I wanted to put together a little walk through to get the new Dell XPS 15 9550 laptop working well in Linux. I’ve been very happy with it so far, but I had to put in a few nights of research to really get it working as I want.

All instructions are for Fedora 23


You can get this to work with UEFI, but I ended up going Legacy boot since I was having problems getting standby and hibernate to work when booting through EFI. Also, make sure you set up a swap partion at least the size of your memory so hibernation will work.

##Bumblebee/Nvidia Optimus

The XPS 15 comes with both an Intel and Nvidia graphics controllers. The Intel GPU does the desktop stuff fine, but if you want to do any gaming you’ll want to switch over to the Nvidia. This isn’t hard to do, but it seems to render everything to a virtual frame buffer and probably isn’t as perforamnt as just using the nvidia card. It’s easy to setup though:

*Bumblebee Indicator Gnome Extension *Bumblebee Installation Guide for Fedora

Basically, install as follows..

After running all updates and restarting to ensure you’re running the latest kernel available to your system:

$ dnf -y --nogpgcheck install http://install.linux.ncsu.edu/pub/yum/itecs/public/bumblebee/fedora23/noarch/bumblebee-release-1.2-1.noarch.rpm
$ dnf -y --nogpgcheck install http://install.linux.ncsu.edu/pub/yum/itecs/public/bumblebee-nonfree/fedora23/noarch/bumblebee-nonfree-release-1.2-1.noarch.rpm
$ dnf install bumblebee-nvidia bbswitch-dkms VirtualGL.x86_64 VirtualGL.i686 primus.x86_64 primus.i686 kernel-devel

When you want to use the Nvidia GPU, you need to pass the command through optirun, like follows:

$ optirun glxspheres64

If you’re trying to run a game through Steam, be sure to update the launch command as follows:

optirun $COMMAND (or whatever)

##Bluetooth Bluetooth did not work out the box for me, but it would scan and discover devices. Ultimately, I had to go through a whole deal to get it working, mostly following this guide

My struggle is your gain, if you have a Broadcom BCM2045 A0 you should be able to use something like the following to get this working:

$ curl https://www.dropbox.com/s/3ajj26zj3n79pcc/BCM-0a5c-6410.hcd?dl=1 /lib/firmware/brcm/BCM-0a5c-6410.hcd

You should test this by turning off your PC and turning it back on, as opposed to just restarting. You can determine where exactly to copy the firmware by using dmesg | grep btusb.

##Touch/Gestures This is a biggie for me, and a pain to setup. Luckily, the synaptics touchpad provided with the laptop supports all sorts of gestures in Linux but you’ll have to make some tweaks to get them to work. I used touchegg and touchegg-gce to configure three and four button gestures, and synclient to enable two-finger right click.

Removing xorg-x11-drv-libinput is needed to favor the synaptics module.

$ sudo  dnf remove xorg-x11-drv-libinput
$ dnf install xorg-x11-drv-synaptics

Let’s configure the synaptics driver so we can take advantage of touchegg. Find the section with MatchDriver “synaptics” and add the options in mine:


Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "Default clickpad buttons"
        MatchDriver "synaptics"
        Option "SoftButtonAreas" "50% 0 82% 0 0 0 0 0"
        Option "SecondarySoftButtonAreas" "58% 0 0 8% 42% 58% 0 8%"
        Option "TapButton3" "0"
        Option "ClickFinger3" "0"

Let’s configure touchegg with some sane options…


                <property name="composed_gestures_time">0</property>
        <application name="All">
                <gesture type="DRAG" fingers="3" direction="RIGHT">
                        <action type="SEND_KEYS">Alt+Left</action>
                <gesture type="DRAG" fingers="3" direction="LEFT">
                        <action type="SEND_KEYS">Alt+Right</action>
                <gesture type="DRAG" fingers="3" direction="UP">
                        <action type="SEND_KEYS">Control+Alt+Up</action>
                <gesture type="DRAG" fingers="4" direction="UP">
                        <action type="SEND_KEYS">Super+w</action>
                <gesture type="DRAG" fingers="4" direction="DOWN">
                        <action type="SEND_KEYS">Control+w</action>
                <gesture type="DRAG" fingers="3" direction="DOWN">
                        <action type="SEND_KEYS">Control+Alt+Down</action>

And finally, let’s configure touchegg to start automatically at login:


#!/bin/sh -x

This will give you three finger left and right as browser back and forth, three finger up and down to switch spaces, four finger up to enter the activities menu, and four finger down to close a browser tab. This isn’t quite the Magic Trackpad, but it’s close.

##Standby and Power Management

As mentioned before, make sure you have a swap partition big enough to store the contents of your RAM. You’ll also need to tell the login manager, GDM, what to do when you close the lid:

Edit /etc/systemd/logind.conf and uncomment the line…


You can also set this to hibernate and hybrid-sleep, but hibernation doesn’t really seem to work well.

Optionally, you can install the tlp package that supposedly provides better power management and automatic backlight control. To install…

$ dnf install tlp tlp-rdw

I’ll update this guide as I add more. Good luck, let me know how it goes!