How do you rate this laptop with Linux?
78% (25)
13% (4)
3% (1)
3% (1)
3% (1)

Dell Inspiron 1520


This page is indicates if this laptop works with Linux and which modules you need to configure. For details on how to actually install and configure the required modules have a look at our guides section for distribution specific instructions.

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NameDell Inspiron 1520
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo T7100 1.8GHz
Screen15.4“ WXGA
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce Go 8400M GS
Network10/100 Ethernet, Intel 3945 802.11g Wireless, Bluetooth
Other4 x USB2.0, 1 x Firewire, Webcam

Linux Compatibility

Optical DrivePartialSee below
GraphicsYesSee notes below
SoundPartialSee notes below
WirelessYesUse the ipw3945 module
BluetoothNot Tested
56K ModemNot Tested
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderNot Tested
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested
CameraNot Tested


If you haven't purchased this laptop yet try and get one with the Intel 3945ABG wireless controller. Other versions with the 4965AGN and Dell 1390/1490 are harder to get working. The laptop tested here has the 3945ABG which works fine. See the related resources section below for installation details for these cards (the Dell 1390 and 1490 would probably require the ndiswrapper module).

Depending on the kernel configuration of your Linux distribution, the DVD drive may not be able to be detected. Because of this you may need a external USB optical drive or some similar method to install Linux. This is a problem with Fedora 7.

The Nvidia GeForce Go 8400M GS which comes with the Latitude D630 does not work with the nv module so you will need to use the proprietary nvidia drivers. You can find installation details for the nvidia driver here.


The Dell Inspiron 1520 needs a little work to configure for Linux but after a bit of work you should have a fully function system.


prisca, 2009/11/17 04:36

i need help to configure my inspiron 1520, am not able to get a webpage please help…

rue, 2009/11/01 05:31

I'm using ArchLinux and everything works fine except the modem. A driver for it is available but it's not free and it's old (for 2.6.16). BCM4311 wireless chip also works fine with b43 kernel module :)

Mina, 2009/09/17 16:05

I'm using 1520 since 2 years ago and it works fantastic
but after i reinstalled OS(win XP) and it's drivers i can't use the wifi
i need to know which drivers i should install inorder to use wifi appropriately
and also about the wifi setting
thanks alot

wolf, 2009/07/25 21:43

Arch, Gentoo, Debian work perfectly, yet all have problems with Wifi (especially debian…) resolvable using iwl3945 and iwlwifi-firmware packages.

Salah, 2009/07/15 14:44

Iam using SUSE 11.1 with my Inspiron 152o.Only sound is too low, I can't find any drivers or packages to install modem (d330 v.92) as I am still a new to SUSE I think I've made some progress.
I found some pages talking about Dell repositor, I tried to download it I did not know how??

sri_barence, 2009/04/03 16:42

I installed Xubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid) on my neighbor's Inspiron 1520. This version came with Intel graphics and the Broadcom 4311 wireless. Almost everything worked “out of the box,” except the wireless, for which I needed to install the “wl” driver and the “b43-fwcutter” driver (proprietary). A subsequent update appeared to have deactivated the b43 driver, but after reactivating the wireless worked fine. I do not know which update caused the problem, nor whether the update actually deactivated the driver (maybe it was something I did).

Hany Abdelrahman, 2009/03/16 11:50

The bluetooth icon is not existing either when I open my computer or in the control panel

Ankit Jain, 2008/12/11 10:02

my display for inspiron 1520(DELL) laptop is not coming on Redhat Linux 5 ..
how Can i configure X server for that…
any body can help me..
mail me in

Bill W, 2008/06/06 12:25

Kubuntu 64 bit 8.04 Hardy Heron

Looks like almost everything works right out of the box.

The operating system offered a driver for the 802.11bg card that works with my WPA1 security. It maintains a steady connection to the network.

Sound worked after fiddling with KMix. I had to enable output and front. Just make sure not to install any ALSA modules. I accidentally did this and it killed my sound.

I have not tried firewire, card reader or the mic.

The 64 bit Kubuntu operating system runs much faster than the 32 bit XP that came with the laptop. My only complaint right now is the Fn F8 does not toggle between the monitor and external monitor. Hopefully I will get that figured out.

Jim, 2008/05/06 22:15

Fedora 8

easy install, all working fine. wifi uses iwl3945 and worked after networkmanager and networkmanagerdispatch services were activated.
removed pulseaudio and sound worked
used nvidia driver from livna, compiz-fusion works well
bluebooth works with mouse
webcam works with kdetv
suspend to disk works on lid close and keys, was problem with wifi on resume but seems ok since last update.
haven't tried firewire or card reader

nice fast unit

andy p, 2008/03/23 10:32

Laptop For School

Hi guys….i hav 2 hav an LT 4 skwl, nd i am running ubuntu. The school made us all get Dell Inspiron 1520's…nice laptop(nice fast graphics..good 4 games)

The school server is a windows server, so sometime the wireless doesnt connect nd favours the windows guys…also i cant get my built in mic 2 work..oh ya, and if i try to do a dual screen then the laptop screen goes all funny nd the resolution gets stuffed up….if any1 cud help me 2 get these working, it wud be greatly appreciated

thnx, andy p

hessi, 2007/11/24 06:16

More infos

I'm using openSUSE 10.3 and bluetooth doesn't work.
Suspend to disc/ram doesn't work out of the box. But at least suspend to ram works when forcing it. Suspend to disc may need some more work.
The SD card reader works fine.

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dell_inspiron_1520.txt · Last modified: 2013/02/16 23:37 by billg
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