Dell XPS 13 (9343)
The 2015 Dell XPS 13 (9343) is the second-generation model of Dell's XPS 13 line. Like its predecessor, it has official Linux support courtesy of Dell's Project Sputnik team. They target Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, but the improvements and support from the Sputnik team are generally applicable to all distros.
The installation process for Arch Linux on the XPS 13 does not differ from any other PC. For installation help, please see the Installation guide and UEFI pages. This page covers the current status of hardware support on Arch, as well as post-installation recommendations.
As of kernel 4.1.3 (released July 2015), a patched kernel is no longer necessary. However, some manual configuration is still recommended to get the best experience.
- 1 Model differences
- 2 Configuration
- 2.1 BIOS updates
- 2.2 Screen and Keyboard Backlight
- 2.3 SSD
- 2.4 Wi-Fi
- 2.5 Bluetooth
- 2.6 Audio
- 2.7 Touchpad
- 2.8 Powersaving
- 2.9 Calibrated ICC profile
- 3 Troubleshooting
- 3.1 Sometimes the system fails to resume from suspend after closing and reopening the LID
- 3.2 DE can't connect Bluetooth devices
- 3.3 Pink & green artifacts in video or webcam output
- 3.4 Graphical artifacting/instability after S3 resume
- 3.5 Connection issues with Broadcom wireless
- 3.6 Wireless switch/rfkill issues with KDE
- 3.7 EFISTUB does not boot
- 3.8 Random kernel hangs at boot
- 3.9 Sound doesn't work after upgrading to kernel 4.4+
- 3.10 Loud cracks/noise during boot or audio playback
- 4 See also
Although the XPS 13 is sold in a variety of configurations in most markets, those wanting to run Linux should pay special attention to display options (FHD or QHD+) and Wi-Fi adapter differences (Dell DW1560 or Intel 7265).
Users with QHD+ displays should use a DE/WM that properly supports HiDPI.
Regarding the Wi-Fi adapter, both cards work in Arch Linux. If the Intel one works out-of-the-box thanks to mainline kernel support, the Dell DW1560 instead requires a proprietary kernel module that is not well-supported; further details are reported in the proper below section.
There are no exclusive hardware differences between the Developer Edition and the standard Windows edition, so this guide is equally applicable to both models.
The latest BIOS update is A18 and it was released on 23th November 2018. With version A02 or newer, almost everything should work out-of-the-box and the kernel boot parameters that were used in conjunction with earlier BIOS versions are no longer necessary.
BIOS upgrade is easy, thanks to the EFI implementation: place the update binary in the EFI partition (
/boot/EFI) or on a USB flash drive, reboot, press
F12 key in order to enter in the Boot Menu and then choose BIOS Update.
Screen and Keyboard Backlight
Backlight and its control work out-of-the-box:
- The systemd-backlight.service takes care of both eDP panel and keyboard backlight (and any other external device) status, saving at shutdown and restoring their values at boot.
- Hardware Function keys (
Fn-F12for screen backlight and
Fn-F10for keyboard backlight) work without any operation, as well.
Dynamic Backlight/Brightness Control (DBC)
You may notice that the screen looks dimmer than you expect or the screen overall brightness changes constantly. This behaviour is not a symptom of any monitor issue but a technology called Dynamic Backlight/Brightness Control (DBC), designed to save energy according to the content displayed on the screen.
This laptop series comes with a SSD as storage device, connected via SATA. This technology needs some configuration in order to achieve the best operative conditions. See Solid State Drives for further information.
Most configurations sport the Dell DW1560 802.11ac adapter (based on the Broadcom BCM4352 chip) which requires
linux-headers too, even if it is listed as an optional dependency) to be installed. See the Broadcom wireless page for more details and/or assistance.
Some higher-end models do not use the Dell-branded Broadcom adapter, instead they use an Intel Wireless 7265 card which is supported by the mainline kernel.
The Broadcom Bluetooth firmware is not available in the kernel (source), so you need to install AUR and reboot if you want to use Bluetooth.
Alternatively, you can retrieve the firmware directly from the Windows driver by yourself. You need to extract the
.cab file with and then convert it to a
.hcd file with hex2hcd from :
$ cabextract 20662520_6c535fbfa9dca0d07ab069e8918896086e2af0a7.cab $ hex2hcd BCM20702A1_001.002.014.1443.1572.hex # mv BCM20702A1_001.002.014.1443.1572.hcd /lib/firmware/brcm/BCM20702A1-0a5c-216f.hcd # ln -rs /lib/firmware/brcm/BCM20702A1-0a5c-216f.hcd /lib/firmware/brcm/BCM20702A0-0a5c-216f.hcd
After reboot, the firmware is available for your Bluetooth interface.
The sound chipset in this laptop, a Realtek ALC3263, is described as "dual-mode", meaning it supports both the HDA standard and the I2S standard. The embedded controller in the XPS 13 uses the ACPI _REV value provided by the OS itself to determine in which mode the sound chipset should be initialized in at boot.
With BIOS A02+ and official Arch Linux kernels older than 4.4 and again starting from version 4.11.5, the sound card will be initialized in HDA mode.
CONFIG_ACPI_REV_OVERRIDE_POSSIBLE=y. This will force HDA mode on.
Setting the default sound card
By default, ALSA does not output sound to the PCH card but to the HDMI card. This can be changed by following ALSA#Set the default sound card. To set the proper order, create the following
.conf file in
options snd_hda_intel index=1,0
With BIOS A02+ and official Arch Linux kernels from 4.4 to 4.11.4, the sound card will be initialized in I2S mode. I2S support requires  or newer. (I2S support was broken in mainline kernel 4.5, and fixed in Arch kernel 4.5.2 and mainline 4.8).1.1.0
Enabling the microphone
In I2S mode, the built-in microphone is muted by default. To enable it you have to unmute the
Mic item. Follow the instructions below in order to achieve the goal:
alsamixer(an utility included in the package)
F6and select the broadwell-rt286 sound card
F4to switch to the Capture view and ensure that ADC0 has the CAPTURE label. If it doesn't, toggle over to it with your arrow keys and press the spacebar to turn it on CAPTURE
- finally, toggle over to the Mic item and raise the volume to 100.
pavucontrolapplication, has the same effect of the above instructions.
By default Jack recognises four capture ports and is unusable because the transport is broken into short fragments with breaks between them. Limit input to two channels with
-i2 on the command line or the corresponding option in 's advanced settings.
With the latest BIOS, the touchpad should work out-of-the-box with either the synaptics or libinput drivers. The second is recommended over the former.
For more advanced settings with the Synaptics driver, see Touchpad Synaptics.
If the touchpad freezes when you use more than one finger, try enabling Clickpad mode with
For better multi-touch support, you can use. The libinput driver supports nearly all button layouts out-of-the-box with few additional settings.
Refer to the specific libinput page for more details.
For further configurable options (e.g. NaturalScrolling, MiddleEmulation), see.
With kernel 4.6.5 and kernel parameter
You may useor AUR to reproduce and check this behaviour by yourself.
- With kernel 4.6+, frame-buffer compression (FBC) is enabled by default, so
i915.enable_fbcis no longer needed.
- Panel self refresh (PSR) causes the display to flicker, so it has been disabled by default as of kernel 4.9 .
i915.lvds_downclock=1for LVDS downclock is no longer needed. According to IRC #intel-gfx, "[...] there is a new auto-downclock for eDP panels in recent kernels and it is enabled by default if available, [...]".
i915.enable_rc6=7is useless on Broadwell (Gen8) systems because the deeper GPU power states that this option enables (RC6p and RC6pp) do not exist on Gen7+ hardware .
Calibrated ICC profile
An ICC profile is a binary file which contains precise data regarding the colour attributes of the monitor. It allows you to produce consistent and repeatable results for graphic and document. The following ICC profile is made with dispcalGUI ( ) ArgyllCMS ( ) and a spectrophotometer for absolute colour accuracy; even if it is possible to achieve better results by calibrating your own monitor by yourself, in general this profile is definitively an improvement over the stock profile.
This profile has been made with the spectrophotometer's high resolution spectral mode, with white and black level drift compensation, the high quality ArgyllCMS switch and 3440 patches. Dynamic Brightness Control has been disabled and the monitor has been turned on for at least 30 minutes prior to start the calibration.
Sometimes the system fails to resume from suspend after closing and reopening the LID
According to this kernel.org bug report this is supposed to be fixed since a long time, yet it still happens with kernels up to 4.18.6 (at least on the QHD+ model). You can work it around with the following command:
sudo cat << EOF > /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.suspend-bug.conf blacklist mei blacklist mei_me EOF
DE can't connect Bluetooth devices
If the Bluetooth GUI can't connect the device, try to use
bluetoothctl to connect manually.
Pink & green artifacts in video or webcam output
Updateto latest version. This should fix the issue.
Graphical artifacting/instability after S3 resume
If you encounter some artifacts and/or an unusable graphical environment after resuming from a suspend, you may want to switch your Intel graphics acceleration from SNA to UXA. Switching to UXA, however, will result in worse performance. Switching to xf86-video-modesetting (Glamor acceleration) should not decrease performance considerably,however it is still not known if will fix the resume issue.
Connection issues with Broadcom wireless
iwlist scan fail after driver installation and reboot, try disabling "Wireless Switch" control in the BIOS.
Wireless switch/rfkill issues with KDE
As from kernel version 4.4 the rfkill switch works. The KDE plasma-nm (NetworkManager) widget does not indicate that wlan is active after it has been reactivated, but still connects correctly. The KDE system tray bluetooth widget usually disappears if the switch disables bluetooth, and fails to reappear when it is reactivated. You can work around this by setting the switch not to switch bluetooth in the BIOS setup. With kernel version < 4.13.11 and/or plasma-desktop < 5.11 the mouse pointer may freeze first time that the rfkill switch is used. To unfreeze it, switch to another virtual console and back.
EFISTUB does not boot
Random kernel hangs at boot
See here. This issue seems to affect only touchscreen model owners. The fix consists in removing "keyboard" from the HOOKS array in /etc/mkinitcpio.conf. If you need the keyboard at boot, edit the MODULES array as follow MODULES="atkbd usbhid hid-generic". You will have to run
mkinitcpio -p linux as root afterwards.
Sound doesn't work after upgrading to kernel 4.4+
You need to do two cold boots (NOT a simple reboot, shut it down and turn it back on again) to make sound working again.
Loud cracks/noise during boot or audio playback
Some users have reported the above sound problems, as described here for example.
Disabling audio powersafe may work for people using the HDA audio mode.
However, it is still unknown how to solve this issue for the I2S audio mode.
For further reference, see the corresponding kernel bug entry.