Lessons Learned Installing Linux Mint on Dell XPS 15 9530

Tom Deneire
5 min readJan 2, 2024
Photo by Cornelius Ventures on Unsplash

TLDR: next time, check Linux compatibility and scout YouTube guides before ordering a machine, and above all, DON’T PANIC.

Out with the old…

A few weeks ago, I started experiencing some issues with my five-year-old Dell XPS 13 9370 laptop. I had to start the machine with secure boot a couple of times, and the ekey was not very responsive anymore. Also, even though I had replaced the battery two years ago, its average lifetime was again starting to dwindle fast. Despite these issues, though, I had always been very happy with this machine, which is still a powerful model even by today’s standards (Intel® Core™ i7–8550U CPU @ 1.80GHz x 4, 16 GB RAM).

However, my company has a policy that laptops can be replaced after five years. So, when my boss suggested I have some fun with the Dell catalog, who was I to argue? 😊

… in with the new

After some consideration, I ended up ordering a Dell XPS 15 9530:

which has really great specs:

  • 13th Intel® Core™ i9–13900H (24 MB cache, 14 cores, up to 5,40 GHz Turbo)
  • Windows 11 Home pre-installed
  • NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4070, 8 GB GDDR6
  • 32 GB, 2 x 16 GB, DDR5, 4800 MHz
  • 1 TB, M.2, PCIe NVMe, SSD
  • 15.6", 3.5K 3456x2160, 60Hz, OLED, Touch, Anti-Reflect, 400 nit, InfinityEdge

Linux

I have been using Linux on my laptop ever since I got the XPS 13 some five years ago. In fact, it was the best piece of advice I got when I started my career switch to software engineering.

I have installed Linux Mint (and Ubuntu) on several machines in the past, including an old Macbook Pro (13", mid 2009) and my wife’s HP 14s-dq1186nb, which I got to run Windows in dual boot. However, when installing the XPS 13, however, I messed something up (probably shrinking the Windows partition…

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