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Dell XPS

Dell XPS machines are popular, but they require certain configuration changes to run on MX Linux. These two entries are taken from the Forum, and may be somewhat outdated with their particular solutions; later versions of the laptops as well as the OS may settle some concerns OOTB.

XPS 13


I shrank the Windows partition, creating space for a MX install. I was unable to get Grub to install correctly–others may well have no problem–so ended up using grub2win. That program has many idiosyncracies but can be made to work.

Bios and drivers

Upgrade Bios from the Windows side. Download and run … 43_A15.exe
There may be a later driver available at some point in the future, so check … p/drivers
Type “Bios” in the Keyword box. 

Also use that page to update any other drivers.


I eventually discovered that using a recent liquorix kernel brought significant improvements. On this machine, for instance, Suspend worked correctly for the first time after upgrading the kernel to 4.18-17.


I upgraded the SSD from 128 GB. Bought the new 512 GB SSD from Crucial, whose online site is terrific. Then followed these excellent directions (with occasional hiccups and faint-hearted spells) to make the change. See my shaking hands in this pic:


Needed to adjust partition sizes afterwards.


MX Tweak > Config Options, check to “Use Intel driver…” and reboot


The problem is that often only the HDMI output is listed. Enter BIOS > System Configuration > Audio: click “Load defaults,” then boot back into MX and use MX Select Sound to enable “PCH” — ADDITIONAL: this only works sporadically.
From Arch Wiki: If you are dual-booting with Windows, you will have to do a cold boot twice into Linux before to have sound working in a dual-boot config. This seems to work

Drop-down terminal

F4 is dedicated to a multimedia device playback command, but I can use the Fn key and then it toggles correctly (with Fn-F4).

To get the pad disabled while typing, first try the usual Xfce method: click Settings > Mouse and Touchpad. Use the pull-down menu to select the driver beginning “DLL…” and check the box to disable while typing. This box does not appear if the Synaptics driver is selected.

That did not work for me, so I wrote a tiny script following caprea’s (h/t) suggestion below:



##turns off touchpad while typing##

syndaemon -i 2 -d

Made it executable, then added it to Application Autostart.


• I can’t stop Xfce Terminal from popping up on login, clearing Sessions in the Xfce settings doesn’t work.Well it now seems to work. Yeah!


XPS 15

The Dell XPS 15 9560 is a rather popular laptop. Ubuntu and Arch (and possibly other Linux distributions) seem to run fine on it. Unfortunately, it does not work properly with MX 18, though. Here is a list of things I observed:

1. [FIX] There are a couple of things that need to be done before Linux can even be booted (this is not specific to MX):

  • UEFI: Secure boot needs to be turned off
  • UEFI: SATA Mode needs to be set from the default “RAID” to “AHCI”
  • The Nouveau drivers will not work with this machine and one has to add the following boot parameters in grub:CODE: SELECT ALLnouveau.modeset=0

2. [FIX] Since the open Nouveau drivers do not work, and MX will hence only use the integrated Intel card (while the Nvida one is still on and uses battery), one needs to install the proprietary Nvidia drivers. Using MX tools to install them, however, will result in a kernel panic after reboot: viewtopic.php?f=104&t=47928
The kernel panic can be fixed by adding the following boot parameters in grub (using MX Tools –> Maintenance –> Boot Options):


acpi_osi=! acpi_osi='Windows 2009'

The machine will now boot, with the Intel card activated, and the Nvidia card deactivated.
If you are interested in also using the Nvidia card for some applications with ‘primusrun’, then you will need to apply a hack to prevent another bug ( … bug=876033):

  • In /etc/environment addCODE: SELECT ALL__GLVND_DISALLOW_PATCHING=1
  • In /etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf, change the library path toCODE: SELECT ALLLibraryPath=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu:/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu

After sourcing /etc/environment ‘primusrun’ should work.

3. [FIX] Scrolling in Firefox results in graphic glitches.
The solution is to set “Use Intel driver […]” in MX Tewak (MX Tools –> Setup –> Tweak –> Config Options)

4. [FIX] Sometimes (randomly, around 50% of the times), the system freezes when shutting down: viewtopic.php?f=104&t=47927
This seems to have been fixed with the acpi boot parameters from issue 2 above.

5. [FIX] The display brightness buttons might work.
This is also related to the acpi boot parameters. If you have used MX Tools –> Maintenance –> Boot Options for any other changes after the acpi_osi settings when fixing issue 2 above, then this tool will have removed the single quotes in acpi_osi=’Windows 2009′”. Either make sure you re-add them ever time you use the tool, or just edit the grub config file manually and update grub afterwards (like in the fix for the following issue 6).

6. [FIX] Waking up from hibernation does not work with encrypted swap: viewtopic.php?f=104&t=47905
The way MX decrypts the swap partition does not allow for suspending from the encrypted swap, because swap is encrypted too late to be seen as a resume device (see also … 75ee836857). This can be fixed by decrypting via initramfs rather than via crypttab:

  • Adapt ‘/etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/resume’ to readCODE: SELECT ALLRESUME=/dev/mapper/swapfs
  • In ‘/etc/crypttab’ comment out the line that starts with “swapfs”
  • Create the file ‘/etc/initramfs-tools/hooks/cp_passdev’ with the following content:CODE: SELECT ALL#!/bin/sh PREREQ="" prereqs() { echo "$PREREQ" } case $1 in prereqs) prereqs exit 0 ;; esac . /usr/share/initramfs-tools/hook-functions # Begin real processing below this line copy_exec /lib/cryptsetup/scripts/passdev /lib/cryptsetup/scripts/ >&2
  • Make the file executable by running the following in a terminal:CODE: SELECT ALLsudo chmod a+x /etc/initramfs-tools/hooks/cp_passdev
  • Add the following boot parameters to ”GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT’ in ‘/etc/defaults/grub’:CODE: SELECT ALLresume=/dev/mapper/swapfs cryptopts=source=/dev/<ROOT-PARTITION>,target=rootfs cryptopts=source=/dev/<SWAP-PARTITION>,target=swapfs,keyscript=/lib/cryptsetup/scripts/passdev,key=/dev/mapper/rootfs:/root/keyfileReplace <ROOT-PARTITION> and <SWAP-PARTITION> with the correct partitions.
  • Update grub and initramfs by running the following in a terminal:CODE: SELECT ALLsudo update-grub && sudo update-initramfs -u -k all

Hibernation should now work.
If you are also interested in having the machine do Hybrid Sleep whenever you close the lid (like it behaves under Windows; i.e. it hibernates but then suspends, so in case you run out of battery while on suspend, the machine can resume from the hibernation when you have power again):

  • Create the file ‘/etc/acpi/’ with the following content:CODE: SELECT ALL#!/bin/sh grep -q close /proc/acpi/button/lid/*/state if [ $? = 0 ]; then pm-suspend-hybrid fi
  • Make the script executable by running the following in a terminal:CODE: SELECT ALLsudo chmod a+x /etc/acpi/
  • Create the file ‘/etc/acpi/events/lm_lid’ with the following content:CODE: SELECT ALLevent=button/lid.* action=/etc/acpi/
  • Restart ACPI by running the following in a terminal:CODE: SELECT ALLsudo /etc/init.d/acpid restart

Closing the lid should now put the machine into Hybrid Sleep.

7. [FIX] Inverting scroll direction of the touchpad does only invert the vertical direction: viewtopic.php?f=104&t=47930
This is apparently a bug in Xfce ( … ug/1409347)
The easiest fix is to setup inverted scrolling manually by running the following two commands in a terminal:


synclient VertScrollDelta=-46
synclient HorizScrollDelta=-46

To have them run automatically when you Xfce session starts, put each of them into Autostart (Settings–>System–>Session and Startup–>Application Autostart)

8. [WORKAROUND] When using several monitors, the monitor configuration is not remembered: viewtopic.php?f=104&t=47903
A simple workaround is to set up the monitor arrangement in a script (e.g. ‘~/bin/’):




if [ -n "`DISPLAY:0 xrandr | sed -n "/$second_output connected/p"`" ]; then
  DISPLAY:0 xrandr --output $second_output --pos 0x0
  DISPLAY:0 xrandr --output eDP1 --pos 1920x0

This will check if a second monitor is connected on the output “DP1-2” (which is a monitor connected to a docking station; change accordingly) and then put it left to the internal monitor (“eDP1”; change positions for a different setup).
The script can then be bound to a global shortcut (Settings–>Hardware–>Keyboard–>Application Shortcuts).

9. [WORKAROUND] Sometimes (randomly), the mouse cursor becomes huge, but only in some programmes: viewtopic.php?f=104&t=47907
This seems to be related to having a second monitor connected. Setting up monitor arrangement with a script seems to solve this. If not, manipulating the cursor size setting (Settings–>Hardware–>Mouse and Touchpad–>Theme) will fix it).

There are some other things that I consider not so problematic:

– I experienced two random system freezes (or at least my mouse and keyboard were not responding anymore). This hasn’t happened in a while now, though.

– MX does something with the hardware clock, since the time changes in Windows if I boot into this after installing MX (not a big issue since Windows corrects for this after a couple of minutes automatically)

4 thoughts on “Dell XPS”

  1. Ola!

    Estou com um problema com o XPS 8500… o sistema esta congelando! Ja reinstalei ele, mas o problema sempre continua…

  2. my mouse freezes up then disapers it workd on older mx but now it is very sad for some times i got to wait 25 seconds for it to come up then it will move a few incehes then start again in 20 more seconds. i dont know what to do.


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