[3.2] HCL report for Inspiron 15-5578 (AKA 15z Touch)

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Vít Šesták

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May 20, 2017, 2:48:07 PM5/20/17
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Hello,
I am sending the HCL report.

I am not sure what model number to use, because the commonly used 15-5578 refers to various configuration. But when I use TN-5578-N2-711S, it seems to refer to very specific piece of hardware (with different CPUs, HDDs/SSDs etc.), the number may also include they key labels (Czech and Slovak in this case), which is too specific for HCL. This one has 16GiB RAM, 512GiB SSD and i7-7500U CPU.

The hardware is quite a new for Qubes 3.2. For this reason, I had to use a newer kernel. With the original one, I had issues with suspend (always froze) and GPU support. With the new one (probably the same you can install from unstable), it is much better. See https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/qubes-users/5578|sort:relevance/qubes-users/v6_B7FHnNUE/NR-yv6OHBQAJ for more details. I hope this will require no tuning with Qubes 4.0.

With the new kernel, it still sometimes hangs on restore, but not always.

Despite the laptop has both USB2 and USB3 ports, it contains just a single USB controller that also handles touchscreen, bluetooth and camera.

A similar model (5578 but with rather lower configuration) has TPM in the spec, [1] so this one might also have one. I believe I have seen some TPM-related config in BIOS setup. But Qubes does not detect the TPM, not sure why.

Wi-Fi requires putting "iwlmvm iwlwifi" to /rw/config/suspend-module-blacklist. Without this, you WiFi stops working after suspend/resume.

HDMI sound just does not work. I haven't elaborated on it (it is rather nice to have for me), but it works with Fedora 25 out of box, so there is a hope it will work well with Qubes 4.

Jack works with 4-pin headset with microphone. I am currently not sure if the button(s) on the headset do work. Well, there is a slight noise that is perceivable when there is no sound output.

Touchscreen does not work, but this is a general issue with Qubes. When implemented to qubes-input-proxy, it should work well.

I am unsure if there are some sensors like accelerometer, ambient light sensor etc. If thy are there, they don't work with Qubes out of box. This also means that tent mode does not rotate the screen automatically. However, when I switch it to tablet mode (i.e., rotate the screen by 360 degrees), it turns keyboard and touchpad off automatically.

There are few features I haven't tested: Bluetooth, Camera, card reader.

Few Qubes-unrelated notes:

* It does not have numpad, even the Fn does not allow pressing numbers on numpad. You have to rely on number row (or external keyboard).
* When running without X11, the PC speaker is very loud. The first time I header it, I got frightened a bit.

My reasons for the model: Good specs (16GiB RAM, reasonably large SSD, good CPU), good size (15"-17.3") and looks good for Qubes (no dedicated GPU, VT-d support).


Regards,
Vít Šesták 'v6ak'

[1] https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/d/Dell-Inspiron-15-5578-Signature-Edition-2-in-1-PC/93Q8Z5QB65FB
Qubes-HCL-Dell_Inc_-Inspiron_15_5578-20170520-194407.yml

Reg Tiangha

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May 20, 2017, 3:00:52 PM5/20/17
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On 05/20/2017 12:48 PM, Vít Šesták wrote:
> Hello,
> I am sending the HCL report.
>
> I am not sure what model number to use, because the commonly used 15-5578 refers to various configuration. But when I use TN-5578-N2-711S, it seems to refer to very specific piece of hardware (with different CPUs, HDDs/SSDs etc.), the number may also include they key labels (Czech and Slovak in this case), which is too specific for HCL. This one has 16GiB RAM, 512GiB SSD and i7-7500U CPU.
>
> The hardware is quite a new for Qubes 3.2. For this reason, I had to use a newer kernel. With the original one, I had issues with suspend (always froze) and GPU support. With the new one (probably the same you can install from unstable), it is much better. See https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/qubes-users/5578|sort:relevance/qubes-users/v6_B7FHnNUE/NR-yv6OHBQAJ for more details. I hope this will require no tuning with Qubes 4.0.


There's a 4.9.28 kernel in dom0 current-testing now, perhaps that might
give you better hardware support?

https://ftp.qubes-os.org/repo/yum/r3.2/current-testing/dom0/fc23/rpm/kernel-4.9.28-16.pvops.qubes.x86_64.rpm

If you can give me the output of sensors-detect and lspci in dom0, I can
double check to see if there are drivers for that hardware in the 4.9
tree and then see if they're enabled in the 4.9 kernel .config. The 4.9
kernel config when it comes to hardware support is mostly just a
forward-ported 4.4 kernel config with a few additional tweaks for
security (mainly taken from the Kernel Self Protection Project's
recommended settings).

https://kernsec.org/wiki/index.php/Kernel_Self_Protection_Project

And I'd also be interested in general feedback for the 4.9 kernel; one
of the changes I made was to remove the Intel ME driver from it. The
latest machine I have access to is a Sandy Bridge machine, and while I
have no issues, I am wondering if Haswell and newer is more tightly
bound to the Intel ME to the point where those machines actually need
the driver enabled to work correctly. I don't think that's the case, but
a sanity check would be useful.


Vít Šesták

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May 20, 2017, 3:51:12 PM5/20/17
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> There's a 4.9.28 kernel in dom0 current-testing now, perhaps that might
> give you better hardware support?

Ah, something new! Thanks for noting. I'll try it and let you know.

> If you can give me the output of sensors-detect and lspci in dom0

Well, here you are: https://gist.github.com/v6ak/7b26ea38f62adb7d644248bd93360bf7

If you want the output for 4.9 kernel, I have to reboot first.

> And I'd also be interested in general feedback for the 4.9 kernel

OK, but you'll probably have to wait a bit.

> latest machine I have access to is a Sandy Bridge machine

Sounds like my previous 5y old laptop. This one was BTW perfectly supported by Qubes (wrt. HW limitations, mostly missing VT-d), even without using a newer kernel.

> I am wondering if Haswell and newer is more tightly
> bound to the Intel ME to the point where those machines actually need
> the driver enabled to work correctly. I don't think that's the case, but
> a sanity check would be useful.

It it just about testing if everything works well, or should I try to look at something specific?

Regards,
Vít Šesták 'v6ak'

Reg Tiangha

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May 20, 2017, 3:55:54 PM5/20/17
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On 05/20/2017 01:51 PM, Vít Šesták wrote:
>> I am wondering if Haswell and newer is more tightly
>> bound to the Intel ME to the point where those machines actually need
>> the driver enabled to work correctly. I don't think that's the case, but
>> a sanity check would be useful.
> It it just about testing if everything works well, or should I try to look at something specific?
>
> Regards,
> Vít Šesták 'v6ak'

Mostly right now, I'm concerned about regressions in hardware support;
the hardware I have access to test on is limited (Sandy Bridge,
Westmere, and a Core 2 Quad Q6600) so while things work fine for me
(I've actually moved on to 4.11 in dom0 now since the Hardened Kernel
Community Project is working hard to port grsecurity features to that
tree and have made patches available), I don't know if this kernel will
work fine for others as is.

In regards to the ME, in addition to Intel hardware support working
properly, I suppose I'm curious if the machine will run longer than 30
minutes without the ME driver (although maybe that's just a Windows
thing; I don't know).


Vít Šesták

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May 21, 2017, 6:15:02 AM5/21/17
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So far:

* I haven't encountered any suspend issue after several repeated quick suspend/resume cycles. But it is too early to say that it is definitely better now.
* Maybe the suspend takes subjectively a bit more time (not 100% sure), but I don't care much.
* I have installed it in both dom0 and AppVMs. However, Wi-Fi still does not work well after suspend/resume cycle without the blacklist file.
* HDMI sound works well if I configure it manually in pavucontrol. Well, the cause why it did not work before might be outside of my laptop (HDMI cables). It seems that moving them cause HDMI to work better/worse or not to work at all.
* The jack noise is mostly the same and it is still independent on the volume configured in Qubes. It is still perceivable with silence or with low volume sound output and mostly unnoticeable (=too silent) with normal volume output. (For obvious reason, the potentiometer on headset affects the level of the noise.) However, it now continues even after turning volume off (AFAIR it used to disappear when sound was turned off).
* Others look the same.

Regards,
Vít Šesták 'v6ak'

Reg Tiangha

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May 21, 2017, 10:25:12 AM5/21/17
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On 05/20/2017 12:48 PM, Vít Šesták wrote:
> Few Qubes-unrelated notes:
>
> * It does not have numpad, even the Fn does not allow pressing numbers on numpad. You have to rely on number row (or external keyboard).

Question: Does this work on stock Fedora 25? I'm looking at the Qubes
kernel config and there are some numpad related drivers that are
disabled by default.

If it does work on Fedora 25 and you have the capability to jump back to
it, a list of running modules via lsmod might be useful. Otherwise, if
it does work, I could try to track down a copy of the stock FC25 kernel
config and see where the differences might be. Else, the difference
would lie somewhere in userland.


Vít Šesták

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May 21, 2017, 12:41:19 PM5/21/17
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It does not work with stock Fedora 25. When looking by xev, there are no key events when pressing, say, Fn+U (which is usually number "4"). And the keys are not even labeled with numbers. So, I assume the keyboard firmware does not support it. Since Fn key on almost all laptops (AFAIK except MacBooks) is handled by firmware and not sent to OS, Qubes probably does not have any chance to handle it. So I just noted it under Qubes-unrelated notes, because it was quite surprising for me.

Regards,
Vít Šesták 'v6ak'

Vít Šesták

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May 31, 2017, 2:31:26 PM5/31/17
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So far:

* I've observed just one freeze on resume. It looks better than before. At the time, I plugged HDMI connector just before the resume, but it might be unrelated.
* I've observed one sudden reboot, but I am not sure if this can be related to software.
* Other than this, it's OK.

Vít Šesták

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May 31, 2017, 2:42:43 PM5/31/17
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Forgot to add:

When will this appear on https://www.qubes-os.org/hcl/ ?

Vít Šesták

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Dec 17, 2017, 12:57:06 PM12/17/17
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Even though the MoBo officially supports up to 16 GiB of RAM, I've tried 32 GiB of RAM without any apparent issues.

There was one 16 GiB module and one free slot, so I have bought exactly the same model (Hynix HMA82GS6AFR8N-UH) and it just works. There is official (dis)assembly guide. The hardest part of the installation was disconnecting the battery from MoBo, because the connector is very stiff.

Regards,
Vít Šesták 'v6ak'

Vít Šesták

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Dec 30, 2017, 10:22:48 AM12/30/17
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Just another note: I have found that the laptop has accelerometers and they can be used for autorotation with a simple script: https://github.com/admiralakber/thinkpad-yoga-scripts/blob/master/rotate/thinkpad-rotate.py

I've tuned it a bit, so it does not configure touchpads. I use an external touchpad that is rotated, so its autoconfiguration by this script is not welcome.

Regards,
Vít Šesták 'v6ak'
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