Dell Vostro 1320

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This page is about setting up Arch Linux on the Dell Vostro 1320 laptop, which has replaced the former Dell Vostro 1310. Basically it runs just fine, although there are some things you should know. Furthermore is is advisable to read the article about laptops to get a idea about the topic in general.


It is highly recommendable to setup Windows Vista first, because during the setup the region code of the dvd drive is set.

If you want to install Arch Linux over a wireless connection you have to setup the connection manually[broken link: invalid section]. Since kernel 2.6.24 and above are containing the appropriate drivers already, it should work with both the "Netinstall ISO" as well as the "Core ISO", although using the "Netinstall ISO" is the preferred install media for Arch Linux. Do not forget to choose the source "net" and the wlan interface (normally wlan0).

Apart from that you can follow the Installation guide, which should deliver you a good insight how to install Arch Linux.

Further attention has to be drawn during the partitioning, as Dell uses an uncommon partition table, which may you run into some trouble. You will get a "FATAL ERROR", whenever you try to partition "/dev/sda" using the setup. Therefore switch to another terminal (Ctrl + Alt + F2, for instance) and delete the partition table using "fdisk /dev/sda". Follow the program options. More instructions can be found in the man page or the help option (m). It is sufficient to delete all partitions (and writing the table to the disc), from there on you can use the setup in the first terminal again (Ctrl + Alt + F1).

Note: When you remove all partitions the Dell Utility will not work anymore, so consider to leave the first partition, which contains the utility program. However the partition can be recreated. You can also run the diagnostic utility from an usb stick or a cd.


This section is about getting the hardware of the Dell Vostro 1320 running properly. Generally speaking the hardware is supported just great, but due to the possibility of customisation (from Dell) not all of the components have been tested (yet).


A quick overview which components do work correctly, and which do not. Look at the appropriate section in order to get more details about a component.

Dell Vostro 1320 - Overview of the hardware support
NVIDIA® GeForce™ 9300M GS Graphic Card working
Integrated GMA X4500 HD Graphics untested
Audio working
Webcam working
Biometric Fingerprint Reader untested
Extra Keyboard Keys working
Card Reader working
Wireless LAN
Dell Wireless 1397 Mini-Card (802.11 b/g)[broken link: invalid section] reported working
Dell Wireless 1510 Mini-Card (802.11n)[broken link: invalid section] reported working
Intel Pro Wireless Wi-Fi 5100 (802.11a/g/Draft-n)[broken link: invalid section] working
Intel WiFi Link 5300 Mini-Card (802.11 a/g/n)[broken link: invalid section] working
Dell™ Wireless 355 Bluetooth® Module ROW working


As all of the available configurations are using a Intel® Core™2 Duo processor all of them should work just fine. Nevertheless you should take a look at the CPU frequency scaling article.


NVIDIA® GeForce™ 9300M GS

Setting up the NVIDIA® GeForce™ 9300M GS graphic card is quite easy.

GMA X4500 HD

Setting up the Integrated GMA X4500 HD graphics was not tested yet, but as it works fine for various other devices it should work just fine.



The audio works just fine out of the box using ALSA.

Note: There is just a mono built-in speaker , so do not wonder when you cannot balance the channel properly.


The webcam works just fine out-of-the-box. If you have the automatic module loading disabled you have to load the module "uvcvideo".

Biometric Fingerprint Reader

The Biometric Fingerprint Reader itself was not tested yet, but it should work following these steps.

Extra Keyboard Keys

Works, using keytouchd. Have a look at Extra keyboard keys

Card Reader

Works out of the box, using the modules: mmc_block, mmc_core and sdhci


See Wireless network configuration.


Dell™ Wireless 355 Bluetooth® Module ROW

If your Vostro comes with Windows Vista installed (most of all), you need to update the bluetooth driver in Windows Vista. Among other things, the driver changes the firmware of the module. Only after that bluetooth will work under linux.



You may experience some problems using the X server and console simultaneously, as soon as you work with different resolutions. In order to change the resolution of the console (using framebuffer) you should look at Framebuffer#Framebuffer Resolution[broken link: invalid section]. For me adding "vga=0x0361" to the /boot/grub/menu.lst worked.

Card Reader

Some cards may not be readable, in which case, dmesg will output the following lines:

[    8.790027] mmc0: error -110 whilst initialising SD card
[    8.790764] sdhci-pci 0000:1a:00.1: Will use DMA mode even though HW doesn't fully claim to support it.

This problem is easy to solve.Just add this line to your modprobe.conf

options sdhci debug_quirks=0x40

This will disable ADMA.