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This is a guide to running Linux with the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 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.
This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Dell Inspiron Mini 9. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 page on LapWik.
If you would like to edit this page please first view our Editing Guidelines.
For full specifications see the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 specifications page.
|Name||Dell Inspiron Mini 9 (a.k.a. Inspiron 910)|
|Processor||Intel Atom 1.6 GHz, 533MHz FSB, 512 KB cache|
|Screen||8.9” WSVGA Widescreen|
|RAM||512 MB or 1 GB DDR2 533 MHz|
|HDD||8 or 16 GB SSD|
|Card Reader||SD, Memory Stick (Pro), MMC|
|Graphics||Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 945GME|
|Network||Realtek Ethernet, Broadcom WLAN 802.11b/g, Bluetooth|
|Camera||0.3 or 1.3 MP|
|Battery||32 Wh (4 cell) (see notes)|
Specifications based on european models, US models with more configuration options
|Screen||Yes||Brightness control keys (Fn-9/0) are hardware keys - hassle-free|
|Graphics||Yes||Kernel module: i915, X.org module: intel; See notes.|
|Sound||Yes||Kernel module: snd-hda-intel. Maybe you need to specify “model=dell” as parameter|
|Ethernet||Yes||Kernel module: r8169|
|Wireless||Yes||Currently the proprietary “wl” driver by Broadcom works best (see notes). b43 kernel module doesn't seem to work (yet). Ndiswrapper + Windows driver is also an option.|
|Bluetooth||Yes||Tested with openSUSE 11.1, works 1)|
|USB||Yes||Booting from USB devices causes trouble here|
|Card Reader||Yes (MMC, other parts not tested)||Kernel module: sdhci, MMC Boot not available right now (Bios disabled)|
|Camera||Yes (1.3 MP model, 0.3 MP model not tested)||Kernel module: uvcvideo 2)|
|Special keys||Yes||Standby, Wireless, Battery status, Mute, Vol. up, Vol. down emit normal keycodes and can thus be bound to scripts etc. Brightness keys are handled in hardware. Internal/External monitor key not tested.|
The X.org Intel driver is currently (version 2.5.0, 2008-11-06) broken. The screen flickers in random intervals and sometimes goes dark (while X is still running). The log contains error messages like ”(EE) intel(0): underrun on pipe B!”. Adding
Option "FramebufferCompression" "False"
to the “Device” section in xorg.conf helps.
With the Xorg/kde4 from openSUSE 11.1 the backlight changes intensity randomly every few seconds (powerdevil?). KDE3 or GTK-based DE's work like a charm. The sollution is to upgrade the Systembios to A004 (was A001 here), or in short-term, change the backlight-control mode with
xrandr –output LVDS –set BACKLIGHT_CONTROL native in your
The proprietary 'wl' driver is not (and will never be) part of the mainline kernel. Check your distribution's repository if you can find it there, otherwise you can use my self-explaining shell script which will apply a patch from Ubuntu, build and install the module.
A test on how long the netbook runs on battery under “normal netbook use” is available here.