Dell Vostro 3500

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This page deals with setting up Arch Linux on the Dell Vostro 3500 laptop.


This laptop has several CPU configurations and that will depend on the purchase. The one we are documenting has a Core i5-460M CPU.

$ uname -p
Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU M 460 @ 2.53GHz

This CPU is capable of frequency scaling.

Fan Control

Warning: Be careful about fan control. Incorrect setting of fan speeds can lead to irreparable CPU break

This laptop can use the i8k kernel module to control fan, but will need some adjustments and tweaks.

First of all, this laptop only has one fan and by default it is controlled by the BIOS. This setting is not bad but the only thing BIOS does is to turn on the fan at maximum speed, that can be unnecessary and annoying in loudness.

Install the i8kutils and i8kmon package from the [extra] repository

# pacman -S i8kutils i8kmon

You need to load the i8k module

# modprobe i8k

To make this permanent. Add it to the MODULES array in rc.conf.

This will enable the utilities to control the fan through 'i8kfan' program. You can check the current state of the fan by running:

$ i8kfan
-1 1

The first number is the first fan (unused because this laptop only has one fan). The second show the fan speed in two preset speeds: '1' and '2'. Also the i8kutils package provides a daemon to control the fans automatically based on CPU temperature.

Warning: Again, fan control can be dangerous if done wrong.

First, monitor the temperature along the way. If something goes wrong and core temperature starts rising run:

$ i8kfan 2 2

That will turn the fan to the maximum, then wait for the laptop to cool off. To monitor the temperature install Lm sensors then open a terminal and run

$ watch sensors

This will report the temperature every 2 seconds.

Tip: you can have a better reading by using the coretemp kernel module

Check the i8kmon and i8kctl manpages on how to configure the fan configuration. here are some sane values for /etc/i8kutils/i8kmon.conf

# Temperature thresholds: {fan_speeds low_ac high_ac low_batt high_batt}
set config(0)	{{- 0}  -1  40  -1  45}
set config(1)	{{- 1}  30  55  35  60}
set config(2)	{{- 2}  45  80  50  80}
set config(3)	{{- 2}  70 128  70 128}



Works out of the box. Just set up dhcpd daemon, plug and go.


$ lspci -d 14e4:4727
12:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4313 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN Controller (rev 01)

You will need the broadcom-wlAUR proprietary driver for it to work properly. Current new kernels support basic functionality but freezes the system when hot-plugging the device and causes hibernation/suspend issues.

A dirty way to make the wireless work is described in what follows.

First, compile the the broadcom-wlAUR driver from AUR, using the instructions in AUR#Installing_packages wiki, in order to obtain the wl module.

Second, add blacklist bcma to /etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf and restart the computer. Finally, do

# rmmod wl
# rmmod brcmsmac
# rmmod brcmutil
# modprobe wl

Now the wifi LED is supposed to turn on, and it should to work, as one can check using

$ iwlist eth1 scan

from the wireless_tools wireless_tools package.


Intel card

Nvidia card

Works well under bumblebee with both nvidia and nouveau drivers.