Vostro v13 hardware

Gonzalo Nemmi gnemmi at gmail.com
Wed Dec 16 13:01:28 CST 2009

On Wednesday 16 December 2009 3:45:44 pm Keith Howanitz wrote:
> I noticed that Ubuntu is now an option on the V13, with the following
> hardware:
> VIDEO CARD	Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
> WI-FI WIRELESS CARD	Dell Wireless 1397 802.11b/g

The Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD is fully supported 
by the xf86-video-intel driver.

The Dell Wireless 1397 802.11b/g (in my Dell 1318) is actually a 
Broadcom Wireless b/g (BCM4315)  ... usually reported as being a 
Broadcom 4312 or Broadcom 4310.

> Do these have FOSS drivers, or might I have issues upgrading in the
> future?

The FOSS drivers for everything that Broadcom manufactures set a new 
standar on "how bad a driver can be".

Broadcom does not support Open Source Drivers and does not disclose 
documentation to developers .. hence the lack of good drivers for their 

To make things even worse, if you ever plan on moving or trying any BSD 
flavor, the Broadcom 4315, along with many other models, is not 
supported _at_all_ (even if there is a bwi driver that supports some 
models to some extent and even if that driver requires a binary blob) 
except if you use ndis ... in which case the performance sucks too.

Solution: I ended up buying an Intel 3945. Try to buy your hardware with 
an intel card and check if any of the BSD's has a good driver for it .. 
even if you are planning on running Linux only.
> I am also interested in the Vostro 1220, but although it says Ubuntu
> is an option, I can not find a place to order it with that OS option.

BTW: watch out for the ethernet card too .. my Dell 1318 has a Broadcom 
NetLink (TM) Fast Ethernet (BCM5906m) soledered to the motherboard and 
the driver for it _sucks_. So, if you are interested in running FOSS on 
your hardware, do yourself a favor and stay away from everything that 
Broadcom manufactures.

> TIA,

Best Regards
Gonzalo Nemmi

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