My space in the world

Code is poetry

Posted by Sayak
June - 26 - 2009

So as I finally got my hands on this new laptop, I cut out a drive about half the size of the full HDD (leaving me with a 160 GB and a 142GB partition). As I had a Kubuntu Jaunty disk shipped, I popped it in and went through the usual process, the same I have done countless times. With having Kubuntu 9.04 x86 installed on an ext4 partition, I could comfortably dual boot with the pre-loaded Windows Vista Premium and Jaunty. I noticed a big list of stuff that I needed to fix before having the box usable, unlike my older laptop which had everything working out of the box immediately after install.
So anyway, I began with the GPU, an ATI Radeon HD 4570 card, and finally this guide worked out for me. Also a backport modules installation gave me my sounds.

I am pretty happy with the performance, and it works out fairly well for me right now. Although there are a few things that don’t work yet. But I just cant seem to find the time from my office projects and other high priority stuff like the KDE Forum upgrade work in order to do extensive research on how to get these issues fixed. Or honestly, I am really lazy.. πŸ˜› Not that these glitches bother me much, as I have started focusing on more critical stuff, I guess. So here’s what all that don’t work:

  • The thing that bothers me the most, my display brightness. As for the articles google gave me, I found some unsolved issues with my model, and no workaround. It’s strange, and somewhat funny.. the keys are very moody. They work fine when I boot in, ie. before Kubuntu loads. Now if I adjust them beforehand, the keys works for a short duration even when kubuntu has loaded. If I don’t nudge them before bootup, I’m left with full brightness until I reboot. I also read that switching to the tty’s and back to tty7 can make the keys operational for some users, but not me.
  • Next come sleep and hibernate.. I can’t suspend anymore, unfortunately. If I suspend to RAM, the laptop never wakes up. If I suspend to disk, upon waking up, I lose my display. But considering Kubuntu takes not more than a minute right from Grub to desktop, I can live with it for now.
  • My bluetooth button.. its a combo button with F2, and well, Jaunty doesn’t seem to care if I go crazy hitting on those buttons hard. But as a pretty acceptable workaround, I switched my bluetooth on by booting into Vista a few days back, and never switched it off since then πŸ˜‰

But yet again, these are small issues, or “good to have” if you may call it. I’ll try to file bug reports if not reported already. I also need to configure Jaunty to recognize my full RAM (4GB of memory) which is currently shown as around 3 GB. I tried out the server kernel, but guess I need something else to have 4GB RAM on a x86 OS. Or if I manage, I’ll switch to x64 soonish. Save these points, other stuff like KWin works seamlessly, HDMI and media controls work fine as well.

So overall, it’s really good to have *buntu working on a Dell πŸ™‚

19 Responses to “Kubuntu 9.04 on Dell Studio 1555”

  1. Psy says:

    wallpaper please πŸ™‚

  2. netcelli says:

    Hey I just bought Dell studio 1555 too and installed Kubuntu 9.04. I noticed brightness usually works when adapter is plugged in.

  3. Matt says:

    Hi, I’m planning on getting this laptop sometime in the future, and of course putting Ubuntu on it. If you had to remake the decision about getting this laptop, would you still get it? Or is there a better 15 inch laptop with a good resolution (1080p|1200p)? I (most likely) won’t be getting it until after Karmic comes out, so do you think the situation will be any better then? Thanks.

  4. ethana2 says:

    My Dell came with Ubuntu. MS is never going to go away until people stop giving them money. Due to the fact that Dell is really a Windows company, even if they do offer three ubuntu machines, my next comp will probably be a 13″ MBP japanese.

    It would be interesting to know how many of your problems are KDE specific..

  5. peter pan says:

    4gb ram

    install 64bit ?
    rebuild the kernel with support for up to 64gb ram? (uses extended addressing)

  6. Astron says:

    The suspension / hibernation problem might be related to installing the ATI driver. I’ve had a similar problem when I was still using it.

  7. jrdls says:

    to have 4GB of ram with a x86 OS you need a PAE kernel. Don’t know if ubuntu has one in their repositories but you should check that out.

  8. Ziv says:

    Thanks for this review;
    Can you tell me which wireless card have you ?
    And how does she works (Native , Ndiswrapper …)

  9. Luca says:

    I don’t know about the first two problems, but on my Dell Inspiron you can change the Fn+F2 behaviour in the BIOS. Default was to switch on/off both bluetooth and wireless, which I changed to bluetooth only (NM-manager allows to disable the wireless card from inside Ubuntu, luckily).

    I hope this helps.

  10. Sayak says:

    ok.. 9 comments πŸ˜€

    I’ll answer all as soon as we finish up with the KDE Forum upgrade..

  11. Karthik says:

    Did you try tuxonice ? I have found it works very well on new hardware and is twice fast. There is a git-kernel available.

  12. Sayak says:

    Psy:
    wallpaper please πŸ™‚

    http://interfacelift.com/wallpaper_beta/details/1906/stabilis.html πŸ™‚

    netcelli:
    Hey I just bought Dell studio 1555 too and installed Kubuntu 9.04. I noticed brightness usually works when adapter is plugged in.

    For me it doesn’t.

    Matt:
    Hi, I’m planning on getting this laptop sometime in the future, and of course putting Ubuntu on it. If you had to remake the decision about getting this laptop, would you still get it? Or is there a better 15 inch laptop with a good resolution (1080p|1200p)? I (most likely) won’t be getting it until after Karmic comes out, so do you think the situation will be any better then? Thanks.

    Well, if I’d be given the choice, I’d go for a HP dv series laptop. Although the resolution offered by it’s 15.4 screen is 1336×800

    ethana2:
    It would be interesting to know how many of your problems are KDE specific..

    None πŸ˜‰ Probably Ubuntu then…?

    Ziv:
    Thanks for this review;
    Can you tell me which wireless card have you ?
    And how does she works (Native , Ndiswrapper …)

    04:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Wireless WiFi Link 5100
    Native (no ndiswrapper) and works fine when switched on from wicd..

    Luca:
    I don’t know about the first two problems, but on my Dell Inspiron you can change the Fn+F2 behaviour in the BIOS. Default was to switch on/off both bluetooth and wireless, which I changed to bluetooth only (NM-manager allows to disable the wireless card from inside Ubuntu, luckily).

    I hope this helps.

    Will try this out, thanks πŸ™‚

  13. shibby says:

    here is my bugreport about the brightness issue. found a little but dirty workaround
    http://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=13689

  14. shibby says:

    and suspend/hibernate is working fine here with installed fglrx. using opensuse 11.1

  15. itbhp says:

    which plasma theme do you use? Very nice desktop settings.

  16. Sayak says:

    shibby:
    here is my bugreport about the brightness issue. found a little but dirty workaround
    http://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=13689

    Ta πŸ™‚ I’ll try this workaround soonish.
    I’m not entirely sure, but I think fglrx is broken in Kubuntu 9.04

    itbhp:
    which plasma theme do you use? Very nice desktop settings.

    That’s the Air plasma theme taken from SVN :: kdebase/runtime/desktoptheme/air

  17. llarry simono says:

    My folks are in their 70s and are now using Kubuntu9.04 KDE4.2 and they love it. Kwin options are great for people with weak eyesight and Ive pimped it up so BIG that Im sure some ‘flow’ expert would have a fit seeing it but its how THEY want it.
    My dad digs seeing the update icon and is fascinated that people all around the world make this possible.

    Anyone who says that Linux isnt user friendly should maybe think about taking lessons from my folks.

  18. Ralfito says:

    Sayak,

    to fix your brightness buttons, this helps:
    Change the line in your /boot/grub/menu.lst from

    # defoptions = quiet splash

    into

    # defoptions = quiet splash noapic

    save it and run from a terminal window
    sudo update-grub

    Reboot, Done!
    Ralfito

  19. Sayak says:

    @Ralfito

    Thanks for the tip, although it unfortunately doesn’t seem to work. Plus, it seems to take away my desktop effects down with it. πŸ™

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About Me

A son, brother and friend. Enjoys scripting and making small bits of apps here and there. Wants to conquer the world (well, who doesnt). A geek who has an obsession for ponies. Loves acoustic and wants to play guitar sitting on the Hollywood hill one day!

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