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New Dell XPS Ubuntu has issues

Hello!  I recently purchased a Dell XPS Developer laptop pre-installed with Ubuntu 20.04.  I thought I was 'upgrading' from Lenovo T series laptop which did not come pre-installed with Linux but the Dell laptop has some annoying issues.

 

1. Screen flickers - just with normal usage the brightness of the screen changes regularly.   I found some mention of adding  i915.enable_psr=0 in the grub loader, but this did not solve the problem.

2. Restoring a WIFI network connection takes minutes from hibernation.   

3. Hibernation sometimes "hangs" infinitely.  This (and maybe #2 ) seem to be related to the buggy network driver ath11k_pci which describes itself as experimental in logs.. 

 

I like the footprint of the hardware but in doing some searches it seems like these are not isolated to me alone.   It feels like Dell is using hardware that doesn't have good driver support for on Linux.   My Lenovo was rock solid so it's pretty disappointing to buy a laptop targeted to devs running Linux have so many issues.

Has anyone come up with a stable configuration for the device?

Replies (5)
2 Bronze
2 Bronze

As an update, support reached out and told me to run the system restore.  This helped.  I'm not sure why the pre-install had the screen flicker issue and the system restore didn't but happy to have that issue resolved.

The remaining issue is #2 above. The WIFI connection takes a long time to reconnect to the network, sometimes minutes.  There are no driver updates available from Dell and the Intel site doesn't seem to support Linux.  Has anyone figured out a solution to this problem?

TIA!

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Dell has just released a new XPS laptop that comes pre-loaded with Ubuntu. While this may be seen as a step in the right direction for Linux, there are still some kinks that need to be worked out. According to reports, the trackpad and keyboard aren't working properly, and there are also some issues with the WiFi. Hopefully, Dell will address these problems soon. In the meantime, if you're thinking of buying this laptop, you may want to hold off until they've been fixed.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Dell should have done better testing of the drivers available before releasing an a version of the hardware with Ubuntu as a pre-install.  The support team seems to have no ability to help with Ubuntu.  Here's the last response I got from Dell support:

"We are sorry that our support for Linux is limited. We are glad that one of the issues was resolved by system restore. We do not have specific driver installation for Linux, if the Wi-Fi issue continues to persist, please proceed to back up the data and reinstall Linux. "

After much digging, I found that the networking issues were fixed in a later kernel release.  For those that need a working laptop Ubuntu 21.10 with kernel 5.13.0 + seems to have fixed all of the WIFI issues.  I've been running it for the past couple days and it's been solid.   Note: Dell prevents you from upgrading directly from 20.04.  I downloaded the ISO and completely wiped my machine with a clean install.  Now things work and based on the above I wouldn't worry about losing Dell support if you're running Linux.

I know this is an old post but this makes sense. Dell supports the hardware and not the operating system. Lenovo does the same thing. While laptops with Dell or Lenovo are compatible with linux their support can only go so far as far as troubleshooting the actual OS goes.  

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

appears to be effecting RHEL as well connecting to wifi networks with 802.1x enterprise auth

just hangs. other wifi networks connect just fine.

i have to mass roll out laptops with RHEL..my kinda luck. thanks for the post

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