known problems (touchpad and DA20 adapter)

Jump to solution

Hi,

I’ve been a dell customer since October last year, and let me tell you I’m pretty happy with my XPS13 (ubuntu edition) and let me express my gratitude that a company like Dell is actively pursuing and pushing the linux desktop. This means a lot to the linux/ubuntu community and in my personal opinion you have „upped your karma“ Smiley Wink

A company that offers a product line that (in theory) works great with a linux distribution is a wonderful idea.

I intentionally said „in theory“ because there are a few things that are still to this day very very painful and would need to be looked at.

One major advantage is that Linux is open-source and thus has a broad community that actively submits bug-reports and supplies patches for these. I’d even go as far as saying the average linux user is probably easier to work with in the sense of troubleshooting a problem.

Two major bugs that would need to be looked at by Dell:

  •  the number one problem is the touchpad. When using the touchpad the cursor permanently freezes, however if you plug in an usb mouse or connect via bluetooth then the frozen cursor becomes active again. A quick/temporary workaround would be a reboot.

How is this still a problem?

  • I’ve recently purchased the Dell USB-C hdmi/vga/ethernet/usb adapter DA200 thinking that if I buy an officially endorsed product from Dell then it ought to work together smoothly with my Dell XPS 13.

Little did I know that this adapter does not work on Ubuntu 16.04 …. After a bit of googling I found numerous bugreports saying that this adapter does not work on Linux (however ethernet and usb seem to work, but the video ports hdmi and vga are defunct).
Thankfully in the bug reports they also supply a patch, but however that has not been released for 16.04 yet….
From the customer side, I’d really appreciate it if Dell sells a product (something as crucial as a video adapter because the Dell XPS13 has no additional ports due to its thinness) that this product also works on Ubuntu Linux. I don’t know if this is too much to ask for, but it’s troublesome to run into these problems over and over again. I was at a conference and wanted to do a presentation. If a colleague didn’t lend me his Apple USB-C adapter then I’d have been screwed. This Apple USB-C adapter worked out of the box.
The bug reports and the patches are available at:

https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=93578
https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=94567
https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=92932                              this one has the patch!!

Any chance of Dell integrating this into any of the 16.04 updates or does this need to go upstream?!

0 Kudos
1 Solution

Accepted Solutions

RE: known problems (touchpad and DA20 adapter)

Jump to solution

@xps_ubuntu16

Thank you very much for your thoughtful post and kind words of encouragement. Of course the uptick in loyal customers is rewarding but moreso are the words of praise. Smiley Happy I'm not always able to watch the forum as much as I'd like these days, but I wanted to addressed what you brought up here.

Touchpad:

Would you be able to open a service request with Dell support about the touchpad issues you're seeing?

Docking:

Up until now, we've never officially supported docks with Linux, including the DA200. Older port replicators (e.g. E-docks), which work at the electrical level, didn't require much if any driver work. USB 3.0 solutions using DisplayLink chips gained Linux support directly from DisplayLink after our persistence in making a business case on the behalf of our customers. USB Type C and Thunderbolt 3 have really required us to drive for more collaboration to prepare the ecosystem. In fact, we had Thunderbolt 3 Linux drivers when we did because we (Dell) pushed to make that happen.

Docking support has become a large focus of our development effort lately. We believe that improving the hardware peripheral ecosystem is important to our Linux customers, and that's not just lip service. As I've mentioned on the DTC Project Sputnik forum before, we're actively working on supporting our WD15 and TB15/16 docks, both on the driver side and on the firmware update front. We're focusing on the desk docking solutions first, but we definitely are aware of our customers needing to use other peripherals like the DA200. We want as much as possible for our Type C docks to have the same level of functionality that they have on Windows.

This type of work has uncovered many platform-side graphics driver bugs and deficiencies, which we're actively involved in getting hardware component vendors to address in their drivers. These are non-docking graphics bugs that become showstoppers for people needing to use docks. We require that our hardware partners deliver these driver patches upstream, and there's added benefit in that most of this work improves graphics drivers for all x86 Linux users.

So yes, we and our Linux OS partners are paying attention to docking bugs. For the bug reports you mentioned, I've made sure to bring them to the attention of my team.

--
Project Sputnik development lead
Software Principal Engineer
Linux OS Architecture
Dell | Client Product Group

12 Replies

RE: known problems (touchpad and DA20 adapter)

Jump to solution

@xps_ubuntu16

Thank you very much for your thoughtful post and kind words of encouragement. Of course the uptick in loyal customers is rewarding but moreso are the words of praise. Smiley Happy I'm not always able to watch the forum as much as I'd like these days, but I wanted to addressed what you brought up here.

Touchpad:

Would you be able to open a service request with Dell support about the touchpad issues you're seeing?

Docking:

Up until now, we've never officially supported docks with Linux, including the DA200. Older port replicators (e.g. E-docks), which work at the electrical level, didn't require much if any driver work. USB 3.0 solutions using DisplayLink chips gained Linux support directly from DisplayLink after our persistence in making a business case on the behalf of our customers. USB Type C and Thunderbolt 3 have really required us to drive for more collaboration to prepare the ecosystem. In fact, we had Thunderbolt 3 Linux drivers when we did because we (Dell) pushed to make that happen.

Docking support has become a large focus of our development effort lately. We believe that improving the hardware peripheral ecosystem is important to our Linux customers, and that's not just lip service. As I've mentioned on the DTC Project Sputnik forum before, we're actively working on supporting our WD15 and TB15/16 docks, both on the driver side and on the firmware update front. We're focusing on the desk docking solutions first, but we definitely are aware of our customers needing to use other peripherals like the DA200. We want as much as possible for our Type C docks to have the same level of functionality that they have on Windows.

This type of work has uncovered many platform-side graphics driver bugs and deficiencies, which we're actively involved in getting hardware component vendors to address in their drivers. These are non-docking graphics bugs that become showstoppers for people needing to use docks. We require that our hardware partners deliver these driver patches upstream, and there's added benefit in that most of this work improves graphics drivers for all x86 Linux users.

So yes, we and our Linux OS partners are paying attention to docking bugs. For the bug reports you mentioned, I've made sure to bring them to the attention of my team.

--
Project Sputnik development lead
Software Principal Engineer
Linux OS Architecture
Dell | Client Product Group

Ervytis
1 Nickel

RE: known problems (touchpad and DA20 adapter)

Jump to solution

Hi DELL-Jared D,

This is a very good answer, I am very happy to see where this is going. You said  "Up until now, we've never officially supported docks with Linux", does that mean that there is a dock that is officially supported with Linux? Since I am looking for one but can't seem to find one that is compatible with 9360.

Thanks.

0 Kudos

RE: known problems (touchpad and DA20 adapter)

Jump to solution

Thanks DELL-Jared D for taking the time to reply to my issues Smiley Happy

Everyone wants to hear good feedback, and after reading through the Coil-Whine thread(s) I thought you guys didn't receive positive feedback in a good while.

While I agree that Coil-Whine and my above-mentioned issues are a pain, it doesn't make the XPS laptop less precious. I think I said this in a different thread already, but the XPS13 must be probably one of my best laptops I've ever had (my previous one was/is an ASUS Zenbook which is also very very good).

But what often goes unnoticed is the fact that Dell is probably the only major company that releases linux desktops. Of course it's easy to install Linux on any other machine, but half the time crucial things like wifi connection, battery life-time, docking stations etc... don't work properly.

And Dell tries to close that gap by working on the operating systems components (i.e drivers) to work with the hardware components. Thanks for doing this and please pass this on also to your team!!

How would I open a service request for my touchpad issue?

cheers,

theresa

0 Kudos

RE: known problems (touchpad and DA20 adapter)

Jump to solution

Theresa, you can go here to open a service request: www.dell.com/.../Dynamic

--
Project Sputnik development lead
Software Principal Engineer
Linux OS Architecture
Dell | Client Product Group

0 Kudos

RE: known problems (touchpad and DA20 adapter)

Jump to solution

Thanks Jared,

but my problem is that I can't open a service request, because Dell System Detect will always try to download a windows script that can only be run/executed from a windows OS.

Is there something similar for Ubuntu, or how can I get past this step when opening a service request?

thanks,
theresa

0 Kudos

RE: known problems (touchpad and DA20 adapter)

Jump to solution

I'm checking in about this.

--
Project Sputnik development lead
Software Principal Engineer
Linux OS Architecture
Dell | Client Product Group

0 Kudos

RE: known problems (touchpad and DA20 adapter)

Jump to solution

Jared, do you have an update for me regarding opening service requests for XPS laptops running Ubuntu?

also, is there any news/update on the DA200? When will this approximately work on Ubuntu?

0 Kudos
kavirondo
1 Nickel

RE: known problems (touchpad and DA20 adapter)

Jump to solution

I would like to comment on DELL-Jareds post as follows:

He points out that the work done by Dell has highlighted many bugs and deficiencies in the upstream drivers, and that work is being done.

I can confirm that having switched to running more recent Kernels that those included in any given Linx distro (such as Ubuntu Mainline and Fedora Rawhide) I now have excellent support for the WD15 Dock (only the rear audio is not working) and for the DA200 only the HDMI is not working.

So, clearly a lot of work is going on and a little more patience for users not willing to run non-standard kernels is requried for the bugfixes from upstream to trickle down to your machine via updates.

0 Kudos
Highlighted

RE: known problems (touchpad and DA20 adapter)

Jump to solution

I'm still using Ubuntu 16.04 that was shipped with the XPS13, that currently runs the 4.4.0-62-generic kernel.

Will the patch (as posted in my initial post) also be integrated into the 4.4.x kernel?

Please, work on this, otherwise the DA200 is a 70-euro worthless piece of plastic to me :'(

0 Kudos