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Thread: Dell XPS 13 Haswell built-in display problem with Ubuntu 13.10

  1. #1
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    Dell XPS 13 Haswell built-in display problem with Ubuntu 13.10

    I have received my new XPS 13 (Haswell) with Windows 8.1 on it (only because they did not offer it with Ubuntu when I had ordered it). The plan is to wipe it off and put Ubuntu 13.10 on it (not even dual boot).
    The hardware is i7-4500 processor and Intel HD 4400 graphics.

    When I boot it from USB with Ubuntu 13.10 installation image, I have problems with the built-in display. It looks like 12 small desktops are displayed overlapping each other. And, there is a lot of flickering; it is almost impossible to read anything because of the flickering and because each desktop is quite small on the screen. It looks like a problem with the graphics driver. When I plug into an external monitor, the external display looks fine.

    So, I have not yet installed Ubuntu (after seeing that the built-in display is not workable), because I am not sure whether the waiting updates will fix the problem after the installation.

    Dell provides a driver support pack for the hardware (http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/...&categoryId=CS), but they are based on Ubuntu 12.04. I am not sure whether that will help me. I suspect that some of these updates have already made into 13.10. And I cannot identify any drivers or fixes for video in that support pack.

    Intel has latest graphics stack release (https://01.org/linuxgraphics/downloa...-stack-release), but it is not clear what, if any, I should install from that release. I also worry about ending up with an unstable system.

    An alternative would be to install "Dell"'s 12.04 release and the driver support pack, but I would rather get the latest release of Ubuntu.

    Does anyone have any experience with this? Or any suggestions I should try?

    Thanks,
    tuuk
    Last edited by tuuk; January 16th, 2014 at 11:41 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Dell XPS 13 Haswell built-in display problem with Ubuntu 13.10

    Update:

    Today, I tried Ubuntu 14.04 daily build from USB on my DELL XPS 13 Haswell. It booted fine. The display worked with no problems. So, the problem with 13.10 must be a matter of installing recent enough versions of some certain packages (kernel or otherwise).

    Now, the question is how I should proceed. Should I install and run 14.04 daily build until it is officially released? Or, should I try to identify the exact source of the problem and patch the Ubuntu 13.10 for the time being?

    In the 1-2 hours I ran Ubuntu 14.04, I did not notice any problems, but, still, is it dependable to run? (Even though this is not my primary machine: it will mainly be used when I am on the go---not too frequently nowadays.)

    Otherwise, should I just try to install a newer kernel on Ubuntu 13.10 to see if that helps?

    Any suggestions?

  3. #3
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    Re: Dell XPS 13 Haswell built-in display problem with Ubuntu 13.10

    Perhaps my reply comes a bit late. I wanted to say I have the exact same laptop (off topic but do you experience coil whine?).

    I installed Saucy the other day, was not looking forward to the potential problems with UEFI but it actually all worked quite well. Only thing is the touchscreen which is bugged in upstream kernel. And had to install touchpad drivers for 2 finger scrolling.

    To answer your question though, I am dual booting Win 8.1 and 13.10. I have had no problems with the display (except no touchscreen as mentioned). I could imagine this having to do with you booting the USB in legacy mode and not in UEFI mode. I'm not sure though. I'm not going to remove Windows 8.1, since I need it for some PhD research software. I might one day decide to run Win in VirtualBox but I decided to take it slow because I always seem to brick my system and get headaches when I try to go for everything.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Chicago Suburbs
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Dell XPS 13 Haswell built-in display problem with Ubuntu 13.10

    Intel has helped in many updates, not just video driver, but kernel & support software. It now is adding features for the next generation, some of which help current newer systems.

    It often takes a while for all the changes to catch up to a distribution. And that is often why very new hardware needs the newest Linux distribution.

    Someone posted that the Sputnik updates to 12.04 from Dell/Intel were in 13.10.

    Dell's seem to have similar configurations, with just added options or different screen sizes, so much of this may apply.
    Ubuntu on the Precision M3800 or XPS15 Nov 2013
    http://en.community.dell.com/techcen...ion-m3800.aspx
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardwareSupp...s/Dell/XPS/15z

    If not where you can easily update it, I would not rely on 14.04. At any point some change may cause issues. They are a lot better now at making sure updates do not get out of sync and totally break system.
    But I might have two installs. Either 13.10 or two 14.04 and keep one working and only update the other.
    You really only need another 20GB for another / (root) partition.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.




  5. #5
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    Nov 2009
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    Re: Dell XPS 13 Haswell built-in display problem with Ubuntu 13.10

    i have the same thing ( windows 8.1 because it was cheaper with a 3yr warranty than the Ubuntu version ... go figure )

    I've been posting in the dell forums too - not much to add besides what you have found. i was also not convinced by Dell's DEB files ( many in that pack were older than what are in 13.10 already ) I did go ahead and install the one for the display and the "work-around" for the backlight. Not sure I noticed much difference.

    Generally, I would say I'm having pretty good luck running Linux Mint 16 ( basically ubuntu 13.10 w cinnamon instead of unity ).

    Your big issues ( 12 small desktops ) sounds fairly serious. I would re-install and try again, but I never saw anything like that and I haven't seen anyone else complain of anything similar.

    suspend/resume is not perfectly stable, but I can't quite nail down the behavior to even report exactly what's going on. ( seems to change each time depending on how I suspend, how long its suspended and when i last rebooted. )

    the touchpad is not nearly as good as the old-fashioned kind with real buttons ... its just not as easy to use... but I'm a Luddite.

    would be nice if Dell put out a 13.10 PPA like they had for 12.04 ... maybe when 14.04 LTS comes out? I can grant that this is all pretty new hardware at the moment. ( and really works pretty well in my book )

  6. #6
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    Jan 2014
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    Re: Dell XPS 13 Haswell built-in display problem with Ubuntu 13.10

    I received my xos 13 just over a week ago and I am having the same problem with 12 small screens, some cut off, and a lot of flickering while the external display works fine. Everything else seems to work fine. I am no closer to a solution so I would be keen to hear of any progress you have made. Thanks.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2014
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    Re: Dell XPS 13 Haswell built-in display problem with Ubuntu 13.10

    Adam, is this what you're seeing? If so, I'm in the same boat as you. I ran into issues with installing 12.04. The problem was an issue that grub couldn't install and the entire install aborted. I checked a few forums that said the issue might be between grub/uefi. A few versions said to give 12.10 a shot since there is more/better support for uefi but I only got a black screen during install.


    Below is a URL to a pic taken with a cell phone camera of my screen while trying to install 13.10:

    http://www.dvcipm.org/site-images/IM...135106_122.jpg

    Just to clarify, I tried 12.04, 12.10, and 13.10 without success.
    Last edited by joshua15; January 27th, 2014 at 08:09 PM.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2014
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    Re: Dell XPS 13 Haswell built-in display problem with Ubuntu 13.10

    Adam, is this what you're seeing?
    That is the same as I was getting.

    I ended up installing 14.04 because it worked and I needed to get some work done so I didn't want to keep playing with it. It feels like a crazy thing to do but it all seems to work fine so far. I would have tried 13.10 and upgrade the kernel otherwise but I am pretty new to this so that might be useless. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

    EDIT: Actually I do have one small problem. Opening the laptop after sleep is unpredictable, sometimes it is fast and sometimes there is a black screen for a little while. It is not a huge hassle so I haven't looked into it but I did see some conversations about something similar so I am hoping it is a simple fix.

    EDIT 2: and no two-finger scrolling...
    Last edited by adamraybaker; January 28th, 2014 at 06:31 PM.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2014
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    Re: Dell XPS 13 Haswell built-in display problem with Ubuntu 13.10

    Quote Originally Posted by adamraybaker View Post
    That is the same as I was getting.

    I ended up installing 14.04 because it worked and I needed to get some work done so I didn't want to keep playing with it. It feels like a crazy thing to do but it all seems to work fine so far. I would have tried 13.10 and upgrade the kernel otherwise but I am pretty new to this so that might be useless. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

    EDIT: Actually I do have one small problem. Opening the laptop after sleep is unpredictable, sometimes it is fast and sometimes there is a black screen for a little while. It is not a huge hassle so I haven't looked into it but I did see some conversations about something similar so I am hoping it is a simple fix.

    EDIT 2: and no two-finger scrolling...
    I've had the same problem with the touchpad. This should fix it:

    open terminal
    sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist_i2c_hid.conf
    Type "blacklist i2c_hid" (without the quotes)
    Save and reboot

  10. #10
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    Jan 2014
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    6

    Re: Dell XPS 13 Haswell built-in display problem with Ubuntu 13.10

    Hi all,

    I'm having the same issue with my dell xps 13 i4200u fhd. I posted my print screen on the thread I opened when I couldn't find this one.

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...717&p=12915437

    I will give it a try with ubuntu 14.04 but I'm not very happy about it

    Has anybody found any other workaround? Or even another linux distribution where I could work it out? I'm looking to have dual boot win8.1 and ANY Linux (preferably ubuntu and stable) on same SDD drive with uefi boot.

    Thank you

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