hardware, linux

Back to the future – Dell XPS 9350 (4.4-rc7 kernel)

December 29, 2015

My previous post on this topic talked about a mechanism for installing a custom 4.3 kernel that has the broadcom wireless drivers built in. I found a cleaner way to run a 4.4rc7 kernel from ubuntu that supports wifi, has no audio sizzle/static, and seems to run everything wonderfully.

It’s as simple as the following steps (as detailed on this blog)

cd /tmp
wget kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.4-rc7-wily/linux-headers-4.4.0-040400rc7_4.4.0-040400rc7.201512272230_all.deb kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.4-rc7-wily/linux-headers-4.4.0-040400rc7-generic_4.4.0-040400rc7.201512272230_amd64.deb kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.4-rc7-wily/linux-image-4.4.0-040400rc7-generic_4.4.0-040400rc7.201512272230_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-4.4*.deb linux-image-4.4*.deb

Once you are done the above, reboot and select the 4.4 kernel (it may go to this by default). For me, everything “just worked”.

Also, whatever you do, don’t forget to install libinput’s X touchpad driver – it’s superior to the synaptic driver in every way.

Can’t wait until an official release from Dell and/or ubuntu 16.04 – until this I’m happy as a clam on this laptop. It’s a dream form factor, battery life, and power combination (assuming you aren’t intending on running games).


  • Reply Etienne January 2, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks but it’s not working here… some guc driver for i915 not loading…

    • Reply Jim Basilio January 2, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      I don’t know if it’s related at all, but I also disabled UEFI pieces and use the legacy BIOS. Wouldn’t the driver come with the X packages or is that compiled into the kernel? Given I didn’t compile the kernel (and haven’t compiled one for a long time) I’m not sure where it came from.

      Good luck.

      • Reply Etienne January 3, 2016 at 1:26 am

        Got it fixed, I was missing i915 intel drivers.


        • Reply Etienne January 3, 2016 at 1:27 am

          Do you use the Broadcom chip ?

          • Jim Basilio January 3, 2016 at 7:35 am

            Yes, I have the broadcom chip. That was the reason I needed to use the new kernel, in the 4.2.x series in 15.10 there’s no support for it so the wifi/bluetooth is dead. With 4.3 there is support but 4.4 support is better and also better for skylake.

          • Etienne January 3, 2016 at 9:04 am

            Yeah, I figured, I got the 4.3 with custom wifi module from you already 😉

            Just wondering, with the 4.4rc7 I noticed a drop in reception on my wifi, do you see the same?

          • Jim Basilio January 3, 2016 at 2:40 pm

            I didn’t notice any dropoff. There’s an area in my house where my reception is generally pretty poor and it’s been a solid signal there (weak, but appropriately weak for the location compared to other devices).

  • Reply Anthony January 2, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    When you mentioned “no sizzle/static” did you mean with the built in speakers or through the audio jack output? I get none with the speakers, but still get it through the audio jack..

    • Reply Jim Basilio January 2, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      No static for me using audio jack, speakers, and bluetooth headset. Hm, that’s odd. Let me know if something changes.

      Good luck.

      • Reply Etienne January 3, 2016 at 1:28 am


        I had static when on mute and still playing some sound. It is now gone.

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