This guide assumes you have a freshly-installed Ubuntu 18.04 installed on your Dell G3. Following the following steps will recreate the configuration that Dell ships on Ubuntu-preinstalled G3 laptops.
WARNING: THESE STEPS ARE PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. If you lose your data, brick your device, any other damage or anything else happens (e.g. your cat eats your dog), it is YOUR PROBLEM and YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. You have to make sure to get a recovery disk before making these changes.
Dell OEM customizations
Dell does quite a few modifications to Ubuntu official 16.04 ISO. This is a non-exhaustive list of what Dell changed. Please note that there is no solution yet to make the Goodix fingerprint sensor works.
Dell customizations that can be skipped
- Bluez 5.37: Bluez 5.48 is default in Ubuntu 18.04,
- Dell e-star (
dell-e-star_0.05_all.deb): e-star logo in unity control panel,
- Dell Super key (
Superkeyboard key (the one with Windows logo) with a gschema1,
- Google Chrome (
google-chrome-stable_64.0.3282.140-1_amd64.deb): can be installed easily,
- Add Google Chrome to launcher (
oem-add-google-chrome-to-launcher_1_all.deb): add Google Chrome to Ubuntu desktop launcher with a gschema1,
- A more recent Mesa (libdrm 2.4.83-1): 2.4.91-2 is default in Ubuntu 18.04,
- Dell blacklists
psmousekernel module to remove some warning in kernel logs.
- Dell EULA (
dell-eula_1.03_all.deb): useless information,
- Dell repository: useless for this specific laptop.
In the package
config-prime-select-intel-all_0.15_all.deb, Dell ships a config file to make Ubuntu
announces itself as
Linux-Dell-Video to the ACPI BIOS.
To do the same without a Debian package, create
/etc/default/grub.d/Linux-Dell-Video.cfg and write:
Then update GRUB configuration by executing in a shell:
Better battery life
Dell uses TLP to manage power consumption and to preserve battery life.
To get the same config as the one Dell ships, install
tlp-rdw then reboot.
Dell also includes a custom TLP configuration
tlp-sensible_1.1_all.deb but it is useless with recent versions of Ubuntu.
r8168-dkms and reboot to get a fully-working ethernet card.
Dell ships Ubuntu 16.04 with a preconfigured Optimus-ready (PRIME) Nvidia driver and CUDA. It uses Nvidia 390.25 driver that is older those available in Ubuntu 18.04. The way Optimus works in Ubuntu 18.04 changed a lot and now installing a recent Nvidia driver will be sufficient to get a working setup.
You can use
ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa to have newer Nvidia drivers.
Before november 2018, the only way to get a proper PRIME support was to follow the instructions on Tim Richardson’s Prime-Ubuntu-18.04 project. This has been fixed in Ubuntu 18.10 and backported in 18.04.
Tear free screen with Nvidia PRIME
To use PRIME-sync and remove tearing, create
/etc/default/grub.d/Nvidia-DRM.cfg and write:
This will load Nvidia at boot enabling some experimental features that might create instability. I have been using this configuration so far and I had no issues with Xorg.
Make sure you are running a kernel newer than 4.17 to make Linux will announce itself compatible with native Thunderbolt to the UEFI. You can upgrade to a newer kernel using Ubuntu LTS Enablement Stack:
GNOME Settings desktop schema, a file to set defaults within gsettings database. ↩︎