Installation of Linux on a Dell XPS 15Download Linux Mint 17.2 Cinnamon and create a bootable USB.
Disable fast boot from WindowsBoot into Windows and disable fast boot (Instructions at http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/6320-fast-startup-turn-off-windows-8-a.html)
Disable Secure boot and change boot orderGo into the Bios (Reboot notebook and press F2 on splash screen (bios keys are mentioned in bottom right corner). After this your BIOS screens should look like:
Boot from the USB into Linux. Once there use gparted (if needed install using `sudo apt-get install gparted` to resize the Windows partitions and to free up space for your Linux installation. Next perform the Linux installation to your preference (for me that means a separate partition for /home).
Driver issues + fixes
Wi-FiThis is one is available in the restricted drivers area of Mint. Before launching it however it is best to get your repository data up-to-date and to install all updates:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
Next go to the restricted drivers wizard using the menu:
How to get internet-access on this notebook without Wi-Fi?I have bought the 4-in-1 connector for the PC that will go from USB3.0 to USB2.0, ethernet, VGA & HDMI ports. For the USB and the ethernet ports this adapter is plug&play. So handy when you need to install updates when your wireless is not yet working.
Bumblebee Installation instructionsUsing instructions from https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bumblebee
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable sudo apt-get install bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia primus linux-headers-generic
Which gives the following output:
Dellx log # sudo apt-get install bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia primus linux-headers-generic Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done The following extra packages will be installed: bbswitch-dkms lib32gcc1 libc6-i386 linux-headers-3.13.0-62 linux-headers-3.13.0-62-generic nvidia-304 nvidia-current primus-libs socat Recommended packages: nvidia-settings libcuda1-304 nvidia-opencl-icd-304 primus-libs-ia32 The following packages will be REMOVED: linux-kernel-generic The following NEW packages will be installed: bbswitch-dkms bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia lib32gcc1 libc6-i386 linux-headers-3.13.0-62 linux-headers-3.13.0-62-generic linux-headers-generic nvidia-304 nvidia-current primus primus-libs socat 0 upgraded, 13 newly installed, 1 to remove and 0 not upgraded. Need to get 47,8 MB of archives. After this operation, 260 MB of additional disk space will be used. Do you want to continue? [Y/n]
Install newest nvidia driversThese are present in the driver manager.
Select the latest driver
Click apply and afterwards it should show that an additional proprietary driver is in use.
Configure Bumblebee to use these new driversChanges the following four lines using your favorite editor in /etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf (using sudo, e.g. sudo gedit /etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf):
Driver=nvidia KernelDriver=nvidia # colon-separated path to the nvidia libraries LibraryPath=/usr/lib/nvidia-346-updates:/usr/lib32/nvidia-346-updates # comma-separated path of the directory containing nvidia_drv.so and the # default Xorg modules path XorgModulePath=/usr/lib/nvidia-346-updates/xorg,/usr/lib/xorg/modules
Note that paths are once colon-separated and once comma-separated.
After a reboot the bumblebee daemon should be running.
peter@Dellx ~ $ /etc/init.d/bumblebeed status * bumblebeed is running
Why would I install these proprietary drivers?
3D Performance before setup
peter@Dellx ~ $ glxgears Xlib: extension "NV-GLX" missing on display ":0". Running synchronized to the vertical refresh. The framerate should be approximately the same as the monitor refresh rate. 348 frames in 5.3 seconds = 65.786 FPS 300 frames in 5.0 seconds = 59.997 FPS 300 frames in 5.0 seconds = 59.995 FPS 300 frames in 5.0 seconds = 59.996 FPS
3D performance after setup
peter@Dellx ~ $ glxgears 30157 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6031.306 FPS 31302 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6260.384 FPS 32086 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6415.288 FPS 30959 frames in 5.0 seconds = 6191.375 FPS
Battery saving modeThis performance gain comes however with a penalty for the autonomy of your notebook (higher battery drain). In your panel with status and notification icons an Icon should be present that either holds the nvidia logo or the intel logo:
When you click the logo you will get the Nvidia configuration screen that allows you to switch between the modes.
When selecting a mode you'll need to provide a password because privileges are required (only possible if your user is allowed to perform privileged actions (sudo rights)).
In order to activate the changes you need to re-login.
After a re-login you'll see the intel logo.
- How to get the 4-in-1 adapter working for external displays. Low priority as I currently don't have a secondary display.
- Quite frequently text gets pasted while typing or mouse jumps. This is likely caused by the touchpad which is quite broad and easily touched by accident. Currently I don't have an external mouse but will likely look into buying one in the near future and will then check howto best disable the touchpad when mouse is connected and re-activate it when mouse is disconnected. (e.g. using udev)
- In syslog CPU stacktraces show up from time to time
- Touchscreen: This seems to be a weak point for Linux. The 'chromium-browser' however seems to do support gestures like pinching and two-finger scrolling. Can be handy for Google Maps although I dislike greasy fingers on my screen.