Installing Linux Kubuntu on a Dell Precision M3800

Dell-m3800I recently had to install Linux Kubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander (at the time of writing I’ve already upgraded it to 14.04 Trusty Tahr) on a Dell Precision M3800 (a really cool and powerful laptop, see the details here).

The installation went really smooth, and I’m enjoying a very fast and stable Linux OS on this laptop.

In this blog post I’ll detail only a few tips and further tweaks after the installation.

As for the initial setup (Hard disk resize, Backup and UEFI Boot issues) I followed this really nice detailed guide, http://www.everydaylinuxuser.com/2013/09/install-ubuntu-linux-alongside-windows.html, and I strongly suggest to do the same, especially if you have the same laptop.

Tweaks after installation

Here some tweaks after the installation.

Adjust Screen Resolution

This laptop comes with the “crazy” resolution of 3200×1800! Unfortunately, this is barely usable at least in my experience: everything is so small that I can’t read almost anything… adjusting the DPI as suggested here really did not help: the fonts, window border become readable and usable, but the system looks ugly… (by the way, the same problem holds in Windows 8, at least for my everyday program, i.e., Eclipse: most fonts and icons are not readable)… until these resolution problems are fixed in Kubuntu (and in some applications as Eclipse), I reverted the resolution to something smaller (and still the resolution is high :), that is 1920×1080.

kubuntu-screen-resolution

Enable Hibernate

First check that hibernate actually works by running (remember that your swap partition is at least as large as your available RAM):

After you computer turns off, try and switch it back on. If your open applications re-open you can re-enable hibernate: run below command to edit the config file:

Copy and paste below lines into the file and save it.

Enable Scheduled Trim

First of all, make sure you enable the anotime option for your SSD partition in /etc/fstab to avoid further writings to your SSD disk.

As reported here, http://askubuntu.com/questions/18903/how-to-enable-trim/, scheduled trim seems to be the preferred way to keep your SSD performant.

Run the following command to create and edit the file in cron.daily

And copy and paste this:

Then make the file executable:

Power optimizations

To keep power consumption low, install the following tools

then TLP:

Also run powertop when you’re on battery to check for further optimizations.

Install Bumblebee, as detailed here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bumblebee.

The problem with Fn keys

At first, I thought that Function keys were not working at all… then I discovered that on new laptops like this one F-keys are default to their media mode (!). You can change the default behavior of the F keys in the BIOS, but I prefer the F-Lock icon on the Esc button: this will take them back to their standard behavior.

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31 thoughts on “Installing Linux Kubuntu on a Dell Precision M3800

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  3. Ludovic

    Hi,

    First of all, thanks a lot for your tutorial. I install kubuntu 14.04 on the same laptop Dell M3800 right now.

    I however have a problem with wired connection. And don’t find any solutions to solve it.

    My Wireless connection work fine, but impossible to connect with my Wired Eth0. I always receive message “IP configuration unavailable”.

    Did you have same problem with your ? I’m not expert in Linux system and maybe I missed something or do something wrong ?

    Here are information about …

    ifconfig -a :
    ——————————–
    eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 9c:eb:e8:14:47:22
    BROADCAST MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
    RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
    TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
    collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
    RX bytes:0 (0.0 B) TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)

    lo Link encap:Local Loopback
    inet addr:127.0.0.1 Mask:255.0.0.0
    inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
    UP LOOPBACK RUNNING MTU:65536 Metric:1
    RX packets:818 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
    TX packets:818 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
    collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
    RX bytes:68989 (68.9 KB) TX bytes:68989 (68.9 KB)

    wlan0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr e8:2a:ea:3a:6a:6f
    inet addr:192.168.0.17 Bcast:192.168.0.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
    inet6 addr: fe80::ea2a:eaff:fe3a:6a6f/64 Scope:Link
    UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
    RX packets:6278 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
    TX packets:4849 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
    collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
    RX bytes:6144530 (6.1 MB) TX bytes:617793 (617.7 KB)
    ——————————–

    nm-tool :
    ——————————–
    NetworkManager Tool

    State: connected (global)

    – Device: eth0 —————————————————————–
    Type: Wired
    Driver: smsc75xx
    State: unmanaged
    Default: no
    HW Address: 9C:EB:E8:14:47:22

    Capabilities:
    Carrier Detect: yes

    Wired Properties
    Carrier: off

    – Device: wlan0 [UPC0041188] ————————————————–
    Type: 802.11 WiFi
    Driver: iwlwifi
    State: connected
    Default: yes
    HW Address: E8:2A:EA:3A:6A:6F

    Capabilities:
    Speed: 52 Mb/s

    Wireless Properties
    WEP Encryption: yes
    WPA Encryption: yes
    WPA2 Encryption: yes

    Wireless Access Points (* = current AP)
    vmt-85173: Infra, A4:52:6F:7E:CD:A1, Freq 2437 MHz, Rate 54 Mb/s, Strength 47 WPA WPA2
    cni-36501: Infra, 00:24:C8:5D:FE:E0, Freq 2427 MHz, Rate 54 Mb/s, Strength 44 WPA WPA2
    UPC1384147: Infra, 8C:04:FF:7A:B5:BD, Freq 2437 MHz, Rate 54 Mb/s, Strength 42 WPA WPA2
    hpsetup: Ad-Hoc, 36:26:55:F4:8E:25, Freq 2437 MHz, Rate 11 Mb/s, Strength 42
    *UPC0041188: Infra, FC:94:E3:12:2C:92, Freq 2412 MHz, Rate 54 Mb/s, Strength 46 WPA WPA2
    christinelorene: Infra, E0:91:F5:60:86:28, Freq 2437 MHz, Rate 54 Mb/s, Strength 37 WPA WPA2

    IPv4 Settings:
    Address: 192.168.0.17
    Prefix: 24 (255.255.255.0)
    Gateway: 192.168.0.1

    DNS: 62.2.24.162
    DNS: 62.2.17.61
    DNS: 62.2.24.158
    DNS: 62.2.17.60
    ——————————–

    /etc/network/interfaces :
    ——————————–
    # interfaces(5) file used by ifup(8) and ifdown(8)
    auto lo
    iface lo inet loopback
    ——————————–

    lshw -C network :
    ——————————–
    *-network
    description: Wireless interface
    product: Wireless 7260
    vendor: Intel Corporation
    physical id: 0
    bus info: pci@0000:06:00.0
    logical name: wlan0
    version: 6b
    serial: e8:2a:ea:3a:6a:6f
    width: 64 bits
    clock: 33MHz
    capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
    configuration: broadcast=yes driver=iwlwifi driverversion=3.13.0-27-generic firmware=22.1.7.0 ip=192.168.0.17 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11abgn
    resources: irq:51 memory:f7900000-f7901fff
    *-network
    description: Ethernet interface
    physical id: 2
    logical name: eth0
    serial: 9c:eb:e8:14:47:22
    size: 10Mbit/s
    capacity: 1Gbit/s
    capabilities: ethernet physical tp mii 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd 1000bt 1000bt-fd autonegotiation
    configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=smsc75xx driverversion=22-Aug-2005 duplex=half firmware=smsc75xx USB 2.0 Gigabit Ethern link=no multicast=yes port=MII speed=10Mbit/s
    ——————————–

    Thanks a lot for your help

    Best regards
    Ludovic

    Reply
    1. Lorenzo Bettini Post author

      Ludovic, I wouldn’t know… Does your router support DHCP? Is DHCP enabled for the wired connection?

      Reply
      1. Ludovic

        Hi Lorenzo, yes DHCP is activated on router and I’ve added line below to /etc/interfaces to try :

        auto eth0
        iface eth0 inet dhcp

        … but no changes. I can’t connect with wired connection

        This is result of grep -i networkmanager /var/log/syslog :

        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Auto-activating connection ‘argos-lan’.
        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) starting connection ‘argos-lan’
        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): device state change: disconnected -> prepare (reason ‘none’) [30 40 0]
        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 1 of 5 (Device Prepare) scheduled…
        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 1 of 5 (Device Prepare) started…
        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 2 of 5 (Device Configure) scheduled…
        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 1 of 5 (Device Prepare) complete.
        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 2 of 5 (Device Configure) starting…
        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): device state change: prepare -> config (reason ‘none’) [40 50 0]
        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 2 of 5 (Device Configure) successful.
        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 3 of 5 (IP Configure Start) scheduled.
        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 2 of 5 (Device Configure) complete.
        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 3 of 5 (IP Configure Start) started…
        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): device state change: config -> ip-config (reason ‘none’) [50 70 0]
        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Beginning DHCPv4 transaction (timeout in 45 seconds)
        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: dhclient started with pid 4860
        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Beginning IP6 addrconf.
        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 3 of 5 (IP Configure Start) complete.
        Jun 2 17:50:58 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): DHCPv4 state changed nbi -> preinit
        Jun 2 17:51:18 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): IP6 addrconf timed out or failed.
        Jun 2 17:51:18 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 4 of 5 (IPv6 Configure Timeout) scheduled…
        Jun 2 17:51:18 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 4 of 5 (IPv6 Configure Timeout) started…
        Jun 2 17:51:18 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 4 of 5 (IPv6 Configure Timeout) complete.
        Jun 2 17:51:43 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): DHCPv4 request timed out.
        Jun 2 17:51:44 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): canceled DHCP transaction, DHCP client pid 4860
        Jun 2 17:51:44 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 4 of 5 (IPv4 Configure Timeout) scheduled…
        Jun 2 17:51:44 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 4 of 5 (IPv4 Configure Timeout) started…
        Jun 2 17:51:44 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): device state change: ip-config -> failed (reason ‘ip-config-unavailable’) [70 120 5]
        Jun 2 17:51:44 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) failed for connection ‘argos-lan’
        Jun 2 17:51:44 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 4 of 5 (IPv4 Configure Timeout) complete.
        Jun 2 17:51:44 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): device state change: failed -> disconnected (reason ‘none’) [120 30 0]
        Jun 2 17:51:44 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): deactivating device (reason ‘none’) [0]
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Auto-activating connection ‘argos-lan’.
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) starting connection ‘argos-lan’
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): device state change: disconnected -> prepare (reason ‘none’) [30 40 0]
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 1 of 5 (Device Prepare) scheduled…
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 1 of 5 (Device Prepare) started…
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 2 of 5 (Device Configure) scheduled…
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 1 of 5 (Device Prepare) complete.
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 2 of 5 (Device Configure) starting…
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): device state change: prepare -> config (reason ‘none’) [40 50 0]
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 2 of 5 (Device Configure) successful.
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 3 of 5 (IP Configure Start) scheduled.
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 2 of 5 (Device Configure) complete.
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 3 of 5 (IP Configure Start) started…
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): device state change: config -> ip-config (reason ‘none’) [50 70 0]
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Beginning DHCPv4 transaction (timeout in 45 seconds)
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: dhclient started with pid 4867
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Beginning IP6 addrconf.
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 3 of 5 (IP Configure Start) complete.
        Jun 2 17:51:46 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): DHCPv4 state changed nbi -> preinit
        Jun 2 17:52:06 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): IP6 addrconf timed out or failed.
        Jun 2 17:52:06 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 4 of 5 (IPv6 Configure Timeout) scheduled…
        Jun 2 17:52:06 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 4 of 5 (IPv6 Configure Timeout) started…
        Jun 2 17:52:06 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 4 of 5 (IPv6 Configure Timeout) complete.
        Jun 2 17:52:31 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): DHCPv4 request timed out.
        Jun 2 17:52:32 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): canceled DHCP transaction, DHCP client pid 4867
        Jun 2 17:52:32 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 4 of 5 (IPv4 Configure Timeout) scheduled…
        Jun 2 17:52:32 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 4 of 5 (IPv4 Configure Timeout) started…
        Jun 2 17:52:32 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): device state change: ip-config -> failed (reason ‘ip-config-unavailable’) [70 120 5]
        Jun 2 17:52:32 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) failed for connection ‘argos-lan’
        Jun 2 17:52:32 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: Activation (eth0) Stage 4 of 5 (IPv4 Configure Timeout) complete.
        Jun 2 17:52:32 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): device state change: failed -> disconnected (reason ‘none’) [120 30 0]
        Jun 2 17:52:32 KED-M3800-LBO NetworkManager[860]: (eth0): deactivating device (reason ‘none’) [0]

        Reply
  4. Thorsten

    Hi Lorenzo,

    I just try to install Kubuntu 14.04 on a M4800 with QHD. For whatever reason during installation the screen stays black. Only when I press the power off button I get to see the Kubuntu Logo for a moment before it ejects the DVD.

    In Dell support forums I found that I maybe should disable ‘graphics switching’ in BIOS, but I don’t have this setting.

    Do you have any idea what the reason could be?

    (I also tried Ubuntu 14.04 with the same result.)

    Reply
      1. Thorsten

        Never mind, (still thanks for the fast reply)

        I think I found the issue, so for others who may end up here (quite high on Google when looking up Kubuntu Dell M4800)

        During boot when Kubuntu is loading I hit the “del” button. That way at least the first screen appeared (don’t ask why). Then I was able to use F6 to select “enhanced options” (or whatever) and here could choose “nomodeset” which seems to do the trick (found that in some other forum). Also this could be set with grub if somehow you manage to get this to appear on the screen.

        So finally I’m in the installation process and from here everything running fine for now. (I guess once installed I will still have to tell grub to activate “nomodeset” again for normal boot, but that should be easy)

        Reply
  5. Francesco

    Ciao Lorenzo, thanks for your post!
    I am considering to buy the same laptop but I have a couple of questions:

    -The minidisplay and hdmi ports work ?
    -Is it possible to use both at the same time (with 2 monitors) ?
    -Is it possible to disable the nvidia card from the Bios ?
    -In your experience which is the battery life in linux ? (with low power consumption tasks)

    Thanks a lot,
    Francesco

    Reply
    1. Lorenzo Bettini Post author

      Ciao Francesco

      I’ve only tried once to connect the laptop to a monitor using the HDMI port and it worked perfectly. As for the other things I don’t know (I use bumblebee). As for battery life, it has improved in Linux (around 3 hours if programming), but in Windows it’s still better (over 4 hours); on the other hand, to get good powersafe in Windows, the laptop gets really slow, while in Linux you can still work perfectly (but the consumption is higher).

      Reply
      1. Francesco

        Thanks for your reply!

        3 hours is not so much but with 61 or 91 Wh battery?
        I read somewhere that there is an unusual drop down of battery performance after 1-2 months. Is it the same to you?

        Have you the coil whine problem?

        These are the last questions, I promise!

        Reply
        1. Lorenzo Bettini Post author

          I don’t know about the battery specs, and I did not notice battery performance drop down.
          As for the coil while (I think you mean the noise) it happens but very rarely.

          Reply
  6. Ramesh Kumar

    Hi Lorenzo.
    This question is obviously not about the M3800 but I am really hoping if you would happen to know whether Linux is supported on the M2800 or any particular place I could find any information about this? Mr. Google has not been really helpful with this.

    The M3800 is a ‘bit’ out of my reach at the moment – I envy you 🙂

    Kind regards.
    Ramesh

    Reply
  7. Luca

    Ciao Lorenzo i would like to buy this pc and wipe out the windows OS in order to install a fresh copy of ubuntu 14.04 or xubuntu 14.04. As far i see the m3800 is sold with a qhd+ monitor and a max resolution of 3200×1800. I don’t know how, at current time, linux (these distributions, to be more precise) could manage this kind of high resolution. I’m worried about the small size of text at native resolution, and i wondered if is possibile to scale down this high resolution in order to achieve an usable desktop with text and icons readable. I often use Eclipse and other software of this kind, run several virtual machines, write docs for projects, electronic sheets, and i carry it with me at university. I read from your blog that with Kubuntu, without get hands dirty, is possibile to change the native resolution to 1920×1080 directly from System Settings->Display Configuration. I would like to ask you if Eclipse or other programs that are not designed for running at very high resolution can run smoothly and without issues at 1920×1080. So, the question is: does the 1920×1080 resolution work nicely on the qhd+ screen? Scale down from 3200×1800 to 1920×1080 is good as to have directly a FullHD screen on this kind of monitor? What’s your experience about working at 1920×1080 with these programs i mentioned?
    Thank you so much!

    Un saluto da Luca

    Reply
    1. Lorenzo Bettini Post author

      Ciao Luca
      as I wrote in the blog, 1920×1080 works fine (I use Eclipse most of the time); the native resolution 3200×1800 is simply unmanageable… you can reduce the DPI but then the Desktop looks horrible and it does not solve problems with Eclipse: icons are still unreadable. Note that this happens also in Windows and, as far as I can read in other forums/bugs, also in Mac: if an application is not developed with high resolution in mind, the support from the OS is useless. With 1920×1080 you’ll be fine 🙂
      Lore

      Reply
      1. Luca

        Ciao Lorenzo,
        first of all i want to thank you for answering me so quickly.
        My intention is to change the screen resolution from the native to 1920×1080 in order to use the full HD and get best results, so reduce DPI is out of matter. At cost to be repetitive, i would like to ask you for confirmation of good usability in full HD mode. Surfing on the net, from what i’ve seen there is someone who found some issues in resizing the resolution from to 3200 to 1920: they said that it’s not possible to achieve that, but i suppose they were not using correct driver or found other problems during this process. So, if i wipe out all, and install new fresh version of Ubuntu 14.04, go to monitor settings and change to 1920×1080 should i not encounter any kind of issues about super small text size, icons and etc ? Should it run all perfectly smooth at 1920 (eclipse including) ?
        Without abusing of your kindness, may i ask you if you’ve tried to use the usb-ethernet device directly bought from Dell ? (i don’t know if is it included in the package because i was not be able to find it as an accessory).
        Thank you very much and if you want you can answer directly in Italian.

        Grazie,
        Luca

        Reply
        1. Lorenzo Bettini Post author

          Ciao
          I’m not sure I understand “good usability in full HD mode”… if you mean connect the laptop to a full HD screen, then I can’t help: I don’t have one 🙂
          Besides that, I confirm that I work with the resolution I blogged about, 1920×1080, and it works perfectly with Eclipse.
          The usb-ethernet was included with the laptop in my case, and it works perfectly also in Linux, just plug it and it works 🙂

          Ho risposto in Inglese perché potrebbe tornare utile anche ad altri 🙂
          Fammi sapere
          Lore

          Reply
          1. Luca

            Ciao Lorenzo,
            yes, i meant what have you said. I wanted to have confirmation, just for one more time, on 1) possibility to change resolution to 1920×1080 and using the screen of the laptop in this way without any kind of issue and 2) how would be the result if i had connected an external full HD monitor.

            So for the question 1) you had already answered me.
            However, i was thinking the best resolution could be 1600×900 because of 3200/1920 is approx 1.67 and by consequence it should manifest in a general blurring of image (i don’t have any experience with some kind of high density display so i could be completely wrong).

            For the question 2) i was reading that most depend on the current driver installed on the system, but at this time i cannot be more accurate due to fact i don’t remember where i read it.
            Do you use bumblebee to switch between integrated GPU to discrete GPU? Or do you use proprietary nvidia drivers ?

            Grazie per la tua cortesia e disponibilità,
            Luca

            Reply
            1. Lorenzo Bettini Post author

              You may try 1600×900 but that might be too low…
              Concerning bumblebee, I have bumblebee but trying to switch to the more powerful GPU did not work if I remember correctly. That was not important for me because I installed bumblebee just to save power on Linux. I haven’t tried switching to the more powerful graphical adapter since then, and I did not bother fixing that (since at least, I saved power).
              ciao
              Lore

              Reply
              1. Luca

                Ciao Lorenzo,
                i can agree with you about the low resolution of 1600×900 but this should be the last shore if the 1920×1080 is (slightly or significantly?) blurred.
                So i guess it’s time to summarize; if you could give me an advice, what kind of screen would you recommend me? The fhd or qhd ? (Obviously it’s based upon your experience).
                In addition (but it’s just a curiosity) i was wondering if the choosing of fhd instead of qhd+ could impact positively on battery life duration. However, to answer this question i think it’s necessary that someone who bought the same model with fhd screen decides to share his experience.

                Thanks for your patience, I’m sure this information will be useful to many other users like me who are looking for someone who has actually tried and used this high end pc.

                Luca

  8. Oliver Coleman

    Hi Francesco,

    Did you ever get two external screens working? I’ve just tried it with Kubuntu 14.10. I found it almost works. When I plug two screens in, the desktop automatically extended to both of them, I could drag windows to them and everything works great. Unfortunately the default layout selected for the screens in the desktop isn’t what I want (it lays them all out side-by-side, I want the laptop screen at the bottom and the two external screens side-by-side at the top). I tried changing the layout in the KDE display configuration tool but once I do this and click OK or Apply, the display on the miniDP port disappears from the layout in the configuration tool and won’t come back until I disconnect and reconnect the screen via the port (and then it goes back to the default layout). If I do this several times KDE or something ends up crashing and I have to end the KDE session via the power button (I can move the cursor around on the screen(s) but nothing else).

    Cheers,
    Oliver

    Reply
  9. Carlos

    Hi,

    Does your Dell comes with Mini-Display port or Thunderbolt? I am interested to know if your Thunderbolt port work properly on Linux

    Thanks,
    Carlos

    Reply
    1. Lorenzo Bettini Post author

      It has a mini-display port and an HDMI port; I don’t know about Thunderbolt, but I don’t think so (you may want to check specs though).

      Reply
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