15z

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With ''2GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M Graphics Card with Optimus'' installing nVidia current drivers from ''restricted drivers'' cause the lost of composite screen. Moreover running nvidia-xconf crashes X on the next reboot (fix with $ sudo mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf_no and reboot). This probably happens because '''you need Bumblebee or Ironhide to do Optimus work''', more explanations follow the suggested procedure. With ''2GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M Graphics Card with Optimus'' installing nVidia current drivers from ''restricted drivers'' causes the loss of compositing. Moreover running nvidia-xconf crashes X on the next reboot (fix with # sudo mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf_no and reboot). This probably happens because '''you need Bumblebee or Ironhide to do Optimus work''', more explanations follow the suggested procedure.
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'''Other useful informations'''
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A latest kernel update seems to bring basic functionality out of the box, therefore the following procedure won't be necessary.
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A latest kernel update seems to bring basic functionality out of the box.

Introduction

This page should give you all the information you need about running Ubuntu on a Dell XPS 15z laptop. XPS 15z works fine with Ubuntu, read this whole guide before start installation.

Installation gotcha's

  • Boot installer with acpi=off (to access boot options press any key when the purple screen with human=keyboard appears.)

  • USB installation: booting with an USB 2.0 storage on the USB 3 slot works to direct installation.

Hardware Support Matrix

Hardware

Ubuntu Release

Status

Keyboard

Natty (11.04)

Works

Oneiric (11.10)

Works

Screen

Natty (11.04)

Works

Oneiric (11.10)

Works

External Screen (HDMI)

Natty (11.04)

Does Not Work*

Oneiric (11.10)

Does Not Work*

External Screen (Mini Displayport)

Natty (11.04)

Works

Oneiric (11.10)

Works

Wireless ethernet

Natty (11.04)

Works

Oneiric (11.10)

Works

Trackpad

Natty (11.04)

Works with manual changes

Oneiric (11.10)

Works with manual changes

Wired ethernet

Natty (11.04)

Works

Oneiric (11.10)

Works

Sound

Natty (11.04)

Works

Oneiric (11.10)

Works

Optimus

Natty (11.04)

Works with manual changes

Oneiric (11.10)

Works with manual changes

9-in-1 card reader

Natty (11.04)

Does not work

Oneiric (11.10)

?

Webcam

Natty (11.04)

Works

Oneiric (11.10)

Works

* The HDMI is physically connected to the nVidia card -- by manually changing the xorg.conf, it is possible to start X on the nVidia card only, getting the HDMI video (at the cost of inactive main laptop screen and the Mini Displayport output).

Hardware

Optimus / Graphics cards

Bumblebee vs Ironhide and nVidia current-driver

With 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M Graphics Card with Optimus installing nVidia current drivers from restricted drivers causes the loss of compositing. Moreover running nvidia-xconf crashes X on the next reboot (fix with # sudo mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf_no and reboot). This probably happens because you need Bumblebee or Ironhide to do Optimus work, more explanations follow the suggested procedure.

A suggested procedure is:

  1. Add Bumblebee ppa (to be found here: Bumblebee GitHub)

  2. Install nvidia current from restricted drivers

  3. Install Bumblebee (# sudo apt-get update; # sudo apt-get install bumblebee)

  4. Run $ sudo usermod -a -G bumblebee YOURUSERNAME
  5. Reboot
  6. Install mesa-utils
  7. Test integrated card with terminal command # glxspheres

  8. Test nvidia card with terminal command # optirun glxspheres

  9. Test you have nvidia restricted drivers with # lsmod | grep nvidia, it should give you out nvidia and some numbers.

Nvidia-settings won't detect restricted drivers, neither you'll have nvidia commands like nvidia-xconfig. Nevertheless everything seems to work flawless and optimus-like.

More informations

Bumblebee and Ironhide bring nVidia Optimus to Linux. Both have their own ppa for Ubuntu.

Bumblebee GitHub

Ironhide GitHub

Bumblebee works out of the box. The only configuration needed is to run the following command in a terminal window and then reboot (where YOURUSERNAME has to be changed with the right user name).

"# sudo usermod -a -G bumblebee YOURUSERNAME"

The enable/disable scripts can be taken from here. However, they are included in the latest release of Bumblebee.

Other useful informations

With Ubuntu 11.10, vgaswitcheroo no longer seems to work. You can however control heat and noise by going straight to acpi:

# modprobe acpi_call

# echo "\_SB.PCI0.PEG0.PEGP._DSM {0xF8,0xD8,0x86,0xA4,0xDA,0x0B,0x1B,0x47,0xA7,0x2B,0x60,0x42,0xA6,0xB5,0xBE,0xE0} 0x100 0x1A {0x1,0x0,0x0,0x3}" > /proc/acpi/call

# echo "\_SB.PCI0.PEG0.PEGP._PS3" > /proc/acpi/call

As an example, this changes battery rate from 1900+ to around 1600 for me (verwilst). The current rate (with disconnected charger) can be tested using

# cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/state | grep rate

Switch off NVIDIA card ( Only Ubuntu 11.04! )

# echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

Switch on NVIDIA card( Only Ubuntu 11.04! )

# echo ON > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

Using the following command before and after the switch, you should see a drop/rise in mW being used:

# grep rate /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/state

You can also completely disable the NVIDIA card and only use the Intel onboard graphics card ( which has more than enough performance for day-to-day work:

# echo "blacklist nouveau" > /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-nvidia.conf

# update-initramfs -c -k all

# reboot

Trackpad

Full multi-gesture trackpad usage does not work at this moment.

A latest kernel update seems to bring basic functionality out of the box, therefore the following procedure won't be necessary.

It is however possible to get basic mouse functionality with the following command:

# sudo rmmod psmouse; sudo modprobe psmouse proto=imps

( Or use proto=bare or proto=exps ).

To make this persistent, add the following line to a file in /etc/modprobe.d/ (/etc/modprobe.d/options.conf could be an option, but modprobe parses all the files in that directory):

options psmouse proto=imps

Fix various glitches

The following fixes are needed to boot correctly after installation. Otherwise the laptop will freeze before login screen.

For a first boot hit e on the first option while on grub screen and add the following commands to the boot sequence just after "quite splash".

pcie_aspm=force acpi=noirq i915.semaphores=1

To make it persistent add pcie_aspm=force acpi=noirq i915.semaphores=1 to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT in /etc/default/grub.

Then run the following command:

# update-grub

And reboot. This fixes ACPI issues, lowers power consumption and 1-2 second regular freezes of your video card.

Wireless connection

Wireless connection can be seldom hard to bound or discontinue, it mainly depends on the router you are connecting to.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/HybridGraphics

Trackpad

http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.linux.kernel/1108661

Information on Bumblebee (for graphics card Optimus support)

https://launchpad.net/~bumblebee

https://github.com/MrMEEE/bumblebee/issues/258

HardwareSupport/Machines/Laptops/Dell/XPS/15z (last edited 2014-06-24 09:25:38 by da6930p)