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Dell Inspiron E1505


This is a guide to running Linux with the Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop. The Inspiron E1505 is an entry level laptop from Dell but does have decent specifications. Unfortunately at the moment Linux support is not good because of the lack of open source radeon modules.

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 E1505
ProcessorIntel Core Duo T2050 1.60GHz
Screen15.4“ WXGA
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsATI Mobility Radeon X1300
Network10/100 Ethernet, Intel 3945 802.11g Wireless
Other4 x USB2.0, 1 x Firewire

Linux Compatibility

Optical DriveYes
SoundYesUse the snd-hda-intel module
WirelessYesUse ipw3945 module
BluetoothNot Tested
56K ModemNot Tested
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderNot Tested
ExpressCardNot Tested


The ATI Mobility Radeon X1300 in the Inspiron E1505 is not yet supported by the open source radeon module so you will need to used the proprietary ATI module. These driver will need to be installed to get the display working properly.

Certain models of the Dell Inspiron E1505 use the ATI Mobility Radeon x1400. There shouldn't be any difference to this compared to the X1300.

Other models of the Dell Inspiron E1505 include the Intel Media Accelerator 950. You can read our guide for information on dealing with this graphics chip.

Certain models of the Dell Inspiron E1505 come with the Dell Wireless 1390 wireless controller rather than the Intel 3945. Linux users with kernel versions 2.6.22.x or less should use ndiswrapper with the driver provided by Dell via their website. Although newer kernels (e.g. 2.6.24.x) now contain a built in driver for this wireless card, development is still work in progress.


The main difficulty in getting the Dell Inspiron E1505 working with Linux is the display controller. However future Linux distributions should fix this issue.


Glendon Gross, 2016/10/19 05:11

I just installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on this model. Everything seems to work great except the internal wireless card. Under kernel 3.19.0-25 the wl driver crashes on boot, and the b43 drivers do not seem to work. Plugging a USB Linksys wifi dongle worked immediately, so constitutes a work around. I may build a custom kernel to try to enable the internal WiFi, which worked under Windows Vista. The WiFi switch appears to be ineffectual at present. General performance is about twice as fast as Windows, so I will put up with the quirks of the internal NIC not working properly until I find a solution.

Alex Jerez, 2014/05/03 03:50

solution from, YMMV:

  1. open the 'Synaptic Package Manager' and search for 'bcm'
  1. uninstall the 'bcm-kernel-source' package
  1. make sure that the 'firmware-b43-installer' and the 'b43-fwcutter' packages are installed
  1. reboot
MacGyver, 2013/04/18 00:38

I have one of these laptops and I am using it as my first dedicated linux machine. I had quite a bit of difficulty setting up the wireless card driver/firmware but I eventually succeeded in swapping the wireless card altogether. Compared to some other computers, the wireless card is marginally less accessible (it is necessary to remove the keyboard, not just some panel on the bottom). The card that I had on hand is half the length of the Intel 3945 card, and thus will not mount using the mechanism on the mother board. I was able to use pliers and ingenuity to bend a paper clip into a spring that holds the smaller card in the socket. This solution is much more convenient than installing the firmware on every linux installation or live system that you wish to use. It also allows you to avoid using proprietary firmware!

Matthew, 2013/02/09 23:24

I have used this laptop with manny lunix distros, with Slacko Puppy 5.3.1 being my favorite. Although I cannot get ubuntu to boot as a live CD past version 11.10. The hardware in my laptop is a little different though, 2GB DDR2 RAM 110 GB 5100RPM harddrive, intel Core 2 Duo 1.7GHZ, Dell Wireless(broadcom) and Intel GMA950 Graphics Card.It used to run windows, until it became too boged down by it and I switched to Linux and am probably not going back. It runs like new on 6 year old hardware!

Uwe, 2010/01/17 19:25

I have Puppy Linux 4.3.1 running on this laptop model.
Everything seems to work but Hibernate/Resume. Upon
closing the lid, the display goes black, the WIFI LED stays
blinking, but when you open the lid, it does not resume.
Any ideas?

Josh, 2008/12/15 02:16

I have just started messing with Linux and was able to successfully install Ubuntu within Windows XP on my Dell Inspiron E1505. As I am new to this and I am experimenting, I am pleased that I was able to get Ubuntu running. However, I don't have a hardwire internet connection and am having difficulty activating my wireless card.

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dell_inspiron_e1505.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/11 14:02 (external edit)
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