If you want to install Ubuntu for this machine type we recommend you install the Lucid Lynx version 10.04, the 64Bit version functions as adequately as the 32Bit version, however apart from some slowness I noticed when using the browser the 64 bit seems just as good as that of the 32 bit version at least as far as I know. Lucid Lynx Version 10.04 is the LTS (Long Term Support) there are later version from Ubuntu, Linux Mint and others that may work but so far the only one I have found that the wireless works on 64 bit and 32 bit is Lucid Lynx. Please tell me different in comments bellow.
I have decided to rewrite this document because having destroyed the display on my smaller Asus Aspire which I could take with me everywhere, now I have to revert to good old Dell 1521 which I started with long ago. The specification for the model remains the same but for a while now I have gone for a larger 120Gb SSD (Solid State Disk). This makes the start ups really quite quick, performance though would be better still with a later revision of the Operating System but the wireless does not seem to work well or at all.Dell Inspiron 1521 laptop Specification
- 15.4" LCD Wide Screen
- AMD 64bit x2
- 80 Gig Hard Disk
- 2048 Mb Ram
- SBx00 Azalia Audio
- CD/DVD Writer
- 1390 Wireless mini-pci
- 1 ExpressCard slot not Pcmcia
- 4 USB Port 2 on side 2 on the back
- 1 SD Card slot
- 1 VGA Port
- 1 S-Video Port
- 1 Ethernet RJ45
- 1 Modem Port RJ11
- 1 Miniature Port 1394
After installation which is what "Post Installation" means you will want to take advantage of the wireless connection it is unlikely to work straight away! If it doesn't you will need to connect to a local internet connection perhaps through the LAN (Local Area Network) either via the ethernet network port or if mobile phone support an internet connection and you have the data lead to hand, you can gain connection to your internet network services this way.
Now normally on a new installation any restricted drivers would be flagged to the screen usually by way of an icon that looks similar to a miniature network card you might install in a standard computer. Click once on this icon to identify if restricted drivers are required, with the Dell 1521 all missing hardware drivers will be identified within a list. You should be presented with two select the "sda" driver and click activate.
If you have missed you opportunity for one reason or another you can get another chance by selecting Hardware Drivers in "System Administration" menu or "Control Panel Administration" to re-iterate select the "SDA" Driver and press activate button.
Some important Updates
Things have got much simpler since I first wrote this document for example the flash player essential for many a website views, was difficult and cumbersome to install. Now it's no more difficult than on the regular 32 Bit version and can be accomplished "Software Manager" the "Synaptic Package Manager" or the consoles "apt-get" method.vVia the software managers you need install the Ubuntu Restricted Extras, if you have problems locating this software update you can use the terminal console whilst were at it lets install some other packages I suggest you install. Accept the package updates this may take a while
Having the above Flash Plugin working on 64bit Firefox is great, if that is you have no wish to run video from the web, we can't guarantee all videos will work using the method below but then it is very difficult to keep up so you can forgive the developers, can't we. Unless you wish to continue with Totem as the default plugin for Firefox we suggest you change it there are many plugin's you can convert to but mplayer in our opinion seem to work with most everything but the choice is yours.
vNote the above actually removes the links to the plugin libraries not the files themselves, so deleting them will only effect Firefox no other browser or system. You can check this is true using "ls -al" on the command line.
This will load the basic player MPlayer and the Firefox plugin also we will still need to install the Codecs to allow films to be played generated from more conspicuous sources.
Lets install the restricted libraries available from the Ubuntu repositories, if you haven't yet done so please visit the Synaptic Package Manager, typing your own password rather than a root password should allow you access. Ensure all the Ubuntu Repositories are activated.#> sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-fluendo-mpegdemux gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg rar xvid4conf mjpegtools
Now this is pretty much the best we can do with the Ubuntu repositories if we need the window 32/64 codecs we need to go elsewhere
With this very important task completed we can now go about installing the code but first we need to activate the repository which we enable in Synaptic Package Manager this you will find in the Third Party Settings enable all repositories in this section.
An added benefit of installing the above libraries and applications is that the BBC Iplayer at BBC iplayer works.
One very small remaining thing to do is to edit a file located in your home directory for MPlayer application the purpose of this is to enable video files to play from certain websites such as ChannelChooser and Emusic
You will need to edit this file and alter certain entries, this config file does not exist anywhere else other than the home directories which needs to be altered for each user on the system.
vo=x11 (Video Out=x11)
ao=alsa (Audio Out=alsa)
nopauseonhide=1 (This prevents the player pausing when video is hidden from view)