This page describes Debian on the Dell XPS 13 9380 released in January 2019

# dmidecode | grep "Product Name"
        Product Name: XPS 13 9380
        Product Name: 0KTW76

BIOS Update

# dmidecode | grep "BIOS Revision"
        BIOS Revision: 1.1

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.

Dell XPS 13 9380 support page and look for "BIOS". If there's a new BIOS update, download the XPS_9380_x.y.z.exe file and then put it on a USB stick (formatted with VFAT). Put the USB stick into your Dell and choose "Begin Flash Update" to update your BIOS. If you already have Debian installed in your machine, you can copy the file XPS_9380_x.y.z.exe in the boot/ partition, reboot your computer and install it from there.

Debian installer

Prepare a USB stick with Debian installer on it. You can consult the manual for more information. The wifi card is supported but requires non-free firmware. You'll get a message about missing firmware files

The easiest way is to use buster with firmwares https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/cd-including-firmware/buster_di_alpha5+nonfree/amd64/iso-cd/firmware-buster-DI-alpha5-amd64-netinst.iso

When you connect the USB stick and start your Dell notebook, press F12 and choose the USB stick.

Debian

Wifi

# lspci | grep Atheros
02:00.0 Network controller: Qualcomm Atheros QCA6174 802.11ac Wireless Network Adapter (rev 32)

# dmesg  | grep -i ath10k_pci
[    2.698663] ath10k_pci 0000:02:00.0: enabling device (0000 -> 0002)
[    2.705383] ath10k_pci 0000:02:00.0: pci irq msi oper_irq_mode 2 irq_mode 0 reset_mode 0
[    2.984045] ath10k_pci 0000:02:00.0: firmware: failed to load ath10k/pre-cal-pci-0000:02:00.0.bin (-2)
[    2.984056] ath10k_pci 0000:02:00.0: firmware: failed to load ath10k/cal-pci-0000:02:00.0.bin (-2)
[    2.985266] ath10k_pci 0000:02:00.0: firmware: direct-loading firmware ath10k/QCA6174/hw3.0/firmware-6.bin
[    2.985271] ath10k_pci 0000:02:00.0: qca6174 hw3.2 target 0x05030000 chip_id 0x00340aff sub 1a56:143a
[    2.985272] ath10k_pci 0000:02:00.0: kconfig debug 0 debugfs 0 tracing 0 dfs 0 testmode 0
[    2.985675] ath10k_pci 0000:02:00.0: firmware ver RM.4.4.1.c2-00057-QCARMSWP-1 api 6 features wowlan,ignore-otp,no-4addr-pad,raw-mode crc32 e061250a
[    3.049341] ath10k_pci 0000:02:00.0: firmware: direct-loading firmware ath10k/QCA6174/hw3.0/board-2.bin
[    3.049670] ath10k_pci 0000:02:00.0: board_file api 2 bmi_id N/A crc32 20d869c3
[    3.625046] ath10k_pci 0000:02:00.0: Unknown eventid: 118809
[    3.627577] ath10k_pci 0000:02:00.0: htt-ver 3.56 wmi-op 4 htt-op 3 cal otp max-sta 32 raw 0 hwcrypto 1
[    3.715332] ath10k_pci 0000:02:00.0 wlp2s0: renamed from wlan0

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.

System Summary

lspci

# lspci 
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Device 3e34 (rev 0b)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation UHD Graphics 620 (Whiskey Lake)
00:04.0 Signal processing controller: Intel Corporation Skylake Processor Thermal Subsystem (rev 0b)
00:08.0 System peripheral: Intel Corporation Skylake Gaussian Mixture Model
00:12.0 Signal processing controller: Intel Corporation Device 9df9 (rev 30)
00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation Device 9ded (rev 30)
00:14.2 RAM memory: Intel Corporation Device 9def (rev 30)
00:15.0 Serial bus controller [0c80]: Intel Corporation Device 9de8 (rev 30)
00:15.1 Serial bus controller [0c80]: Intel Corporation Device 9de9 (rev 30)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation Device 9de0 (rev 30)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device 9dbc (rev f0)
00:1c.6 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device 9dbe (rev f0)
00:1d.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device 9db0 (rev f0)
00:1d.4 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Device 9db4 (rev f0)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Device 9d84 (rev 30)
00:1f.3 Audio device: Intel Corporation Device 9dc8 (rev 30)
00:1f.4 SMBus: Intel Corporation Device 9da3 (rev 30)
00:1f.5 Serial bus controller [0c80]: Intel Corporation Device 9da4 (rev 30)
01:00.0 Unassigned class [ff00]: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTS525A PCI Express Card Reader (rev 01)
02:00.0 Network controller: Qualcomm Atheros QCA6174 802.11ac Wireless Network Adapter (rev 32)
03:00.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 Bridge (C step) [Alpine Ridge 4C 2016] (rev 02)
04:00.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 Bridge (C step) [Alpine Ridge 4C 2016] (rev 02)
04:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 Bridge (C step) [Alpine Ridge 4C 2016] (rev 02)
04:02.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 Bridge (C step) [Alpine Ridge 4C 2016] (rev 02)
04:04.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 Bridge (C step) [Alpine Ridge 4C 2016] (rev 02)
05:00.0 System peripheral: Intel Corporation JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 NHI (C step) [Alpine Ridge 4C 2016] (rev 02)
39:00.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 USB Controller (C step) [Alpine Ridge 4C 2016] (rev 02)
6e:00.0 Non-Volatile memory controller: SK hynix Device 1527

lsusb

# lsusb 
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0489:e0a2 Foxconn / Hon Hai 
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0c45:6723 Microdia 
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub