Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon 7.10 New User Guides

If you decided to run Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon on your Dell Inspiron 1501 you came to the right place. This blog is a great starter guide for getting things to work.

Every piece of hardware on the Dell 1501 works in Ubuntu, some things require setup but it's no more work then a fresh install of Windows XP/Vista. It's not as hard as it looks and everything here is tested and confirmed to work.

Everything You Need to Know About Running Ubuntu 7.10 on the Dell Inspiron 1501

Fix For Gutsy Taking a Long Time to Load

Installing the Newest ATI Driver with AIGLX

Wireless in Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Using Restrictive Driver Manager

Wireless with Ndiswrapper

Compiz-Fusion with Xgl in Gutsy

HowTo Install Medibuntu& Play Encrypted (Copyrighted) DVDs

Easy Codec Installation

Getting the Modem to Work in Gutsy

Downgrading Your BIOS (fixes brightness/backlight issue)


SanDia said...

So... did you also get the suspend/hibernate issue fixed?

I am planning on either buying an Inspiron 1501 or the Inspiron 1520 (with nVidia). I can't decide yet. I want to know the issues I will be getting once I install ubuntu 7.10

Conor Cleary said...

1520 are more expensive right?
they are nicer though

redDEAD said...

yup 1501 is Dell's cheapest laptop. its a nice lappy thou.

pippo said...

Does sound recording work for you? I think I am not the only one having trouble, there are several people on the forums having trouble with the hda intel chipset in these dells.

On a clean install of gutsy on my new inspiron 1501, i can now record from my external microphone but there is a lot of static noise (with gnome sound recorder, audacity, skype, whatever).

Downgrading to firmware 1.7 did not change anything. So I was wondering if you have had better luck..

Nick said...

Hey, not sure if im posting in the right spot but when i try to enable firmware for broadcome 43xx chipset family in the restricted drivers thing, it tells me "

The software source for the package


is not enabled.

Anyone know what to do here?

redDEAD said...

if you get:

The software source for the package
is not enabled.

make sure you care connected to the net,
and make sure your source lists are all set up right System>Administration>Source Lists
then sudo apt-get update in a terminal

Marcelo said...

I had 7.04 installed and working out of the box. Now, I fresh installed 7.10 but I found the following problems:
- When starting up, I don't get the Ubuntu logo and start up screen (where all the "[ok]" are displayed)
- When trying to configure Compiz as you describe in your article I get this message: "The Composite extension is not available"
- I cannot get to hibernate nor suspend my laptop.

Could you help me out with this? Did any body have these problems also?

redDEAD said...


1. People have been reporting this problem, there was a bug with the installation of Ubuntu 7.10 causing some people to not get a start up screen.

2. try sudo apt-get install xserver-xgl

3. suspend and hibernate do not work because of a bug in the proprietary ATI driver

Marcelo said...

Did anybody solve the problem with the start up screen?

akabrek said...

Marcelo, try this :
open and edit /etc/usplash.conf and change the resolution to 1024x768
then input the following comand:
sudo update-initramfs -u -k `uname -r`

This solved the same issue for me: in my case it was a wrong screen default setting at Gutsy installation.

Alexander Kriegisch said...

Does anybody know how to change the console font for 1501 under Kubuntu 7.10 32-bit? I tried editing /etc/console-tools/config like this:


It has no effect, but interactively issuing
consolechars -f Lat15-Fixed13
works on a text console.

Another question is: How can I use a 1280x800 framebuffer mode via kernel parameter vga=xxx or similar? Do I need to install any special packages?

My final goal is to have a nice-looking, small font in my display's nativ resolution, so I can effectively use MC on a text console.

ser_virtual said...

I just reinstalled Ubuntu 7.10 on a 1501 and tried to get connected via dial up modem (I can seldom get a broad band connection). I followed the link in this blog to Dell's page where the driver is located and did the installation. At the Restricted Device Manager it appears listed and marked as "In Use" but when typping the wvdialconf command I get the message "sorry, no modem found"
Now I don't know wheather the modem driver is ok or not and how to fix it.
Thaks for any help.

redDEAD said...

I couldn't tell you about the modem, I don't have a phone line or access to dial-up numbers.

Neil said...

anyone having issue with their 1501 giving keyboard errors. atkdb.c setkeycodes e00d specifically? Changing my keyboard to other configs doesn't seem to help.

Alexander Kriegisch said...

I have the very same problem with the Linux modem driver. KPPP and other Linux apps say the modem is busy.

Alexander Kriegisch said...

And yet another update - I think a helpful one:

I just had an online chat with a Dell support technician who told me the German phone number of Dell's Ubuntu support hotline:
+49 (69) 9 79 21 57 26

There, after telling the other technician my service tag no., I had to convince him that my Inspiron 1501 does have the same modem as the E1505 which is optionally sold with Ubuntu in opposite to the 1501. He then told me a useful web link:

Navigate to 'Ubuntu on Dell' -> 'Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon"' -> 'New Conexant Modem Driver' (

Having arrived there, download and install it. If you have installed the older version of the driver, you should uninstall or purge it first. The command sequence is as follows:

dpkg --purge hsfmodem
sudo dpkg -i hsfmodem_7.60.00.18oem_i386.deb

The modem immediately worked on my machine. No reboot necessary.

J.B said...

Whenever I try to use Youtube, it doesn't really work. sometimes the screen is a little off and sometimes it doesn't work at all. What should I do?

Alexander Kriegisch said...

I have a 1501 with Kubuntu 7.10 32-bit and am facing massive problems with WLAN (WPA-TKIP authentication) as well as suspend/hibernate, so I suggest that somebody writes seperate articles for these topics. This way we can better discuss the topics.

WLAN: I manages to get it working, but there is something wrong with routing. I have to edit KDE's network settings after each reboot because it always forgets my last settings, no matter if I store them in a profile or not. Network traffic is always routed via eth1 (ethernet card), but my WLAN card is eth0. Unless I change the settings to use eth0 and also deactivate eth1, I cannot get into the internet. Is there a way to persistently store a profile, so I can have my recently selected profile after reboot and also switch between LAN and WLAN profile as needed? Is KDE's network config applet stuff buggy?

Suspend/hibernate: When I had deactivated the proprietary Dell graphics driver (ATI), it hibernation worked for a while, but only with package "hibernate" and manually calling "sudo hibernate-disk". That was not good, but okay.

Recently I had a system crash upon resume after which the graphics resolution was reset to 640x480. So I reactivated the Dell driver, got 1280x800 working again, deactivated the Dell/ATI driver again and am now using the generic driver for 1280x800 screens again. I rebooted several times, but to no avail. Hibernate-disk always hangs, having me manually reboot the system. I even purged and reinstalled the "hibernate" package, but also to no avail. Can somebody help me get this going again? I am so used to using hibernate to disk from WinXP, I do not want to live without it. I really hate having to restart 20 programs after each reboot.

redDEAD said...

Alexander Kriegisch,

Try posting this on the ubuntu forums, a lot of people use KDE, I'm just not one of them. I read your post and think the Ubuntu Forums might be able to help you faster than I could.

Alexander Kriegisch said...

Wel, but at least the hibernation problem is not KDE-related, but 1501-on-Ubunut-related, and is that not what we are talking about on your blog?

lil0tik said...

Hi! Great blog, it inspired me to try a Gutsy install on my new 1501. Having some trouble getting connected via a wired connection. It seems to recognize the Ethernet card (eth0), but when I plug the computer into my cable modem, I get no connection. The "wired network" radio button under network settings is checked; do I need to do some kind of manual configuration?

It appears that this is working just fine for most people; I'm just wondering if I need to set up my connection in some way. I'd like to abandon XP for good, but Comcast tech support is totally unhelpful, as they don't support linux & I can't get any further with setup until I get a wired connection going.

tom wright said...


maybe you could make a custom distro for 1501's with reconstructor?

then you can make it support wifi (properly) and compiz out of the box

it's not hard, most things can be done via gui and the rest you can config in terminal

charles said...

I also am planning on buying a 1501. My main concern is the video card (
ATI Radeon Xpress 1150). I like to play video games like Americas Army and /or Enemy Territory. Do know of any issues with playing either game on the Inspiron 1501.

tom wright said...

i would go for something with an nVidia graphics card

the ATI drivers are just terrible (but getting better), although i can run open arena quite well

dancmd said...

my terminal say:
dan@dancmd:~$ fglrxinfo
display: :0.0 screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: Mesa project:
OpenGL renderer string: Mesa GLX Indirect
OpenGL version string: 1.4 (2.1 Mesa 7.0.1)
but if I go to System>Administration>Restricted Driver Manager I ave the same picture as yours, wih my Ati driver enabled; what's wrong?

redDEAD said...


it didn't install right, the restricted driver manager is buggy.

Marcelo said...

I am usign a USB-Bluetooth adapter and it works out-of-the-box with the gnome-bluetooth package as documented on:

daniel said...

hi i have a problem installing 7.10 on dell 1501 inspiron
its stops and give me the bcm43xx:error:microcode "bcm43xx_microcode5.fw" not availeble or load failed pls help

redDEAD said...


you need to enable the repos for the download to work.

daniel said...

can u be pls more explicit

Marcelo said...

why hibernate/suspend do not work on 7.10 but do on 7.04? what if we install the ATI driver that uses 7.04 on 7.10? or is it the same driver?

Zhang said...

Thank you so much,I've been looking for something like this for a long time, your blogs are just awesome!

Cameron said...


I've found a way to get the brightness controls on the keyboard to work.

You have to recompile your kernel WITHOUT acpi support. For sure it works (I did it on my Slackware system on the 1501). What is happening is that the acpi modules are interfering with the built in hardware controls. You don't need drivers for it, you need to disable the drivers! :D

tom wright said...

it works out of the box in hardy

neo said...

thanks much for such a goog blog ,,i got the ubuntu 7.10 last week by post and wish to install in my dell inspiron ,,,i m now working as a php progarmmer and wish to install lamp in my notebook..but am a novice in the dont know anything abt the installation ..all i know is to install ubuntu in lap since its easy and they will guide me ,,... ..can u plz post a topic for installing lamp in linux and ..i have another doubt>>> can i install the thridparty applications and plugins if i have the the tar files of those ...imnt using a net connection in my home so wish to downlaod al the pgms in office and install at home .....

Violeta said...

Hi everybody,

First I would like to give your my profile in order to put everything in context. I am not a programmer, I am a student of political sciences, I like computers and I am a 8 years Windows user that want to try Ubuntu.
I have a Dell inspiron 1501 that I bought last year with the following specifications.

Dell inspiron 1501
AMD Turion (tm) 64 Mobile Technology MK-36
1.99 GHz, 1,37GB of RAM
Windows XP - Professional
Media Center Edition
Service Pack 2


I need your help to install Ubuntu step by step. I downloaded the LiveCD of Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon 7.10 and I really don't know what is next. One thing that is important for me is not to lost my data and files and I want to keep my XP OS.
So what do you recommend me??

Also.. I posted in a dell forum the same and I have now a confusion maybe you could help me clear.
I'll posted in the next post :P

Violeta said...

(the one I posted in dell forum)

Hi Guys,

I have to say that I am not an IT and the few things I know about computers is because I have heard it. So IT terms difficult to understand. Ok, the issue: I want to have two OS in my laptop dell inspiron 1501. One XP which is intalled already since I bought it 0ne year ago, and the secon I want to install is Ubuntu. The question. How do I make a partition'??

I understand there are three partitions in my HD one is the "default settings obligatoy in case something happens and we can have the computer just as its came from frabric), the second is C and the other one says (unknow partition. I dont know how to do the partition. Maybe you could help me with this.

the specificacion of my system

AMD turion (tm) 64 Mobile technology MK-36

1,99 GHz 1,37 GB of RAM

Microsoft windows XP Media center edition SP2

(the answer)

The way i see this by reading all of your post !

1 you have the small utility partition it is the Dell diagnostic .

2 you have the XP OS partition .

3 You have the OS Restore partition .

If you do not have the media direct partition you will have space of the

4th partition .

If you partition any part of the drive you can not ever go back to the way you bought the laptop !!!


will over right master boot record and the XP OS restore will not work to go back to the factory

settings because it relies on the XP master boot record to make it work .


Ubuntu will not have all of the drivers you need to run the 1501 !!

Just a heads up here !!

Good Luck

tom wright said...

just run wubi.exe from the cd and it will install it for you without you having to partition or delete the XP partition.