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Thread: Not tut Standards Ubuntu 16 on the DELL XPS15 9550

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Not tut Standards Ubuntu 16 on the DELL XPS15 9550

    Hi all,

    After reading a few different guides, I would like to share a final step-by-step guide to make ubuntu 16 work fine on this laptop (I've taken information from several places, including this forum)

    Maybe the most important thing on this guide is the palm detection on the touchpad, I managed to make it work after trying different approaches.

    My laptop:
    • CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-6700HQ
    • RAM: 16GB
    • Graphics: Intel i915 / NVIDIA GTX960M
    • FullHD screen (non-touch)
    • HDD: 512GB SSD

    Update bios
    I used the factory default windows to update before installing ubuntu the laptop. Just go to dell website and follow steps.

    Install ubuntu
    I installed ubuntu 16.04.1 (LTS).
    • Booted using UEFI from the BIOS (Secure mode OFF)
    • Removed all partitions on the SSD
    • Created a 550 MB UEFI partition
    • Used the rest of the SSD file as EXT4 partition mounted on /

    What works for me out of the box:
    • Sound
    • Wifi / Bluetooth
    • Graphics (only using the intel i915 vga). (See how to install NVIDIA drivers below)
    • Touchpad
    • USB
    • Function keys: Bright control, keyboard light, volume control, etc
    • Lid switch: Suspension works fine, no issues but no long term testing.

    What DOESN'T work:
    • Touchpad palm detection: See how to fix it below

    Update kernel
    Ubuntu 16 ships with kernel 4.4, but from versions 4.6 onwards there are several important updates regarding DELL laptops and nvidia graphics boards. There are many ways to update your kernel, but in my opinion, this one is by far the easiest:

    git clone
    cd linux kernel-utilities
    (At the time of this writing 4.8.11) is the newest version. You can run the script whenever you want to update your kernel in the future.

    During kernel update eventually you could see this errors:
    W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/i915/kbl_guc_ver9_14.bin for module i915
    W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/i915/bxt_guc_ver8_7.bin for module i915
    You can safely ignore them.

    Fix touchpad palm detection

    1 - Fix the double touchpad detection

    In my case, 2 touch pads were detected: DELL touchpad and Synaptics touchpad. To check this, just open a terminal and type:
    xinput list
    It will print a list of input devices. Under the “Virtual core pointer” line, you’ll see 2 touchpads, the DELL XXX and the Synaptics.

    To fix this issue:
    As sudo user create a file “synaptics.conf” under /etc/modprobe.d/ and paste the following text inside:

    blacklist i2c-designware-platform
    You can do it just pasting this command in a console:
    sudo echo “blacklist i2c-designware-platform” > /etc/modprobe.d/synaptics.conf

    After adding this file, just reboot your computer and check again using “xinput list”, you should see *only* the synaptics touchpad

    2 - Fix the palm detection
    (Taken from:

    Please take into account this procedure is only for ubuntu 16

    Install libinput:
    sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-libinput
    Create a file: /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/60-libinput.conf and paste inside the following text:

    Section "InputClass"
            Identifier "libinput touchpad catchall"
            MatchIsTouchpad "on"
            MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
            Driver "libinput"
            Option "Tapping" "True"
            Option "PalmDetection" "True"
            Option "TappingDragLock" "True"
    NVIDIA drivers installation

    Install nvidia driver;
    sudo apt-add-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install nvidia-375 nvidia-prime
    Install prime-indicator: Allows you to switch between the intel integrated grapchis (i915) and the NVIDIA.

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install prime-indicator
    Please note: At the time of writing, the latest nvidia driver version supporting the graphics hardware on the XPS15 is the nvidia-375, please check nvidia page to know wich version is the most “up-to-date”. Suggestion: DO NOT INSTALL the driver directly from nvidia, just use the ppa listed on this document.
    Last edited by JumpingJack; December 4th, 2016 at 02:02 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Halloween Town
    Xubuntu Development Release

    Re: Ubuntu 16 on the DELL XPS15 9550

    Thread moved to Tutorials.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Re: Ubuntu 16 on the DELL XPS15 9550

    Thanks it works!

    BTW, if you want to add natural scrolling, just put this additional options.

    Option "NaturalScrolling" "True"


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