Ubuntu on Dell E1505 Core Duo 2/ATI x1400. Part I of Many !


Just got my Dell E1505 with all bells and whistles ! Core Duo 2 7200, 2GB, ATI x1400 and 15.4 WSXGA+ 1680 X 1050, 129 X126 pixels ! This was a gift for me on my son’s 8th birthday (He is still a little young to ask one for himself ! He already has a shuttle with AMD dual core)

I will document my adventures with UbuntuEdgy installs. First a few observations – Linux still is not as transparent as Windows and that affects the experience. We had raised this at https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+spec/what-do-non-geeks-want. I do not think it is not anything special about Windows or Linux, just the economics of scale. Dell, most probably, spends lots of resources to configure and test a Windows system with all the cards and so my E1505 recognizes the home wireless network and works as soon as I enter the SSID and the paraphrase.

Step 0 : Install Ubuntu

I had trouble installing the standard version – it hangs up after the first couple of screens. My guess is that it has trouble with the ATI X1400. So I made a CD wtih the alternate 386 iso and was able to install sucessfully. Of course the default display resolution is 1024X768.

Step 1 : Enable dual core

First check if smp is enabled with the command [cat /proc/cpuinfo] and scroll up to see if it shows two cpus 0 and 1. Also the model name should show the CPU you have.

If it does not show all the CPUs you think you should have (2 for dual core) install the smp with the command [sudo apt-get install linux-686-smp]

Restart and check cpuinfo again.

Step 2 : ATI drivers

New ATI Drivers : http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=603&num=1

Note : ATI assumes bash while 6.10 defaults to dash. One suggestion http://www.marteydodoo.com/2006/08/29/installing-binary-ati-drivers-on-ubuntu-edgy/feed/ is to run the ati install bash ati-driver-installer-8.28.8.run

Step 3 : Install automatix2

This is straight forward. IMHO, automatix is essential

Step 4 : Install development tools – Eclipse, CDT

Not that hard either. Download eclipse. untar into a directory, add link to desk top. C development CDT can be installed inside Eclipse

Step 5: Wireless

It doesn’t recognize the wireless at all ! Need to set up the wireless plus WPA2.

Intel wireless drivers site http://downloadfinder.intel.com/scripts-df-external/filter_results.aspx?strTypes=all&Prod

One wireless Link http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=140085 [Thanks to akhilleus (in comments)]

Step 5 : Kernel sources

[Dec 20,2007] Dell Linux Site : http://linux.dell.com/

I just got another Dell (in addition to my 1505, Dual Quad Core Sc1430!) – A Dell 1521, 1280X800 ATI, 2 GB machine. Planning to install Ubuntu and chronicle the results]

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6 thoughts on “Ubuntu on Dell E1505 Core Duo 2/ATI x1400. Part I of Many !

  1. Will you be updating this with more information? I’m waiting for my laptop from the same deal, and I’m planning on getting ubuntu on it. It’d be nice to have some reference, especially for the wireless hell…

    And how does the x1400 do? did you try installing beryl on it at all??

  2. Here’s another good link for wireless:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=125150

    You’ll probably want to use NetworkManager to set up your wireless. It’s pretty easy, though there are some gotchas: 1) Debugging information is spartan, 2) Since NetworkManager is doing the networking, /etc/network/interfaces needs to be cleaned out of everything but the loopback stuff.

    You can use gnetworkmanager or knetworkmanager as a gui to interface with NetworkManager.

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