Linux: Ubuntu 5.10 on Dell Inspiron B130

If you read my last post, you may be relieved to hear that I did not set my laptop on fire. Ubuntu is working great! It even supported suspend to disk out of the box! I haven't been able to do this in a good five years. The only mildly tricky thing was that I needed to follow the instructions on this forum in order to get it to support WXGA resolutions (i.e. 1280x800). I'll probably need to use NDIS to get the wireless card to work, but I haven't gotten to that yet.

I guess I should go write a Linux on Laptops page now.


Julian said…
yes. go with Ubuntu 5.10. It rocks in so many ways it's not funny.
Ugh, I just spent a couple hours trying to get wireless to work. I'm beginning to suspect that this laptop doesn't even have a wireless card. I know that it should be a Dell 1370 miniPCI card, but when I look in BIOS, it says the miniPCI slot is empty. There's nothing in /var/log/messages, dmesg, or lspci that shows the Broadcom card. I think I'll just give up and fall back to my old PCMCIA wireless card.

By the way, stupid Broadcom!
No PCMCIA slot?!? AAARRGGGG!!!!!!!!
Anonymous said…
mabe try usb?
Yep, you're right. USB is my only option.
Russ Johnson said…
I just installed Ubuntu (breezy badger) on my Dell B130. I have been a hardcore Redhat/Fedora user for over 7 years now but after reading your post I figuring I would try something new.

Ubuntu installed perfectly! I had sound support out of the box as well as everything else just working. I followed your post and found the 855resolution trick to get my 1280x800 resolution working.

The only trouble I had was getting the Dell Truemobile 1370 minipci card to work. After about 6 hours of reading the ubuntu forums and 10 or so failed install attempts, I finally got it to work. Turns out the ndiswrapper that synaptic installs will not work on this machine. I downloaded the latest source from sourceforge, installed the build essentials package and gcc 3.4 (VERY IMPORTANT, default gcc 4.0 will not compile the source!!!) compiled ndiswrapper and followed the simple instructions on the ubuntu forums a bang! It worked!!

Installing gcc 3.4 and compiling the latest source was the key!!
Thanks for the helpful comment!
Lenwood said…
Shannon, I'm curious to know if you were successful in getting the wireless to work under Ubuntu. I recently purchased a B130, and it seems well suited to Linux if (and only if) I can get wireless working under it. Your thoughts?
Well, my laptop didn't come with a mini-PCI card, so I haven't tried the mini-PCI card that might come with yours. My buddy told me that I can buy them aftermarket online, so I'm going to try that. I assume it'll be the same deal as with my Latitude D610--an unsupported card that requires NDIS. By the way, there's now an open source Broadcom driver, although it still requires some firmware futzing. That means that you don't *have* to use NDIS. There's more information about it on the Ubuntu wiki if that's what you're using. Anyway, if all else fails, there's always NDIS.