Dell XPS M1530 and the Ubuntu ride
April 2, 2009
Disclaimer : This was a blog I wrote after I bought my Dell and had most things working on it on Ubuntu.I just found this one lying around in my drafts and decided to post it anyways.
I bought my Dell just over a couple of months ago. I was considering buying a Macbook, but after I saw the specs on this baby, I knew I was left with no choice. I got further bargain, after a little bit of haggling with the Dell Rep, of a total of 4 Gig RAM and the Audigy Sound Software at no extra cost.
Well, anyways, as soon as a couple of days passed with me showing it off to my colleagues and family, I decided to get down to business. I erased the complete hard-disk using the mighty parted and re-partitioned it to have a Windows partition (20Gigs) , a Dell partition (auto-created by Dell , Mental Note: Think about getting rid of this) , a 10 Gig Mac OS X partition (oh yeah … you read that right. More on this later) and finally a huge Extended drive, which hosts 2 of my Data paritions , a swap partitions and last but definitely not the least, my Ubuntu partition.
My Dell started it’s life (the one which counts anyway), with Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Hardy Heron. The only trouble it gave me was my touchpad wasn’t working properly. The mouse pointer was behaving as if it had a mind of it’s own. But I fixed it by adding “i8042.nomux=1” line at the end of the “kernel” line in Grub. I had to also alter my /etc/X11/xorg.conf file to have optimal performace from it.
Thankfully, Intel’s iwl4695 driver does not give any issues and I was able to run it without any issues from day one.
That apart, the only other thing that did not work out of the box was the finger print reader. But it was a matter of time, or rather overcoming my laziness, before I got it working too.
I was running the Heron happily for quite some time, during which I got compiz (use Envy for a hassle-free experience), my build-environment, VPN (both PPTP as well as Cisco vpn), Firefox 3 updates and Flash, 3-D games, working without problems.
I have a habit of installing all the Ubuntu updates as soon as I see the update-manager working and before I knew it , I was riding on 8.04.1
Again, no issues and the ride still going nice and smooth.
I saw the Ubuntu 8.10 Aplha releases coming out and was itching to upgrade my laptop with it , but my work load prevernted me from doing it.
But finally, two days ago I ran the update manager with :
$sudo update-manager -d
and upgrade to 8.10 Inrepid Ibex Beta
Here I had a few hiccups.
For starters, my wireless was not working. Thankfully, this was not a major issue but required a simple re-entering my WPA2 key. But before that I saw that my Network Manager did not show any Wireless networks and I had to kill it from the shell and restart it.
Then there was the problem of the touchpad. But this time I has to append the “i8042.nomux=1” on the Grub “kernel” line, as well as make sure that I used my older xorg.conf file (the upgrade process intuitively backed my old file). But for optimum performance, I actually the xorg.conf file and let the new X server detect everything on its own and this worked like a charm.
The Wifi is working great, but one thing I noticed that my wireless drivers seemed to have changed. My lsmod output is as follows :
raseel@raseel-xps:~$ lsmod | grep iwl
iwlagn 99588 0
iwlcore 92740 1 iwlagn
rfkill 17048 2 iwlcore
led_class 12164 1 iwlcore
mac80211 216820 2 iwlagn,iwlcore
cfg80211 32392 3 iwlagn,iwlcore,mac80211
That’s about it. I did not have to do ANYTHING more after the upgrade.
As I used The 8.10 Beta, I’m yet to be disappointed on any front.