Gentoo linux on Dell XPS 13

This manual is for the 9350 (2016 model) and 9380 (2019 model). Differences are indicated.

Use the newest of the newest kernel version. I'm using 4.5.0-rc3 and that is one of the first versions that boots consistently without a lot of patching.

SSD

Kernel: "CONFIG_BLK_DEV_NVME: NVM Express block device"

Disable the Intel Rapid Storage Technology and Secure boot setting in the Dell bios:

Touchpad

Kernel: "CONFIG_MOUSE_PS2_ELANTECH: Elantech PS/2 protocol extension"

For xorg also "x11-drivers/xf86-input-synaptics" by setting INPUT_DEVICES="evdev synaptics" in make.conf.

Touchscreen

Kernel: "CONFIG_HID_MULTITOUCH: HID Multitouch panels", "CONFIG_USB_HID: USB HID transport layer"

Intel video

Kernel: "CONFIG_DRM_I915: Intel 8xx/9xx/G3x/G4x/HD Graphics" as module or add the firmware files as blobs to the kernel.

Emerge "sys-kernel/linux-firmware".

To get "real" compositing in xfce4 the use flag "xcomposite" needs to be set.

Powersaving

Add "pcie_aspm=force i915.enable_fbc=1 i915.enable_rc6=7" to the kernel boot parameters in the /etc/default/grub file.

Wireless

9350: Kernel: "CONFIG_WLAN_VENDOR_BROADCOM: Broadcom devices", "CONFIG_BRCMFMAC: Broadcom IEEE802.11n embedded FullMAC WLAN driver" and "CONFIG_BRCMFMAC_PCIE: PCIE bus interface support for FullMAC driver".

9380: Qualcomm Atheros QCA6174 802.11ac

The driver as module or add the firmware as blob to the kernel.

Emerge "sys-kernel/linux-firmware". Also emerge "net-wireless/wpa_supplicant" with use-flags "qt4" to get wpa_gui.

Audio

To enable the function keys, go to Settings > Keyboard > Shortcuts. Add the three commands:

Sometimes after a kernel upgrade the file at /var/lib/alsa/asound.state needs to be removed. 'alsactl init' could also fix this.

 DA200 HDMI output

For this to work the Thunderbolt firmware must be up-to-date (see Dell driver site). Even then the maximum resolution I could get was 1280x800. Setting a higher resolution just results in a black screen and the monitor saying 'no signal found'.

Settings