Dell Inspiron 9400
  july 11 2007


I use Debian GNU/Linux "Lenny" (testing) on my laptop (dell inspiron 9400). Here you can find the specs. The install using the net-install took 45 minutes. Guess what, everything worked out of the box, even the dual core processor ( kernel 2.6.18-4-686 #1 SMP i686 GNU/Linux) Only problem, the wireless card, and the screenresolution.
I didn't test bluetooth, the modem and the card reader, since I don't use them at the moment.

I always install these extra packages after a fresh install, because they are handy, needed and/or usefull.
        sh# aptitude install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r` lynx pan ncftp mc leafnode wu-ftpd fetchmail fortune razor\
               spamassassin gkrellm procmail logcheck xmms vlc acroread  realplayer

Wireless
First uninstall ndiswrapper from Debian (if installed)
        sh# apt-get remove ndiswrapper ndiswrapper-*
Install the kernel build-essentials
        sh# apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r`
Download the latest version from ndiswrapper at sourceforge
Untar the file, and do:
        sh# make uninstall (to remove older versions and config files)
        sh# make
        sh# make install
Download the windowdriver for your wireless card (for the inspiron 9400 you need R115321.EXE) , and do:
        sh# ndiswrapper -i path to your driver (install the driver)
        sh# ndiswrapper -m (make module)
        sh# modprobe ndiswrapper (install the module)

UPDATE:     since I upgraded to a new kernel, 2.6.21-2-686, wireless works with bcm43xx, no need to use ndiswrapper.

           
Screenresolution

After rebooting I couldn't get in X. To fix the problem I did:
        sh# dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
choosing "vesa" as the video card driver, I was able to login but only with ah screen resolution of 1024x768.
To get the native screen resolution of 1440x900, install the 915resolution hack
        sh# aptitude install 915resolution
Put this line in /etc/init.d/bootmisc.sh
        /usr/sbin/915resolution 3c 1440 900
So the 915resolution hack is called every time the system boots. If everything works OK, you can reset "vesa" to "i810" in /etc/X11/xorg.conf or use :
        sh# dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg


Fetchmail & Gmail.

I have a Gmail account, where all the mail from my domain is forwarded to. Also, it can be used as a smart host in your MTA (exim or postfix) in order to send mail, without using the SMTP from your provider. ( so you can send mail from every connection) We need to configure fetchmail to retrieve the mail. Gmail uses certificates, and other ports then usual. First activate POP3 on your Gmail account. As root issue the following command:
        sh# cd /usr/lib/ssl/certs
        sh# wget -O Equifax_Secure_Certificate_Authority.pem \
               https://www.geotrust.com/resources/root_certificates/certificates/Equifax_Secure_Certificate_Authority.cer
        sh# chmod 644 Equifax_Secure_Certificate_Authority.pem
        sh# openssl x509 -in Equifax_Secure_Certificate_Authority.pem -fingerprint -subject -issuer -serial -hash -noout
        sh# c_rehash .
        sh# file 594f1775.*
 Now we can configure fetchmail. Put these lines in /etc/fetchmailrc or /home/user/.fetchmailrc depending if you want to use it system wide or just for one user. (see the fetchmail manual)
        # Configuration fetchmailrc debian etch
        set syslog

        set postmaster "your_user_name"
        set bouncemail
        set no spambounce
        set properties ""
        set daemon 600
        poll pop.gmail.com with proto POP3
                    user 'user@gmail.com' there with password 'password' is user here
                    options ssl sslcertck sslcertpath /usr/lib/ssl/certs/

Hibernate.
The hibernate function didn't work on etch. On resume, the network was gone and the resolution hack (915resolution) was unloaded, so X didn't start. To solve this, we need to do some changes in the file /etc/hibernate/common.conf As root issue the following commands:
        sh# vi /etc/hibernate/common.conf
Uncomment and if needed change the flag:
                    Runi915resolution yes
                    FullSpeedCPU yes
                    UnloadBlacklistedModules yes
                    LoadModules auto
                    UpInterfaces auto
                    RestartServices laptop-mode
                    SwitchToTextMode yes

I need to look into the problem with suspend, but .......

Install java in iceweasel & firefox.
Most plugins are installed by default, and work OK. For KBC banking however I need the java applet. Add the following to your source list (/etc/apt/source.list)
        ##### sunjava #####
        deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ etch main contrib non-free
As root issue the following commands:
        sh# aptitude update
        sh# aptitude install sun-java5-jre sun-java5-fonts sun-java5-plugin
        sh# update-java-alternatives --set java-1.5.0-sun
        sh# ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.5.0-sun/jre/plugin/i386/ns7/libjavaplugin_oji.so /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/libjavaplugin_oji.so
        sh# ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.5.0-sun/jre/plugin/i386/ns7/libjavaplugin_oji.so /usr/lib/iceweasel/plugins/libjavaplugin_oji.so

Install some Codecs.
I installed these codecs, so I can play and view allmost every format (music, video ...) Add the following to your source list
         ##### Codecs #####
        deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org etch main
 As root issue the following command::
         sh# aptitude update
        sh# aptitude install w32codecs libdvdcss2

Disable system beep
Add the following to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist
        blacklist pcspkr


Enjoy .....