume is slower than shutdown rebooting.  The touchpad doesn't work after resuming.  Hibernating - I'm not sure if this is working correctly, it takes a very long time.

All hardware is working correctly, it would be nice if there was an option to replace the bios firmware with openbios, which is far more powerful.  The existing firmware is buggy and makes installing linux a battle.

All Replies
  • Hi,

    The XPS 9365 is not formally supported with Linux.  For suspend and resume it does not support traditional S3 (suspend to ram) but rather suspend to idle.  Suspend to Idle is not well supported in Linux yet.

    I would recommend that you change mem_sleep to s2idle (see github.com/.../states.txt for more information).  This will force suspend to idle on the machine.  You will run into a problem with needing to hold the power button for 6 seconds to wakeup, but wakeup will be consistent.

    There is however work going on upstream that will be targeted at kernel 4.13 that improves the experience of suspend to idle to specifically address some of  the issues you are (and will continue to run into).  If you are comfortable running a development kernel, you can run Linus'es 4.13 development tree to get some of that now.