Highway to Dell, part two

(Continued from Highway to Dell, part one.) Yesterday I swapped hard disk drive in the Dell Inspiron 1525 (without even booting Windows Vista), inserted the DVD with ubuntu-dell-1525n-intelvideo-reinstall.iso downloaded from //linux.dell.com/files/ubuntu/iso-images/ and installed Ubuntu. Everything I’ve tried worked out of the box except the wireless network. The Dell 1395 wireless network started working when I followed these great instructions and driver for the Broadcom BCM4310. The solution uses ndiswrapper and it is important to download the Windows XP drivers and not the Windows Vista driver. Don’t worry that lspci says "Broadcom Corporation BCM4310 USB Controller" but Dell writes "not USB" about the driver package. Do not bother with the bcm43xx driver! These things are now tried and seem to work fine:

  • 1440×900 pixels resolution
  • Wired network
  • Wireless network
  • Suspend
  • Hibernate
  • Sound
  • Trackpad
  • Sound playback buttons

The biggest annoyance so far is the trackpad. First of all I’m a TrackPoint guy and second the acceleration is unbearably slow. I’ll try these instructions later though. A note about DVD playback: When buying a Dell laptop with Ubuntu, they include LinDVD, but unfortunately LinDVD is not included on the ISO image. Swedish readers who long for a Dell with Ubuntu preinstalled could read about and envy Dell’s offerings to other European countries.

Update Continued at Highway to Dell, part three.


  1. Hi

    I am thinking of buying the 1525 laptop with Ubuntu pre-installed from Dell. One thing that worries me a bit is the graphics chipset of this laptop. It uses the Intel 965GM (X3100) which is blacklisted on the compiz-fusion wiki. (//wiki.compiz-fusion.org/Hardware/Blacklist) I googled around and found that people could enable compiz-fusion but that it broke video playback.

    Can you maybe shed some light on this issue? Are the 3d effects working on your system and does video playback work?

  2. @stapel

    I have not experimented with Compiz and 3D effects and fancy visuals is not a big priority for me but it is important that video works.

    If I understand the video playback issue correctly, it is that “Xv” doesn’t work with Compiz, but there are multiple other ways to play video that are supposed to work.

    The graphics controller is indeed 8086:2a02, which is on the blacklist:

    00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller [8086:2a02] (rev 0c)

    00:02.1 Display controller [0380]: Intel Corporation Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller [8086:2a03] (rev 0c)

    FWIW, glxinfo says this (among other things) about my installation from the Dell .iso image:

    direct rendering: Yes
    OpenGL vendor string: Tungsten Graphics, Inc
    OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI Intel(R) 965GM 4.1.3002 x86/MMX/SSE2
    OpenGL version string: 1.4 Mesa 7.0.1

  3. I bought an inspiron 1525 with vista; it is about to come. I am in Spain. I plan to put Linux, i usually work with Debian, but i can go for Ubuntu, as well. I do not quite understand what you said about the wireless card.
    My card is
    Intel® Pro Wireless 3945 802.11a/b/g – Europa
    Is it the same as yours? will i need ndiswrapper?
    Thank you.

  4. @Fran

    No, that’s not the same wireless card as I have. Yours should work out of the box with Ubuntu and most likely with Debian as well.

  5. Hi again
    Yesterday, i downloaded the inspiron 1525 iso from dell, with a size of 4.2Gb, but now my computer says that the size is 8Gb, does this happen to you? Will i need a double DVD?

  6. @Fran

    I had no such issues. I downloaded the ISO file to my FreeBSD server and I accessed it through Samba from my Windows XP machine to burn it with DVD Decrypter. I got the following checksums on the ISO:

    MD5 (ubuntu-dell-1525n-intelvideo-reinstall.iso) = 2ee17c3e98f2a055ef6e2050ce7a9bcf
    SHA256 (ubuntu-dell-1525n-intelvideo-reinstall.iso) = bfe677622b069f8a286448e777bba647f15eab6d61287e489606a46103c07293

  7. Thank you.
    My MD5sum is:
    so clearly, it is not the same thing.
    I’ll stay in Hardy until i find a solution.
    Thank you again.

  8. I use compiz on my 1525. However I don’t use the Dell distro of Ubuntu, just the standard Ubuntu install. (At this time 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon)

    The default install (and default drivers) doesn’t even allow advanced graphics features, but after running the following two commands it works great.

    Enable Fancy Desktop Graphics:
    sudo apt-get install xserver-xgl -y
    sudo aptitude install compizconfig-settings-manager

  9. Hi Demoric.
    I think that the last y isn’t correct

    Enable Fancy Desktop Graphics:
    sudo apt-get install xserver-xgl
    sudo aptitude install compizconfig-settings-manager

  10. Hi David

    All ok using ubuntu-dell-1525n-intelvideo-reinstall.iso?

    I’ve installed by standard iso by canonical.
    Do you think could be better to use ubuntu-dell-1525n-intelvideo-reinstall.iso?
    Best regards

  11. @carlos

    I see no reason why you should install the ISO from Dell unless you have unresolved issues with the standard Ubuntu install.

  12. I have downgraded dell laptop with vista home basic to xp. I could not find the drivers for
    1. Audio Device on High Definition Audio Bus
    2. Laptop Integrated Webcam
    3. PCI Device
    4. S M Bus Controller

    Can anyone help

  13. @Ravi

    I don’t think that Windows XP is supported on the Dell Insprion 1525 (if that’s what you have). As you may have noticed, my blog entries are about installing Ubuntu Linux on the machine… maybe you should try that? 😉

  14. @Ravi
    Check the link //www.laptops-drivers.com/dell-laptop/how-to-install-windows-xp-on-dell-inspiron-1525-or-downgrading-vista.html

    I had only one remaining issue after going through the steps mentioned in the above page. It was with SM Bus controller .The SM Bus controller shows yellow icon in the devicemanager.

    It was an issue with Intel GM965 chipset i guess.
    I downloaded the driver form Intel site and now the issue is fixed.

    Link to download : //downloadcenter.intel.com/confirm.aspx?httpDown=//downloadmirror.intel.com/14528/a08/infinst_autol.exe&agr=N&ProductID=816&DwnldId=14528&strOSs=All&OSFullName=All%20Operating%20Systems&lang=eng

  15. Hi Guys …

    I’m using Dell inspiron 1525 and i installed ubuntu … I like to use ccsm and some desktop effects .. but i couldn’t … I have CCSM installed in my system . But i couldnt see any effects pls help … Thanks

  16. 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 0c)

    00:02.0 0300: 8086:2a02 (rev 0c)
    Subsystem: 1028:022f
    Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx+
    Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- SERR- <PERR- INTx-
    Latency: 0
    Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 2297
    Region 0: Memory at fea00000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1M]
    Region 2: Memory at e0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
    Region 4: I/O ports at eff8 [size=8]
    Kernel modules: intelfb

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