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I'm planning on buying a Dell XPS 15z laptop. I was wondering what is the status for running 11.10 on it? Are there any known issues that might be difficult to solve (specifically regarding installation)?

I've read of difficulties with wireless connectivity, touchpad and nVidia but all the posts seem to be quite old and possibly not currently relevant.

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6 Answers

As to my experience (received the pc two days ago, struggled, won).

Informations here are nearly correct

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardwareSupport/Machines/Laptops/Dell/XPS/15z

I have to add

  1. It boots to direct installing from USB flawless, just remember to hit any button when you get the purple screen with human = keyboard and set the acpi=off. (If the screen turns off during install hit fn+f5)

  2. Touchpad could work out of the box with minimum capabilities (once I had to do the manual changes in the wiki page, on a latter install I hadn't to). Forget multi touch by now.

  3. I prefer Bumbleebee on Ironhide. Install it through ppa address you can find in the GitHub. My process was:

    1. Add bumblebee ppa
    2. install nvida-current from restricted drivers
    3. install bumblebee (remember to "sudo usermod -a -G bumblebee YOURUSERNAME" as said by the bumblebee readme)
    4. install mesa-utils
    5. reboot
    6. try intel card with terminal command "glxspheres"
    7. try nvidia card with terminal command "optirun glxspheres"

    I'm still figuring out how to let nvidia-settings know I have nvidia-current drivers, because it doesn't detect them.

  4. Wireless issues depend on Power Save Polling, you may find a solution on the wiki page above.

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sudo usermod -a -G bumblebee YOURUSERNAME isn't required in newer version. 2. nvidia-setting will never detect you have nvidia card, as the laptop display is wired via intel card. You can only use nvidia card fully if you use external monitor via hdmi port –  Web-E Oct 16 '12 at 18:47
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Bought it at late August 2012, I wish I had research more before I bought it. Laptop looks nice. That's all I can say so far.

XPS 15z doesn't have page up/down key, it you read some paper or documents a lot, it will be a nightmare to you.

If you use it to play game, it heat up quickly if you play display intensive game.

I had numerous shutdown while playing game and turn the laptop to it's right. So far tech support had replaced the mother board and fan, problem still persist.

in one word, stay away from it if it's not too late.

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I just recently purchased a XPS 15z and so far I'm fairly satisfied.

The nvidia optimus problem wasn't too hard to get around, if you search around you can find ironhide or The Bumblebee Project which solve most of the issues (but don't support swapping between the cards).

The trackpad was easy to get working again, just I haven't been able to find any way to get the multi-touch functionality working.

Probably the worst problem I've noticed is the wireless problems. First of all, the bluetooth and wireless are hard to separate on this laptop. If you disable the bluetooth, the wireless doesn't work. Also on my school wifi I have a sketchy connection at best. Been trying to find a way around it but still haven't completely solved it. The network sometimes takes a while too connect, sometimes won't connect, and frequently drops connection.

But this seems to be a router dependent problem due to the fact that at my apartment the wireless works perfectly. So the odds are you'll be unsatisfied with the wireless till a fix for this problem is found.

Other than the wireless, I've been completely happy with this laptop!

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I've had 11.10 running on my XPS 15z for about a month now. For the most part, it runs well. I had to use the solution above re: Bumblebee to get the graphics card working properly, and also had to modify some settings for the trackpad to function at all.

By far the most annoying problem, though, is the constant running of the fan and the excessive heat that the XPS 15z puts out, especially since I installed Bumblebee. Apparently this is a known issue that is being worked on, but it's annoying nonetheless.

Apart from the above, very pleased. No wireless issues to speak of.

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please tell me what you did to get the trackpad somewhat working i hadnt gotten it working and ive had ubuntu for a year still what commands did you do or what did you installw –  user57776 Apr 28 '12 at 15:01
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I got some new issues when updating to 12.04, see Dell xps 15z fan issue in ubuntu 12.04

Otherwise, works like a charm. I really recommend using the SSD option, it is incredibly quick.

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I've had mine for awhile, and it worked great, then started having "cursor jumping issues." Have complete care service on it, so technicians have come out, and it has been repaired now 5-6 times. Hard drive replaced, mother board replaced, monitor replaced, keyboard, touchpad, etc. Some pieces twice. In home repair and to the Dell Depot twice. Will try to boot and hard drive will not be found. Last "repair" was supposed to fix it, or I wanted a new laptop. Our other Dell laptops are not having these issues, but this XPS one is a real lemon. It came back in January after it's 5th or 6th repair (I've lost count), and it worked fine for 2-3 weeks, but now the cursor is jumping again. Dell says it isn't aware of a problem. Simply google "Dell XPS cursor jumping" or "Quickset XPS issues" and see what you find. You will see that earlier years, people are trying to see if it is their hands touching the key pad (lazy wrist has been blamed) but as you look at reviews later (2011, 2012) you will see references to the Quickset issue. One Dell rep told me that it was a compatability issue with the Quickset driver and the backlit keyboard. The guy I spoke with today wanted to know "who at Dell told me that." Unbelievable. Also, when they take over the lap top remotely, they cannot reproduce it, yet when I type an answer in their chat window, it happens. I filmed it and offered to send them the video...they said that wouldn't be necessary. They know there is an issue. This is my last Dell product.

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