Ubuntu on a Dell XPS 15 9550

I have enjoyed using a Dell XPS 15 9550 for a few months now. Fantastic machine. When I got it, I tried to install Ubuntu 15.10 which utterly failed. Basically, I couldn’t even boot up the installation. I gave up and started monitoring threads on that subject.

Today is the release of Ubuntu 16.10 and I thought I’d give it a try once more. Well, good on me as it worked flawlessly! For those interested, here’s what I did:

  1. Updated, from Windows, the BIOS to 1.2.14 as well as the drivers for the Dell WD15 dock station (since I own one)
  2. Disabled the Secure Boot in the BIOS and rebooted
  3. Switched from RAID to AHCI from Windows drivers for the storage (really make a recovery disk just in case) following this link. Windows didn’t reboot after I changed the driver type from Device Manager. But, rebooting in safe mode, and then rebooting fixed that automatically somehow (see this comment). You have to switch to AHCI or Ubuntu will not see your storage during installation
  4. Next booted on my USB key and executed the installation process

That’s it!

Once installed and restarted, I could boot on both Linux and Windows fine. Once logged into my Ubuntu session, I installed the Nvidia drivers (367.57) via the Ubuntu driver utility, then Cinnamon because it handles HDPi automatically and I dislike Unity with a passion.

Everything has been working fine so far (natively without any tweaking):

  • HDPi on the 4K screen
  • Keyboard backlight
  • Touchscreen
  • Bluetooth
  • Wifi
  • Dual screen (HDMI)
  • Logitech C920

I haven’t tried yet or I’m not sure:

  • Hibernating
  • Sleep mode
  • the dock station (it was recognised but did not use it properly yet)


There is hope!

7 thoughts on “Ubuntu on a Dell XPS 15 9550”

  1. One question:

    Can you list your technical specification of your XPS 15 9550?!
    My XPS is made of a NVMe-PCIe SSD and I am also interested in Ubuntu for my XPS.
    Is it also necessary to switch the SATA controller driver from RAID to AHCI?


  2. Hey I just ordered this exact lap top and everyone was telling me that I couldn’t run Ubuntu on it and especially as there were know problems on Windows already I had low hope, but this gives me great hope. Dough putting it to sleep will be a must for me.

  3. Instead of switching the disk mode from RAID to AHCI, consider installing Ubuntu server, and the adding the desktop/Unity and LibreOffice as desired. Installation of Ubuntu server should detect the RAID drive and handle it.

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