Linux Support For The Broadwell Dell XPS 13 Isn't Yet In Shape

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 3 February 2015 at 12:19 PM EST. 33 Comments
While the new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon with Broadwell processor is playing fairly well under Linux, the new Dell XPS 13 laptop/ultrabook that's been of interest to many Phoronix readers still has a lot of work ahead although it's effectively usable right now.

When writing about my X1 Carbon Broadwell experiences, many Phoronix readers have expressed interest in the new Dell XPS 13. While I don't have my hands on the new XPS 13, Fedora contributor Major Hayden at Rackspace has written about his initial experience in having picked up a Dell XPS 13 9343.

The short story is that "most basic devices work just fine" under Fedora 21 with the Linux 3.18 kernel. However, the Broadcom WiFi is working better with the binary-only STA drivers from Broadcom rather than the b43 kernel driver, the touchpad and keyboard are having issues with some events being repeated, and the audio doesn't work with the Linux 3.18 kernel. The microphone, speakers, and headphone port aren't working on Linux 3.18/3.19.

Besides Major Hayden, other Linux early adopters of the new Dell XPS 13 have expressed the touchpad/keyboard being majorly messed up right now on Linux. The lack of working audio has also been reported by others with this new Dell laptop.

The full story on the initial Dell XPS 13 2015 experience can be found via Major's blog. Almost surely though in the next few weeks or months the issues should be worked out for this Dell XPS 13 and other new Broadwell laptops under Linux.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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