I have split this page into two part: one for Mandriva and one for Gentoo.

Part One : Mandriva

Wednesday 30 March 2005
Dual boot: Windows XP Home and Mandrake linux Cooker (aka Mandrakelinux Limited Edition 2005)

Just a quick post for now. May enhance later. I wanted a dual boot system, with the original windows OS (I use Linux for the 85% of the time spent on computing, so I don’t care about sucking on a windows reinstall… :-)).

I have used the mini installation CD of Mandrakelinux 10.2rc2 Mandrakelinux-10.2rc2-Mini.i586.iso

The 80GB disk had three partitions: ~80MB for DELL utilities, ~77GB for XP home, ~3GB for a hidden partition, I suppose, for drivers.

I have resized the windows partition to 10GB and I wiped out the hidden partition. Before I have saved a disk image with ghost for unix.

The installation process (started with the alt0 option – kernel 2.6.11-6) don’t find a correct module for SATA Intel controller (82801FBM), so it cannot find any disk to use/format. After some googling I have found a tip: force the installation to load the module ata_piix.

The sound system don’t work on first boot. The alsa driver probe a snd-intel8x0 module, but don’t make any sound. Check the file permission on /dev/dsp and make sure that “External Amplifier” on the mixer is enabled (with kmix or alsamixer).

The NVIDIA closed-source driver don’t work with the kernel-source-stripped RPM but if you install the full kernel-source package and the NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-7174-pkg1.run all works fine.

– USB works out of the box.

– ACPI works out of the box.

– FireWire works out of the box (tested with external HD box).

– WiFi works too.
Note: sometimes the Intel® PRO/Wireless 2200BG cause problems, like this error into dmesg

ipw2200: Firmware error detected. Restarting.

You can try to fix putting this line into /etc/modprobe.d/ipw2200 file:

options ipw2200 hwcrypto=0

then reload the driver or reboot your system […]:
modprobe -r ipw2200
modprobe ipw2200 hwcrypto=0

– Ricoh Co Ltd R5C822 SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro Host Adapter (the SD card reader)
We need to wait a next kernel release for this driver. If you wish, you can patch the kernel following the project from this URL

Some config files…

  • xorg.conf
  • fdisk -l /dev/sda
  • /etc/fstab
  • lspci output
  • lsmod output
  • Update on system freeze: sometimes this laptop with Linux will freeze. This is a know problem, due to the cdrom/dvd firmware. Is available around internet an unofficial firmware patch, but a risk free solution will be to leave always the cdrom/dvd loaded with some media. Usually the system freeze happen when the cdrom/dvd reader is empty.

    The next page is focused on gentoo installation…

    tuxmobil Linux On Laptops


    Chris · April 21, 2005 at 02:14

    What about dvd playback? The only issue I have now is 3d (x300 ati),wireless using WAP, and very slow dvd playback.

    I’m unable to enable dma, at this moment in time.

    Diego Zuccato · April 21, 2005 at 10:07

    Tks! Ottime indicazioni. Con Mandriva 10.2 ho dovuto “accendere” l'”external amplifier” per poter sentire qualcosa.
    Mi rimangono due problemi: gestione di un monitor esterno (per gestire delle proiezioni tenendomi a video altri dati) e verificare se il modem e la rete wifi funzicano.


    Daniel Kulp · April 21, 2005 at 16:15

    You can get the DMA to work on the DVD player if you’re willing to hack the kernel a bit and rebuild it. If you edit the include/linux/libata.h file and change the #undef ATA_ENABLE_ATAPI to #define ATA_ENABLE_ATAPI and rebuild the kernel, you can get the DVD to be controlled by the ata_piix driver and appear as a scsi drive. You may need to pass ide1=noprobe to the kernel at boot so the generic ide driver doesn’t grab it. Anyway, ata_piix will enable DMA for the DVD which makes it perform MUCH better.

    This woks for the XPS2, I assume it works for the 9300.


    Mark Lord · April 30, 2005 at 18:05

    How about fan noise? Is the cooling fan always on? How loud is it?

    How flimsy is the case — likely to crack the plastic within a couple of years?


    Paolo · May 1, 2005 at 18:55

    This laptop is pretty noiseless. The case is not robust like my old acer travelmate… Maybe is my impression, but after two years of heavy usage (every day), I doubt that it will mantain the original color and solidity (after two months, it have already some marks…)

    Massimo · May 2, 2005 at 13:35

    Have you configured the multimedia keys?
    Can you explain how to do it?

    tux · May 2, 2005 at 21:15

    The multimedia keys are easy to configure:
    Make ~/.Xmodmap ( /home//.Xmodmap )
    and add those lines:

    keycode 176 = XF86AudioRaiseVolume
    keycode 174 = XF86AudioLowerVolume
    keycode 160 = XF86AudioMute
    keycode 162 = XF86AudioPlay
    keycode 144 = XF86AudioPrev
    keycode 153 = XF86AudioNext
    keycode 164 = XF86AudioStop

    ghostface · May 5, 2005 at 10:46


    I also have a Dell Inspiron 9300!
    That stuff works on my Laptop on Slackware 10.1 on Linux!

    -Display an Graphic-Card
    -HDD and CD
    -Sound works but I can’t find the devices in /dev
    -USB also only works partitial, USB-Mouse works but my USB-Stick not

    That stuff isn’t working

    -Ethernet Card Broadcom, the module loads without problems, but dmesg says “eth0 link is down”
    -Wireless (I didn’t try to get it work)

    Can anybody help me?
    What things work at your laptops?
    Can anybody post a kernel config?

    David Guthrie · May 13, 2005 at 19:22

    I had to set acpi=noirq ro acpi=off to make the b44 ethernet card work in anything later than 2.6.9-1.667. Now I’m using a 2.6.11 kernel, and things seem to be going ok. Suspend will turn off the machine, but it will not startup properly.

    Bob Walmsley · May 19, 2005 at 05:36

    Try as I might I cannot get the DMA to work on the DVD (Nec) on my 9300 laptop. I am running 2.6.11-6mdk and have checked libata.h as decribed previous. Any ideas – I think I must be missing something in .config

    Mark Lord · May 19, 2005 at 06:50

    I just wanted to thank those who replied to my original query (way up) above. In the end, I purchased a fully tricked-out i9300 (2GHz, 2GB, 100MB, BT, etc..), and everything (I mean *everything*) is now working with Linux (Kubuntu).

    Including suspend-to-RAM! This is one heck of a nice and compatible notebook, with a beautiful 1920×1200 WUXGA display!


    ghostface · May 19, 2005 at 16:31


    Now I got my Eth-Card to work! Amazing it worked all the time only the device wasn’t there, so ping, Samba and Cedega with a network game work well.

    USB Sticks works also now.

    But I got some new problems 🙁

    Speedstepping doesn’t work correctly, when the laptop is plugged in setting the CPU frequence is no problem. But when it’s plugged out it only works with 800 Mhz.

    Next problem, sometimes the laptop freezes, the only which is helping is to restart the machine 🙁

    @ Mark Lord
    Can you post your .config and other helpful files, would be nice 🙂

    Now I will try kernel 2.6.12-rc4 for better results!


    ghostface · May 19, 2005 at 16:35

    Oh sorry!

    I forgot CD-Burning also doesn’t work!
    “cdrecord -scanbus” says it doesn’t find a device 🙁 !

    Ok Bye

    Ron · May 21, 2005 at 03:14

    I installed Fedora core 3 on my inspiron 9300. It locks up as soon as it tried to bring up eth0.
    The weird thing is.. If I start up with the rescue cd, it starts the (optional) network just fine.. I can ftp files over. Too weird.. I guess there is a different driver for the rescue disk.

    joe · May 29, 2005 at 14:33

    i was (still am) having issues with the b44 network driver for the broadcom nic on my i9300. The only way I go it to work (with 2.4.27 kernel) is to bring it up manually, ie remove ref to eth0 from /etc/network/interfaces, then after boot do:
    ifconfig eth0 your.ip.here.x
    then tcpdump and wait until you see the first ip packets on the network – usually about a minute. Then use pump -i eth0 (or another dhclient).
    It is a bit of a mission though. People say they have more success with the broadcom driver (bcm4400) and dhclient3.

    good luck

    Funker · June 3, 2005 at 11:43

    Hi friend, i was download ur iso image from ur page “Mandrakelinux-10.2rc2-Mini.i586.iso”, well I also have a Dell Inspiron 9300 , when i boot my laptop with the CD (NEC) everything fine but then i received a message “your CD driver not found” , do u know whats grong?

    I cant do nothing, it does not initiate anything about installation…

    🙁 well i have been saveral days trying to install others flavors about linux and nothing works to me.


    3of5 · June 9, 2005 at 10:42

    I have SuSE 9.3, and i had to add acpi=nopci as kernel startup parameter to get the broadcom card working.
    I can read CD’s when i mount the device /dev/sr0 as root and cant burn / copy cd/dvd’s as user (ad high speeds also).

    good luck

    XqI · June 12, 2005 at 10:05

    That is best site i have ever meet. Thank you.

    Andrea Curti · June 17, 2005 at 17:00

    Ciao, ti scrivo perchè sono molto attratto da questo notebook, sicuro della affidabilità è resistenza delle macchine Dell, ti volevo chiedere un parere sul monitor, purtroppo ho appena visto dei vaio con tecnologia xblock, e devo dire che mi hanno stupefatto, qualora li avessi visti anche tu all’opera, volevo sapere se potevi farmi un paragone…

    Paolo · June 18, 2005 at 02:15

    Il monitor e’ decisamente bello. Non ho visto dei sony vaio di recente, quindi non so dare un parere. Ti posso solo dire che l’unico difetto del monitor e’ che negli angoli inferiori ed in basso (sulla barra delle applicazioni) c’e’ un leggero alone biancastro… appena percettibile sul colore nero. Consiglio di provare ogni monitor nascondendo la barra delle applicazioni e mettendo lo sfondo bianco e poi nero.

    Brian · July 8, 2005 at 03:28

    I see you have:

    03:01.2 Class 0805: Ricoh Co Ltd SD Card reader (rev 17)

    in your lspci. How did you get linux to recognize the card reader??? Do you have a tarball for Ricoh drivers or something? I’m running Slack 10.1, 2.4.29 kernel…any help would be appreciated!

    Would this help??? I think this is the SD slot, just can’t get it to show up under /dev/sd??????


    lspci -v
    02:01.2 Class 0805: Ricoh Co Ltd: Unknown device 0822 (rev 17) (prog-if 01)
    Subsystem: Dell Computer Corporation: Unknown device 01a2
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 7
    Memory at faffd400 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
    Capabilities: [80] Power Management version 2

    Willy · July 18, 2005 at 16:27

    I have tried to enable DMA by hacking the kernel. The DVD is probed like scsi but no device /dev/sdb has created.
    I post result of lsscsi command:

    [0:0:0:0] disk ATA TOSHIBA MK6026GA PA20 /dev/sda
    [1:0:0:0] cd/dvd SONY DVD+-RW DW-D56A PDS3 –

    What can I do?

    Paolo · July 20, 2005 at 16:46

    My lspci -v output:
    03:01.2 Class 0805: Ricoh Co Ltd SD Card reader (rev 17) (prog-if 01)
    Subsystem: Dell: Unknown device 0189
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 10
    Memory at dcffc700 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
    Capabilities: [80] Power Management version 2

    I have only one SD card (32mb) to test, but I don’t get it working…

    Now I’m using kernel 2.6.12

    Willy · August 7, 2005 at 16:10

    My DMA function. Kernel hacking is right way. The device is /dev/scd0.

    Sam Terrell · August 15, 2005 at 14:41

    Anyone with problems using b44 driver should switch to SMP kernel. It’s compiled differently (probably the stack frame 8k/4k issue) and it will work just fine.

    Maj0r · August 16, 2005 at 08:40


    Update your lspci-database:

    mv /usr/share/misc/pci.ids /usr/share/misc/pci.ids.dist
    wget http://pciids.sourceforge.net/pci.ids –output-document=/usr/share/misc/pci.ids

    My lspci-v output:
    0000:03:01.2 0805: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C822 SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro Host Adapter (rev 17) (prog-if 01)
    Subsystem: Dell: Unknown device 0189
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 10
    Memory at dcffc700 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
    Capabilities: [80] Power Management version 2

    Not tested for functionality, I do not have a memory-card.

    DanRoche · October 10, 2005 at 21:48


    I am using Fedora 4, and things are working pretty well on my i9300 now,

    as say ghostface, i used to experiment some freeze regulary ( say 1 time a day ) but since i upgraded to kernel 2.6.13, it never freeze again !

    i had to recompile the kernel with IDE subsystem as module and
    ENABLE_ATAPI enabled in libata.h in order to have dma on dvd.

    power suspend is not functionnal also ( never wakeup ) but i can live without !


    Fernando Martínez · October 20, 2005 at 21:54

    I think that my question is not the best one in this forum but which is the exact name of the sound card of the Dell inspiron 9300 ? I want to find the driver for windows and also the configuration for Linux. When I delete the windows partition to make another one for Linux I also have problems with it now in windows.

    Thank you

    Paolo · October 20, 2005 at 23:47

    Hola Fernando! 🙂
    the name of the sound card is SIGMATEL STAC 975X AC97. But you can go to the DELL’s website, into the support area and submit the serial number of your 9300. A big list of all drivers available will display ready for download.


    BJ Raz · March 2, 2006 at 00:09

    where is the sigmatel stac 975x ac79 driver for linux, Fedora Core 4 avalable at?

    Paolo · March 2, 2006 at 21:17

    Hi BJ Raz,
    you need to configure this audio card with alsa

    picture of zoroastrianism · March 11, 2006 at 23:42

    Thank you!

    Abraham ARMY-Iraq · March 22, 2006 at 14:49

    Hey how is everybody doing. One quick question about i9300 Sound card. Are SoundBlasters sound cards compatible with this dell laptop ? Thank you guys

    simon · January 26, 2007 at 15:08

    i got a dell inspiron 6000 but i have the same dvd drive as you guys.
    i cant get my dma set, and so i cant watch dvds 🙁

    the device is /dev/scd0 and the dma should be able to be set.

    can anyone help me?

    I have been crusing around in IRC and the web, havent found any help there.
    Iwould be very glad if anyone here could help me out!


    JedimanGLS · March 16, 2007 at 21:18

    Ubutnu Edgy 6x on the I9300 has to be the most fluid, and best OS I’ve used to date!

    Driti · July 7, 2007 at 11:08

    hey can anybody tell me where can i find drives for dell inspiron 9300 i am looking for them for a week but i cant find if u can tell me any website where can i find please inform me by e-mail bye

    nihal · June 20, 2008 at 21:14

    can anyone tell me whr can i find drivers for dell inspiron 9300 i am looking for them for a month but cant find if u can tell me any website whr can i find please inform by e-mail

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