Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dell Studio 1557 (Mobile Core i7) with (k)ubuntu

I currently don't have time to write a long post. But I got my new Dell Studio laptop 1557 with Core i7 and so far I'm happy. Besides some problem with suspend, everything works with linux and the performance is great. E.g. compiling is >2x faster than on my 2 year old Core2 Duo.

To get the hardware working on Linux:

Wireless:
install: bcmwl-kernel-source, bcmwl-modaliases
bcmwl needed to make wireless work. After install either reboot or remove sbb, b43 b44 and then load wl.

Graphic/Fan:
install: fglrx-amdcccle, fglrx-kernel-source, fglrx-modaliases, xorg-driver-fglrx
With the open-source graphic card driver the 3D Desktop does not work and more important the fan runs on full speed because the powermanagement of the graphic card does not work correctly. Restart X-Server.

Sound:
add
options snd-hda-intel model=dell-m6
to /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf. Reboot or reload module.

Other hardware (e.g. camera) works out of the box.

Problems:
Resume from Suspend does not always work (in ~4/5 cases it works). This is really annoying. Please write in the comment if you know how to fix that.
Keyboard: the sound volume special keys don't work.(https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/465250)

Update:
The suspend problem is still not fixed. This is very annoying. More details at: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/391628
As I wrote their: I suggest to write to Dell. Hopefully there are enough people writing so that Dell lets ATI know they should fix it.

49 comments:

Joe said...

Thanks for the advice on the sound card was driving me nuts for awhile. Did you find a fix for the fan running at full power? Just noticed mine is currently doing that.

Roland said...

For me the fan problem got solved by installing the binary (fglrx) driver.
Do you have the fan problem still with the fglrx driver?

Joe said...

Thanks!, had to goto ati's website and install the newest drivers from them.

Roland said...

For me the ATI driver which comes with 9.10 worked better than the one from the ATI website.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your experience with the Dell 1557 core i7 and Ubuntu.
--
BTW, I heard about some issues in other core i7 based laptops (i.e HP DV7 30xx models and Envy). The major problem is overheating due to the Linux kernel being unable of interpreting properly the temperature. It seems that thermalzones are not properly identified by the kernel. Are you running into that sort of problems as well with the Dell 1557 ?

Thanks for your comments
Andres

Roland said...

No it doesn't seem to overheat for me. When I just googled a little bit I could only find reports about overheating with HP laptops.

Anonymous said...

I hope to be able to get myself a Dell 1557 soon for number crunching applications with Linux. It is very exciting to see that you succeeded with a stable install and no overheating issues. Indeed this must be an HP specific problem as reported here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1327623)
All the best
Andres

paul_da_programmer said...

I can confirm - I needed to install the latest ATI driver in order to keep the fan running at full speed all the time on my Dell 1557. Now as I type this the fan is off ...
I was successful with ATI Catalyst™ 9.12 Proprietary Linux x86 Display Driver
release date 12/17/2009

Ivars said...

Which architecture of (k)ubuntu - 64bit or 32bit you used for your Dell Studio 1557?

Roland said...

64bit

Anonymous said...

Using the ATI Catalyst 9.12 driver worked for me as well (Dell 1557, Ubuntu 9.10 64 bit).

What happened was that the cooler went from unbearably loud to something much more mellow but it's still running constantly and audibly.

Is this the case for you as well?

Anonymous said...

Thanks- that got sound working for me

Roland said...

Yes even with the close source driver the fan is still running. But in my case not loud at all.

With the latest catalyst driver from 2 days ago the problem of the swap storm after resume (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/391628) seems to be gone but instead the X-server sometimes crashes after resume :-(.

oledoe said...

I'm about ready to hear my hair out... my Dell Studio 1747 has been making no sounds whatsoever... after trying lots of things, I tried your suggestion of adding options snd-hda-intel model=dell-m6 to /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf. Now, for the first time, it is making a sound!! But only at login. I.e. the little bongo-drum-roll when the login screen appears is playing perfectly. So, thanks a million for that - at least I know it can work. However, as soon as I login - again: no sound :(

Any ideas?

Roland said...

Sometimes the sound stops working for me (seems Flash/Skype related). Then it helps to go into the kde controlcenter and click on "Test" for the sound-card. After that the sound works again. Don't know why.

paul_da_programmer said...

Just one more observation.
Does anyone have 1920x1080 (native) resolution working with their 1557? I noticed that only 1680x1080 is available via the ATI drivers - I've even updated to the updated version (10.1) to no avail. Do you have 1920x1080 available under Ubuntu 9.10 via System | Preferences | Display?

Roland said...

For me the 1920x1080 resolution is available. Both in KRandR and in Xorg.0.log:

(II) fglrx(0): Supported detailed timing:
(II) fglrx(0): clock: 138.5 MHz Image Size: 345 x 194 mm
(II) fglrx(0): h_active: 1920 h_sync: 1968 h_sync_end 2000 h_blank_end 2080 h_border: 0
(II) fglrx(0): v_active: 1080 v_sync: 1083 v_sync_end 1088 v_blanking: 1111 v_border: 0

paul_da_programmer said...

I have entries in /var/log/Xorg.0.log relating to 1920x1080 res:
(II) fglrx(0): clock: 134.4 MHz Image Size: 344 x 193 mm
(II) fglrx(0): h_active: 1920 h_sync: 1950 h_sync_end 1970 h_blank_end 1982 h_border: 0
(II) fglrx(0): v_active: 1080 v_sync: 1090 v_sync_end 1100 v_blanking: 1130 v_border: 0
(II) fglrx(0): Supported detailed timing:
(II) fglrx(0): clock: 134.4 MHz Image Size: 344 x 193 mm
(II) fglrx(0): h_active: 1920 h_sync: 1950 h_sync_end 1970 h_blank_end 1982 h_border: 0
(II) fglrx(0): v_active: 1080 v_sync: 1090 v_sync_end 1100 v_blanking: 1130 v_border: 0
(II) fglrx(0): F790K<80>B156HW1

but I cannot select 1920x1080.
I wonder why my timings are different from those you list.

Also, when I type xrandr - only the modes that are selectable are listed - the highest is 1680x1050. I know the screen is good for 1920x1050 since that's what Windows 7 reports.

Roland said...

Don't know. I'd suggest you open a bug on launchpad. If you post the URL here, I can attach my Xorg.0.log and if you want other files as comparison.

paul_da_programmer said...

Wow ... finally found the answer after days of searching. Somehow my xorg.conf file had the following section added:
Option "PreferredMode" "1680x1050"
I didn't think it was an issue (since its only Preffered) and that was the highest rez I could run.
Anyway, after executing:
sudo aticonfig --initial -f
a new xorg.conf was created without the above and upon reboot .. 1920x1080 is once again selectable.
I'm posting here since (believe it or not) this page seems to be the best resource for running Karmic on a Dell 1557.

dieter said...

hi i have a trouble with kubuntu in the same model the computer sometimes hi goes crazy and block the session help

Anonymous said...

thanks for all the help, i was searching for help for so long, this answered all my questions about my i7 dell

Anonymous said...

I still have 1 problem left, about 1/2 of the time when i boot ubuntu, the screen freezes at splash. Also, when i try to run using ctrl-alt-f1 the screen goes multi-colored, and i can't see anything

Roland said...

dieter: don't understand
anonymous: sorry didn't have that problem before so I can't help. May be file a bug on launchpad.

Ryan Brunton said...

Thanks for posting your experience. My 1557 came in yesterday and your post probably shaved 4-5 hours off of my setup time.

Paul said...

@Roland:

What graphics card are you using?
Using the HD5470, i could only get the 10.1 binary driver working from the amd website, i also couldnt get 1920x1080 resolution, highest was 1370 or something like that.
aticonfig returned the infamous "no display adapters detected" message. Was wondering did you leave out any details about getting fglrx installed?

Roland said...

Mine is (according to lscpi) a:
ATI Technologies Inc M92 [Mobility Radeon HD 4500 Series]

Matthieu said...

Thanks for those informations!

About the comment:

BTW, I heard about some issues in other core i7 based laptops (i.e HP DV7 30xx models and Envy). The major problem is overheating due to the Linux kernel being unable of interpreting properly the temperature. It seems that thermalzones are not properly identified by the kernel. Are you running into that sort of problems as well with the Dell 1557 ?

I definitely have this problem!! Studio 1557 with INtel i7, Ubuntu 9.10, and really big troubles with the heat, usually around 70 but easily at 80-90 and frequently shutdown as critical temperature exceeded... contrary to your problem, the fan just does not work at all now...

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