This page describes Debian on the Dell XPS 13 9360 released in October 2016
# dmidecode | grep "Product Name" Product Name: XPS 13 9360 Product Name: 0839Y6
Before you install Debian, you should upgrade to the latest BIOS update from Dell.
Power on your notebook and press F12 to get into the BIOS. Choose the "BIOS Flash Update" option. This will show you the revision of your current BIOS.
Go to the Dell XPS 13 9360 support page and look for "BIOS". If there's a new BIOS update, download the XPS_9360_x.y.z.exe file and put it on a USB stick (formatted with VFAT). Put the USB stick into your Dell and click the button on the upper right corner to select the .exe file.
For some reason, I can click on some things in the BIOS with the touchpad but I cannot confirm choices by pressing the touchpad. I have to use the cursor keys and enter.
Choose "Begin Flash Update" to update your BIOS.
You have to change some BIOS settings before you can install Debian. Press F12 again when starting your notebook to get into the BIOS.
Choose the first option, BIOS Setup. You have to change two settings:
- System Configuration: SATA Operation: change "RAID On" to "AHCI". Without this change, Linux won't find the SSD. Note that this will probably make any existing Windows installation unbootable. You probably need to backup your full Windows system before changing this option, and then re-install (if you still want to keep the Windows) after the change.
- Secure Boot: It is no longer necessary to disable Secure Boot -- this is fully supported in debian Buster and onward.
Make sure to install Debian stretch (Debian 9) or later. Debian jessie doesn't properly support the hardware.
When you connect the USB stick and start your Dell notebook, the installer menu should automatically come up. If not, enter the BIOS and change the boot order.
You can choose "Graphical install" or "Install" (the text-based installer). In both cases, the fonts are quite hard to read. There are some bugs on this already (e.g. 816111).
The wifi card is supported but requires non-free firmware. You'll get a message about missing firmware files
You can download the "Unofficial non-free images including firmware packages" Debian installer : http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/cd-including-firmware/
You can get the firmware-atheros .deb file and extract it to a USB stick.
3a:00.0 Network controller: Qualcomm Atheros QCA6174 802.11ac Wireless Network Adapter (rev 32)
After the installation, configure the non-free repository in APT and install the firmware-atheros package in order to get firmware updates for the wifi card.
The system was unable to recover from hibernation (triggered by the power manager when the lid was closed on battery). Putting it to sleep instead was fine.
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Device 5916 (rev 02)
Video Systems works out of the box but in software rendering mode. This may cause flickering and disconections when using a second screen. There are different options of this model if you check lspci and find a Intel 5904 VGA you will need to install intel-microcode package (a non-free package) to avoid problems
VGA works out of the box but HDMI may need kernel upgrade (tested with kernel 4.13.0 from stretch-backports).
echo 'deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian stretch-backports main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list apt-get update apt-get -t stretch-backports install linux-image-4.13.0-0.bpo.1-amd64
Audio out does not work by default in the current Debian Buster (10/03/2018; PulseAudio 11.1-4). The following steps solve the issue, at least for stereo output through the multipurpose jack:
apt-get install libsamplerate0
Uncomment the following lines in /etc/pulse/daemon.conf:
allow-module-loading resample-method = src-sinc-best-quality avoid-resampling
echo 'options snd-hda-intel model=headset-mic' >> /etc/modprobe.d/alsa.conf
Restart alsa and pulseaudio services (or reboot).
Special laptop keys
All function buttons work fine now (26/06/2017).