Dell Inspiron 1520

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This is the wiki entry for the Dell XPS 1520 laptop. It's heavily under construction, and it's based on the Dell Inspiron 8500 page.

To do

  • everything...


  • Ethernet: Broadcom chip, use b44 module
  • Wireless: Dell Wireless 1395 802.11g Mini Card ndiswrapper
  • Audio: intel8x0 (Sigmatel)
  • Display: 1440x900
  • Multimedia keys (set up xmodmap)
  • nVidia GeForce 8600M GT (256MB GDDR2)
  • SD card slot

Unknown / Untested

  • Modem
  • Firewire
  • Infrared


To do


Works with 2.6.24 and 2.6.25 out of the box.

This is my working xorg.conf:

ATI Mobility Raedon 9600

my working /etc/X11/xorg.conf Note: I have an Alps touchpad that uses the synaptics driver. You would need to install the "synaptics" package to use it. (As configured below it has no tapping.)

# **********************************************************************
# Modules section. This allows modules to be specified
# **********************************************************************

Section "Module"
       Load  "ddc"  # ddc probing of monitor

Load "dbe" #Load "dri" Load "extmod" Load "glx"

       Load  "bitmap" # bitmap-fonts

Load "type1" Load "freetype" Load "record" Load "synaptics"


# ******************************
# Files section
# ******************************

Section "Files"

   	RgbPath      "/usr/share/X11/rgb"

ModulePath "/usr/lib/xorg/modules" FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/misc" FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/75dpi" FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/100dpi" FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/Type1" FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/encodings" FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/cyrillic"


# ******************************
# Server flags section
# ******************************

Section "ServerFlags"


# ******************************
# Core keyboard's InputDevice section
# ******************************

Section "InputDevice"
	Identifier  "Keyboard0"

Driver "keyboard"

       Option      "CoreKeyboard"

Option "XkbRules" "xorg" Option "XkbModel" "pc105" Option "XkbLayout" "se"


# ******************************
# Core Pointer's InputDevice section
# ******************************

Section "InputDevice"
       Identifier      "USB Mouse"
       Driver          "mouse"
       Option          "Device"                "/dev/input/mice"

Option "SendCoreEvents" "true"

       Option          "Protocol"              "IMPS/2"
       Option          "ZAxisMapping"          "4 5"
       Option          "Buttons"               "5"


Section "InputDevice"

Identifier "Touchpad"

       Driver          "synaptics"
       Option  "Device"        "/dev/input/mouse0"

Option "Protocol" "auto-dev" Option "LeftEdge" "1700" Option "RightEdge" "5300" Option "TopEdge" "1700" Option "BottomEdge" "4200" Option "FingerLow" "25" Option "FingerHigh" "30" Option "MaxTapTime" "180" Option "MaxTapMove" "220" Option "VertScrollDelta" "100" Option "MinSpeed" "0.06" Option "MaxSpeed" "0.12" Option "AccelFactor" "0.0010" Option "SHMConfig" "on"


# ******************************
# Monitor section
# ******************************

Section "Monitor"

Identifier "Dell Inspiron 1520 WXGA+ LCD" Option "DPMS" "true"


# ******************************
# Graphics device section
# ******************************

Section "Device"

Identifier "NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT" Driver "nvidia" VendorName "NVIDIA" BoardName "8600M GT" Option "NoLogo" "true" Option "AllowGLXWithComposite" "true" Option "Coolbits" "1" Option "Triplebuffer" "true" Option "OnDemandVBlankInterrupts" "true"


# ******************************
# Screen sections
# ******************************

Section "Screen"

Identifier "Screen0" Device "NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT" Monitor "Dell Inspiron 1520 WXGA+ LCD" DefaultColorDepth 24 SubSection "Display" Depth 24 Modes "1440x900" "1280x800" "1280x768" "1280x720" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480" EndSubSection SubSection "Display" Depth 32 Modes "1440x900" "1280x800" "1280x768" "1280x720" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480" EndSubSection


# ******************************
# ServerLayout sections.
# ******************************

Section "ServerLayout"

Identifier "Xorg Configured" Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0 InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard" InputDevice "USB Mouse" "CorePointer"

       InputDevice    "Touchpad" "SendCoreEvents"


# ******************************
# DRI extension options section
# ******************************

Section "DRI"
   Group "video"
   Mode 0666

Section "Extensions"
   Option "Composite" "Enable"


Infrared receiver

First shutdown computer, reboot and enter the BIOS by pressing F2. Find the Infrared option, enable it (it is disable by default!) and set it to COM2. Visit LIRC's webpage and download their latest CVS snapshot. Extract, go into directory and run :

> wget
> tar -jxvf lirc-0.8.1pre3.tar.bz2
> cd lirc-0.8.1pre3
> ./

Then select :

1 Driver configuration
--> 6 IrDA hardware
   --> 1 SIR IrDA (built-in IR ports)
3 Save configuration & run configure

Now make it :

make && sudo make install

Be sure you do not have the irdautils package. It blocks the serial port. You will need to load the "lirc_sir" module. If you got error like :

lirc_sir: i/o port 0x02f8 already in use.

in dmesg, run this command as root :

# /bin/setserial /dev/ttyS1 uart none

then try again to modprobe "lirc_sir". If it works, create the file "/etc/modprobe.d/lirc" and put is that line :

install lirc_sir /bin/setserial /dev/ttyS1 uart none; /sbin/modprobe --ignore-install lirc_sir

This will run the command above each time you try to modprobe the "lirc_sir" module. Add the module to autoload (/etc/modules).

Now continue as the installation procedure of lirc.

Power Management

I suggest you read Gentoo Power Management Guide for great information. After some work on this I wanted to add some information specific to the I8500.

CPU Throttling

Modprobe the modules :

  • cpufreq_conservative
  • cpufreq_ondemand
  • cpufreq_userspace
  • cpufreq_powersave

Then set the governor by using cpufreq-set. For ondemand :

# cpufreq-set -g ondemand

For performance (higher frequency):

# cpufreq-set -g performance

For powersaving (lower freqency) :

# cpufreq-set -g powersave


To turnoff the computer when you press the power button, put the following in /etc/acpi/

       case "$2" in
                   logger "PowerButton pressed: $2"
           *)    logger "ACPI action undefined: $2" ;;

Replace the "halt" line with the shutdown command of your choice.

To turn off the backlight of an ATI Radeon Mobility card, put the following in /etc/acpi/

       case "$2" in
               logger "ACPI button/lid action"
               STATE=`radeontool light`
               case "$STATE" in
                   "The radeon backlight looks on") radeontool light off ;;
                   "The radeon backlight looks off") radeontool light on ;;

This requires that you have the radeontool package installed (it is in AUR). You also need to add "acpid" to the DAEMONS array in /etc/rc.conf.



Linux on a Dell Inspiron 1520