My Dell Mini setup

Jürgen and Michael started this (it seems like everybody is getting a netbook these days), and so I continue by posting my netbook setup as well.

I could get all hardware components except the built-in Bluetooth chip to work with very little trouble. The bluetooth chip is supposed to work in Ubuntu Intrepid, so I guess that should also be solved, soon. I’m using a USB bluetooth dongle for now. For details, please have a look at the page I filled out in the Linux Laptop Wiki or the Dell Mini article in my Wiki.

I’m using Gentoo Linux (~x86) on the netbook just as on my other computers (why would I choose something else?). To help with the compiling, I set up distcc in a VM on my company desktop. Even without that, the small machine is astoundingly fast. The 16 GB SSD’s low access latency kicks ass: for example system startup, where many small files scattered throughout the “disk” need to be read, takes a mere 20 seconds (from grub to KDM being ready to receive the password for login). Suspend to RAM also just works (with gentoo-sources, but probably also with vanilla-sources), and the system resumes automatically when opening the lid. The battery lasts quite long, too (see my small battery consumption test) and the device is completely silent at all times – so all in all, I’m very satisfied with this little device.

Last week I bought two additional no-name el cheapo power supplies for a total of 180¥ (20€ / $26) and put them into the places where I spend most of my time, so I never need to carry the bulky thing around 🙂

Well, and here is the obligatory screenshot:

5 Responses to “My Dell Mini setup”


  • Very nice! I’m running ubuntu-eee now but will probably switch to Gentoo as soon as I get sick of one of the many things that bother me about Ubuntu.

  • I would like a deeper guide about installing Gentoo

    Ps: never touched Gentoo, i dont even know which version download, ecc ecc..

    • Hi elect,

      I guess a good starting point would be http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/ 🙂 Have fun!

      • Ok, thanks

        One last thing: do you think that the difference between a pre-compiled distro (like ubuntu nbr) and Gentoo is enough even on the netbook?

        • I assume by difference you mean difference in performance. I honestly don’t know, since I never compared/benchmarked much. I use Gentoo mostly because of its great package management, and the fact that it’s source based helps in keeping the dependencies down to what you actually need. Example: when you install a media player on a pre-compiled distribution, it will pull in a huge amount of dependencies, for example libraries to decode formats you never even heard of – this doesn’t happen on Gentoo: you deactivate the media player’s USE flags that stand for formats you never heard of, and their decoder libraries won’t get pulled in.

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