pdxtabs
1 Nickel

Finally content with my purchase

I recently purchased a XPS 13 DE. Mine came with Ubuntu 14.04 and BIOS A03. This left me with a next to worthless trackpad and a keyboard that would pretend that it was stuck far too often. Upgrading to ubuntu 15.04 fixed the touchpad and upgrading to BIOS A04 seems to have fixed my stuck key problem.

I am still perplexed and a little bit disappointed in the choice of BCM4352 Wi-Fi module (I would have happily paid a little extra for the Intel 7260/7265) which made updating the OS hard. However, as long as my keyboard and trackpad keep behaving I will keep the laptop and be very happy with the price and the small form factor.

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15 Replies
bobmcch
1 Nickel

RE: Finally content with my purchase

Hello,

What problems did you have exactly with the OS upgrade and the Broadcom Wifi? It would be helpful to know for anyone wanting to follow this plan.

Regards,

Bob

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Mike A2
1 Nickel

RE: Finally content with my purchase

Installing the Broadcom wireless drivers during the Ubuntu 15.04 install is as easy as clicking a box. Literally. On one of the first screens of the install, just check the box that says "Install proprietary drivers" or "Install 3rd party drivers" (something to that effect, cant remember the exact wording right now. After you check that and click next, you'll see your wireless and bluetooth start working (little icons in the top right corner).


There is an issue with the Broadcom drivers not installing correctly when trying to upgrade to kernel 4.x in place. If you follow the link below, about half way down that page are instructions for patching the broadcom kernel source so that it recompiles correctly for the new 4.x kernel.

forthescience.org/.../installing_ubuntu_14_04_on_the_new_dell_xps_13_v2

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Mike A2
1 Nickel

RE: Finally content with my purchase

Also to be clear, you dont HAVE to install Kernel 4.x. 3.19.0-16 works very well out of the box on Ubuntu 15.04.

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bobmcch
1 Nickel

RE: Finally content with my purchase

That's great to hear, thanks.

I believe I wouldn't be able to upgrade to 4.x because of my need for Virtual Box (I prefer to use the distro copy, rather than download separate packages). This is the same reason I can't upgrade 14.04 to 3.19 in situ.

I'm waiting to see whether an upgrade to 15.04 or waiting for 14.04 backports is going to be the best way forward. It's a bit of a *** situation to be stuck with a machine crashing every time it sleeps and which the vendor isn't providing a clear support path for.

Bob

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Mike A2
1 Nickel

RE: Finally content with my purchase

FWIW I am running VirtualBox 4.3.26-dfsg-2ubuntu2 (installed from Ubuntu vivid repo) with Kernel 4.0.4 (installed from Ubuntu wily repo) and it runs perfectly.

Agreed the wake from sleep kernel panics are very very annoying. It's my last remaining major issue. My microphone doesnt work in kernel 4 but I can just boot back to 3.19.0-18 if I need it, which I usually don't.

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pdxtabs
1 Nickel

RE: Finally content with my purchase

To get the Broadcom (wl) driver installed you need to install the bcmwl-kernel-source package. I do not believe that the Xubuntu 15.04 installation image includes all of the dependencies for this package because I was unable to install bcmwl-kernel-source on the command line when I was running Xubuntu-15.04 from the thumb drive before installing the OS.

The simplest away around this is to purchase a USB Ethernet adapter. I am happy with my 'Cable Matters SuperSpeed USB 3.0 to RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet Network Adapter' which I paid $18 for.

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DantesRequiem
2 Bronze

RE: Finally content with my purchase

FWIW, the Sputnik project team has to support the exact same hardware as the Windows counter-parts.  Because of this, they don't have any hardware flexibility and the Sputnik project is still in evaluation phase so it's not like the XPS hardware team is going to choose an Intel chip because it has better driver support for Linux.

That said, I also have a USB Ethernet adapter which has worked superbly to bail me out the one time my Broadwell drivers stopped working due to dependency problems that were resolved by an apt-get update/upgrade.

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MRC01
2 Bronze

RE: Finally content with my purchase

I agree, this is a great little laptop. I'm going to keep using it here at work and at h omee for a whilee longer to make  sure, just in casee new problems aappear, but it looks l ike a keeper.

NOTE: I'm m leaving typos in this message, correcting only those  I made m yself,  so you can see the key repeat issue is alive & well even with BIOS A04.

There were  numerous issues to resolve and it still has several bugs, but the Macbook  Air I aim to replace wasn't perrfect either. And  I believe these remaining issues will be resolved eventually as the drivers mature annd  Linux supports this new haardware better, and  Dell continues supporting it.

So it'ss a keeper - if I don't discover  new  problems. But you can imagine how annoying this key repeat i ssue is. And the spacebar is not very relliable.

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DantesRequiem
2 Bronze

RE: Finally content with my purchase

Hey MRC01 you are on 3.19.0-18 right?

After the BIOS upgrade did you apply the 3.13 backport fixes?  I know it's counter-intuitive since the backports were targeted for 3.13, but applying the 3.13 .deb fixes actually resolved the touchpad/keyboard resurgence issues I had after upgrading the BIOS on my 14.04.2 and 3.19.0-18 system.


FWIW, I am leaving typos in this message (even ones I make myself), so for some reason or another I currently have a stable keyboard experience.

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