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Tutorial - Install Linux mint 19.3 on Dell Inspiron 3592 NVIDIA GeForce MX230

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 11:14 pm
by Autumn Stone
Hi All,
I'm new to these forums, so if this needs to be moved to another location, thanks in advance to a mod for doing so.

I've just installed Linux Mint 19.3 on my daughters new Dell Inspiron 3592 with NVIDIA GeForce MX230 graphics card.
It was quite a struggle, but I kept notes and thought I'd post the notes here so anyone following in my footsteps doesn't have the same problems.
I'm not sure that every step I do is necessary, however I'm not going to go back and re-install skipping some of the steps. Feel free to try skipping some (I'll mention which I'm not sure of how important they are) if you like and post in the replies if they really were necessary.

I'm just going to start with the two disclaimers: that this has worked for me. I can't guarantee it will work for you. I'm not a linux guru. I probably can't trouble shoot what went wrong for you if what I did doesn't work.
and secondly, the biggest issue seems to be that the graphics card doesn't play nice with nouveau - the open source NVIDIA driver, so you have to do some tricks to get around it until you can install the proprietary driver - which works. The proprietary driver needs the 5.x kernel, so if you are using an older mint, you'll need to upgrade tot the 5.x kernel for it to play with the graphics card

The computer I installed it on is using the Dell 1.7 bios, but I've used the same technique on the 1.2 bios and it worked I think - I didn't keep notes, so I can't say for sure.


Step 1 - set up the bios. I'm not at all sure this is necessary - but this is how I set it up
turn on the computer and keep hitting f2 as it boots to enter the config menu
go to - system config and choose achi
turn off sata 1 and pci whatever disks at the same time if in your computer (like mine) they don't actually exist
apply changes and exit, reboot etc

Step 2 - Get the usb key to boot

Make yourself a Linux Mint 19.3 bootable usb - there are tutes out there

usb in computer
turn on and start hitting f12 to enter the one time boot menu
select one of the usb options to boot from (I don't know why it offers 2- it doesn't seem to make a difference which you choose)
when boot options appear ignore the options at the top and look at the bottom of the screen where it invites you to hit 'e'
hit that 'e' and it will let you edit your boot options. We want to use this to turn off nouveau - the thing that's crashing our usb boot
change the bit that says:
quiet splash
and then hit f10 to make it boot. After a bit of thinking, it should boot into a usb linux

Step 3 - install linux on your machine - I'm going to kick windows off entirely, and play with the partitioning - you can do what you like with the install - I don't think it will matter if you do something different to me. I'll just go through what I did

You should now be in a usb version of linux mint. Check it works. You can try everything but the graphics card
get internet connection running - either wireless or wired

install linux mint by double clicking on the icon on the desktop

choose to install 3rd party software

when given options on disk partitioning, I chose
something else

may need to delete and re-create the sda x partitions
partitions: (what I chose)
sda1 efi 1000
sda2 ext4 50000 - mountpoint /
sda3 ext4 941203 - mountpoint /home (don't tick the format box if you want to keep your stuff from a previous install)
sda4 swap 8000

finish rest of install
When you reboot, it will crash out with a frozen computer and a blinking cursor in the top right corner. You'll need to hard reset to get it running again. (press and hold the on button until it switches off)

Step 4 - boot from the usb key again so we can fiddle with some files

restart with disk - same as before - f12, 'e' change the boot options etc

open the file system on your computer (double click the folder icon and open up the filesystem on your hard drive - if you partitioned it like me it'll be the 50G drive in the sidebar)
navigate to /boot
right-click the grub folder and select open as root

we are going to open and edit grub.cfg

double click the file and ignore the
I'm sure it is more of a guideline that actual rule
within the file are two locations you can change
quiet splash
so do so
save and exit, and now it's time to restart the computer.
shut it down and boot without the usb key

Step 5 - get the graphics card working
boot up - it should make it into the operating system on the hard drive this time. Allow yourself a quiet happy dance around the room. You've earned it
First thing to do is to update the nvida drivers
from the menu bar on the bottom of the screen, click the mint symbol,
Administration -> Driver manager
and choose the Propitiatory NVIDIA driver - which is usually the recommended one (It was 440 when I installed, it may have changed since)

update the rest of the system too (using update manager), and check the kernel is 5.x (it will be with 19.3)

And that's it - if you're lucky like me, you now have a working computer

Happy linuxing

Re: Tutorial - Install Linux mint 19.3 on Dell Inspiron 3592 NVIDIA GeForce MX230

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:00 pm
by Franzi
Hi, I'm very interested in your one line comment "choose to install 3rd party software" in step 3. I did that, and it's causing no end of trouble - see below. Specifically, when you chose to install 3rd party software - and to turn off secure boot - did you specify a password to be used later? Did you use it? Where? How?

I installed Linix Mint 19.3 on an ASUS ZenBook beside Windows 10. I chose the option to "turn off secure boot" to get the proprietary software, and provided a password as requested. I'm a Newbie and had never heard of secure boot before. I assumed that the password was to be used later in the installation to turn secure boot back on. I was wrong. The installation finished but there was no call for the password. Linux worked fine - so far as I could tell - and eventually I logged out.

Then I found that to log into Windows I had to give the 64 digit BitLocker Recovery Key because secure boot and been changed. I can do that, but I have to do it every time.

I presume I need to "turn on secure boot", but I can't do that because I didn't turn it off - the Linux Install did. I have the password that Linux Install asked for, but I don't know how or where to use it.

I have a question about this under Newbie Questions, and there have been some replies, but so far nobody seems to have understood the situation - that the problem derives from the installation.

Re: Tutorial - Install Linux mint 19.3 on Dell Inspiron 3592 NVIDIA GeForce MX230

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:20 am
by Autumn Stone
Sorry you're having problems. I'm quite the novice too.
As I said, I'm only putting up these step by step instructions because they were tricky and non-obvious for me to work out, and I would have loved to have these instructions when I was installing the computer. (And will have them if I need to do so again)

As per the forum rules:

Forum rules
Please don't add support questions to tutorials,start your own thread in the appropriate sub-forum instead. Before you post please read this

I'm going to try to keep my comments to just what will help with interpreting my tutorial...

I'm not sure what you've done with secure boot. If it's a bios setting, then I doubly can't help you as it doesn't sound like you are using the same computer as I installed on. I mentioned which bios setting I used on the dell machine for completeness, but have no idea if making these changes was needed. Looking online at what secure boot does, I don't think you need to play with it at all before installing. It certainly shouldn't matter to the installation of thirdparty stuff in your linux install. It might play up with getting GRUB installed on your computer (the boot loader for Linux) but it sounds like ubuntu (and hence its derivative Mint) have solved that problem with something called Shim - big brained stuff that I can't say I completely understand. If it was me I'd be trying an install with secure boot left wherever it was when you installed the Windows.
If you just want to turn secure boot back on, then you should be able to go into your computer's Bios (before linux boots) and look for the secure boot setting. I don't think it will need any password.
On an ASUS I believe you do this by:
Press and hold the F2 button , then click the power button. DO NOT RELEASE the F2 button until the BIOS screen display.
Also here

I'm not sure how windows will react to having a linux installed alongside it - especially if you adjust the bios beforehand. It sounds to me like your windows thinks it's installed on a different computer (different bios) and so is getting upset. I did a linux only install rather than dual boot, and haven't used windows willingly for decades, so can only speculate. It may be that re-installing windows with the new bios settings set will mean it feels more at home with those bios settings, but again - I'm still a novice when it comes to both windows and linux

As for passwords, this probably belongs on a different thread, but I suspect the password you were asked to enter during the setup purpose is your linux root password - the one you will need to type to perform any super user tasks such as updating, installing new software, etc. It won't have anything to do with windows or bios settings.

As for installing third party software, - again probably a thing for a different thread - , but I'm think it's just third party drivers, codecs, etc - the things that don't meet the "free as in speech" requirements of an open source die hard. I can't imagine it's the issue - other than that you will need the third party NVIDIA drivers to make your NVIDIA GeForce MX230 work - as nouveau (the open source NVIDIA driver) doesn't agree with that card and will crash your machine before it boots - hence the need to turn it off with the nouveau.modeset=0 during the installation process until you can get the proprietary NVIDIA driver running.

If you're really stuck, I'd suggest posting a new thread asking the general forum for help, and citing this thread as the tutorial you followed. You'll get more and cleverer people than just me noticing it.

Hope this helps
Good Luck

Re: Tutorial - Install Linux mint 19.3 on Dell Inspiron 3592 NVIDIA GeForce MX230

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:16 am
by asinoro
Since you remove Windows, if you need to upgrade bios drivers or other hardware drivers how are you going to do?

Re: Tutorial - Install Linux mint 19.3 on Dell Inspiron 3592 NVIDIA GeForce MX230

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:08 pm
by Autumn Stone
Hi Asinoro,

Not sure what you're asking.
You don't need windows or linux to play with your bios
Bios happens before the OS goes on. You can access bios for changing settings or for updating with the f2 or f12 before the OS loads on as described in Step 1.
You can upgrade your bios from download on USB key without need for windows ... es?lang=en

As for the hardware drivers that your Linux OS needs - Linux has it's own. Playing with your hardware drivers in Windows has no effect on your hardware/firmware/drivers in Linux.


Re: Tutorial - Install Linux mint 19.3 on Dell Inspiron 3592 NVIDIA GeForce MX230

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:47 am
by asinoro
Hi Autumn Stone,
As long all your hardware drivers work well, Sound, Wireless, Bluetooth, etc, with the current Linux kernels it's ok, I hope it will be the same with the future kernels.
The link you send me from Dell how to update bios, again you need another Windows computer to make bootable USB!