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MX-17.1 on Dell XPS 13

Just as the name says, here is where you can post tips and tricks to share with other users of MEPIS.
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Jerry3904
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MX-17.1 on Dell XPS 13

#1

Post by Jerry3904 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:50 pm

The Dell XPS 13 is a wonderful machine:

Code: Select all

$ inxi -Fz
System:    Host: mxXPS Kernel: 4.15.0-1-amd64 x86_64 bits: 64 Desktop: Xfce 4.12.3 
           Distro: MX-17.1_x64 Horizon March 14  2018 
Machine:   Type: Laptop System: Dell product: XPS 13 9343 v: N/A serial: <filter> 
           Mobo: Dell model: 0TRX4F v: A00 serial: <filter> UEFI: Dell v: A15 date: 01/23/2018 
Battery:   ID-1: BAT0 charge: 40.2 Wh condition: 51.1/52.7 Wh (97%) 
CPU:       Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Core i5-5200U bits: 64 type: MT MCP L2 cache: 3072 KiB 
           Speed: 799 MHz min/max: 500/2700 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 798 2: 798 3: 798 4: 798 
Graphics:  Device-1: Intel HD Graphics 5500 driver: i915 v: kernel 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.19.2 driver: modesetting unloaded: fbdev,vesa 
           resolution: 1920x1080~60Hz 
           OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel HD Graphics 5500 (Broadwell GT2) v: 4.5 Mesa 13.0.6 
Audio:     Device-1: Intel Broadwell-U Audio driver: snd_hda_intel 
           Device-2: Intel Wildcat Point-LP High Definition Audio driver: snd_hda_intel 
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k4.15.0-1-amd64 
Network:   Device-1: Broadcom Limited BCM4352 802.11ac Wireless Network Adapter driver: wl 
           IF: wlan0 state: up mac: <filter> 
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 489.05 GiB used: 5.95 GiB (1.2%) 
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Crucial model: CT525MX300SSD4 size: 489.05 GiB 
Partition: ID-1: / size: 19.10 GiB used: 5.95 GiB (31.1%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda5 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 48.0 C mobo: 41.5 C 
           Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A 
Info:      Processes: 194 Uptime: 9m Memory: 3.76 GiB used: 641.7 MiB (16.7%) Shell: bash inxi: 3.0.25  
I bought this version a few years ago at a good price because I need to run proprietary software now and then on Windows for business purposes. After I used it for a while, I began to want to be able to use it in dual boot with MX. There is a lot online, but much of it is dated at this point so I decided to prepare this how-to.

Installation

I shrank the Windows partition, creating space for a MX install. I was unable to get Grub to install correctly--others may well have no problem--so ended up using grub2win. That program has many idiosyncracies but can be made to work.

Bios and drivers

Upgrade Bios from the Windows side. Download and run
https://downloads.dell.com/FOLDER047981 ... 43_A15.exe
There may be a later driver available at some point in the future, so check
https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en ... p/drivers
Type “Bios” in the Keyword box.

Also use that page to update any other drivers.

Kernel

I eventually discovered that using a recent liquorix kernel brought significant improvements. On this machine, for instance, Suspend worked correctly for the first time after upgrading the kernel to 4.18-17.

SSD

I upgraded the SSD from 128 GB. Bought the new 512 GB SSD from Crucial, whose online site is terrific. Then followed these excellent directions (with occasional hiccups and faint-hearted spells) to make the change. See my shaking hands in this pic:
SSD.jpg
Needed to adjust partition sizes afterwards.

Display

MX Tweak > Config Options, check to “Use Intel driver...” and reboot

Sound

The problem is that often only the HDMI output is listed. Enter BIOS > System Configuration > Audio: click “Load defaults,” then boot back into MX and use MX Select Sound to enable “PCH” -- ADDITIONAL: this only works sporadically.
From Arch Wiki: If you are dual-booting with Windows, you will have to do a cold boot twice into Linux before to have sound working in a dual-boot config. This seems to work

Drop-down terminal

F4 is dedicated to a multimedia device playback command, but I can use the Fn key and then it toggles correctly (with Fn-F4).

Touchpad
To get the pad disabled while typing, first try the usual Xfce method: click Settings > Mouse and Touchpad. Use the pull-down menu to select the driver beginning "DLL..." and check the box to disable while typing. This box does not appear if the Synaptics driver is selected.

That did not work for me, so I wrote a tiny script following caprea's (h/t) suggestion below:

Code: Select all

#!/bin/bash

##turns off touchpad while typing##

syndaemon -i 2 -d
Made it executable, then added it to Application Autostart.

Issues

I can’t stop Xfce Terminal from popping up on login, clearing Sessions in the Xfce settings doesn’t work.Well it now seems to work. Yeah!

Resources
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Production: 4.15.0-1-amd64, MX-17.1, AMD FX-4130 Quad-Core, GeForce GT 630/PCIe/SSE2, 8 GB, SSD 120 GB, Data 1TB
Testing: AAO 722: 4.15.0-1-386. MX-17.1, AMD C-60 APU, 4 GB
Personal: XPS 13, 4.18.0-19.3-liquorix, 4 GB

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Stevo
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Re: MX-17.1 on Dell XPS 13

#2

Post by Stevo » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:00 pm

Does the keyboard disabler in touchpad-indicator have the same problem as the XFCE disabler?

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Gordon Cooper
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Re: MX-17.1 on Dell XPS 13

#3

Post by Gordon Cooper » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:26 pm

Impressive Jerry. Was a bit surprised that there was no comment about precautions against static electricty. I had similar Grub trouble when
setting up a Dell desktop using Win 7 for dual boot. Used Puppy to make Grub the grub file and place it on the MBR. Puppy's Grub4dos utility
includes a space for a Windows operating system even if you do not have Win installed.
Primary: Dell9010, MX-18, Win7, 120 SSD, WD 232GIB HD, 4GB RAM
Backup :Homebrew64 bit Intel duo core 2 GB RAM, 120 GB Kingston SSD, Seagate1TB.
MX-17.1 64bit. Also MX17, Kubuntu14.04 & Puppy 6.3.

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Jerry3904
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Re: MX-17.1 on Dell XPS 13

#4

Post by Jerry3904 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:38 pm

Stevo wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:00 pm
Does the keyboard disabler in touchpad-indicator have the same problem as the XFCE disabler?
Not sure what the question means...
Production: 4.15.0-1-amd64, MX-17.1, AMD FX-4130 Quad-Core, GeForce GT 630/PCIe/SSE2, 8 GB, SSD 120 GB, Data 1TB
Testing: AAO 722: 4.15.0-1-386. MX-17.1, AMD C-60 APU, 4 GB
Personal: XPS 13, 4.18.0-19.3-liquorix, 4 GB

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chrispop99
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Re: MX-17.1 on Dell XPS 13

#5

Post by chrispop99 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:03 am

I won a used XPS 13 on eBay for a good price recently. It's a previous generation 9394 model, with Core i7/8GB RAM/256GB SSD. I don't need Windows on it, so swapped out the SSD to retain the Windows install in case I get rid of the laptop.

Unfortunately it has the QHD touchscreen, with a resolution of 3200x1800. Whilst this looks great on Windows, with scaling of 2.5x, I've struggled to get it to look good with all software. I gave up on scaling in the end, and instead run it with HD resolution - 1920x1080. It's not a perfect solution, but it still looks pretty good.

I wish I could have found one with an HD screen, but still with the Core i7/8GB RAM specification. I looked on eBay for a long time, and didn't see one, let alone at a price I wanted to pay.

Chris
Test machines:
32-bit non-PAE - Thinkpad T41, 1.6GHz Pentium M, 1GB RAM.
32-bit PAE - DELL Latitude D610, 1.73GHz Pentium M, 2GB RAM.
64-bit - Lenovo T61, 2GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM
64-bit - Gigabyte Z77P-D3, Intel i3-3220, GeForce 8400 GS, 4GB PC3-12800.

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Old Giza
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Re: MX-17.1 on Dell XPS 13

#6

Post by Old Giza » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:08 am

I can’t get the touchpad disabled when typing, Xfce settings don’t work.
Does XFCE just do the same things as "synclient TouchpadOff=1" from command line? If not, might be worth a try.

(Also, I think Stevo is referring to touchpad-indicator package available in Synaptic.)

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Jerry3904
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Re: MX-17.1 on Dell XPS 13

#7

Post by Jerry3904 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:31 am

That command does toggle it off and on, thanks. Now just need to figure out a launcher to do that.
Production: 4.15.0-1-amd64, MX-17.1, AMD FX-4130 Quad-Core, GeForce GT 630/PCIe/SSE2, 8 GB, SSD 120 GB, Data 1TB
Testing: AAO 722: 4.15.0-1-386. MX-17.1, AMD C-60 APU, 4 GB
Personal: XPS 13, 4.18.0-19.3-liquorix, 4 GB

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Jerry3904
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Re: MX-17.1 on Dell XPS 13

#8

Post by Jerry3904 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:55 am

I found a script that promises to toggle the touchpad, but it doesn't seem to work:

Code: Select all

#!/bin/bash

read TPdevice <<< $( xinput | sed -nre '/Touchpad/s/.*id=([0-9]*).*/\1/p' )
state=$( xinput list-props "$TPdevice" | grep "Device Enabled" | grep -o "[01]$" )

if [ "$state" -eq '1' ];then
    xinput --disable "$TPdevice" && notify-send -i emblem-nowrite "Touchpad" "Disabled"
    yad --info --text "Touchpad DISABLED" --timeout=2/code]
else
    xinput --enable "$TPdevice" && notify-send -i input-touchpad "Touchpad" "Enabled"
    yad -info --text "Touchpad ENABLED" --timeout=2 to
fi
It is promising, though, so I'm hoping someone might have a correction/alteration.
Production: 4.15.0-1-amd64, MX-17.1, AMD FX-4130 Quad-Core, GeForce GT 630/PCIe/SSE2, 8 GB, SSD 120 GB, Data 1TB
Testing: AAO 722: 4.15.0-1-386. MX-17.1, AMD C-60 APU, 4 GB
Personal: XPS 13, 4.18.0-19.3-liquorix, 4 GB

clicktician
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Re: MX-17.1 on Dell XPS 13

#9

Post by clicktician » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:11 pm

Jerry3904 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:31 am
That command does toggle it off and on, thanks. Now just need to figure out a launcher to do that.
It'd be really cool to have it triggered by the USB event so the touchpad shuts off when the mouse is present and turns back on when it's not.
Son, someday all this will belong to your ex wife.

caprea
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Re: MX-17.1 on Dell XPS 13

#10

Post by caprea » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:24 pm

If you want to disable the touchpad only while typing on the keyboard, you could also try syndaemon
syndaemon -i 1 -d
The one is one second locking time
Possible to put it into startup,

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