Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Beta Overview

A quick note from redDEAD:
This is an outdated article, please refer to my new overview of Ubuntu 7.10 Gusty Gibbon. This article talks only about the Beta and is missing a bunch of updates, the new article covers everything you'll need to know and do to get Ubuntu 7.10 running on your Dell Inspiron 1501.


I installed the beta of Gutsy Gibbon today, so far I'm in love.

The LiveCD doesn't load correctly. To install Gutsy you need to load Start Ubuntu in Safe Graphic Mode at the LiveCD splash screen. From there you just need to install normally.

Works out of the box. Once you sudo apt-get update Gutsy, the Restricted Manager (System>Administration) can install the the firmware for the Broadcom 43xx card in the Dell 1501. Once it downloads the deb, just select the grab the firmware from the web option and in four clicks wi-fi works.

ATI Proprietary Driver:
ATI's 8.37.6 fglrx driver is automatically installed, configured and 3D enabled with the Restricted Driver Manager (System>Administration). It's Faster and more responsive than the Feisty's 8.34.8 fglrx driver. Compiz-Fusion is running really well.

Easiest Compiz install ever. Compiz-Fusion is enabled by default, so all you have to do is sudo apt-get install xserver-xgl compizconfig-settings-manager and Gutsy will configure and setup your Xgl session. Log out and back in and run Compiz-Fusion (compiz --replace) and your desktop effects work. To configure Compiz's options run ccsm.

Media Codecs
Gutsy like Feisty makes codec installation easy, no more automatix or struggling with adding repos. mp3, DVD, avi, aac, mpeg, wmv, asf, mov, flv, mp4, flash codecs are installed when you try to play them. The only thing not enabled is reading encrypted DVDs. For an easy codec install just sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg libxine1-ffmpeg libdvdread3

Works out of the box.

Card Reader:

Works out of the box.

Brightness & Volume:
Works out of the box, so far I've only been able to confirm this with the 1.7 BIOS.

Video Out:
Works out of the box, Gutsy's Screens and Resolutions (System>Administration) makes using multiple monitors a breeze. Configuration doesn't require editing your xorg.conf file.

Suspend & Hibernate:
Doesn't work, my gut is telling me it has to do with a restarting the xserver at login error Feisty also had. I discussed the solution here. Hopefully one of us will figure it out. It is either a matter of finding out how to restart the xserver at login or a BIOS issue. I'm BIOS 1.7, let me know if you get different results with different BIOS version.

Doesn't work, Dell's driver isn't compatible with Gutsy's kernel. Dell is readying it's fixes for Gutsy. Modem deb should be out when Gutsy hits or shortly after.

Overall Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon looks like a great step in the right direction for Dell Inspiron 1501 users. Setup and execution is n00b friendly and extremely easy. I highly recommend you check it out and even recommend installing it. You can find the iso HERE
edited by pHreaksYcle


tom wright said...

good to know i've been fiddling around with ndiswrapper these last few hours for no reason (it just isn't working for me on gutsy); do you know is the restricted drivers method is as fast?

also i can't get the brightness working with BIOS 2.3

the none-safe graphics mode does work but the screen goes black for a few minutes mid startup

Damon said...

Looking good. Thanks for the update.

Quick question....

Is "out of the box" wireless encryption WPA or WEP?

jsl2247 said...

I am using the Broadcom firmware from the restricted drivers and it appears to only be connected at 24Mb/s. I was just wondering if anyone else was experiencing the same thing, or if any one has tried ndiswrapper yet.

Damon said...

Ok, I'm back.......

Just did a dist upgrade using:

update-manager -d

Everything went fine, and everything appears to be working. The wireless connection was my biggest worry, but after the first reboot and putting my password into the keyring manager I was back online. YAY!! \o/

Only problem so far is lack of brightness control. I'll have to look into that.

More later. ;)

slipstream said...

is the broadcom driver on the cd or on the net? if it's on the net, can someone send me a .deb what I can install offline, cause I have no cable connection

Luobotou said...

Great news! NDISwrapper was a flop on my 1501. Who cares about the modem in this "day and age"? I certainly don't but the wireless was something gnawing at me with 7.04.

Kinda like a workable and almost whole OS coming to age - I upgraded and I will take it to work tomorrow and see the reality of the wireless!

My great thanks to yuou for all your help.

lsutiger said...

Did you do a fresh install and lost your previous data and settings or is there an upgrade option to carry over your settings and home folder?

redDEAD said...


back up your home folder, you can take you previous setting with you when you do a fresh install. I just copied my whole home folder and used it in gutsy. didnt have to loose my firefox, evolution, xchat, gaim, & amarok settings.

Hortinstein said...

good to hear...anyone know if we can run aircrack or any programs for wardriving that need to be able to use RAW mode (or something like that)
I really want to start playing with aircrack and airsnort, and kismet

Adrian said...

Upgrading from Feisty wasn't such a good idea for me. The actual upgrade failed on a package (python-opengl), but I could reboot into the new system fine. Wireless worked without having me plug in a LAN connection to download the firmware.. :-??.

In Feisty and Edgy, I had suspend working by using s2ram instead of whatever kernelspace thingy Feisty and Edgy were trying, that is, by installing uswsusp and modifying the HAL scripts to call s2ram --force before trying the other ones. Unfortunately, it appears that in Gutsy the uswsusp package no longer contains s2ram.

I built uswsusp 0.7 from their website, and it doesn't work. When I run s2ram --force, it turns off wireless and switches to vt1, but it won't turn the fan off and shut up.

By the way, I ran Feisty amd64 and Feisty i386 before, and the response time was lower on amd64. Why do you use i386 and why do you recommend it to people?

Damon said...

There was a whole raft of updates today, none of which has resolved the screen brightness issue.

Hibernate/Suspend don't work either - bios version 2.3.0

El Machete said...

I have been installing Linux since the graphic-less versions of Slackware. I have installed Linux in almost any type of computers from 386's to the latest PIVs.

This installation of Ubuntu has been the easiest, fastest and cleanest Linux install ever.

I am very impressed and glad I found your page

Thanks for posting and keep up the good work

Aaron said...

Installed 7.10 via clean install.

Sound does not work (all I am hearing are system beeps) and hibernate/suspend do not work (black screen, no text) on my Inspiron 1501

redDEAD said...


I don't know what to tell you, try installing Ubuntu again. Sound works and it gutsy loads just fine on a bunch of 1501s.

jsl2247 said...

Has anyone got the connection speed of the wirless over 24Mb/s?

Chris said...


My sound was not enabled by default but still worked. Go to System->Preferences->sounds

check each with the test box
If you hear a beeping your sound is working. once you do that you can enable your startup and shutdown sounds in the sounds tab.

Cory said...

Just out of curiosity, does the firmware for the Broadcom work as fast as it does with ndiswrapper on feisty? I see someone only sees it as 24 MB/s.

Marcus said...

Great site!!! I'm burning the beta version now, will reply later how my dell 1501 works with it!

Best Regards!

Marcus said...

I just install the 7.10 BETA.
The partionmanager couldn't resize my hardrive, while install 3 errors came up about som package!
Finaly installed the buggish ubuntu 7.10 it couldn't enable my broadcom wireless card for som reason and the same problem with my ati graphic card!
I downloaded the beta from and burned it with poweriso the slowest speed!
I installed using safe graphic method, didn't even try the first option.

My computer:

Amd X2 1,8Ghz tl-56
2gig ram
Harddrive 120gig
Broadcom Wifi

It seems like i'm the only one that having these problems?

Will give it one more try!

Thanks for this great website!

redDEAD said...


Wouldn't be the 1st time Ubuntu released a bad iso. Anyone one else have these problems?

Donald said...

Is anyone else having sound issues.

Donald said...

I am now noticing that after updates today, my sound is no longer working, is anyone else experiencing this??

redDEAD said...

I updated today and I still have sound

blueboy said...

hi reddead everything wprks for me wifi hybernate suspend emerald nentindo ds emulation wine brightnessa
the whol pakage i thank you i have been following ur blog since u statred heheheh.
but i have one question?
when i left click on the network manager icon and choose from a list of wireless networks... i connect but no internet...
i dont know whats wrong

JTL said...

yo whoever asked about slow connection speed:

This appears to work for people. I'm still downloading the update, but I anticipate having to do this for the broadcom chipset.

pippo said...

Thanks for all the info.
Just a question: is wifi working for you with WPA encryption? I had a bit of trouble making wpa work in feisty on my previous computer (made it in the end), and as I am about to order an inspiron 1501 I would like to know if you (or someone ) have managed to get it to work on the inspiron.

jsl2247 said...

Is there a trick to getting the desktop cube plug in to work? I can not get mine going at all, everything else seems to be working in compwiz-fusion, anyone else experiencing this issue?

pHreaksYcle said...

Hell yes it works. Enterprise and shit too. I use it at my school.

S-Jong said...

Thanks for the useful infos.

Anyway, how to upgrade bios without windows.

I have got 2.3.0. You have 2.7.0(?), right.

I have googled around but I cannot find infos without windows.

Thanks in advance.

redDEAD said...

I have BIOS 1.7. The only other way to flash BIOS that I know of is to use a floppy boot disk. Can anyone one else be of help?

Damon said...

A quick google offers a couple of possibilities (1st / 4th hits):

"bios upgrade floppy cd"

Anyone care to try either of these?

S-Jong said...

I found interesting site for updating dell bios:

But, I could not find the bios-hdrs of Inspiron 1501 according to the instruction.

Maybe we have to wait for the release of the bios-hdrs of 1501 if we want to update the system without windows.


마잇(Mait) said...

After today updates(2007/10/7), suspend and hibernation works well except gnome-power-manager's notify 'hibernation failed', 'suspend failed'.

Fn + Esc : suspend(change behaviour by gnome-power-manager applet's preference)
Fn + F1 : hibernation(cannot change default behaviour)

LCD brightness hotkey doesn't work.

BIOS version 2.4.1

Abo said...

Any one has noticed problem in lauching ccsm??
When I launch it from terminal I get :
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/usr/bin/ccsm", line 45, in <module>
idle = ccm.IdleSettingsParser(context)
File "usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/ccm/", line 229, in __init__
File "usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/ccm/", line 228, in <lambda>
File "usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/ccm/", line 225, in FilterPlugin
AttributeError: 'compizconfig.Plugin' object has no attribute 'Initialized'

I think is due to some library missing but I did not found a solution yet

Brandon said...

everything works on my 1501 except the hibernate/suspend... it will fail to even hibernate or suspend... x crashes at these events and the system hangs til I force it to shutdown

the option to "Restart the Xserver with each login" is not even in my "login window" options, so idk

and brightness still doesn't work, which is bad if you start it up on battery... and I'm using bios 2.6.1 (A14)

redDEAD said...

USE BIOS 1.70!!!!!!!!!!!

Abo said...

Ok that's the solution for many problem, but how can I upgrade it directly from ubuntu?? I red in dell web site to use a bootable dos but how to can I do that?

Brandon said...

well... against my better judgement... I reverted my bios back to 1.7

the brightness function keys work now

now I need to get my mouse working properly... for some reason it's sensitivity went up

below is the link to the old bios for those that want to revert to it

redDEAD said...


BIOS 1.7 is the BIOS you want to use. If your mouse sensitivity is too high, search past articles and you find a how to on adjusting synaptic touchpad in Ubuntu. Its amazing what you can find when you look.

Adrian said...

The Suspend/Resume bug is caused by fglrx.
Please see .

I am now compiling a kernel with SLAB as suggested on the bug report.

Gani said...


Thanks for all the information here. I have 1501 with Gutsy Beta, FGLRX, Compiz running and I am loving it. However, as everybody noted, Suspend / Hibernate is not working. I want to try the uswsusp - Adrian earlier said that s2ram doesnt work in gutsy - I want to do only s2disk - Can anyone confirm that this works?


Tyler said...

I was just reading the Ubuntu 7.10 release notes and saw this:
"Attempting to suspend to RAM using the "fglrx" ATI video driver from the restricted component will hard-lock the system due to changes in the kernel's memory allocator (which will be the default in Linux 2.6.23) that have not been followed by ATI in a timely fashion:

Aaron said...

ok, so i've got a gutsy install and I've been without windows for at least a year now. I've spent a while making this system work well and everything is groovy but for one thing... the whole brightness issue. Is there any way that I can roll back to 1.7 without having to install vista or xp? I tried using the windows flash utility on Dell's site in wine but it failed to execute at all (possibly to my benefit)

redDEAD said...

you could install windows on a falsh drive, the only way i know is to use windows or boot up dos on a floppy. it sucks

Shalom said...

Running Gutsy without problems ... had any of you experimented some problems trying to get connected to some wireless nets??, i´ve heard there are some problems with de dhclient on gutsy

Parampreet said...


I have a Dell Inspiron 6400 on Ubuntu Gutsy. How do I get the display to turn off when the lid is closed? I've set "When laptop lid is closed" to "Blank Screen" under Preferences > Power Management, but the display still remains on when the lid is closed. :(

redDEAD said...


I don't know, the default ATI driver Gutsy uses really sucks. It's messing up power settings, suspend and hibernate. You could hit up the Ubuntu forums and post there, someone might be able to help you write a workaround script. Let me know if you do figure it out.

lsutiger said...

This version rocks! Everything is so simple.

I goofed by backing up my home folder to a .tgz instead of just copying it. I tried to unzip it to my current home folder...not a good idea. Jacked up some stuff. I am on my 2nd install and will dump the backup file to a folder and copy over the relevant stuff.

But by far the easiest install evah!

akabrek said...

if your brightness hotkeys do not work and your eyes are fried, try the following command:

sudo su
echo -n 100 > /proc/acpi/video/VGA/LCD/brightness

(last command is in the same line, space after >)
this will turn the brightness at max,

echo -n 50 > /proc/acpi/video/VGA/LCD/brightness

this will turn the brightness at relaxing level.
Value is stored until you change it again.

It uses the ACPI interface.
Few values are available, to find allowed :
cat /proc/acpi/video/VGA/LCD/brightness

I hope it helps you.

Dan said...

Hibernate and Brightness are the only things not working for me in 7.10. I had planned to roll back the bios to get brightness working however, the flash fails every time I try. I am currently on bios 2.6? When I run the utility to downgrade back to 1.7 the screen corrupts and the system reboots.

JD said...

wireless worked for me...kind of...I kept losing my signal every couple of minutes and I was only connecting at 24mbps. I loaded ndiswrapper again thanks to the handy guide on here and Its stable and at 54mbps. Also having issues with the Brightness, but I have a newer bios. How do I downgrade my bios??? and is this risky? A guide for downgrading bios to 1.7 would be great since I really don't know how to do that.

redDEAD said...


wrote one look on the site

pippo said...

Is sound recording working for you?
Just installed gutsy on my new inspiron 1501.

Audio is fine, alsamixer is working.
I can record with audacity (the version in gutsy is a beta which uses alsa) but cannot record in gnome sound recorder. Also i cannot get people to hear me on skype.

Also in audacity there is some static noise in the recording.

So i'd like to know your experience, since you aren't mentioning it in the overview. (everything else is fine for me including wireless with WPA, except for hibernate/suspend)


Osman said...

I did a clean install in a 1501. I get to hear sounds but I also cannot get the sound recorder to work.

The test button on Sound Preferences for Audio Capture (using ALSA device) hangs the program. Trying to record anything with Audacity also hangs the app.

pulk said...

I'm having the same sound (input) issues like the poster above.
on a fresh 7.10 install yesterday.