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Dell Inspiron 9400

Introduction

This is a guide to running Linux with the Dell Inspiron 9400 laptop. This was tested with Ubuntu Linux 6.06 (beta).

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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Specifications

NameDell Inspiron 9400
ProcessorIntel Core Duo T2500 2.0Ghz
Screen17“
RAM2GB
HDD100GB
Optical DriveDVD-+RW
GraphicsnVidia Geforce 7800GTX Go
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet + Intel 3945 802.11g Wireless + Bluetooth
Other6 x USB2.0 + 1 x Firewire

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYes
ScreenYes
GraphicsYes
SoundYesUse Alsa snd-hda-intel module
EthernetYes
WirelessYesUse the ipw3945 module
BluetoothNot Tested
56K ModemNot Tested
USBYes
FirewireNot Tested but should work
Card ReaderNot Tested
PCMCIANot Tested but should work

Notes

For the graphics chip you can use both the open source nv module and Nvidia's proprietary one. For installation instructions, you can view our Configuring a nVidia graphics chip guide. For 3D support, you will need the proprietary module.

I didn't get a chance to test the modem, but from experience it should work with the Linuxant module.

Distribution Specific Notes

Gentoo

Thanks to Edoardo Costa for the following information:

Wireless

As of gentoo-sources-2.6.19-r5 it's very easy to get it working. Just follow the hardware ipw3945 guide. I recommend you use net-wireless/wpa_supplicant. The following is an example of what I have:

ctrl_interface=/var/run/wpa_supplicant
ctrl_interface_group=wheel
ap_scan=1

network={
       ssid="foobar"
       proto=WPA
       key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
       pairwise=TKIP
       group=TKIP
       psk=3c97f861f76a7d88a290a46077d91b27bc8776cea04755664cd122630a86c34a
       priority=100
}

Bluetooth

Kernel settings
Networking
 <*>   Bluetooth subsystem support  --->
   <*>   L2CAP protocol support
   <*>   SCO links support
   <*>   RFCOMM protocol support
   [[*]]     RFCOMM TTY support
   <*>   BNEP protocol support
   [[*]]     Multicast filter support
   [[*]]     Protocol filter support
   <*>   HIDP protocol support

emerge bluez: emerge -av net-wireless/bluez-libs net-wireless/bluez-utils net-wireless/bluez-firmware

If you want to use gnokii, add the use flag to make.conf.

my hcid.conf

options {
       autoinit yes;
       security auto;
       pairing multi;
       pin_helper /usr/lib/kdebluetooth/kbluepin;
}
device {
       name "BlueZ %h (%d)";
       class 0x3e0100;
       iscan enable; pscan enable;
       lm accept;
       lp rswitch,hold,sniff,park;
} 

Summary

For best results you need a Linux distribution with at least the 2.6.15 kernel, such as Ubuntu Linux 6.06 or Fedora Core 5.

Another 9400

daniel.wild at gmail.com
Tested with Ubuntu 6.06 (beta and final).

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityNotes
Core Duo 2.0GHzOkFrequency scaling works on both cores independently
nVidia Geforce Go 7900 GSOkDetected ok on install at 1920×1200. Use nVidia binary module for 3D acceleration
Broadcom BCM4401-B0 100BaseTXOKDetected ok on install.
Intel 3945a/b/g WirelessOkDetected ok on install. Fn-F2 works to turn off transmitter
Sigmatel AudioOkDetected ok on install. Sometimes won't route sound correctly after resuming. (External speakers will not wok)
Ricoh Firewire controllerOkTested using Ethernet over Firewire. Needed to manually insmod eth1394 module (blacklisted by default on Dapper)
NEC ND-6650A DVD+/-RWOkReads/Writes CD/DVDs ok
USB portsOkCan attach/remove USB keyboard/mouse in X ok
Multimedia keysOkVolume keys set up on install. Added play/pause/next/etc manually in Keyboard settings
TV outUnknownNot tested yet
SD/MMC/xD card slotUnknownNot tested. Seems to load module for an 'mmc0' device
56K ModemUnknownNot tested
BluetoothUnknownNot tested

Other Resources


Discussion

Alexandros, 2008/04/14 06:13

Fedora 8 on Inspiron 9400

My configuration is similar to yours except that I have an ATI video card, I had to adjust the screen resolution to its native 1920×1200. Other than that I had to do no other configuration on it. However, there are a few outstanding issues.
# Power management does not fully work (can not regain access after a suspend or hibernation).
# Can not connect to anything with the bluetooth.
# Can not get Compiz to stay working (it will get to work by following some tutorial but after restart or a shutdown it does not work anymore.
Untested parts are:
# Modem
# SD/MMC/xD card slot
# mini card slot

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dell_inspiron_9400.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/11 14:02 (external edit)
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