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  #1  
Old 7th December 2015, 10:05 PM
lighthouse Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
Question Dell Precision 5510 and F23+

Going to buy Dell Precision 5510 in January 2016 which includes:

Intel Core i7-6820HQ Processor (Quad Core 2.70GHz - 3.60GHz, 8MB Cache, 45W TDP)
Nvidia Quadro M1000M 2GB GDDR5 + Intel HD Graphics 530
15.6" UltraSharp FHD IPS 1920x1080 Display
32GB (2x16G) 2133MHz DDR4 Memory Non ECC
Samsung 950 Pro M.2 2280 512GB SSD with PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (released in October 2015)

Will Fedora 23 or 24 be able to run on that beast?
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  #2  
Old 7th December 2015, 11:35 PM
smr54 Online
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linuxchrome
Re: Dell Precision 5510 and F23+

There might be an issue with the wireless card. Dell uses different cards, and some of them use proprietary firmware. However, it's usually fairly easy to get it working.
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  #3  
Old 29th December 2015, 08:50 AM
dypang Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
Re: Dell Precision 5510 and F23+

Don't by it, at least for now. I tried F23, Ubuntu 15.10, CentOS 7.2, none of these worked. Ubuntu 12.04.5, surprisingly, can be installed, but the the funs are constantly running with this version of Ubuntu

Currently, I don't see a solution
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  #4  
Old 29th December 2015, 09:39 AM
nsnbm Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: Dell Precision 5510 and F23+

A common piece of advice I hear in relation to buying is to try and run a live-cd/dvd/usb on the machine and see how well that works.
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  #5  
Old 10th January 2016, 06:27 PM
NoxiousWeed Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
Re: Dell Precision 5510 and F23+

I was able to get it to work with F23 with some tweaks and now it's a pretty awesome machine.

Disable all of the secure boot nonsense in the bios, but keep UEFI. The graphics had issues in legacy boot.

The major problem with this, and all gen6 machines, is that skylake is beta in kernel 4.2.x and you need at least 4.3.x for things to go well.

When booting the live CD, add "rd.driver.blacklist=nouveau i915.preliminary_hw_support=1" to the kernel boot options beforehand at the grub screen. The gnome desktop should then load with no problems.

Later on, once the system is installed, add those options to /etc/sysconfig/grub on the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX row, and then run "grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/efi/EFI/fedora/grub.cfg" to make it stick after a reboot.

I jumped straight to 4.4.x via rawhide: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/RawhideKernelNodebug and so far the machine is pretty solid. I was getting random lockups on 4.2, though, even with preliminary_hw_support enabled.

Note: the Fedora efi shim was not picked up by the bios after the installation, and the first reboot claims to find no os. It was easy enough to locate the shim.efi file in the efi boot finder tool in the bios, though. It's like they knew it would mess this up!

If you want to use the Nvidia chip, you'll need bumblebee which worked pretty well for me when I tried it. Since this is my work machine, I couldn't care less about high fps 3d and ended up removing it as one less thing to worry about.

The only thing that's broken is the keyboard layout - no independent home/end/pgup/pgdn! What on earth was Dell thinking!?

If this is confusing, I can try to write up something more step-by-step.

Cheers
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  #6  
Old 11th January 2016, 01:59 AM
dypang Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
Re: Dell Precision 5510 and F23+

Hi NoxiousWeed,

Thank you very much for your information! It is very encouraging. Please do provide step-by-step instructions, because, for example, I am not sure what do you mean by "Disable all of the secure boot nonsense in the bios, but keep UEFI". UEFI is of rather new stuff for me

thanks again!
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  #7  
Old 11th January 2016, 03:30 AM
stevea
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linuxcroschrome
Re: Dell Precision 5510 and F23+

Pretty sweet laptop - I was looking at that one but the config I'd like is ~$2400 w/ discounts.
The KB anomaly is unfortunate has been discussed on the laptop forums.

I think I'd wait the for 7510 to have thunderbolt (supposedly this month) then get the xeon with ecc. I find it pretty shocking that ecc dram isn't the default for dram in this era.

Also note the 3510 is available with Linux (Ubuntu 12.04 IIRC) and for corporate accounts they intend to make configs to support RHEL.
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  #8  
Old 13th January 2016, 12:44 AM
lighthouse Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
Question Re: Dell Precision 5510 and F23+

@NoxiousWeed - Thank You for the review. I was afraid Skylake, Thunderbolt, new Nvidia have not got drivers for Linux yet. You partially confirmed that. Could You please post the full specs of your Dell Precision laptop and in which country have You bought it? Have You tried to insert Samsung 950 Pro M.2 2280 NVMe or extra memory? Step-by-step instructions for installing F23, Nvidia drivers and most commonly used apps would be great.

Quote:
The only thing that's broken is the keyboard layout - no independent home/end/pgup/pgdn! What on earth was Dell thinking!?
Agree, probably they copied Mac Book Pro keyboard - it also does not have Home, PgUp, PgDown and End buttons. I still can get used to the absence of them. I hope Del button is there.

@stevea -
Quote:
I think I'd wait the for 7510 to have thunderbolt (supposedly this month) then get the xeon with ecc.
I also want to wait for Thunderbolt. Do You know if 5510 will have it? Xeon processor sounds a bit overpriced compared to i7-6820HQ. The only advantage it allows ECC memory - is it worth it? Could there be problems using ECC on Linux due to lack of drivers and what memory manufacturer would You recommend - Samsung, Crucial, Corsair, Hynix?
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  #9  
Old 13th January 2016, 01:13 AM
dd_wizard Online
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linuxfedorafirefox
Re: Dell Precision 5510 and F23+

No problems with ECC on linux. Servers almost always use it, and most servers run linux.

dd_wizard
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  #10  
Old 14th January 2016, 04:03 AM
stevea
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linuxcroschrome
Re: Dell Precision 5510 and F23+

Quote:
Originally Posted by lighthouse View Post
@stevea - I also want to wait for Thunderbolt. Do You know if 5510 will have it?
The New Precision 5510 already has it, it's coming this month for the 7510.

Quote:
Xeon processor sounds a bit overpriced compared to i7-6820HQ. The only advantage it allows ECC memory - is it worth it?
Yes. On every system I currently have a dram error could cause something horrific like a corrupted and unrecoverable backup. Various studies suggest you'll get perhaps 0.33 errors per year of system operation. That's ugly.


Quote:
Could there be problems using ECC on Linux due to lack of drivers and what memory manufacturer would You recommend - Samsung, Crucial, Corsair, Hynix?
NO! Server systems running Linux have ECC as a standard feature. Has nothing to do with 'driver' it's part of machine check handling. [skylake support is also not a 'driver' issue, it's support for a new core features.
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  #11  
Old 19th January 2016, 02:25 AM
NoxiousWeed Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
Re: Dell Precision 5510 and F23+

Sorry everyone for the delay.

Dell Precision 5510 Specs, bought in the US
  • i7-6820HQ
  • 15.6 UHD IGZO Touch Wide display
  • NVMe PCIe 512 GB SSD
  • 16GB RAM
  • NVidia Quadro M1000M/Optimus/Intel HD 530
  • Intel WiFI 8260 802.11ac
  • Yes this laptop has thunderbolt via Type-C

Installation Instructions

Before hand: update the BIOS from dell's site to the latest version (*.15, I think) It fixes many issues.

Create a bootable USB from the Fedora 23 iso -> https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US...USB_Media.html

Entering the BIOS: press 'F12' when you see the big Dell circle logo until a little yellow 'Preparing one-time boot menu' appears in the upper right corner, and then choose "BIOS Setup" from the ensuing boot menu

BIOS settings

This bios is strange. Always hit 'Apply' when you change something before you jump to another section or you may find certain options frustratingly "grayed out" when they shouldn't be.

Code:
General -> Boot sequence -> Boot List Option -> [Selected] UEFI
Disable ROM booting for faster startup

Code:
General -> Advanced Boot Options -> [Unchecked] Enable Legacy Option ROMS
General -> Advanced Boot Options -> [Unchecked] Enable UEFI Network Stack
I have the PCIe drive, so the sata controller is unused

Code:
System Configuration -> SATA Operation -> [Disabled] if you have NVMe, [AHCI] if you have a normal hard drive

System Configuration -> Drives -> [ALL Options Checked]
System Configuration -> SMART Reporting -> [ALL Options Checked]
System Configuration -> USB/Thunderbolt... -> [ALL Options Checked except 'Enable Thunderbolt Boot [...]' and 'Enable Thunderbolt [...] PRe-boot'
System Configuration -> USB/Thunderbolt... -> Security Level - No Security

Secure Boot -> Secure Boot Enabled -> Disabled
Changing other BIOS options is up to you - these were the only "necessary" ones for me.

Save and exit the BIOS, put in the Fedora USB stick and press F12 again when you see the Dell circle logo for the boot menu. This time, there will be an new option to boot the USB stick via UEFI. It will be listed as something like "UEFI: Generic Flash Disk... Partition 1" Highlight that and hit enter.

The grub menu should then appear after a few seconds. Hit the up arrow until you've selected 'Start Fedora Live' and then hit 'e' to edit the grub option

Find the line ending with 'rhgb' and add "rd.driver.blacklist=nouveau i915.preliminary_hw_support=1" at the end of it and then hit CTRL-X to boot.

Fedora live/Gnome Desktop should show normally (no fallback mode, yay!) and you can go ahead with the installation.

When you reboot afterwards, you will probably see the message that there is no OS. Boot into the BIOS again and then:

Code:
General -> Boot Sequence -> Add Boot Option -> 

Boot Option Name: Fedora
File Name: /boot/efi/EFI/fedora/shim.efi 

Hit OK
Click the up-down arrows until "Fedora" is the first boot option, apply those changes and reboot.

You should now have a happy linux laptop.

Note: you will need to add "rd.driver.blacklist=nouveau i915.preliminary_hw_support=1" to the end of the kernel options line when booting each time you boot until you run the updates and get at least kernel 4.3 installed.

You can also just add those options to /etc/sysconfig/grub on the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX row, and then run

Code:
grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/efi/EFI/fedora/grub.cfg
That will make the options a permanent part of the grub boot.

Fedora 23's starting kernel 4.2.* is unstable on this machine - it randomly locks up.
I'm using raw-hide kernel 4.4.0-1 and the laptop is fully functional as far as I can tell, including the touch screen. Kernel 4.3 should be perfect as well. It's the first kernel version with "production" SkyLake support.

NVIDIA: I consider Optimus to be more trouble than it's worth, so I only use Intel HD. I did try bumblebee for a bit and it worked perfectly fine - there were no tricks. I just followed the install guide: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Bumblebee

Thunderbolt works fine, the touchpad works great, wireless controller has no problems.

Programs: firefox, lots of dev stuff like IntelliJ and Slack. VirtualBox. No laptop specific hacks needed, just installed as normal.

Quote:
I hope Del button is there.
The Delete and Insert buttons are both there, thankfully.
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  #12  
Old 20th January 2016, 09:25 AM
stevea
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linuxchrome
Re: Dell Precision 5510 and F23+

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoxiousWeed View Post
Sorry everyone for the delay.

Dell Precision 5510 Specs, bought in the US
  • i7-6820HQ
  • 15.6 UHD IGZO Touch Wide display
  • NVMe PCIe 512 GB SSD
  • 16GB RAM
  • NVidia Quadro M1000M/Optimus/Intel HD 530
  • Intel WiFI 8260 802.11ac
  • Yes this laptop has thunderbolt via Type-C

Installation Instructions

Before hand: update the BIOS from dell's site to the latest version (*.15, I think) It fixes many issues.
A - very sweet system you have there.

B - note to EVERYONE - Intel has some Skylake problems that only occur rarely under complex load condition. You NEED to update your BIOS to handle this.
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/...lex-workloads/

My questions -

How do yo like the 4k screen ? - both hardware equality & Fedora use of.

What does the M.2 drive do for your boot times ?
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  #13  
Old 20th January 2016, 10:41 PM
NoxiousWeed Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
Re: Dell Precision 5510 and F23+

Quote:
How do yo like the 4k screen ? - both hardware equality & Fedora use of.

What does the M.2 drive do for your boot times ?
The screen is pretty sweet.
  • I don't notice a glare problem, despite the shiny surface
  • Colors are nice and depth seems decent. I'm an engineer, though, so my eye for such things is no doubt lacking
  • Gnome 3 and most actively maintained software apps handle the HiDPI situation pretty well. The standard issues with legacy apps are still there, though: misaligned font scaling, etc.

I encrypt my drive due to company policy, so no matter what I do there is a giant pause during the boot process for me to type in a password.

Overall, the drive is pretty spectacular with load times. As far as I can tell, I don't seem to have to wait for anything on this machine. I've not done a benchmark though, so I'm all full of conjecture on this matter.

Come to think of it, there is ONE thing that is annoying, but I think that it's a Gnome bug rather than an issue with this laptop: attaching an external monitor that is not HiDPI results in an overly scaled desktop on that screen. Fedora 22 seemed to handle this better, so something regressed. I haven't had time to track it down and submit a bug, though.
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  #14  
Old 21st January 2016, 12:41 AM
lighthouse Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
Re: Dell Precision 5510 and F23+

Dear NoxiousWeed,

Thank You for the information provided! Few quick questions please:

Did You order a laptop without Bluetooth or did You disable it in BIOS?

Quote:
Yes this laptop has thunderbolt via Type-C
I just read somewhere that usb Type-C port has speed 20 Gbps/sec while Thunderbolt 3 port has speed 40 Gbps/sec and that they are compatible (have the same port). More details about the difference here (I'm not good at this so may be mistaken). Which one do You have?

Also, did You buy 950 PRO SSD?

I know that this laptop contains external NVidia Quadro M1000M and Intel HD 530 video card, but have not heard anything about Optimus. I would use NVidia Quadro M1000M in Windows installed in parallel to Fedora. So You did not follow the Nvidia guide - probably Quadro is not yet supported.

I also use Firefox, IntelliJ, Slack and VirtualBox Going to have your specs but with more memory - minimum 32Gb because working on Spark, Machine Learning algorithms which consume resources when You run the models and heavy computations.
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  #15  
Old 22nd January 2016, 07:26 AM
dypang Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
Re: Dell Precision 5510 and F23+

Thank you very much for detailed instructions! I have one more question in here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoxiousWeed View Post

NVIDIA: I consider Optimus to be more trouble than it's worth, so I only use Intel HD. I did try bumblebee for a bit and it worked perfectly fine - there were no tricks. I just followed the install guide: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Bumblebee
How to use Intel HD only? Shell we do some settings in BIOS? Does this affect Windows? I need to have both Windows and Linux in my laptop.

Thanks again!
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