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Dell Inspiron 1720


This is a guide to running Linux with the Dell Inspiron 1720 laptop.

This guide is intended to provide you details on how well 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 1720
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo T7250 2.0GHz
Screen17“ WXGA+ Widescreen
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT
NetworkEthernet, Intel 3945 802.11abg

Linux Compatibility

Optical DriveYes
WirelessYesUse the iwl3945 driver
BluetoothNot Tested
56K ModemNot Tested
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderNot Tested
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested



Kernel version 2.6.22 or higher is recommended as some of the hardware in the 1720 requires at least this kernel version.


The Nvidia 8600M is not properly supported by the open source Xorg 'nv' driver and so you will need to use the proprietary NVIDIA driver. Some distributions (such as Ubuntu 7.10) include this driver however for others (Fedora, Debian) you will need to install it manually


Some models of the Inspiron 1720 come with a Dell branded Broadcom wireless controller. If you are ordering the laptop it is recommended to get an Intel based wireless controller as their Linux drivers are far superior. You can follow Dell's guide at for details about using the Broadcom controller.


Sound require the lates ALSA module.
On ubuntu I got it by:

sudo apt-get install module-assistant
cd /usr/src
sudo module-assistant update
sudo module-assistant prepare
sudo module-assistant auto-install alsa
sudo shutdown -r now

Infrared device

If you know how to setup irda the please write it here.


The Dell Inspiron 1720 works just fine with Linux with a recently release Linux distributions. On some distributions you will need to manually install the NVIDIA driver but this typically isn't difficult.


Raul, 2014/11/12 22:43

Doesn't work suspend/resume with Ubuntu Linux 14, it's a known issue:

On the other hand, this laptop starves the battery in minutes, I don't know if it is a problem of the linux distribution or of the hardware (big screen, two cpus…).

Jim, 2014/05/02 13:36

I am unable to make a wireless connection on many linux distros: Zorin, Uberstudent, Debian Wheezy, and others.
I have Ubuntu 13.04 mounted on partion sda1 and no prob connecting; I have Zorin 8.1 mounted on sda6 with no connection.
Tried all kinds of drivers but cannot get broadcom-sta installed, file system will not accept it…?

Michael Smith, 2014/01/08 21:43

I have Ubuntu 12.04 installed addionally with Windows 7.
Everything worked fine from the installer off (install all updates), except only bluetooth. The adapter must be turned on and also off ONLY through the Windows-driver. Modem is yet untested, such as Firewire.

Sylwia, 2013/04/16 10:26

Linux mint 14 navia 2012.11.20 Everything is working, just doesnt work wifi car, I use in terminal: sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer , and it was working

saft, 2009/11/02 17:44

I also run gentoo on my 1720, with the newest kernel and nearly everything working, not tested irda, expresslot, 56 modem and sony mem cards. But SD and MMC work fine! Also BT and hibernate. Requests for my make.conf or .config go to
P.S. Special keys and and touchpad are working like a charm ;) *.fdi files from that mail.

Jason, 2009/02/26 23:32

I am having trouble with the fan on my Dell Inspiron 1720 with the A09 BIOS install and Ubuntu 8.10 (fully upgraded as of Feb 26, 2009). The fan doesn't seem to turn on under normal operating temperatures. It used to work back with the A07 BIOS and with Ubuntu 7.10. I've installed i8kutils and it they control the fan but its quirky. This might be related to the NVIDIA cards overheating issue that caused the A09 BIOS updates. Did they make the temps before the fans turn on higher? That seems like its the opposite of what they wanted to do but its consistent with the behavior I've seen.

Jim Harrison, 2008/11/29 23:47

I've installed Ubuntu 8.10 on my Inspiron 1720 and managed to get around the various problems with the Nvidia display breaking hibernation etc. See:
I also managed to get around problems with twin monitors (via KVM), see: and
My biggest stumbling block is with VM Ware running CentOS for my work. Installing VM Ware in the first insatnce wasn't straight forward, see:
I'm finding the performance poor and some machines which work fine on my Windoze VMware server and others won't even start-up.

Frank, 2008/08/31 02:15

Dell Inspiron 1720 with ubuntu hardy heron 8.04.1

My 1720 works very well with hardy heron. Everything works strait out of the box! The Nividia drivers for the 8600M GT are not optimal but there is a scrip to force the powermizer to the highest level. Currently I am working with the 177.67 beta according to the nvidia forums they still work on improvement.

Damien, 2008/07/26 16:17

Dell Inspiron 1720 with Gentoo

I put Gentoo on my 1720 and it works very well. Once I found the info, setting up sound, wireless and printing were not that difficult. The graphics worked without any extra config on my part, and the resolution worked well. I'd like to find more info on ACPI settings (drivers, kernel, etc), but I'm happy with this laptop's workability with Linux.

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dell_inspiron_1720.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/11 14:02 (external edit)
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