Dell XPS 15 (9550)
This page covers the current status of hardware support on Arch, pre-installation system configuration tweaks, as well as post-installation recommendations to improve the usability of the system.
The installation process for Arch on the XPS 15 9550 does not differ from any other PC. For installation help please see the Installation guide and UEFI. To set up a dual boot configuration with Windows, refer to Dual boot with Windows.
As of kernel 4.3, the Intel Skylake architecture is supported.
- 1 Pre-Installation System Settings
- 2 Boot Parameters
- 3 Graphics Configuration
- 4 Touchpad
- 5 Keyboard
- 6 Power Management
- 7 Bluetooth
- 8 Thunderbolt 3 Docks
- 9 USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 Compatibility Chart
Pre-Installation System Settings
Prior to installation, access the system UEFI firmware by pressing F2 during boot.
- Turn off legacy ROM
- System -> SATA: change to AHCI
- Secure Boot: disable
- POST Behavior: Fastboot: Thorough
Installation of Arch can proceed normally. Refer to the Installation guide for more info.
Use the following for your Kernel parameters to fix a number of issues:
i915.edp_vswing=2 i915.preliminary_hw_support=1 intel_idle.max_cstate=1 acpi_backlight=vendor acpi_osi=Linux
||Fix screen flickering|
||Resolve issues with Intel Graphics|
||Prevent CPU from entering c-states > 1|
||make Backlight control work|
The Dell XPS 15 9550 has Intel HD Graphics 530 integrated graphics, and some models have a Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 dedicated card as well in a hybrid configuration.
For computers with only integrated graphics, just install thedriver.
If your XPS has a hybrid graphics configuration (GTX960M + HD Graphics 530) and you want to maximize battery life you can just use the Intel Graphics.
If your model comes with an nVidia card which you don't use then you can try to disable it with an ACPI command. Depending on the model, this can have a small to profound effect on the laptop's temperature and battery life (it can more than double battery life!)
- Install the Intel video driver using the package.
- Blacklist the
nouveaumodules Kernel modules#Blacklisting
- Power down the GPU with an ACPI command
Optimus Configuration (Hybrid Intel and Nvidia)
The Optimus setup consists of the integrated Intel chip connected to the laptop screen and the Nvidia card runs through this. As such, the Nvidia chip cannot be used without the Intel chip (some other laptops have the option in BIOS to turn Intel off and use just Nvidia, but not this laptop). See the Bumblebee page set of instructions, particularly the Bumblebee#Installation Intel/Nvidia section. The main thing to note is that installing both the Intel and Nvidia packages at once tends to avoid dependency issues. The correct driver for the Nvidia card is .
By default the touchpad does not respond to tap input or two finger scrolling. You can change the behavior by installing Libinput and adding
Section "InputClass" Identifier "MyTouchPad" MatchIsTouchpad "on" Driver "libinput" Option "Tapping" "on" Option "Natural Scrolling" "on" EndSection
You can configure custom gestures using the documentation. Below is a sample configuration file that one might use with this tool:AUR package. You can follow the instructions from the
# ~/.config/libinput-gestures.conf # Go back/forward in chrome gesture: swipe right 3 xdotool key Alt+Left gesture: swipe left 3 xdotool key Alt+Right # Zoom in / Zoom out gesture: pinch out xdotool key Ctrl+plus gesture: pinch in xdotool key Ctrl+minus # Switch between desktops gesture: swipe left 4 xdotool set_desktop --relative 1 gesture: swipe right 4 xdotool set_desktop --relative -- -1
The special touch keys are strangely mapped by default. One changes brightness, one does next track. They seem to be linked to the same key sequences as the Fn+F# keys that do the same job. To fix this, make this new file:
0x90 previoussong # Previous song 0xA2 playpause # Play/Pause 0x99 nextsong # Next song 0xDB computer # First touch key, Dell apparently uses a key sequence here where 0xDB is a modifer, 0x2D stands for the touch key and 0x19 for the monitor toggle 0x85 prog1 # Second touch key 0x84 media # Third touch key
and add this to /etc/rc.local:
… # Fix touch keys /usr/lib/udev/keymap input/event0 /opt/dell_touchkeys_keymap
Suspend & Hibernate
Suspend works without issues, however Hibernation is not completely stable. Write the following to
[Sleep] HibernateState=disk HibernateMode=shutdown
Battery life can be improved by installing Powertop for more info. To further improve the battery life, you can disable the touchscreen in the BIOS.and calibrating it. See
Thunderbolt 3 Docks
It is possible to get video, audio, Ethernet and USB devices working by updating your BIOS to version >=1.2.19 and disabling Thunderbolt security in your bios settings. If you don't disable Thunderbolt security, then only video and power will work (at lest on the Dell TB16 dock).
On bios version 1.4.0 the USB and Ethernet peripherals will not work unless Thunderbolt security and Thunderbolt Boot support options are disabled.
It should also be noted that the TB16 dock will crash when hot plugged on all BIOS versions after 1.2.18 (Still the case as of version 1.4.0).
You can update your bios either manually or by using fwupdmgr although if you installed arch by just bundling everything into /boot as some guides suggest then your only option is to update manually util this issue is resolved.
USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 Compatibility Chart
|StarTech TBT3TBTADAP Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt Adapter||Thunderbolt 2, Thunderbolt||Working|
|Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter||Thunderbolt 2, Thunderbolt||Not Working|
|CHOETECH USB-C to DisplayPort Cable (4K@60Hz)||DisplayPort||Working|
This chart may also be helpful.