Recent Fixes for XPS 13 developer edition

About a month ago we stopped new sales of the XPS 13 developer edition in order to address a few issues.  A couple weSputnikScientist2eks ago we started selling the systems again.

For your reference, here are the details around the fixes:

  1. Keyboard repeat:  The unwanted keyboard repeat issue is being addressed via BIOS updates. The A05 BIOS update had some improvements however the as of yet unreleased A06 version will have the final fix in place. Keep an eye on the Dell support page at the below link to see when BIOS revision A06 is released.
  1. Suspend resume and trackpad cursor freezing:  The suspend resume issue and trackpad cursor freezing issue have been rolled up into “over the air” updates from Canonical. We previously had patches that were available through Dell Knowledgebase articles but will no longer be necessary. Going forward you only need to ensure your OS is fully updated to have these fixes in place.
  1. Out of box crashing:  The out of box experience crashing issue has been fixed through a change to the Ubuntu image put on the systems at the factory. All future systems shipped will no longer have this issue from the factory.
  1. DisplayLink driver available:  There is now a DisplayLink driver available to make the XPS 13 and M3800 developer editions compatible with our D3000 and D3100 USB 3.0 docking stations as well as the DA100 external video adapter. You can download the driver at the below link.
  1. Kernel panics when switching wireless networks: there is a bug report filed for this and Canonical and Broadcom are both working on this. Canonical released a PPA, just go to the following link and add it to your repositories and then you can get the patch after running your normal updates.
  1. Wireless channels 12 and 13:  Some customers in Europe might see an issue where they are unable to connect to wireless channels 12 and 13. If you are experiencing this issue call into Dell support to get help with this issue.

Thanks all for your patience and support!

Pau for now…


105 Responses to Recent Fixes for XPS 13 developer edition

  1. dmt says:

    Hey Barton!

    Do you know, if it’s planned to sell the Developer Edition in Austria again?

    Quite recently some configurations and the Ubuntu versions disappeared from the official webstore:


  2. Hi @dmt,

    Unfortunately given the greater than expected demand we have run out of the current version of the Developer Edition across Europe. That being said we are working on the next gen and when thats ready it will be available in Austria (and the rest of Europe) 🙂


    • Andrew McGlashan says:

      I haven’t bought a Dell for quite a while, my first was an Inspiron 7500 with a PII 500 CPU at around $AUD7,000.

      Since then, I’ve had a few others over time, but if the next XPS Developer Edition is available in AU in 15.6″ form factor, I’ll almost definitely get one. Perhaps a 13″ will be enough though.

    • franoi says:

      Hi Barton,

      Thanks for this information, I was about to buy one but see it was no more available on the dell store (europe).
      Do you approximatively know when the next gen will be available, few weeks or months ?

      Thanks !

  3. Pim van der Eijk says:

    Hi Barton, I got a new XPS13 but didn’t start using it because of all the horrible stories on the Sputnik forums (which, unfortunately, I hadn’t seen before buying the machine).

    Like many customers I bought the machine for an “out-of-the-box” experience, are you saying that with the above updates the laptop should “just work” (i.e. no crashes) for, say, 99% of customers? Or are there other changes that users should apply, beyond running Ubuntu software update?

    If the latter, is there a one single page URL that tells buyers the exact set of steps to take to upgrade their Sputnik system to a (fully) functional state, which is verified and recommended by your team?

    For example, some users state that they had to upgrade to newer Kernels, or to Ubuntu 15. Is that really necessary or should the updates you mention be enough to get Ubuntu 14 to work? I would prefer to stay with the supported version it shipped with.

    Some of the pages I’ve seen seem to suggest that some DE XPS13 ship with a Broadcom card that doesn’t work (well) with Ubuntu and causes crashes. Is that the case? If yes, can I ask ProSupport to swap the cards?



    • Hi Pim,

      I would recommend calling prosupport, I they can help you out with a few things including the broadcom card. 🙂 If for some reason you arent getting the help you need, ping me again.


  4. bensr says:

    Hi Barton,
    Do you know if the BIOS fix that is planned for A06 regarding the keyboard issue will also be applied to the Latitude (e7440, e7450, e6540, e5440 etc.) and Precision series?

  5. Zim says:

    I guess I ordered one before the latest fixes because mine did crash while attempting to get through the opening configuration steps.

    I did get past that and I ran all of the updates but what strikes me about this machine is how sluggish it is. Opening firefox reminds me of opening an application on a PowerMac 15 years ago. Also, I had an error upon opening the lid from suspend. So thus far, for a brand new install, this isn’t going too well.

    On the plus side, the hardware looks really nice with high quality materials and a solid feel. Style is subjective but I prefer it to my MacBook Pro 13.

    I’ll try out the support and see if they can get things patched up properly and get this thing running as it should be.

  6. Jason St. says:

    Hi Barton!

    Your work is very appreciated. Unfortunately, some of us live in countries where this model was discontinued with no further explanations. And all that sales representatives have to offer us are windows based models (or wait X months just in case somebody decides to put this product back…). But being able to get a high-end, windows tax free machine, at this pricing, was the very reason of my interest in Dell!

    So my new laptop is going to be, again, a MacBook pro.

    Best regards and thanks for your work at the Sputnik team.

  7. arandomeur says:

    Thanks Barton for an excellent follow-up and support.
    Just curious, when you say dell has run out of DE versions of the XPS13 in Europe, isn’t it technically the same rig as the windows version with a different image installed on it?
    Does it have to do more with contractual technicalities rather than feasibility of installing ubuntu images on more rigs?

  8. Geny Dasilva says:

    I was once told that Dell produced laptops “on demand” when somebody placed an order. And that makes me wonder why this XPS 13 Developer Edition is now discontinued in some countries when the regular windows model is still available. Too bad Dell doesn’t want to sell its products…

  9. Gabor K says:

    The funny thing is that all Dell stuff seems to be sent directly from the factory in China to the customer, regardless of the customers’ location. Which makes it even stranger that a configuration is available in one country and not in others…

  10. Sascha R. says:

    Hi Barton,

    thanks for those frequent updates! Your blog is a great source of information and honestly the only reason why I am not regretting my purchase of the XPS 13 (regarding software issues, the hardware is awesome)!

    After reading this update I immediately called ProSupport in Germany to talk about the Channel 12/13 issue, which I am experiencing as well.

    Sadly they could not help me out. The support guy was really nice and will send me a list of bugfixes that they know of, but really I don’t expect any new information other than what you have posted here.

    So my question is: What should I expect when calling ProSupport about the wireless channels 12/13 issue?

    Thanks for your ongoing work!

  11. Omer Akram says:

    Hi! I have installed Ubuntu 14.04.3 15.04 and the under development 15.10 and I see a blank screen issue on all versions. i.e. my screen goes off every now and then, while the computer is working fine the screen says blank so I have to restart the laptop.

    I am using the QHD+ version.

    • Keith Waller says:

      Hi Omer,

      I have the same issues as you, have you had any success?

      I’m really regretting having bought this laptop. I foolishly thought that as Dell sold an Ubuntu version of it I’d have no issues. I have no problem with modifying ubuntu, upgrading kernels etc but I’ve tried everything suggested by others with similar issues to no avail. Sadly I bought the laptop with windows.

      Can anyone help me fix this unusable machine??

  12. Sam says:

    Hi Barton! Are you still working on the palm detection issue(s)? I ask because it doesn’t appear in the list and on 15.04 it seems to be the only remaining issue (with A05 even).

    Thank you for your continuous effort in making the XPS 13 better! Even with this issue it is a great Ubuntu experience!

    To whom it may concern: I received mine at the end of August and after the initial hurdles with the factory install of 14.04, I opted for a fresh (USB) install of 15.04 (no kernel upgrade). This works near perfect.

  13. trance101 says:

    Hi Barton,

    I just got my new xps 13 DE and on initial setup it crashed (I’m guessing it should have already had the fixes mentioned above) while I was choosing the timezone. I just have an oem user now and a black desktop background. How can I do a factory reset or recover from this state.


    • smhg says:

      I received mine a week ago. I went through the same issues. The oem user’s password is oem: this allows you to create your own user, delete the oem user and so on.
      But in the end I decided to do a fresh USB install of 15.04 and since then the experience has been great. Just thing to remember: after the 15.04 install, you won’t have wifi drivers. The easiest way to install them is with a phone (connected through USB or bluetooth, with tethering – works almost automatically). Once connected, type Additional Drivers in the Dash and just activate them all.

  14. Daniel AJ says:

    What about the trackpad’s failure of palm detection? Unless I use a mouse and disable the trackpad, the system is unusable, because the cursor keeps jumping around, random text is marked and replaced, etc.

    That is even worse than the repeat key issue.

    Here’s hoping for good news!
    Daniel AJ

  15. Calle says:

    +1 on fixing palm detection. Having the mouse pointer jump around all the time when you are trying to code is not a pleasant experience.

    Paying nearly $2000 for a laptop with all these quality issues has, to put it mildly, been a bit disappointing compared to previous Dell machines I have owned.

  16. Richard says:

    I too was expecting an out of the box working configuration. Not even close. Palm detection is a big issue and not addressed at all. It’s a shame for an otherwise fine laptop. But my next one won’t be a Dell anymore.

  17. unBrice says:

    Hi Barton!

    Thanks for your great work. I can see the progress since A02; having bought a non-DE. My laptop is now working flawlessly (using libinput so as not to have problem with the touchpad) and I am recommending it to my friends.


  18. Jonathan says:

    Hi Barton,

    Just wondering if you are aware of the adaptive brightness issue on FHD 9343 models? I guess I was really hoping it might be something in the A06 update?

    Some detail here:

  19. Vincent says:

    +1 for the annoying adaptive brightness issue.

  20. vincentzhezhang says:

    +1 for address the annoying adaptive brightness issue

  21. Phil Resch says:

    How soon can we expect the next gen of xps 13 developer edition?

    Meaning, it’s seems more like a matter of weeks or it’s more like a matter of months?

  22. Unfortunately I bought the windows version of the xps 13 as i got impatitient. I cant find a Factory Ubuntu ISO for the xps 13 and am not sure if I can install the default version of Ubuntu without problems. Is dell planing to release the ISO ?

    • Xu Wang says:

      I am using XPS 13 with just a fresh install of 15.04 (not factory install). It is working very well, except for some trackpad issues that I hope will be fixed with A06.

  23. jchatard says:

    Hi Barton, any idea on the release date of Bios A06? I’m dying to have keyboard fix 🙂

  24. peterino says:

    Two comments:

    1.) XPS 13 Developer Edition notebooks are still available in Europe, though not via the DELL website but at retailer websites (see, for example).

    2.) I’m very happy with my XPS 13 Developer Edition (Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS preinstalled, purchased Aug/Sept 2015), I only have some minor issues. The main one is the TouchPad: It should be as easy to use as on a MacBook (sorry for the comparison!).

    i.) Have the whole TouchPad area available for moving around and clicking
    ii.) Single-finger click anywhere on the TouchPad = left mouse button pressed
    iii.) Double-finger click anywhere on the TouchPad = right mouse button pressed

    Has this been suggested before, e.g. on Launchpad? I don’t see anything like that on

  25. flo0id says:

    @peterino – They are, but they are not really clearly labeled and much more expensive. F.e. one german says it has (Ubuntu) Linux 9.10 on it … talked to their support and told them, this has to be a mistake …

    • peterino says:

      Sorry, that’s not true. (I know you’re a Dell employee, maybe you’re supposed to say so…)

      I’m using an XPS 13 model 9343, exactly the one I ordered. The resellers order it directly from Dell. I have no chat support, and no additional goodies (adapter), as ordered in fact. The same as I get when ordering from the Dell website, but at an unbeatable price.

      • flo0id says:

        Lol,wtf? You seem to know more than me. If I were a Dell employee, what reason would I have for saying that? Dell gets money either way. I was just talking about personal experience, if you know some super cheap reseller, might as well name it.

      • peterino says:

        Sorry, @flo0id, I figured my assumption was wrong but I couldn’t edit the comment any more. Awesome WordPress :-/

      • peterino says:

        Go to and search for your preferred model. Choose your preferred reseller. Order. Done. (… and shake your head when your Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition running Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS arrives with a Quick Start Guide for Windows 8.1 *LOL* That’s really Dell’s fault.)

      • flo0id says:

        Well, I did that again, just to be sure. The model I would have ordered from Dell would have been below 1000 €. No reseller has that, they are at least 1200 or so. Maybe it is different for higher end models with touch screen, but I don’t care about those.

  26. Justin says:

    I’ve been trying to get the DA100 – DisplayLink driver to work on 15.04 and kernel 3.19 but I keep getting a blank screen on my monitor. I’m curious if anyone else has had this issue.

  27. Tommy Matala says:

    Will A06 fix keyboard repeat issues for external keyboards as well?

  28. jbtrystram says:

    Thanks for the work !! Is there any progress made with the broadcom wireless card ?? I can’t see a wifi network on channel 12 or 13..

  29. chris says:

    I can’t wait for A06 to fix the annoying keyboard repeat

  30. jchatard says:

    Hi Barton,

    It would be great if you could give us a feedback about the status of A06 bios.

    I understand that fixing such an issue might be a challenge and that it could take time. But it seems to me that many people are waiting for this fix, and would be happy to get some news about it.


  31. says:

    I really would like to have the new Bios version, too. This touchpad really drives me nuts under linux….

  32. pdelanauze says:

    He did confirm this was in fact a typo , he’s still on A05

  33. jchatard says:

    In the mean time, people using Gnome based desktop like Ubuntu, could try this :

    I have pretty good results, though not perfect, but way better.


  34. Angelo says:

    Apparently new laptops come with the A06 preinstalled:

    How comes that it is not available on the Dell support site?

    As client I am a bit disappointed by the fact that a reputable company like Dell puts on the market a product with so many problems and that, months after the marketing, still there are so many, important, issues open.

    As engineer I sympathize with the development team, keep on and thanks for your work.

  35. yusukesuzuki says:

    Do you have a plan to ship A06 BIOS?
    I hope the new BIOS will fix the key repeating issue…

  36. Bert says:

    Hi BG,
    How can I sign up to beta test A06? I’m willing and able. Free labor! 🙂

  37. Florian says:

    Hi Barton,
    I was wondering and also want to ask the others here: how sure can I be that Bios A06 will fix the keyboard repeat issue? Most of the problems I had with the laptop went away when I manually upgraded to Kernel version 4.0.9 but occasionally I still get repeated characters, usually it’s the space bar. I’m starting to worry that it’s actually my keyboard that is broken but I don’t want to send my laptop in for support since I need it several times a week.

  38. Edwin says:

    Hi Barton!

    Thank you very much for your amazing job! If you have time, I would like to ask you one question. I’m experiencing fan noise when the laptop is turned on and charging plugged in (every time no matter what I’m doing). Surfing on the web, it seems that it’s a quite common problem. Is BIOS A06 going to fix this as well?

    Thanks for your time!

  39. Andrea says:

    Bios A07 has been released! Wooop wooop!

  40. chris says:

    A07 YEAH

  41. A07 BIOS works very very fine, thank you so much.

    • Daniel AJ says:

      Does the new BIOS finally fix the touchpad palm detection?

      • Daniel AJ says:

        To answer my own question: The palm detection has NOT been fixed. I am disappointed. The jumping around of the cursor definitely limits where and how I can use the laptop. They multiple key stroke issue has been greatly reduced, although not entirely fixed.

        I would like to know if there is hope for a fix of the palm detection problem or if I should shop around for a good machine elsewhere.

  42. Andrea says:


    after almost a month of usage with BIOS A07 I can confirm the double key issue is NOT entirely fixed, is there any plan from Dell to make this laptop decent under linux? Unfortunately I use the keyboard quite a lot and that issue is very annoying….

    • pdelanauze says:

      Same here , and it’s not only linux related , i’m actually running OSX on this machine and i still get key repeats, a bit less than with A05 , but still very much present.

  43. no DELL no problem says:

    New BIOS didn’t help, but after I lost my microphone and no audio via HDMI…

  44. […] towards a Dell XPS 13 or 15 as I have heard nothing but good reports. Dell's XPS laptops have had plenty of issues too. The Broadwell-based XPS 13 (model 9343) for example has a very annoying dynamic backlight control […]

  45. After upgrading to the A07 BIOS, I have *more* problems with my keyboard than I did before. With A05, I’d only very rarely experience the double-keypress effect, but with A07, keypresses sometimes seem to not register, such that a chracter or two gets lost. Particularly when I type fast.

    • darkbasic says:

      Why don’t you simply use libinput and forget about keyboard probloems?

      • I do use libinput. I still have keypresses that apparently don’t registr. It’s quite annoying, and started with A07.

        Do you know some libinput configuration trick that solves the problem? (otherwise, I suppose I should downgrade back to A05).

    • skongshoj says:

      I obviously haven’t read the BIOS code, but it sort of seems like whatever is trying to compensate for the old double-keypress problem is dropping keystrokes when I’m typing very fast. In words in which some charcter occurs two times with 0-1 intervening characters betwen the occurences are the most common culprit.

      This has made many casual games unplayable, and my text editor (vim) has become incredibly annoying to work with.

      I only very rarely experienced double keypresses with A05, but at least for me, the final “fix” in A07 is considerably worse than the problem was.

      • Andrea says:

        I have exactly the same and especially when coding it’s very very annoying. Funny that it was meant to be a developer edition!

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