Dell Inspiron Mini 9

Documentation to get the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Netnook to work with Ubuntu 8.04.1 LTS.


Since my Mini 9 never booted Windows I directly start with the installation howto for Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Desktop Edition.

I downloaded the ISO image of the installation CD at Unfortunately the alternate desktop CD did not boot from my USB stick so I had to use the normal version.

After I got the ISO image, I used UNetbootin to create a bootable USB stick.



Edit /etc/fstab and add the noatime flag for all filesystems on the SSD. This should extend the disks lifetime.

I also mounted several filesystems as tmpfs systems, so they only exist as RAM disks and do not physically write to disk.

tmpfs   /tmp       tmpfs   defaults   0   0
tmpfs   /var/tmp   tmpfs   defaults   0   0


I added some useful settings to /etc/rc.local as well.

# disable wakeup on LAN
/usr/sbin/ethtool -s eth0 wol d

# activate write cache
/sbin/hdparm -W 1 /dev/sda

# set another scheduler, found in several forums
# not validated by myself
echo noop > /sys/block/sda/queue/scheduler

# set writeback timer to 15 seconds
echo 1500 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs


To configure the sound, run:

sudo vi /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base

and add the line

options snd-hda-intel model=dell 

at the end of the file. After the next reboot, sound should be working flawlessly.


It is not necessary to load the lp module. To disable it, modify /etc/default/cupsys and set



To speed up the boot process it is useful to directly specify the clocksource the kernel should use.

Check for the default clocksource:

$ dmesg | grep tsc
[   18.2632865] Clocksource tsc unstable (delta = -187463 ns)

Check that hpet is the really used clocksource:

$ dmesg | grep hpet
[   19.836363] Time: hpet clocksource has been installed.

To directly set the hpet clocksource at boottime, modify the GRUB configuration:

sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

and replace

# defoptions=quiet splash


# defoptions=quiet splash clocksource=hpet

Afterwards run

sudo update-grub

and you are prepared for the next reboot.

Bluetooth modem with Nokia N93

To get the Mini 9 connect use my mobile as modem using the bluetooth interface, the following steps were necessary:

Find the mobiles MAC address by

$ hcitool scan
Scanning ...
        00:1D:xx:xx:xx:xx        Harry N93

and scan it's services

$ sdptool browse <MAC>
    Service Name: Dial-Up Networking
    Service RecHandle: 0x10003
    Service Class ID List:
      "Dialup Networking" (0x1103)
    Protocol Descriptor List:
      "L2CAP" (0x0100)
      "RFCOMM" (0x0003)
    Channel: 2

The important part here is the Channel information.

After that is done, edit the file /etc/bluetooth/rfcomm.conf and add

rfcomm0 {
    bind yes;
    device <MAC>;
    channel <CHANNEL>;
    comment "Nokia N93";

After that is done, restart the bluetooth services via

sudo /etc/init.d/bluetooth restart

To use the dialup connection I use wvdial. To configure it, edit the file /etc/wvdial.conf and add:

[Dialer bluetooth]
Modem = /dev/rfcomm0
Baud = 460800
SetVolume = 0
Dial Command = ATDT
FlowControl = NoFlow
Init1 = ATZ
Init2 = ATM0
Init3 = AT+CGDCONT=1,"ip",""
Username = ppp@vodafone
Password = ppp
Phone = *99#
Stupid Mode = 1
Dial Attempts = 1

After that is done, the dialup connection can be started by

wvdial bluetooth
harry/dellmini9.txt · Last modified: 2008/10/08 08:28 (external edit)
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