NixOS stable won't boot from usb on XPS 7390

See this post for context: NixOS stable & unstable won't boot from usb on XPS 9570

Just got a Dell XPS 7390, disabled Secure Boot, set SATA to AHCI rather than RAID, altered boot order, and tried to boot from USB using nixos-minimal-19.09.1223.cb2cdab7136-x86_64-linux.iso.

All I get is the Dell logo when I select the USB from the boot selection menu (I’ve moved the USB around to the various available ports with no dice- even enabled Thunderbolt boot and SD-card boot, but both to no avail).

I would try setting Legacy Boot mode enabled, however the BIOS mentions Boot Mode: UEFI only under ‘Boot Options’ and there is no option that I can see to enable it. =[

I really would like a replacement for my work Mac that I can install NixOS onto (13" is great for portability, but I dislike the touch-bar and don’t anticipate full-featured driver support for that at the moment) and the search is getting frustrating these days…

Any advice for getting this up and running NixOS before I end up settling for Nix on ubuntu? returning the hardware (ubuntu will boot, but not detect the wifi adapter- bluetooth, sure- wifi, no…)?

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As an update, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS booted via USB just fine with the same bios settings. About to try again with less changes to the default bios settings.

nixos-graphical of the same version listed above also fails to boot =[

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Did you try unstable?

Will do after work- got late yesterday and hit the DGAF wall for the evening… :sweat_smile:

Gonna make a backup of the existing disk (Wandows 10- haven’t even gone through the setup yet) and attempt to go a bit more in-depth with the installs if USB boot works. Thinking the lack of wifi device detection may be a driver availability/selection issue and hoping it can be resolved.

For the work I’m putting into it tho, at this point I’m heavily leaning toward abandoning portability concerns and just sticking to my large, slightly heavy 15.6" pangolin performance from system76. The BIOS is still what it was when I got it in 2012 and I already have an old install of NixOS running from it with all peripherals in-tact… It needs some TLC (BIOS update if I can, a reinstall that utilizes UEFI, if supported, and most importantly: a [few] new [better|longer-lasting] batter[y|ies] ← the thing is a portable desktop at the moment…), but it still “works :tm:

I managed to boot and install it with nixos-unstable and linuxPackages_latest (kernel 5.4) on a brand new XPS 7390 laptop. You can use this expression (with nixpkgs, master branch) to create an ISO image with the latest kernel:

{ nixpkgs ? ../nixpkgs, system ? "x86_64-linux" } :

  config = { pkgs, ... } :
    imports = [

    boot.kernelPackages = pkgs.linuxPackages_latest;

  evalNixos = configuration: import "${nixpkgs}/nixos" {
    inherit system configuration;

in {
  iso = (evalNixos config);

Thank you!

I ended up returning it to avoid falling outside the return policy :sweat_smile:

Hello, I’m new and would like to get NixOS on my XPS 7390. I have a few days or so to do any testing the community needs of this machine. Please point me where to go so I could help as much as possible. I would really like to use NixOS as my primary work environment. :slight_smile:

My current issue revolves around getting the wifi to work. It is currently a hassle for me at the moment.

I can help write documentation. I am using a USB with NixOS installed. I’m trying to understand how to install it on the device. I’m currently just running it on ram.


I’m confused. Do you have wifi working? Why do you need help installing? It’s documented in the manual? I don’t think 7390 machines should be having issues with recent install media.

Maybe it might make sense to start a new post?

Thanks colemikens,

I was able to finally get it installed on my Dell XPS 7390 but it took a lot of trial and error.

I needed the hardware config from github repository. For some reason github was blocked for me at the time whilst connected through ethernet.