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I want to know how to install Ubuntu on a Dell Inspiron 15R with Intel Core i3, 3GB RAM, Intel HD graphics and 320GB HDD. I've heard some people have had issues with the wireless card. Also, I tried a few days ago to install the 64-bit version of Ubuntu 10.10 and the installaten hung on the "Who are you" screen... Can anyone help me, I really want to get into Linux but without having any problems with the laptops drivers.

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I have an Inspiron 15R with a core i5 processor and have had absolutely no issues, once I enabled the restricted drivers I had wireless and 3D compiz effects functioning. –  Mark Rooney Feb 7 '11 at 7:04
    
I have a Dell Inspiron 17r (purchased Oct 2012), the only problems I find is that the sound cannot use the sub-woofer and that the finger scrolling doesn't work, which by the way is pretty annoying. –  alfC Nov 2 '12 at 17:34
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7 Answers

trust me you will have no problems with the install i have a hp laptop (granted is not a dell) with a lot of the same features as your dell except for the processor type. ubuntu 10.10 64 bit installed just fine. initially linux was created for a business environment with a need for security, which is why it asks you for a username is kind of a throw back to that. if for what ever reason your drivers dont initially work when install is coplete you can go to system> administration> additional drivers and it will install all remaining drivers

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Boot in to a live CD and validate if everything including wireless working or not. That is the best way to validate driver support before you install. If there is small problems, you can try to resolve them after final install.

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I did recently install ubuntu on an inspiron. I don't know if it was 15R but it had core2duo. Wireless was an issue where I needed to install lpphy installer rather than default restricted driver which can be found in synaptic. I myself own a Dell Vostro 3400 with 4GB RAM and i3 processor. Everything runs smooth as silk apart from touchpad two finger scrolling. But IMO, ubuntu should run smoothly.

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According to this Ubuntu page :

The Dell Inspiron 15R laptop has been awarded the status of Certified on Ubuntu 64-bit PC (x86_64).

In other words, this should work. A google search did turn up a number of issues and solutions.

Here is one question and resolution from askubuntu regarding the video driver : Can't install on Dell Inspiron 15R

Here's a page addressing wireless problems in particular: http://www.downloadatoz.com/driver/articles/get-the-wi-fi-working-on-dell-inspiron-15r-laptop-with-ubuntu-10-04.html . That might be worth trying if firmware-b43-lpphy-installer from sagarchalise's answer doesn't work.

Anecdotally, I've never had a serious issue running Ubuntu (or Linux generally) on Dell hardware. My own inexperience has been on ~7 or 8 desktops and laptops over 10 years. Sometimes I've been happier with the hardware than others, but I've had good luck.

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Ive heard from someone that i needed to disable the virtual emulator i think, from the bios in order to install it correctly and not get freezed in the middle of the installation. Is this correct? –  user10342 Feb 8 '11 at 20:28
    
@daniel Was this something you heard with reference to your particular hardware? –  belacqua Feb 8 '11 at 20:30
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I also did install Ubuntu (try both 11.04 & 11.10) on dell inspiron 15r (n5110) intel i5 sandy bridge witg 4gb of ram. The problem is with the Nvidia GT 525m gpu driver, and use to install nvidia-current from repo. When I activate the driver unity turn to 2d with poor desktop effect. The problem is solved if I don't activate the driver but I would be better if I could use it.

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You might have an Optimus enabled Laptop. In this case, installing directly nvidia-current will screw the graphics system as a conflict between integrated graphics (Intel HD3000) and Nvidia GT525m would have place. please check bumblebee-project.org (a shining application for Linux that enables nvidia optimus). It works perfectly in my Dell XPS 15 with GT525m. –  Hanynowsky Mar 10 '12 at 21:52
    
Alright thanks for the heads up. I will have to look into this. Unity2D is slow and would appreciate a graphics speed up. –  xamox Mar 12 '12 at 16:49
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I run Ubuntu 11.10 on my inspiron 15R. I use it every day for work and everything has been fine. I have even swapped out the drive with a solid state one and it still works. The only problem I have had is getting the video driver working correctly but may need to try to run the latest video. By not working I mean that Unity 2D works, but I can't get Unity 3D, while it doesn't stop me, there are a few things I really miss like compiz grid.

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You might have an Optimus enabled Laptop. In this case, installing directly nvidia-current will screw the graphics system as a conflict between integrated graphics (Intel HD3000) and Nvidia GT525m would have place. please check bumblebee-project.org (a shining application for Linux that enables nvidia optimus). It works perfectly in my Dell XPS 15 with GT525m –  Hanynowsky Mar 10 '12 at 21:54
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I am typing this comment using a ubuntu installed dell inspiron 15R :D . So please install ubuntu in your inspiron.(it is very much better than windows) All the drivers are FULLY compatible except NVIDIA gt525(As you don't have this card installed.... no probs at all) and alps touch pad. Touch pad gestures will not function in your ubuntu installation.

I think as you have a 3GB of RAM it is better and suitable to install 32bit version instead of 64bit version.

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