Dell XPS 17 (9700)

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Reason: Missing function keys section, hardware table needs some adjustments, some sections need to be reordered (Discuss in Talk:Dell XPS 17 (9700)#)
Device Status Package
Video Working i915 & nvidia
Wireless Working iwlwifi
Bluetooth Workable N/A
Audio Working pulseaudio
Touchpad Working hid_multitouch
Webcam Working uvcvideo
Infrared Camera Authentication Working howdy
USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 Working bolt
Fingerprint sensor Workable libfprint-tod-git
S3 Sleep Model Dependent N/A
Hibernation Workable N/A
SD reader Working N/A

UEFI

Before installing it is necessary to modify some UEFI Settings. They can be accessed by pressing the F12 key repeatedly when booting.

  • Change the SATA Mode from the default "RAID" to "AHCI". This will allow Linux to detect the NVME SSD.
  • Disable secure boot to allow Linux to boot. This may be re-enabled at a later point. See Using a signed bootloader
  • Disable Early Logo Display under Pre-boot Behaviour. This allows S1 sleep to function, as well as S3 sleep on some models. See #Power Management.

Dual Boot

Please note that changing from "RAID" to "AHCI" will break the default Windows installation and require a complete reinstall.

The reinstall can be done through the Dell recovery in the BIOS.

Once reinstalled, Windows should boot normally in AHCI mode and without error. Then one can proceed with typical dual boot setup.

Firmware/BIOS Updates

Dell provides firmware updates on their support page and can be installed by simply placing the exe file on a fat32 drive or the EFI boot partition and selecting the file in the BIOS update page after pressing F12 at boot time.

  • It may be worthwhile for some to update BIOS with their initial Windows installation as Dell has numerous pre-installed tools to facilitate the process.

Power Management

Sleep

If the system seems to have a high power usage when in sleep mode, S3 sleep can be enabled by adding mem_sleep_default=deep to the Kernel parameters, however, as of the time of writing, S3 sleep mode does not seem to work for models with NVIDIA GPUs when on battery power. Users of variants with no dedicated GPU report S3 sleep to be working.

Hibernation

For hibernation to work, you must turn off "SMM Security Mitigation" under Security in the BIOS setup. Otherwise the system may freeze when attempting to hibernate.

GPU

Using the integrated intel iGPU instead of the dedicated GPU can provide power savings. There are various methods for utilising NVIDIA Optimus, however using PRIME#PRIME render offload seems to have the best performance on the 9700.

Screen Brightness

Systems have a 600 nit display (which is LCD, not OLED) and so the ACPI section of the Backlight Archwiki will work, but per the Unable to control eDP Panel brightness (Intel i915 only) part of the Troubleshooting section, a kernel parameter of i915.enable_dpcd_backlight=1 is necessary.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth does not seem to work after login. However, a simple workaround is to restart bluetooth.service.

WiFi

WiFi may prompt you repeatedly for the WiFi network password when connecting to a 5Ghz network. This has to do with the poor support of the 11n protocol. You can instruct the iwlwifi driver to not use the 11n protocol by running the following command:

# tee /etc/modprobe.d/iwlwifi-opt.conf <<< "options iwlwifi 11n_disable=8"

More information on this problem can be found here: Network configuration/Wireless#iwlwifi and http://cachestocaches.com/2016/1/disabling-ubuntus-broken-wi-fi-driver/

Fingerprint sensor

The fingerprint sensor can be used by installing the proprietary Ubuntu driver released by Dell and Goodix. This requires a different fork of libfprint libfprint-tod-gitAUR - available on the AUR and built from source from the upstream repo. This is a newer version intended for use only with touch-based sensors such as the one on the XPS.

Warning: This driver is proprietary, closed source and only distributed in binary form

The proprietary driver can be obtained from the AUR: libfprint-2-tod1-xps9300-binAUR. Alternatively, it can also be manually installed from the Dell repository by extracting the debian file and copying its contents.

The rest of the process is identical as that described on Fprint - just make sure not to install the version of libfprint on the main repo as it conflicts with libfprint-tod

Thunderbolt

The following thunderbolt devices have been tested:

Device Status Comments
Dell WD19TB 130W Working -
Dell TB16 Working -

Audio

This laptop requires firmware in order for the soundcard to work. See Advanced Linux Sound Architecture#ALSA firmware.

You need to install pulseaudio and sof-firmware

To enable audio from the internal microphone, run the following command:

# tee /etc/modprobe.d/snd-hda-intel.conf <<< "options snd-hda-intel enable_msi=1"


Fan control

By default, fans are controlled by BIOS. Unfortunately even "Quiet" preset keeps fans spinning most of the time.

To change it, i8kmon from i8kutilsAUR can be used.

Details: Fan speed control#Dell laptops

BIOS Thermal Modes / Fan profiles

If you still decided to go with bios-driven fan control, you can switch thermal profiles like in Dell Power Manager from Windows. This is done within a terminal with the libsmbios package, or alternatively via a KDE Plasma widget:

To find out what thermal mode is set type:

# smbios-thermal-ctl -g

To find all available thermal modes type:

# smbios-thermal-ctl -i

And finally to set the desired thermal mode that you identified with the command before type:

# smbios-thermal-ctl --set-thermal-mode=THERMAL_MODE
  • "Quiet" and "Cool Bottom" profiles limit CPU power to 11W (18W boost) and thus reduces overall system performance.
  • "Balanced" and "Performance" profiles remove this limit.
  • Thermal profile changes may not reliably alter the CPU power limit. When connected via Thunderbolt dock it appears to be worse.
  • In some circumstances after booting (particularly with "Quiet" profile), power may be limited to 10W.
  • Disconnecting and reconnecting power, changing thermal profile, or simply waiting may resolve these issues.

SD reader

As of kernel version 5.12.15, the default driver works fine.

The rts_bpp-dkms-gitAUR driver gives the following error in kernel log and fails the file reading.

mmc0: tuning execution failed: -22