Dell XPS M1330

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Dell XPS M1330 works quite well out of the box with Arch and GNU/Linux in general, just like his big brother Dell XPS M1530. Here you can find (or put !) information to configure your laptop and become a mobile Archer.


Sound should now work out of the box. Just be sure to unmute all channels in alsamixer. To get the microphone working, you may have to change the digital input source (right now I have Digital Mic 1 but this could change in a new alsa version).

I suggest muting the PC speaker using alsamixer, as it makes an annoying squeak otherwise (unenabling the speaker using !snd_pcsp in the modules array of rc.conf didn't work for me).

Touchpad Synaptics

To configure the touchpad, you can refer to: Touchpad Synaptics Page.

Fingerprint reader

As of today, the device manufacturer is SGS Thomson Microelectronics (you can check with a "lsusb"). Install it using ThinkFinger.

If you can't get thinkfinger going, try fprint

Install fprint

 sudo pacman -Sy fprint

Add yourself to the scanner group

 sudo gpasswd -a username scanner

Enroll your finger print

 sudo pam_fprint_enroll

If you want to use your fingerprint with sudo, edit the PAM config file for sudo, /etc/pam.d/sudo, as follows:

auth    sufficient
auth    required try_first_pass nullok_secure 
auth    required

When you do something with sudo, it should ask you to swipe your finger


Ethernet Setup

the ethernet card is recognized by the kernel, simply load the network module to use it, or use a connection manager (see Wireless Setup for a list of programs)

Wireless Setup

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  • Intel chipset : 4965agn

This is the most common chipset, the correct wireless driver to install is iwlwifi-4965-ucode.
To get the wifi LED working, you can install compat-wireless from AUR. See this forum thread (some versions can freeze your system !).

NOTE: The wifi light works "out of the box" using the 2009.8 install disc.

Using NetworkManager makes the wireless and wired GUI connection interface in GNOME easy. It is possible to disable the annoying 'feature' whereby the Gnome Keyring keeps asking for a password at login by editing /etc/pam.d/login in addition to the other edits suggested to /etc/pam.d/gdm [1]. You can also try deleting ~/.gnome2/keyrings. This is especially useful if you don't use gdm to login, rather login straight from the shell. YMMV if you use kde or another DE.

NOTE: You may run into some trouble with the 2.6.25 Kernel: being unable to logon to any wireless network. Some people suggested using the compat-wireless package from AUR, but that didn't really help. When using the package dated 2008.05.26. the wireless card may be detected, but you may still not be able to connect. The newest version(2008.06.11.) also may not find your card, so can't even see any wireless networks. Reverting back to kernel MAY help
- Nihathrael 07:53, 11 June 2008 (EDT)

NOTE: Running 2.6.25 is fine with module 'iwl4695' version 1.2.23k (according to dmesg), which is obtainable from core/iwlwifi-4965-ucode
- Oblong_Cheese 09:11, 18 June 2008 (AEST)

NOTE: Running 2.6.25 is fine with module 'iwl4695' version 1.2.23k, But upgrading to iwlwifi-4965-ucode crashes the notebook. Downgrading to and works fine. - User:Pix 15:56, 1 August 2008 (UTC+1)

  • Intel chipset : 3945abg

The correct wireless driver to install is iwlwifi-3945-ucode.

  • Broadcom chipset : bcm43xx or b43 or bcm4312

See this or this or this.

NOTE: The Broadcom 4310 chipset is unsupported by bcm43xx and b43 ( but is now supported by the official broadcom driver BCM4312, check this wiki entry - Mak 00:15, 29 November 2008 (EST)).

NOTE: For getting the Dell Wireless 1395 802.11g Mini Card to work (or any other card with the 4310 chipset), I have made a brief guide for getting this card to work. - Madhat 02:09, 2 August 2008 (EST)

NOTE: Arch 64 with Dell Wireless 1395 (Broadcom 4312 chipset): Use the bcm4312 driver referenced above, works like a charm with Arch 64. Wireless will be called eth1 instead of wlan0, so be sure to change all references of wlan0 to eth1 (like in Wicd if you're using it.) - User:greyhat.goon 13:09, 1 January 2009 (PST)


Warning: If you have had Windows Vista installed, MAKE SURE YOU SWITCH THE BLUETOOTH MODULE 'ON' IN VISTA! Failure to do this can render the bluetooth device (Wireless 355 Bluetooth Module) unuseable in Arch or any other O/S such as Windows 7 or XP. This is despite enabling the module in the BIOS, or even reflashing the BIOS. The Bluetooth module remains firmly 'off'. Annoying.

Before taking drastic measures however, ensure the transmitter switch is 'On' - it's the switch on the right-hand side of the laptop next to the slot loading DVD Drive. If this switch is 'off' then wifi won't work either.

If you're unfortunate to find yourself with Arch installed and a 'switched off' bluetooth device your only solution may be to reinstall Vista and switch the module back on before re-installing Linux. You can safely delete Vista again once you have switched the module back on. Another option is to install Windows 7 or XP then re-enable the module using the Dell patch (R159805.EXE) as described here:

Once you've enabled your Bluetooth module, you can then install the relevant software.

Install bluez-utils & bluez-libs from extra repository:

pacman -S bluez-utils bluez-libs

Edit /etc/conf.d/bluetooth:


Restart bluetooth service:

/etc/rc.d/bluetooth restart

A list of utilities for bluetooth managing is present in AUR database.

If the above solutions don't work, for example, your Logitech BT Travel Mouse is detected the first time only, then fails to be detected, you can try removing bluez-utils and installing blueman instead:

sudo pacman -S blueman

nVidia Graphics

For those of you with the nVidia 8400GM chipset, using the nVidia driver package works fine.

Compiz Fusion

Works just great with the nVidia chipset. You might like to tweak the nVidia Powermizer for maximum battery life. I have forced my graphics chipset to the lowest performance level and Compiz-Fusion runs satisfactorily with a little slowdown here and there. See this part of the Arch nVidia wiki for more details on how to set this up.

To have better performance with nVidia drivers, you should try "loose binding" in Compiz Fusion (bug with Geforce 8 series). If you use Fusion Icon, just right click it, then "Compiz Options"->"Loose Binding".


Template:Box Note With 180.x series of proprietary NVidia driver, suspend does not work properly, using 177.x series helps but it's slower in 2d rendering. Hibernate also works with 180.x series.

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With acpi-freq running, you might notice that CPU1 is deactivated after using pm-suspend. To fix this you have to unload acpi-freq module each time pm-suspend is called.

Put this in /etc/pm/sleep.d/66dummy :

case $1 in
        rmmod -f acpi_cpufreq
        modprobe acpi_cpufreq
    *)  echo "somebody is calling me totally wrong."

Then make it executable :

chmod +x /etc/pm/sleep.d/66dummy

Solution was provided by this forum topic.

Hard Drive

If your hard drive clicks regurlarly, you may suffer from this problem. To fix it, add those lines to your /etc/rc.local :

hdparm -B 254 /dev/sdX >> /dev/null

or :

hdparm -B 224 /dev/sdX >> /dev/null

(replace X in "sdX" by the letter of your drive, e.g : sda)

When resuming from a pm-suspend, you might notice that this damn hard drive is clicking again. To fix this, modify your /etc/pm/sleep.d/66dummy to put the lines above. Following the last example in previous suspend section :

case $1 in
        rmmod -f acpi_cpufreq
        modprobe acpi_cpufreq
        hdparm -B 224 /dev/sda >> /dev/null
    *)  echo "somebody is calling me totally wrong."

If not already done, make it executable.

SD Card Reader

The device is recognized by the kernel. The Adapter module is: sdhci

The card will be availabe for mounting under the device:



Template:Box Note

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If this is the case, you can try to fix / replace / install the needed hardware according the following: [2], [3], [4]

For kernels prior to 2.6.26,you have to install linux-uvc drivers to have a working webcam (works for both VGA webcam from LED display and HD webcam from CCFL display apparently) :

pacman -S linux-uvc-svn

Then you have to load corresponding modules :

modprobe usbvision
modprobe uvcvideo

If you want them to be loaded at startup, put usbvision and uvcvideo in the MODULES section of /etc/rc.conf.

Sensors / Hardware info

Install i8k packages :

pacman -S i8kmon i8kutils

This will provide many useful information (temperature, fan speed, bios...) and utilities (fan monitor, bios update...). For CPU temps, use Lm sensors.

Extra media keys

  • They are recognized by default with evdev so you can directly bind them.

If you use Gnome, go in System->Preferences->Keyboard Shortcuts.

The remote control should work fine too.

  • If you are not using evdev you can still map those keys with xmodmap.

First you need to identify the corresponding keycodes, for instance, running xev, and map them with an ~/.Xmodmap file. Here is my ~/.Xmodmap file that you can copy (it may not work on your own machine - try xev first):

keycode 144 = XF86AudioPrev
keycode 153 = XF86AudioNext
keycode 160 = XF86AudioMute
keycode 162 = XF86AudioPause
keycode 164 = XF86AudioStop
keycode 174 = XF86AudioLowerVolume
keycode 176 = XF86AudioRaiseVolume
keycode 222 = XF86PowerDown

You can now load the mappings with:

xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap

If you are using a lightweight window manager like Openbox or Awesome then you might want to use xbindkeys to set the mapped keys to functions like so:

"amixer set Master mute"
    m:0x0 + c:121
"amixer set Master 1dB+ unmute"
    m:0x0 + c:122
"amixer set Master 1dB+ unmute"
    m:0x0 + c:123

Now use xbindkeys -mk to get your own codes and assign functions to them and put them in .xbindkeysrc and also load xmodmap and xbindkeys in your .xinitrc:

xmodmap $HOME/.Xmodmap &
xbindkeys &

If you are running XFCE, you'll notice that XF86AudioLowerVolume, XF86AudioRaiseVolume and XF86AudioMute are binded to the aumix command. So you'll need to install it:

 pacman -S aumix-gtk

Or remap them to something like this "amixer sset PCM 5+" for instance.

  • KDE 3.5.x/4.x.x.

First of all in KDE you can enable the multimedia keys by choosing the "Dell Laptop/notebook 6xxx/8xxx" layout in System Settings -> Regional and Language -> Keyboard Layout. Alternatively, you can disable keyboard layouts in KDE and add the following in the "InputDevice" section for your keyboard:

Option         "XkbLayout" <your preferred language here, e.g., "us">
Option         "XkbModel" "inspiron"
Option         "XkbRules" "xorg"
#Option         "XkbVariant" "nodeadkeys" # Variant options, if you need them

Next, you can bind the multimedia-key actions to your needs with Keyboard Shortcuts in System Settings (different places depending on KDE version), e.g., in KMix bind "Toggle Mute - Front, HDA Intel" to the mute button etc..

  • In KDE 3.5.x/4.x.x I experience the multimedia keys repeat 2-4 times on each keypress.

This may apply to other DE's as well.

The problem is related to the autorepeat settings for the keyboard, as each keypress on the multimedia-keys lasts ~660ms, which is below the default keyrepeat hold-time setting.

Add the following setting to the "InputDevice" section for your keyboard:

Option         "AutoRepeat" "700 20" # First time is the hold-time in ms before autorepeat starts,
                                     # second is the repeats per second.
                                     # Experiment with hold-times of ~680-700ms to find the lowest possible.

In KDE 3.5.x the autorepeat settings can be set in System Settings instead. I think the KDE 4.x.x system (needs confirmation) does not agree to the autorepeat setting in xorg.conf and you cannot set them in System Settings currently (<= 4.1.2).

In my case (KDE 4.x.x), the autorepeat still makes the auto-repeat activate when pressing the multimedia keys. I found out though, that the setting in gnome-control-center -> Keyboard -> Repeat Keys settings actually make the multimedia keys work as they should, after adjusting the Delay slider. Even on the default setting, they work, the gnome settings just have to be activated, which gnome-settings-daemon may take care of. Thus, add gnome-settings-daemon to you autostarts in KDE and you have nice auto-repeat settings and your multimedia keys actually work!

The latter feature/bug? with the gnome-control-center fixing it, lost my attention for a long while, so I hope this can help others solving this annoyance faster.


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You can perform bios updates under GNU/Linux ! Just install i8kutils :

pacman -S i8kutils

Download latest bios (A15) here (.hdr file). This bios is for device ID 0x0209. You can check your device ID by installing libsmbios :

pacman -S libsmbios

and then :


You can find other bios fitting your system ID there.

Then go in the directory where you downloaded the bios and type as root :

modprobe dell_rbu
dellBiosUpdate -u -f ./bios.hdr

Reboot, stare at the white frightening screen saying "Bios update" for an endless minute. Listen to the sweet vacuum-like full speed sound of your fans just before it reboots automatically. Then observe the boot screen with Dell logo displayed much longer than usual. Sweep the sweat on your forehead. You're done !

History of BIOS Revisions

Check this thread from NoteBook Review for detailed info.

A10 : May '08

  • The only enhancement I noticed with this bios is that you can now eject a CD/DVD without freezing your system (this was really a weird behaviour !). Please upgrade to A11 or A12 if you are currently using A10 !

A11 : Jun '08

A12 : Jul '08

  • Other thermal enhancements. Temperatures are lower for me but the fan is always running.

A13 : Oct '08 (removed-from-the-official-list)

  • Added support for new versions of Intel CPUs.
  • Added support for 8GB memory.

A14 : Nov '08

  • Added enhancement for Wifi sniffer function.

A15 : Jan '09

  • Enhance Fn+F8 function (probably only for Intel integrated graphics)
  • Support for 8GB memory is... back!

External Resources

This page describes all of the various driver modules required to make the hardware in the XPS M1330 work.
French speaking people can also refer to these articles.