Dell Inspiron 8500

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I didn't even finished the text, so don't follow exactly whats here, only inspire yourself until I'm finished. ArchLinux is my best experience so far with linux on this computer, even if its a laptop! I've tried Mandrake 10, 10.1, Suse 9.2, Gentoo 2004.3 and Fedora Core 2 and 3. I really like the KISS philosophy!

To do

  • Clean up new wiki. MediaWiki is great but has break all the layout... Need to clean this mess!
  • Make swsusp2 work
  • Clean up of acpi/cpufreq with the governor chooser
  • ACPI daemon and events
  • Better kernel configuration display


  • Ethernet: Broadcom chip, use b44 module
  • Wireless: Dell TrueMobile 1300 ndiswrapper
  • Audio: ac97 (?)
  • Display: 1920x1200
  • Firewire
  • InfraRed (IrDa)

Partially Working

  • nVidia Geforce4 4200 Go (64 Mb)

Not Working

  • Modem

Unknown / Untested


To do


A working v2.6.19 config is at

To do


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 procedur 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 Throtle

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 Do




Gentoo Power Management Guide

Gentoo Dell Inspiron 8500 Wiki

Software Suspend 2

Linux on Laptops

Linux on a Dell Inspiron 8500


RedHat 9.0

Fedora Core 2

Suse 9.2

Slackware Linux


Linux Debian 3.1