DantesRequiem
2 Bronze

Upgrading to 3.19 kernel with Dell factory 14.04 image

In various other threads, myself and other community members have been working out how best to handle the 14.04 issues with the Dell XPS 13 (9343) (Early 2015).  I have tried a number of solutions, but ultimately have arrived to the conclusion that upgrading the 3.13 kernel to 3.19 via the testing LTS kernel repository is the best upgrade path thus far.

Disclaimer: This upgrade process as described in this post will cause wireless to stop working.  I believe this is a Broadcom driver problem.  Hopefully I can get some assistance with installing these drivers back from Dell ProSupport later today.


Update:
To fix the wireless issue, connect your computer to the internet either using a USB to ethernet adapter or use your phone as a mobile hotspot, then run `sudo apt-get update` and `sudo apt-get upgrade`.  This lengthy upgrade will restore wifi functionality.  (See response below)

This guide will fix:

  • Touchpad glitchiness
  • Touchpad two-finger/click commands -- e.g. two figner drag, single finger right click will work.
  • Keyboard repeating keystrokes (I have had repeating keystrokes once thus far, so not totally fixed but they are very few and far between)
  • Graphics lag/choppiness

Steps:

1. Reset to Factory Defaults.

Here is a lsb_release -a and uname -a at factory defaults:

gshulegaard@ronin:~$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Release: 14.04
Codename: trusty
gshulegaard@ronin:~$ uname -a
Linux ronin 3.13.0-37-generic #64bdw1-Ubuntu SMP Thu Sep 25 14:01:25 UTC 2014 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
gshulegaard@ronin:~$

2. Do an apt-get update/upgrade.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

3. There will be depency problems, so do a -f:

$ sudo apt-get -f install

At this point, your lsb_release and uname should have changed:

gshulegaard@ronin:~$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS
Release: 14.04
Codename: trusty
gshulegaard@ronin:~$ uname -a
Linux ronin 3.13.0-37-generic #64bdw1-Ubuntu SMP Thu Sep 25 14:01:25 UTC 2014 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
gshulegaard@ronin:~$

4. Add the kernel testing repository and install 3.19:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:canonical-kernel-team/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install linux-generic-lts-vivid
sudo reboot
That's it, your lsb_release and uname should now look like:

gshulegaard@ronin:~$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS
Release: 14.04
Codename: trusty
gshulegaard@ronin:~$ uname -a
Linux ronin 3.19.0-17-generic #17~14.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Thu May 7 11:05:22 UTC 2015 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
gshulegaard@ronin:~$
The last thing for me to sort out is how to restore wireless functionality and I will update here as soon as that is sorted.



Update: After connecting to ethernet and doing an "apt-get update" and an "apt-get upgrade" I am happy to report that all is well. The machine works smoothly. I haven't had an issue with Suspend/Resume after doing an in place kernel upgrade, but it is the only issue that is outstanding as far as I can tell.

25 Replies
Vassil
1 Nickel

RE: Upgrading to 3.19 kernel with Dell factory 14.04 image

System Settings -> Software&Updates -> Additional Drivers

does not have the proprietary  WiFi drivers?

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DantesRequiem
2 Bronze

RE: Upgrading to 3.19 kernel with Dell factory 14.04 image

I just came back to post an update about this, but I have restored WiFi functionality.

Indeed, the drivers were present under "Additional Drivers", but there must have been some dependency problems in the new (3.19) kernel that was freshly installed.

To fix Wireless problems:

  1. Connect to internet somehow.  You can either connect an ethernet cable to a usb port using an adapter, or you can use your phone as a mobile hotspot.
  2. Do a apt-get update/upgrade.

That's it.  After an apt-get update/upgrade wireless functionality returns and all is well (as well as can be anyway).

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Highlighted
MRC01
2 Bronze

RE: Upgrading to 3.19 kernel with Dell factory 14.04 image

Great news - looks like you don't need a full 15.04 install, just the 3.19 kernel (that comes with 15.04) will do the job.

The steps in part (4) came from me, and I'm not sure this the best or correct way to install the 3.19 kernel on an Ubuntu 14.04 system. Perhaps someone else can let us know whether it is, and if it's not, offer a better way to install it.

The risk is, if this is a development PPA, that a future upgrade might install an experimental version of the linux kernel. But if that happens, you can always boot to GRUB and select the 3.19 you had before.

DantesRequiem
2 Bronze

RE: Upgrading to 3.19 kernel with Dell factory 14.04 image

Great news - looks like you don't need a full 15.04 install, just the 3.19 kernel (that comes with 15.04) will do the job.

The steps in part (4) came from me, and I'm not sure this the best or correct way to install the 3.19 kernel on an Ubuntu 14.04 system. Perhaps someone else can let us know whether it is, and if it's not, offer a better way to install it.

The risk is, if this is a development PPA, that a future upgrade might install an experimental version of the linux kernel. But if that happens, you can always boot to GRUB and select the 3.19 you had before.

Indeed, how rude of me not to give credit where credit is due.  I apologize, I have just been rapidly trying to restore my system 😄

That said, MRC01's point is that the PPA that is added in this guide is the developmental/testing PPA for LTS kernel releases.  Typically, once a kernel is added to the LTS enablement stack, you will be able to install it using commands similar to this guide:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Kernel/LTSEnablementStack

Trouble is, we need the drivers from the 3.19 kernel now for the XPS 13, so we can't wait for the official release that is due around Septemeber of this year.  Perhaps someone could add to this guide steps for removing this workaround and installing the officially supported kernel so we can do so come September.

For now, this guide creates a stable Ubuntu experience with only occasional keystroke repeats.  It is stable enough that I believe I will keep the laptop in order to support the Sputnik effort.

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MRC01
2 Bronze

RE: Upgrading to 3.19 kernel with Dell factory 14.04 image

Thanks for collecting all this in one place. My new XPS-13 arrives on Thurs and I will try this. If it works, it will save me from having to wipe the entire disk and install 15.04 from scratch, which will be my plan B if this doesn't work.

Either way I'll post back to let everyone know.

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RE: Upgrading to 3.19 kernel with Dell factory 14.04 image

DantesRequiem,

I apologize for this issues and want to thank you for your support!

Barton George

RE: Upgrading to 3.19 kernel with Dell factory 14.04 image

Hi!,

Just one question. It's mandatory to do a factory defaults?

Best Regards,
Javier

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DantesRequiem
2 Bronze

RE: Upgrading to 3.19 kernel with Dell factory 14.04 image

No it is not.  Prior to trying this from a factory reset state, I had done it from my system after I had applied the Dell 14.04 backport fixes from this link:

http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/os-applications/f/4613/t/19632338

Curiously, when running this after applying the above fixes, wireless will not stop functioning.  So it may be worth trying.

Bottom line, if you know what you are doing/understand what is going on (upgrading the kernel in place using the Beta enablement repository) then I see no reason for you to go back to a complete factory reset.  I would, however, do a quick backup of important files and things just in case.

eousphoros
1 Copper

RE: Upgrading to 3.19 kernel with Dell factory 14.04 image

I just got the xps 13 developer edition from fedex this morning. After opening it up and trying to use it for all of ten seconds I was pretty disappointed. UNTIL...

This post came up in my search to try and improve the experience. Thank you. The 3.19 kernel from the testing feed fixed the touchpad issues I was having. Also the laptop seems a bit snappier. 

Cheers,

Happy XPS 13 owner