Dell i7559 Linux Boot Problem

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

the problem is to install linux on the Dell i7559 laptop. When running ubuntu 16.04 from USB, it stuck in the startup screen.

the laptop is “Dell Inspiron 15-7559”, aka “Dell i7559”. Buy at amazon [see Dell Inspiron 15 7559 specification]

this model is listed on ubuntu site as certified. See http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/hardware/201508-19027/ but actually you'll have problems, as of today ().

I solved the problem.

Here's how i did it.

Now:

  1. Boot into Microsoft Windows, get bio/UEFI/firmware update from Dell. (that is, when in Windows, just first install all updates.)
  2. Plug in usb disk. Restart laptop. When starting, press F12 to switch to boot from usb
  3. When in linux boot prompt (the grub), press e to edit config.
  4. Replace the words “quite splash ---” by “nomodeset”. Press F10 to boot.
  5. Now you'll be in Xubuntu running on USB
  6. Connect to internet. (wireless works)
  7. Click install to disk. Follow the installation process. Check to install all patches and 3rd party driver.
  8. It'll ask you to turn off secure boot, say ok.

When done, that's it.

The “nomodeset” tells the kernel to use a very basic graphics driver to boot.

Now, restart. you should be at the boot choice screen, with first choice being linux.

Sometimes when i shutdown, the system freezes, saying something about CPU#1 delayed for 22 seconds. But that went away after a while. Probably due to more software updates i did after.

If when booting, you still have problems, might want to add “nomodeset” again. Then, update drivers. Basically, the graphics card needs a proprietary driver.

No Mouse Cursor on Wake-up

When you close the lid, or when system goes to sleep/suspend, and when wake, you may find that there's no mouse cursor.

it's a bug.

workaround: press Ctrl+Alt+F6 then press Ctrl+Alt+F7. (You'll probably need to hold down Fn too.)

bug “Mouse cursor lost when unlocking with Intel graphics” https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xserver-xorg-video-intel/+bug/1568604/+index?comments=all

bug “Mouse pointer disappear after suspend in Xubuntu 16.04 ” https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/1573454

also, see the “Known issues” at xbuntu 16.04 at http://xubuntu.org/news/xubuntu-16-04-release/


random other people's notes

here's some random notes of google solutions and tips where i spent hours to finally got my machine working.


here's a guy from amazon review, who gave detailed solution

5.0 out of 5 stars Hardware is Linux-supported!, October 31, 2015

By Kris

This review is from: Dell 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop (6th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-6300HQ Processor up to 3.2GHz, 8GB DDR3, 256GB SSD, Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M, Windows 10) (Personal Computers)

It runs Linux! More on that later in the review!

UPDATE 2: Added pics of the screen light bleed and of the display in bright sunlight compared with my Toshiba Chromebook 2's glossy IPS display. Note that while the Chromebook's display looks pretty hard to read in the picture, it was easily usable in that lighting condition and I had no trouble seeing what I was doing on it as I sat in that exact spot and browsed the web for an hour or so. The Inspiron's display, however, looks even better than the Chromebook's in the pictures, and looked fantastic in real life. The matte finish really helped glare, and the screen was plenty bright enough to read everything perfectly.

UPDATE: I put TF2 on my linux install, and it plays goregously at maxed settings native resolution. This is the game I play most often so the fact that this laptop maxes it out handily reinforces my very good impression of the hardware. Again, temps stayed below 75 CPU and below 70 GPU. Fan noise was definitely audible, but fairly reasonable and quiet.

These specs for this price are a no brainer assuming nothing else big is wrong, and I haven't found a problem yet (in Windows, Linux has had a couple issues). Plays modern games on high settings 60fps and will do so for a couple more years. I really love it so far, and I should have pics of the only issue I've found, a small light bleed on the bottom of the screen when the entire screen is black. Overall, I highly recommend.

LONG REVIEW:

I just got this laptop today. Build quality is good, but unimpressive. The laptop feels quite solid and does not flex when force is applied to anywhere on the chassis or keyboard. It is plastic, but feels rather nice and does not appear to retain smudges. With the Windows setup out of the way, the laptop is already very snappy. Programs execute extremely fast between the 45W i5 and the SSD Windows is installed on. I ran a few browser benchmarks preliminarily for fun in Chrome. Sunspider1.0.2 gave a score of 205 ms, BrowserMark returned 3700, and Octane 29000.

Not only is the SSD that comes with the laptop quite fast (Windows boots in approximately 15 seconds from the time you press the power button), it has an easily accessible 2.5” SATA bay (lacking screws to secure the drives, sadly) open for another drive. A hatch secured with 1 screw covers about 7/8ths of the laptop's bottom, so accessibility for drive swaps and RAM upgrades and cooling system maintenance will be excellent. I installed a Samsung Series 840 SSD in the 2.5” bay and it worked immediately. The keyboard and trackpad are good in my opinion, but I am not a connoisseur of such things. The screen is big, bright and sharp. I can't say how it fares in sun yet because today has been rather cloudy, but I'll update my review with that information, as well as usage info and potentially pictures, once I've had the laptop for longer. Speakers are good for a laptop, they sound ok. The touchpad is responsive and relatively accurate. It's good, but it's no MacBook touchpad. The keyboard backlight is quite nice, pleasantly bright.

Heat and noise are only a bit more noticeable on this than my fanless chromebook, a 2014 Toshiba Chromebook 2. Even when under load in Windows playing Viscera Cleanup Detail Shadow Warrior on nearly maxed settings, the device was relatively quiet, and temps stayed under 75 for CPU and under 70 GPU. I did not feel heat then because it was on the table, but now writing this review the laptop has a 58 degree CPU temp and the laptop feels slightly warm in my lap but in no way uncomfortable. The system is pretty big in length and width, barely fitting in my backpack, but despite this it is pretty thin, about the same as my chromebook in a hard plastic shell case. I don't think the laptop is heavy in particular, but I am a poor judge of weight. Wireless signal has been strong and consistent since I first entered the password, so I have great faith in the wireless chip in this unit. I will update with Ethernet connection quality when I've tested it. USB connections are very fast, as I found when making my Linux bootable to install my dual boot.

My luck with Linux has been good! This is a crucial section of the review because Linux functionality is very important to me, so I took a big risk in preordering this unit in terms of potential device issues that would force me to use Windows exclusively. I burned an Ubuntu MATE 15.10 iso in windows 10 using the Pendrivelinux universal USB installer tool onto my flash drive, and when tested on my desktop the live USB worked flawlessly. On my laptop, I inserted the USB into my right USB port (this is likely of no significance, only stated for reference), rebooted and pressed f12 repeatedly before the Dell logo pops up and when the Dell logo appears, a small box will be in the bottom of the screen with words about “ F12 = BootMenu” and was brought to the menu for UEFI secure boot options. One of them was my USB drive, so I booted it. I got to a GRUB menu that let me select “Try ubuntu without installing” and “Install ubuntu”, among other options. I tried both of these, and the computer would get to the Ubuntu MATE splash screen and then freeze. I fixed this by pressing “e” over the “Try ubuntu without installing” option and adding “nomodeset” to the boot arguments right after “splash” and finally pressing f10. This allowed me to boot to the Ubuntu desktop and use the install client. Install went without a hitch, everything downloaded and installed very quickly, and web browsing system performance over the live USB was very snappy and responsive despite the install loads in the background. I partitioned the SSD I inserted, which mounted as “sdb”, into 20gb ext4 to mount as “/” and 90gb ext4 to mount as “/home”, then the rest as a swap partition. Install was a breeze, but when I rebooted and selected Ubuntu in the GRUB boot loader menu, I had similar video issues as the splash screen issue from the live USB. I fixed this the same way but without accessing the UEFI boot menu: by rebooting the laptop and waiting for the GRUB boot loader to appear, hovering over “Ubuntu”, and adding “nomodeset” again after “splash” in the text that appeared and once again pressing f10. I got a login screen! First things first, install the NVIDIA drivers you need to make this annoying boot argument unnecessary and allow your laptop to function and boot normally. “sudo apt-get install nvidia-352” in terminal, enter your password, and follow instructions, if any appear. After this, reboot normally and verify that the driver being used by the system is the proprietary NVIDIA 352 driver and not the opensource Nouveau driver. If you encounter display problems one last time on this reboot, again press “e” over Ubuntu and append “nomodeset” to your boot arguments and you'll be fine. If on reboot the system is using a driver other than the proprietary NVIDIA 352 driver, change it to that. You now have a fully functioning Linux system! The only really noticeable bug is an occasional freeze on wakeup from sleep when you close the laptop, which is supposedly related to the Intel integrated graphics driver I believe and likely will be fixed. Otherwise, the laptop has been great. In practice the battery lasts about 6 hours of web browsing with high display brightness. Not great, but at least decent for a gaming laptop. Windows appears to do markedly better than Linux for battery life, sadly.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2PV2QQBBEK9S3

be sure to also read the comments.

it didn't work for me because after “nomodeset”, i get a error dialog box about compiz, and this dialog box jumps between 2 places on the screen, about 5 times per second, but i was able to press tab key to put focus on the Continue button and dismiss the box, but after that, i got a blank desktop. You can Ctrl+Alt+F1 to go into a terminal prompt at this point. But i wasn't sure what to do there. I tried to delete the comppiz cache, but somehow, file can't be deleted even with sudo.


here's another solution, stackoverflow:

http://askubuntu.com/questions/689380/dual-boot-on-dell-inspiron-7559-laptop

pretty much same as the amazon one.


here's more discussions

https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/3u2vnc/linux_on_a_dell_inspiron_7559/

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=intel-skl-prelim-support


here's discussion, not about the boot, but another problem related to power management.

https://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/41713.html

Dell Inspiron 7559 good for linux?

https://www.reddit.com/r/Ubuntu/comments/3smhl7/dell_inspiron_i7559763blk_156/

serious problem

here's a recent post, around 2016-01. This guy tried lots of things.

I'm having major issues getting a new Dell Inspiron 15 (7559) to work. This is the newest one, with the NVIDIA GTX 960M graphics, 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ Processor (skylake), 128GB SSD, 1TB HDD and 16GB RAM.

I'm trying to use it with Kubuntu 15.10. Initial boot from the Live USB drive required “nomodeset” in GRUB at startup, installation then went ok, with updates installed as part of the installation. This left “nomodeset” in the grub config, and using the nouveau drivers, which worked ok but rather slow, and the laptop would not resume from sleep, black screen and unresponsive on the network.

I've tried various combinations of Nvidia drivers (352, 355, 358), Kernel (4.2, 4.3, 4.4rc3), and having either “nomodeset”, i915_preliminary_hw_enable=1 or none of those set on boot, but whatever I do I can't get the laptop into nvidia mode (“prime-select nvidia”) without just getting a black screen, switching back to “prime-select intel” and I get graphics back. In all these combinations however I still don't get any graphics on resumption from sleep, however 4.4rc3 does result in the system responding on the network after resuming from sleep (intel mode, nomodeset), so it's a step in the right direction.

With Kernel 4.4 and Nvidia 358, no “nomodeset” with “i915.preliminary_hw_support=1”, intel mode set. I get a freeze on startup, no X, text mode login prompt but no response from keyboard, no response on network.

from http://askubuntu.com/questions/704647/graphics-and-sleep-issues-on-dell-inspiron-15-uhd

what's does nomodeset do?

The newest kernels have moved the video mode setting into the kernel. So all the programming of the hardware specific clock rates and registers on the video card happen in the kernel rather than in the X driver when the X server starts.. This makes it possible to have high resolution nice looking splash (boot) screens and flicker free transitions from boot splash to login screen. Unfortunately, on some cards this doesnt work properly and you end up with a black screen. Adding the nomodeset parameter instructs the kernel to not load video drivers and use BIOS modes instead until X is loaded.

The answer can be found here : http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1613132


Dell Inspiron 15 7559 specification

Dell Inspiron 15 7559 specification

What's Secure Boot

When the PC starts, the firmware checks the signature of each piece of boot software, including firmware drivers (Option ROMs) and the operating system. If the signatures are good, the PC boots, and the firmware gives control to the operating system.

from https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh824987.aspx

Disabling Secure Boot

Updated: October 20, 2013

Applies To: Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2

You may need to disable Secure Boot to run some PC graphics cards, hardware, or operating systems such as Linux or previous version of Windows.

Secure Boot helps to make sure that your PC boots using only firmware that is trusted by the manufacturer.

For most PCs, you can disable Secure Boot through the PC’s firmware (BIOS) menus. For logo-certified Windows RT 8.1 and Windows RT PCs, Secure Boot is required to be configured so that it cannot be disabled.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn481258.aspx

more:

http://askubuntu.com/questions/755238/why-disabling-secure-boot-is-enforced-policy-when-installing-3rd-party-modules

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SecurityTeam/SecureBoot

ubuntu live install login/password

in live usb/cd, if you logged out and to login, the user name is ubuntu, password is empty (just press Return)

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