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Ubuntu on Dell XPS 1530

I’ve had my XPS 1530 for a little less than a week now and I had Ubuntu installed just days after I got it so I have had a few days to tweak a few things so that they work as I would like them to.

First of all, as far as installation I simply used the Live CD for Hardy Heron. I did a test run from the CD first. While doing this, I immediately saw that the touchpad did not work as it should so I had to get a USB mouse connected to be able to go through the actual installation. So a tip: if you’re trying to do this very same thing, have a USB mouse handy.

Since the 1530 I got came with Vista, I decided to keep it on there. Since I will be using it for business related stuff, I know I will need some Windows apps so I went looking for a way to install Ubuntu and then be able to dual-boot.

With Vista taking up all harddrive space, I didn’t want to have to reinstall Vista again. XP is enough of a headache. Fortunately, there’s an excellent guide over at apcmag.com that tells you exactly how do make Vista give up a little space for Linux. The site can be found here.

Once I freed up some space for my Ubuntu installation, I got down to business. It didn’t take long to install Ubuntu and once I was done, I was ready to start installing all the other software I knew I would be using.

However, first I had do deal a few issues that I had read could come up. In fact, there is a whole range of issues that have been identified specifically for this kind of computer and the fixes that are available. These fixes I found in the Ubuntu wiki.

So, here’s a few of the fixes I have implemented:

Eject Button Fix: I noticed fairly quickly that the eject button didn’t work. Without a working eject button, your discs are…well, stuck.

Touchpad Fix: One other thing I noticed before anything else, in fact, was that the touchpad was way, way out there as far as being all over the place and crazy. That was literally the first thing I fixed.

Enable NVidia Driver: For what ever reason, the graphics drivers was not enabled by default. It took me a couple of tries to get this one to work and I’m still not sure exactly what I did…but it’s working.

The XPS 1530 comes loaded with a number of cool things and naturally I want to use as many as possible. Here’s a couple of items:

  • integrated camera
  • integrated mic
  • HDMI output
  • VGA output
  • remote control

The camera and mic worked without problems (although the mic had to be enabled) in Skype, so no problems there.

HDMI I am still working on, VGA I haven’t tried, just as I haven’t with the remote control.

Overall, so far I’m enjoying my new laptop with Ubuntu on it. Now, I just need to get that DVD playback to work…

mattias.ahlvin@gmail.com

I'm just one of those guys that like technology...as well as drawing, writing, reading, coding and a whole bunch of other things I rarely have time for.

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