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In my experience one of the most common brands of computers that you will come in contact with while working is Dell. Since Dell keep both good prices and semi good quality on the hardware they provide. Above that they also have a really good support (prosupport) for their customers.

Above this the docking stations and other peripherals are sturdy and the support for everything works well with the Operating of choice, windows10. So what happens when you take the hardware outside of the comfort zone and install:

  • CentOS 7
  • dwm

To be frank it is not that much of a hardship anymore but since my response to "why" is "why not" let us do a small walk-through.

There goes the comfort-zone

Since we need to ensure that all settings are what we want them to be let us begin with the BIOS:

System configuration

First up is the configuration of certain particulars on the laptop itself; start by changing:

  • Disable: Parallel port
  • Disable: Serial port
  • Change: SATA operation to AHCI (or RAID if you have more then one drive)
  • Enable: S.M.A.R.T reporting
  • USB Support
    • Security level: Display port only (more on this later)
    • Disable: Enable Thunderbolt (and PCIE behind TBT) Preboot

This should ensure that we have a more secure laptop, even though defaults work just fine.


To ensure that the system is safe from changes that you will not be able to notice easily set a secure password for the administrator. Although it is as simple as searching for "Reset dell BIOS password", the only caveat is that you have to press CTRL+ENTER when entering the master password.

Secure boot

Since we are going to run a unsigned Kernel (4.X) we need to change this to disabled.


The Wireless switch will give us some issues so disable all services there. I also disabled the "WWAN/GPS" and "Bluetooth" options in the Wireless devices part since they will not be used.