I use Xubuntu on my XPS 13. I love Ubuntu, but Xubuntu offers me more control and a workspace that matches my workflow. No matter what edition of Ubuntu you decide to use, Trusty Tahr works really well on the Dell XPS 13.
Terminal commands are highlighted in blue. Ubuntu users need to use gedit instead of mousepad in their terminal commands.
Update your system
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get update
Reboot if necessary
The updated Synaptic drivers for the XP3 13 touchpad are currently in Test Kernels. Canonical is doing their best to try and backport this functionality into 14.04 LTS so that users can take advantage of native i2c touchpad support. Until then you can download a test kernel or enable the testing repository. I downloaded acelan's testing kernel. Make sure you download all 4 debs. Install and reboot.
There is constant white noise that can be heard when headphones are plugged in, it makes using the audio jack impossible. There is also a poping noise heard when plugging in headphones. The fix involves creating a script and disabling the power saving mode of the audio card.The good news is this bug has been fixed in 3.16 kernels.
It is easier to run the commands as root, open a root terminal:
sudo suSetup an init script to load the headphone fix at boot:
mkdir -p /etc/init.d/
wget -q -O /etc/init.d/xps http://xps13-9333.appspot.com/root/etc/init.d/xps
chmod +x /etc/init.d/xps
update-rc.d xps defaults
Create the audio fix script:
mkdir -p /usr/local/bin
wget -O /usr/local/bin/white_noise_fix.py http://xps13-9333.appspot.com/root/usr/local/bin/white_noise_fix.py
chmod 744 /usr/local/bin/white_noise_fix.py
Disable the power saving mode"
mkdir -p /etc/pm/config.d
echo INTEL_AUDIO_POWERSAVE=false > /etc/pm/config.d/snd_hda_intel
Apply the changes without needing a reboot:
echo 0 > /sys/module/snd_hda_intel/parameters/power_save
exit root permissions:
For Xubuntu users:
You'll notice that there is significant screen tearing when watching videos in Xubuntu. Xfce's default window manager xfwm4 does not have sync to VBlank support. Compton supports VBlank and I written a guide for setting it up properly for the Dell XPS 13.
Before you install and configure Compton you need to turn off xfwm4 compositor. Under Settings>Window Manager Tweaks>Compositor
Install and configure Compton:
sudo apt-get install compton
wget -O ~/.config/compton.conf https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6062904/compton.conf
Then set Compton to run at startup. Under Settings>Session and Startup>Application Autostart. Click the Add button:
Description: lightweight standalone compositor
Command: compton -b
Enable the Intel driver TearFree option:
sudo mkdir -p /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/
sudo wget -q -O /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-intel.conf http://xps13-9333.appspot.com/root/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-intel.conf
Check to see it was enabled
cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep Tear
There are a couple options for configuring multitouch gestures in Ubuntu 14.04. I'm trying to get Touchegg working. Until then I'm using a simple bash script to tweak my synclient settings.
To setup the script:
chmod 744 ~/.scripts/touchpad_config.sh
These settings change the tapping behavior, you can place whatever tweaks you want inside of it. Having the script wait 10 second or so provides enough time for the system to load, you can remove it but I prefer a bit of a buffer.
sleep 10s &&
Feel free to leave comments and suggestions in the comments.