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Dell Inspiron 17R aka Dell Inspiron N7010


This is an initial attempt at a guide to running Linux with the Dell Inspiron 17R laptop. If you have the Dell Inspiron 17R and are running Linux on it please consider editing this page or adding a comment below with your compatibility details. By contributing you will help other people running this laptop or trying to make a decision on whether to buy it or not.

The tests carried out used Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and OpenSUSE 11.3 DVD x86-64 Gnome.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Dell Inspiron 17R. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Dell Inspiron 17R page on LapWik.

Editing This Page

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For full specifications see the Dell Inspiron 17R specifications page.

NameDell Inspiron 17R
ProcessorIntel® Pentium Dual Core
Intel® Core™ i3
Intel® Core™ i5
Screen17.3“ HD+ (1600 x 900) WLED Display with TrueLife™
RAM2GB to 6GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz
HDD250GB to 640GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsIntel® Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller


BluetoothDell Wireless 365 Bluetooth Internal (2.1) mini-card
Webcam1.3MP Integrated Webcam

Linux Compatibility

ProcessorWorkingTested systems had Intel® Core™ i3 and i5
ScreenWorkingCan't change back-light in Ubuntu 10.04
Optical DriveWorkingDVD+-RW - Reads - not yet tested for writing, CD-R writing works
GraphicsWorkingMaximum resolution of 1024×768 in Ubuntu 10.04.3. Works in Ubuntu 11.04.
EthernetWorkingHad to use it during installation as wireless did not work
WirelessWorkingTested system has Dell Wireless 1501 – Used proprietary broadcom-wl and broadcom-wl-kmp-default from Packman repo. Open-source Broadcom drivers being released with target of kernel 2.6.37 under brcm80211. There have been problems with the wireless card not working after awaking from hibernation or suspension. See Notes for workaround.\\Intel Centrino N-1030 needs package apt:linux-backports-modules-wireless-2.6.38-lucid-generic in Ubuntu 10.04 to work. Works out-of-the-box in Ubuntu 11.04.
Card ReaderWorking
WebcamWorkingVideo displayed in both Cheese and Skype
HDMI™ PortNot Tested
combo E-SATA/USB 2.0 PortNot Tested
TouchpadWorkingNot detected as a touchpad but as a mouse. On Ubuntu 10.10, it causes pastes. After many rants and lots of randomly tapping, I determined it was middle clicking. The top right corner causes a middle click with specific tap. You can disable it using xinput.


You can enter any specific notes with running Linux on the Dell Inspiron 17R here.

There have been problems with the wireless card not working after awaking from hibernation or suspension. Typically, the symptom is that WPA encryption negotiation always fails. Manually removing then adding the wl kernel module after awakening the system fixes the problem with no other network changes required.

  1. sudo /sbin/rmmod wl
  2. sudo /sbin/modprobe wl

If booting or waking up from suspend causes trouble, appending acpi=off or pci=noacpi in /etc/default/grub to the line beginning with ”GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=“ may help.


Appears fully functional in OpenSUSE 11.3 once Broadcom-WL driver packages are installed.


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MichA6A10, 2013/04/18 10:20

I also have a 17R Inspiron (Dual Core CPU , 3 Go RAM, 250Go HDD, broadcom STA 4727 wifi, ethernet), and trying hard still to find a STABLE version of Linux to use it, indeed video, sound, Evolution client mail, scientific soft and programmation : Ubuntu 10.04 almost good except not stable, Fedora didn't even install (latest vers 18), openSUSE vers 12.3 impressive except Evolution NOT STABLE (nor GNOME neither KDE)… so if someone has an idea ?… plus headphones not working too (ALSA driver prblm maybe?). Thanks everybody ! Michel

methylene, 2012/08/11 21:45

I bought a 17r this week and everything works fine (using the fedora 17 lxde-spin) except the wireless card. It's a Broadcom 4365 and apparently THERE IS NO LINUX DRIVER for it. Some kernel developer on freenode told me it has a “totally new PHY” and broadcom hasn't provided any specs yet. I will have to replace it. See this page:

It's a bit disappointing that Dell uses a component for which no linux diver exists.

Also the hard disk was very slow, but after replacing with a small SSD (INTEL SSDSC2CT060A3) the system feels pretty fast.

Brian, 2011/10/07 23:54

I have this laptop. I have replaced the Intel WiFi Link 1000 with an Intel WiFi Link 6200 and it works by default in Ubuntu 10.04.3 amd64. To get the ethernet (LAN) working see the following post on for details.

Josh, 2011/09/08 01:13

Have had this computer for a while and everything works except he ethernet and wireless. The wireless is very touchy and it works sometimes using the broadcom-wl driver but often it can't detect any wireless networks around. If I switch to the brcm80211 driver it is able to see all the networks but it can't seem to connect to any of them. In Ubuntu 11.04 the there is an ethernet driver included but it still can't detect when a cable is plugged in. I like this laptop but you're going to almost need a USB wireless device for internet.

Pistos, 2011/09/08 02:50

@Josh: Sorry to hear about your troubles. I have had no significant issues with either wireless or ethernet connectivity, so your issues seem particular to your situation and context, as opposed to being problems with the N7010 in general. Perhaps try different routers, or different networks (home vs. office vs. library vs. coffee shop, etc.). It may be worth checking how the networking behaves under Windows, to see if it isn't a hardware problem.

Pistos, 2011/08/15 05:41

After upgrading kernel to 2.6.39, KDE to 4.6 and xorg to 1.10, I was able to get multitouch support and screen brightness control (workaround). See for details.

Pistos, 2011/04/03 18:28

@Random Logic: I had to add “acpi_sleep=s3_bios” to my grub.conf kernel options to get wake from suspend to work.

Random Logic, 2011/04/03 13:25

I am using Ubuntu 10.10. This release does not support the Intel Centrino Wireless-N card - which was the card installed on my system. To get 10.10 wireless working with this card, you need to install the 2.6.38 kernel. Support for the card is native to this kernel. Ubuntu 11.04 beta 1 includes this kernel.

Suspend is not working correctly. Hibernate works. Webcam works. (Tested with Cheese.)

Compiz 3D effects do not appear to work. Trying to change the setting in Visual Effects tab of the Appearance dialog results in: “Effects could not be enabled.” Has anyone had any luck turning these effects on? My 5-year-old Gateway laptop never had a problem with them, although I tended to keep them turned off for performance reasons.

Pistos, 2011/03/31 16:05

405JayB: atl1c is the kernel driver for the Ethernet. I used the Broadcom staging driver with kernel 2.6.36 for the wireless. Hope that helps. See the Gentoo forum thread for more detail.

405JayB, 2011/03/29 21:46

Ubuntu 10.10 only installs to terminal with no ethernet, and 10.04 now does not have any network even with drivers I have used before. Any suggestions?

Pistos, 2011/03/27 02:00

I've got nearly everything working under Gentoo Linux. See this forum thread: . The only thing missing at this point is multitouch support for the touchpad, and controlling screen brightness.

danny, 2011/03/26 13:50

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Liam, 2011/03/07 04:52

I am having difficulties getting Ubuntu connected to wireless. When I try to install the Broadcom STA wireless driver I get an error message that says “Failed to fetch Could not resolve ''. Does anyone have any idea how to fix this? I'm very new to Ubuntu and don't really know where to start to try to fix this.

Gary, 2011/02/28 14:29

I got Ubuntu 10.10 installed and everything seems to be working except the WLAN 1501 Half-mini wireless card. Being a extreme rookie with Ubuntu can you recommend where to get driver for the wl card.

Ben, 2010/12/14 20:05

I am using Ubuntu 10.04 with this laptop and everything is working fine. To get wireless working I was given an option during the installation to install proprietary Broadcom STA wireless driver. My wireless card is Broadcom Corporation Device 4727 (rev 01), and my kernel is 2.6.32-26-generic-pae.

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dell_inspiron_17r.txt · Last modified: 2011/08/13 23:17 by
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