Everything you need to get Ubuntu 8.04 running on your Dell Inspiron 1501.
Hardy installs with no problems. Whether you're using the LiveCD, Alternative Install or Wubi.
1. The Restricted Driver Manager can install the Broadcom B43 fireware.
Firmware cutter will not work when used through the Driver Manager. In order to install B43-fwcutter you need to use the terminal.
In a terminal Type:
sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter
2. Use NDISwrapper to install the driver. This guide will walk you through the setup.
ATI Proprietary Driver
1. The Restricted Driver Manager can install the the driver for ATI graphics card in the Dell 1501. ATI's 2.1.7281 fglrx driver is automatically installed, configured and 3D enabled. The best part is that the new Ubuntu repository fglrx driver supports AIGLX, no more XGL.
2. You can install the newest ATI driver that uses AIGLX yourself. You can find that guide here (use method two) or use Envy to install the newest ATI driver for you.
Compiz-Fusion is enabled once you install the ATI Propiety Driver.
To get the most out of Compiz try installing the advanced configuration tool.
In a terminal:
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
Hardy Heron makes codec installation easy mp3, DVD, avi, aac, mpeg, wmv, asf, mov, flv, mp4, flash codecs are installed when you try to play them. If you like to add all the major codecs and make playback easy, check out my codec cheatsheet. The only thing not enabled in Ubuntu is reading encrypted DVDs. To add DVD playback and some other helpful media codecs to Ubuntu follow this guide.
Works out of the box. In order to do any of these guides you're going to need to plug in your Dell Inspiron 1501. Don't be cheap, go out and buy an Ethernet cable.
Brightness & Volume
Brightness (Fn Up/Down Arrow) and Volume (Fn Page Up/Page Dn) keyboard shortcuts both work with BIOS 1.70. Please leave a comment letting others know if your BIOS work.
Suspend & Hibernate
Both Suspend and Hibernate work with BIOS 1.70 and the Ubuntu repository ATI 2.1.7281 fglrx driver. Please leave a comment letting others know if your BIOS and/or ATI driver combination work. You can find a mini guide about BIOS flashing here.
Works out of the box, Hardy's Screens and Resolutions (System>Administration>Screens and Resolutions) makes using multiple monitors a breeze. Configuration doesn't require editing your xorg.conf file.
The Conexant Modem driver is usually released by Dell once they switch their Linux machines over to the new version of Ubuntu. I'll update the site and this space when Dell releases the new driver.
Works out of the box.
Hardy Heron is the Ubuntu release that Dell Inspiron 1501 owners have been waiting for. Everything works, you only need to install 3 drivers (ATI, wireless and modem). If you were hesitant about trying Ubuntu on your 1501, rest assured, it takes minimal skill and computer knowledge to setup.