Inspiron 15 (aka 1545)

Bob Johnson fbsdlists at
Tue May 26 15:33:49 UTC 2009

On 5/16/09, Bob Johnson <fbsdlists at> wrote:
> This question has sort of been asked before, but I never saw a clear
> answer, so here it is, in the hope that someone can save me some time:
> I need a cheap, simple, reasonably light laptop, but not a tiny
> display, and I'm looking at the Best Buy pre-configured Inspiron 15
> (i.e. Inspiron 1545). Anyone have direct experience with FreeBSD amd64
> on one of these? Is there anything that isn't going to work?

For the benefit of anyone else considering this laptop: I went ahead
and bought the thing, and everything I have looked at so far except
the Dell Wireless 1397 card is working (and I expect to eventually
beat it into submission), although some things took a little extra
work. I'm in the process of writing up my experience at

> The video is "Intel Integrated Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD". If
> it works well enough to watch DVDs and the occasional downloaded
> video, I'll be happy.

Video works with

> The wireless card is a Dell 1397 802.11b/g. Will I be able to build an
> NDIS driver (presumably on 7.2-RELEASE amd64)?

No success yet. Dell's most recent 64-bit driver wrapped with ndisgen
panics the system when I kldload it.

> Is the ExpressCard 34 slot supported?

Don't have a card to test it with yet.

> Best Buy's description is at

Sound works.

USB ports work.

Haven't tested external video.

Got the Yukon wired Ethernet card to work by installing Yukon's
proprietary FreeBSD driver (myk). As of today, it appears that there
is a patch to the BSD msk driver that will get it working with this
card, but I haven't tested it.

The "7-function multimedia" slot seems to work, but the only time I've
used it to copy data from a card, it was excruciatingly slow. It took
hours to copy a 2 GB SD card (kept stalling and moving no data for
minutes at a time). I haven't tried to find the reason for that yet,
but my vague recollection is that I've run into that problem in the
past and was able to fix it.

Haven't yet tested the camera, but it is seen by the USB system, so I
expect there to be software out there that knows what to do with it.

A few quirks that are interesting (e.g. default keyboard mapping). See
the blog linked above for details.

- Bob

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