Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 Dell re-spin on the Dell Inspiron Mini 9

by krisrowland

Right… OK… Where do I start?

In short, Fedora was great but either the wireless card I had to use with it (a cheap Intel jobby – read former posts) or the wireless behaviour of Fedora (unlikely) was absolutely woeful. I just couldn’t stand having 100% guaranteed dropouts and unusually slow access times. So… I decided to install the Ubuntu Dell re-spin.

How did I do this? Well, Dell have actually made the USB installer image of their special Ubuntu distro available on their site at: ftp://ftp.us.dell.com/OS/Inspiron_910_Ubuntu_A00.img

Stop the press!: For some sadistic reason, Dell seem to have removed access to the image via the Dell Support pages. The above link is the only way to download it at the moment. Not sure what their reasoning for removing it was… Very annoying.

Anyway, the file is large(ish) at ~1.2GB. To install it, write the image to a USB stick under linux via the dd command. e.g.:

$> dd if=folder-containing-img-file/Inspiron_910_Ubuntu_A00.img of=/dev/sdb

This should work. Be VERY careful about what device you use in the ‘output file’ (of) variable. It should be the path to your USB device in the /dev folder (NOT the drive’s mount-point/folder). Also, make sure the drive is unmounted before writing to it.

Now just boot the Mini with the USB stick inserted and the install should begin!

So far I’ve found the Dell re-spin to be the best experience for me so far. Everything is set-up for the unit by default. I put the original wireless card back in and everything works brilliantly. Very happy 😀

The only gripe I have thus far is the same old one about the kernel not supporting > 2GB RAM. There still seems to be much confusion about this on the forums but I recall reading a bug report and response from a developer, so this may be fixed soon.