Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Installing OpenSuse 11.3 (64 bit) on a Dell XPS M1530 laptop

I just did a fresh install of OpenSuse 11.3 on my Dell XPS 1530. This machine used to run OpenSuse 10.3 (see this post: http://dorienherremans.blogspot.com/2010/08/opensuse-110-installation-guide-on-dell.html).

I kept the /home partition, so a lot of the settings and the desktop where already custom. I love it. Even my internet favorites are kept!

Anyway, first evaluation:

- Touchpad fix: no need for it this time. Works great.
- Ethernet: works great
- Wireless: will need some drivers for the BCM card etc
- Sound: seems to work ok
- 3D: will need NVIDIA drivers

Let's fix the wireless first.

Just a note. i am using the bcm wireless card. If you have an intel card, it will probably work out of the box. Fire up a console as su and type:

cd /lib/firmware

to install the correct firmware. You need to be connected to the internet for this to work.

Add some additional repositories to Yast. Especially Packman (http://en.opensuse.org/Additional_package_repositories), so that you can install the following packages:

- ndiswrapper

Mmmm... last time I used kndiswrapper as a UI for ndiswrapper, that worked great. Seems that there is no release available yet for 11.3. Mmmm... ok, we'll have to do it manually...

Download the (64 bit!) .exe driver from Dell, you can find it here: http://ftp.us.dell.com/network/R151517.EXE

Go to the directory where you want to keep the driver and:
unzip -a R151517.EXE

Install the driver:

ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf
ndiwrapper -l
modprobe ndiswrapper

For the first time now. I see my WIFI light burning! I first had to flick the switch on and off.

iwlist scanning
It is scanning! That's a good sign!

Now we can right-click on the KNetworkManager icon to connect over wireless. Yoehoe!

Now for 3D effects

Install the NVIDIA drivers. You can do this via Yast:


Voila, after a X11 reboot, 3D should be enabled and you should be able to turn on 3D desktop effects.


I must say, this all went a lot smoother than with the 10.3 release.

Thanks OpenSuse community, still my fav distro!

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