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Installing Tumbleweed on the Dell XPS 13

Great hardware meets great software

Mauro Morales
May 2, 2016 · 2 min read

This post will show you how install openSUSE’s rolling release, Tumbleweed, on the Dell XPS 13 9350 FHD.

Update 2016–06–30: Bios 1.4.4 is out.

Update 2016–06–22: The kernel flag is not needed anymore since kernel 4.6 which was introduced around Tumbleweed version 20160612.

Update 2016–05–04: Added a section to fix the sound issues when using headphones.

Preparation

  1. Get yourself a copy of Tumbleweed.
  2. Create a bootable USB. There are instructions for the Linux, Windows and OS X.

Update the BIOS

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Warning: Do not reboot the machine when the BIOS update is running!

  1. Download the latest BIOS update (1.3.3 at the time of writing).
  2. Save it under “/boot/EFI”.
  3. Reboot the machine.
  4. Press F12 and select BIOS update.

Installation

  1. Press F12 and configure to use Legacy BIOS and reboot.
  2. Boot from the Tumbleweed USB key and follow the installer instructions until you get to the partitioning stage.
  3. Remove all partitions and create an MSDOS partition table.
  4. Add your desired partitions inside the just created partition table. In my case I have a root, a swap and a home partition.
  5. Finish the installation process.

Fixing the flickering display

There is a reported issue that causes your screen to flicker. Until the fix gets merged into the kernel you can do this hack:

  1. Inside “/etc/default/grub” add the kernel flag “i915.enable_rc6=0”
  2. grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
  3. Restart your machine.

Fixing the sound when using headphones

First fix the issue with the high pitch by setting the microphone boost volume.

amixer -c 0 cset 'numid=10' 1

To fix the problem with the cracking sound the only fix that I’ve found so far is to disable the “SOUND_POWER_SAVE_ON_BAT” option on tlp.

augtool set /files/etc/default/tlp/SOUND_POWER_SAVE_ON_BAT 0

You will need to reapply the battery settings for changes to take effect and set it up to be started at boot time.

systemctl enable tpl.service --now

Thanks for staying this long with me and if you found this information useful please give it some ❤

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