Dell Vostro 1500

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Test Configuration: 1.4Ghz Core 2 Duo; 2G RAM, Intel integrated Graphics card, Bluetooth, no webcam


Device Status Modules
Intel GM965/GL960 Onboard Graphics Working xf86-video-intel
NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS Working Nouveau
Ethernet Working b44
Wireless Working iwl3945
Audio Working snd_hda_intel
Modem Untested
Card Reader Working


No problems noted after a few days of use.


  1. Use the standard Arch installation disc (I used archlinux-2009.02-core-i686.iso). Note that the FULL install disk (with "core" in the name instead of "ftp", approx. 320MB) has the necessary drivers to install wireless networking for the Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 card. You can use the "ftp" install disc if you will be installing the base system over wired ethernet.)
  2. Follow the Beginners' guide


Xorg 7.4

  1. Install xorg
    pacman -S xorg
  2. Install Synaptic Mouse Driver
    pacman -S xf86-input-synaptics

The new xorg auto-configuration (starting without an xorg.conf file) worked fine for me. In fact, none of the recommended methods of generating a usable starting xorg.conf file worked for me. So try the easy route and just "startx." Note that CTRL-ALT-BACKSPACE is disabled by default in the latest Xorg, so if you do not have a window manager installed, you might need to use CTRL-ALT-F1 to get back to a console to CTRL-C kill Xorg manually.


The default synaptics configuration is set up for two finger vertical scroll and one-tap click, which works well for me. See Touchpad_Synaptics for more info.


Intel PRO/Wireless 3945

One source of helpful information about your hardware is the Arch package 'hwd' Install with:

 pacman -S hwd

If your hwd -s shows this:

 Network    : PRO/Wireless 3945ABG [Golan] Network Connection module: iwl3945

You are required to get iwlwifi-3945-ucode out of [core].

# pacman -S iwlwifi-3945-ucode

This package is also available [core-devel] on the 2009.02 installer CD.

Then add iwl3945 to your MODULES array in /etc/rc.conf

MODULES=( ... iwl3945 ... )

If your hwd -s shows another wireless card, search the Arch wiki for information or see the Wireless Startup Guide.


Wicd is a network manager which allows you to connect to wireless networks very easily, you can follow this wiki page Wicd


Still untested, but the following is pasted in from a page about the Dell Inspirion 1521:

  • Suspend and Hibernate works with pm-utils
  • Also works by issuing
    echo mem > /sys/power/state

Adjust Brightness

Adjust normally with the FN Keys if your using the kernel 2.6.24 or greater


Untested for me, but this may work for you: You need hsfmodem package from AUR in order to get modem working. After you install that package you need to:

  1. Run hsfconfig as root to build the module and initialise the modem. A reboot is required before the modem can be initialised. Run hsfconfig again after reboot.
  2. The modules are automatically loaded and a /dev/modem symlink is setup for use with the modem. Now use wvdial or other dialer programs to connect to the internet.

I didn't test dialing, however I could see the modem device in /dev.


I do not have one, but you may need the uvcvideo module (someone confirm this)

# modprobe uvcvideo

Add it to your /etc/rc.conf modules line. More information can be found in Webcam_Setup wiki entry.

For more information see the Webcam_Setup page.

USB, SD card slot, Ethernet, Firewire, VGA, S-video

All work out of the box.


Get xbindkeys from [extra]:

# pacman -S xbindkeys

Add 'xbindkeys &' in $HOME/.xinitrc right before your window manager is executed.

Create $HOME/.xbindkeysrc file with:

"amixer set Master 5+ unmute"

"amixer set Master 5- unmute"

"amixer set 'Master' toggle"

#"audioplayer -next"
# XF86AudioNext

#"audioplayer -pause"
# XF86AudioPlay

#"audioplayer -stop"
# XF86AudioStop

#"audioplayer -previous"
# XF86AudioPrev

SD Card Reader

Works out of the box. I do this to mount:

 sudo mkdir /mnt/scard
 sudo mount -t vfat /dev/mmcblk0p1 /mnt/sdcard




Keyboard & Synaptics: