Running Linux on a Dell Inspiron 1150

Most of my tests have been made running SuSE 9.0 and SuSE 9.2. The installation works mostly fine (press F12 on startup to boot from CD / DVD) and I'll only list a few things that needed some work. (I could only install SuSE 9.2 in text mode - after the install X11 was fine.)


The Inspiron 1150 has a Intel 82855 grapics chip that works with the XFree i810 driver. However to get a resolution of beyond 640x480 pixel (sometimes even that fails), you need to run 855warp on startup, each time you boot the machine. After that you can configure the resolution with sax2.

This problem is solved with BIOS version A02 or higher from Dell, but A01 definitely needs it.

Broadcom 4400 Ethernet Card

There seems to be a bug in the device driver that doesn't properly initialize the card after a warm start. The problem should be fixed in kernel 2.6.7. (Or you can manually apply this fix if you don't always want to do a cold boot.)

Internal Modem

Linux 2.4.x:
The internal modem is a softmodem. To get it working, you need the PCTel driver, which is free but unfortunately not GPLed.

Make sure you have the kernel sources installed.

Change the PCI ID in the PCTel driver:
#define PCI_DEVICE_ID_I845 0x24c6

Linux 2.6.x:
Starting with Linux 2.6.5 you can use the Smart Link Soft Modem (slmodem-2.9.7.tar.gz or newer) in ALSA mode (eg. slmodemd --alsa hw:0). Build the kernel with support for "Intel i8x0/MX440; AMD768/8111 modems" from the ALSA _sound_ section) and make sure you have the ALSA development libraries installed when compiling slmodem.

Truemobile 1300 WLAN Card

There is no native Linux driver for this card, but you can use NdisWrapper 1.0rc2 to use the Windows driver under Linux (0.10 supplied with SuSE 9.2 didn't work for me).

For WPA encryption you also need wpa_supplicant (version 0.2.4 included with SuSE 9.2 was ok).

For a WPA-PSK installation you need to run these commands:
modprobe ndiswrapper
iwconfig wlan0 mode Managed
iwconfig wlan0 essid YourEssId
ifconfig wlan0 up
wpa_supplicant -Dndiswrapper -iwlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf -Bw

Power Management

The Inspiron supports ACPI. To be tested...


Last updated: 19. Nov 2013
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