Dell Mini 9
|Name||Dell Inspiron Mini 9 (a.k.a. Inspiron 910)|
|Processor||Intel Atom 1.6 GHz, 533MHz FSB, 512 KB cache|
|Screen||8.9" WSVGA Widescreen|
|RAM||512 MB or 1 GB DDR2 533 MHz|
|HDD||8 or 16 GB SSD|
|Card Reader||SD, Memory Stick (Pro), MMC|
|Graphics||Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950|
|Network||Realtek Ethernet, Broadcom WLAN 802.11b/g, Bluetooth|
|Camera||0.3 or 1.3 MP|
|Battery||32 Wh (4 cell) (see notes)|
 Linux Compatibility
|Mass storage||Yes||SSD, use 'noatime' mount option; set Kernel I/O scheduler to 'noop'|
|Graphics||Yes||Kernel module: i915, X.org module: intel; See notes.|
|Sound||Yes||Kernel module: snd-hda-intel. Maybe you need to specify "model=dell" as parameter|
|Ethernet||Yes||Kernel module: r8169|
|Wireless||Yes||Currently the proprietary 'wl' driver by Broadcom works best (see notes). b43 kernel module doesn't seem to work (yet). Ndiswrapper + Windows driver is also an option.|
|Card Reader||Yes (MMC, other parts not tested)||Kernel module: sdhci|
|Webcam||Yes (1.3 MP model, 0.3 MP model not tested)||Kernel module: uvcvideo|
|Special keys||Yes||Standby, Wireless, Battery status, Mute, Vol. up, Vol. down emit normal keycodes and can thus be bound to scripts etc. Brightness keys are handled in hardware. Internal/External monitor key not tested.|
The X.org Intel driver version 2.5.0 exhibits the following problem on this device: The screen flickers in random intervals and sometimes goes dark (while X is still running). The log contains error messages like "(EE) intel(0): underrun on pipe B!". Adding
Option "FramebufferCompression" "False"
to the "Device" section in xorg.conf helps.
If this does not help, running the command
xrandr --output LVDS --set BACKLIGHT_CONTROL native
from the console may help - it seems there is a bug in the X.Org Intel driver than makes the screen flicker when the backlight control is run in 'kernel' mode.
The flickering problems could not be observed with version 2.6.1 of the driver (even having not implemented the workarounds given above). A remaining problem is, that the 3D performance is very low after resuming from suspend-to-ram.
The proprietary 'wl' driver is not (and will never be) part of the mainline kernel.
Check your distribution's repository if you can find it there, otherwise you can use my self-explaining shell script which will build and install the module.
Update (2009-03-25): I will no longer maintain the shell script, since the driver is now available in Gentoo (package net-wireless/broadcom-sta).
A test on how long the netbook runs on battery under "normal netbook use" is available at my blog.