full of … these

opensuse 11 on dell inspiron 1501 and dell vostro 1510

Posted: August 14th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: fun, howto, linux | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

I got a new laptop from work, first thing to do with? … of course, install linux….
because ubuntu disappointed me, hdd problem convinced me to try something else (any distro you may chose, i’m pretty sure you have to hack drivers).

From previous experience with dell 1501, i prefered opensuse 11.0.
On 1501, everything was smooth: ndiswrapper for wifi (fwcutter and restricted driver are unstable) ati driver from the opensuse’s page (check http://en.opensuse.org/Ati).
Graphic performaces? Not even like in windows, too bad.

Now let’s get back to vostro 1510.
After installing opensuse 11 with gnome, the keyboard and touch pad did not work.
No fix on google.
No problem let’s try kde (last kde I had used was on redhat 9, that’s on 2003-2004).
After several minutes and one reboot I could log in. Strange to work with kde but not with gnome.
Those guys from gentoo said it’s becuase ACPI. Anyway it works.
Now let’s fix network:
– the wired network πŸ™‚

rmmod/modprobe r8169 driver to have the wired internet working

– the wireless network

ndiswrapper saves the day, I’ll not give details, I add the fact that I have used XP drivers from dell.com.

For the video card:

go to opensuse’s page download the ymp file and use it with yast. For compiz use simple-ccsm.


– opensuse 11.0 works better on dell 1501 than ubuntu (i have tried with ubuntu 6.06, 7.10 and 8.04);
– i have no ideea why gnome did not work (the keyboard was not working) and kde succeded to be used on vostro 1501;
– ubuntu is not the only and last alternative to windows on your desktop or laptop, I still have ubuntu installed, but sometime is a pain to modify/hack it;
– the video card from vostro (Nvidia Geforce 8400M) performs as expected (2600fps when running glxgears), compiz works perfect;
– no hdd problems when running opensuse on these two laptops, no need to modify the power management of the harddisk to save it’s life.

I’ll write more about these linux distro in combination with the laptops I have around.

14 Comments on “opensuse 11 on dell inspiron 1501 and dell vostro 1510”

  1. 1Andrei said at 9:58 pm on August 14th, 2008:

    I have the same keyboard problem with openSuse 11.0 on my HP nx7400 laptop. The weird thing is that it works correctly while using the live cd. Even weirder is that the touchpad is working.

    Hope to fix it somehow, I was really looking forward to testing it. Until then, Ubuntu will do.


  2. 2Andrei said at 11:32 pm on August 14th, 2008:

    Try converting the root partition to ext3. It seems to have solved the problem in my case. πŸ™‚ I can’t find the link that presented this solution, but it’s somewhere on the web. I used reiserfs for my first install. Maybe it will help you too.


  3. 3paul said at 7:39 am on August 15th, 2008:

    I used reiserfs too.
    I’ll give a try ASAP.

  4. 4Andrei said at 10:34 am on August 15th, 2008:

    Hehe. That’s what we get for trying to use a better FS. πŸ™‚

    I can say that the problem is fixed by changing to ext3. I used the laptop for about 4 hours without any problems. Then came the usability problems. Yast is very slow. Sometimes it takes 2 minutes to open the Display settings window. Another big problem is that the bluez-utils package does not come with hidd, so there is no way (none that I know of) to connect my bluetooth mouse. Other than recompiling the package.

    The good parts:
    – great look and feel for Gnome
    – I love the Gnome main menu – SLAB
    – all hardware worked out of the box, including the Intel 3945 wireless card
    – compiz runs very smoothly

    Well, back to Ubuntu. Cheers.

  5. 5paul said at 8:11 am on August 16th, 2008:

    Well, you are right, with ext3 everything went smooth: opensuse 11.0 on vostro 1510 with gnome, compiz, skype, etc.
    The microphone (integrated with camera) gave me a headache, but now it’s working.

    But, the reiserfs problem should be fixed by opensuse. I’ll search their wiki for more info.

    Thanks for the tip!

  6. 6Chris said at 8:22 pm on October 1st, 2008:

    how did you get the mic to work?

    thanks in advance!

  7. 7paul said at 9:29 am on October 2nd, 2008:

    Hi Chris,
    Regarding the mic and the camera:
    I used some gnome tools, let me reinstall opensuse and I’ll write down some notes on how to make it work.


  8. 8paul said at 9:49 pm on October 3rd, 2008:

    Chris, check the post I wrote today:


  9. 9Melvin Lobo said at 10:28 pm on October 7th, 2008:

    I installed OpenSuse 11 on Dell Vostro 1510. The touchpad is giving a problem. It moves very slowly and the tapping is not working on that. My filesystem is ext3. Any suggestions?


  10. 10paul said at 9:05 am on October 8th, 2008:

    Install video adapter drivers, run sax2 -r to configure it.
    Run again sax2 and to check in the mouse section if you have the touchpad one.
    Additionally, you may activate the second mouse, on USB, if you use one.

  11. 11Melvin Lobo said at 7:37 pm on October 19th, 2008:

    Got my Dell Vostro 1510 to work with OpenSuse-11 with Ethernet, Wireless and Touchpad [tapping] working.
    Paul, Thanks for the touchpad tip.

  12. 12User links about "opensuse" on iLinkShare said at 6:03 pm on October 28th, 2008:

    […] | user-saved public links | iLinkShare 4 votesopensuse 11 on dell inspiron 1501 and dell vostro 1510>> saved by Heartlesz 1 days ago4 votesopenSUSE vanilla kernel part 2….>> saved by hominymanchild […]

  13. 13Keheliya Gallaba said at 7:31 am on June 11th, 2009:

    Everything works fine in my Dell Vostro 1510 for linux mint 6 felicia. Even compiz & skype with video. So what do you think about mint as a distro?

  14. 14paul said at 8:38 am on June 11th, 2009:

    I do not own a dell vostro 1510 anymore… unfortunately.
    I’ll keep in mind this distro to test it as soon as I will get a new laptop.

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