Ubuntu on a Dell Inspiron 1100?

After seeing how much Matt loves Ubuntu, I downloaded the ISOs for it (Live and Install) and I’ll be trying it out on my laptop. If it works on that, I’ll probably switch that over. I only use it for web browsing, IM, and working within OpenOffice, so I’m definitely not tied down to Windows. If I could use it on my desktop as well, that would be ultimate. There are some programs I need to figure out if there’s something equivalent within Linux/Ubuntu: iTunes and Palm Desktop.

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Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. He's also a cat whisperer. Sometimes…a photographer, and card magician.

14 thoughts on “Ubuntu on a Dell Inspiron 1100?”

  1. Don’t know if you’ve figured these out by now, but in case you haven’t, I’ll help. 🙂

    There are quite a number of iTunes replacements. The one that comes by default with Ubuntu is Rhythmbox, but there are also Muine, Banshee, and Amarok (though amarok doesn’t look as nice on ubuntu’s default desktop). Those last three are pretty easy to install if you use ubuntu’s add/remove programs utility. You will find, however, that Rhythmbox is the most developed of all of those. If I recall correctly, I think it might even handle iPods, but I haven’t had a chance to toy with it yet.

    Also keep in mind that ubuntu doesn’t include MP3 playback automatically, for licensing reasons. It’s braindead simple to get it, though.

    I have no idea about palm pilot support on ubuntu. I do know that ubuntu comes with evolution, which is essentially an Outlook clone (and therefore, by extension, a Palm Desktop clone). The question for me is whether or not it syncs with Palm devices — I do not know.

    For now, though, I’d recommend you wait until October 13 to install ubuntu — that is when they plan on releasing the next “official” version, Breezy Badger. It’s easy to install, yes, but if you’re going to go to the effort of switching desktops, may as well do it all in one go. 🙂

    If you have any questions, feel free to email me.


  2. Rhythmbox is indeed very nice-looking – almost a clone of iTunes, in fact (though nowhere as much as Linspire’s Ltunes). That said, while it can browse the music library on my iPods with ease, I haven’t found a way to sync easily 😦


  3. I’m only into iTunes because it syncs with iPods the easiest. Rhythmbox and Muine didn’t seem to support the iPod (looking through their websites), but it looks like Banshee does. (Have you tried that, Syamsul?)

    I see that Ximian Evolution links to gnome-pilot (or something), or I could use Kpilot (with KDE). Which does Ubuntu use by default?

    I found this, but it looks outdated:

    Synchronizing your PalmOS Handheld with Ximian Evolution

    I will definitely wait until October 13th. Thanks Greg!


  4. I suggest that you wait just a few days and install v5.10 (“Breezy”) of Kubuntu (the KDE-based distribution of Ubuntu). It ships with Amarok, which was previously mentioned by Greg, and is an excellent iTunes replacement. If you would like to try it, download the Live CD of the Kubuntu 5.10 RC.


  5. And, you may be asking, “Why do you prefer Kubuntu to Ubuntu?” Well, I prefer Kubuntu to Ubuntu, because I prefer KDE to GNOME. The graphical desktop environment is the only significant thing that sets Kubuntu and Ubuntu apart.


  6. To me, it’s more iPod management than simply listening to music in iTunes. If one program supports my iPod better, I’ll use that instead. I’m willing to give it a go, though. Thanks for pointing that distro out. 🙂

    Oh yeah, have you been using it extensively?


  7. Amarok does ship with full iPod support. As for using it extensively, I haven’t. Kubuntu 5.04 was quite broken on PPC. Yes, you could hack it up to make it work, but I didn’t want to do that. Instead, I ran Ubuntu. But, I have been addicted to the Kubuntu 5.10 RC Live CD, and I plan to install it as soon as it has been released.


  8. Thanks guys, I caught it! I’m downloading the LiveCD and InstallCD right now. It should be good to go in the morning, and I’ll give it a shot sometime. Thanks for remembering me!


  9. So I have a Q if anyone is interested.
    I have Kubuntu 5.10 on my dell inspiron 1100 and it works great, but i cant get x11 to size right. It has shrunk basicaly my desktop and all the rest is black. Does anyone have some insite, otherwise I will continue to squint


  10. Hey KSig hoope this helps….,

    Login as root

    Open your etc/X11/xorg.conf

    and edit the Section “Monitor” and add the following directly after “DPMS” and before EndSection

    # added to the default xorg.conf
    HorizSync 31.5-48.5
    VertRefresh 59-75
    # end of additions

    Ok.., now in the Section “Screen” delete all sizes except for “1024×768”

    save file

    now reboot…, it should do the trick….., works on Ubuntu and Kubuntu 6.10 and Dell Inspiron 1100 havent tried anything else.



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