openSUSE 11.0 on Inspiron 5000

I have a Dell Inspiron 5000 that is currently running W2K and I would like to try an openSUSE Linux version. Is the Inspiron 5000 too old for 11.0?

I checked the HCL listing for Laptops and openSUSE 10.1 was recommended. I was able to download and burn the 5 .iso CD images for 10.1 but since it’s no longer supported I am leery of installing it.

I have no experience whatsoever with any Linux distro so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.:shame:

I had to look this up and try and find specs. I’m still not much wiser.

But I would suggest you aim for a lightweight distro. As we don’t know how much RAM you have it’s difficult to suggest.

You may be able to get a version of Suse installed and use xfce.

Or if you want really light and fast, I tried the latest Puppy Linux in a VM recently. It looks great and is supper quick. DSL also


Thanks for your prompt reply.

Here are the hardware specs:

Intel PIII 600/500 MHz Speedstep (through utility)

Chip Set: Intel 82440BX AGP/ 82443BX PCI AGP/ 82371MB PIIX4E

PCMIA: Texas Instruments PCI-1225 CardBus Controller

RAM: 256MB at 100 MHz PC-100

HDD: 12GB Hard Disc

Video: ATI 3D Rage Mobility-P 8MB

Sound: ESS Maestro-2E

CD Drive: Teac CD-224E

HID: Synaptics touchpad, PS/2 Port

Linksys Wireless WPC54GS v1 PCMIA (no internal NIC, wired NIC through Port Replicator)

Hi Hoku,

In general Dell is supported quite well - even the older models. You might have some issues getting wireless (and built in modem?) running.

Due to the specs you might have better results using XFCE as window manager (and not KDE or GNOME).
You could try openSUSE 11.0 or 10.3… (have a go with the LiveCD first) but then I’d suggest to add another memory module so you have 512 RAM. (I’d probably suggest that in any case :wink: )

xUbuntu is a nice lightweight distro that gives you allot of options and has a purpose of running on lower end systems. Good chance that will do a good job on that system.


xUbuntu is a nice lightweight distro
I agree, though not my choice. But looking at what you have it will do nicely.

Thanks Wj,

I took your advice and ordered what I needed to bump the RAM up to 512MB.

I picked this Inspiron 5000 up in exchange for painting my neighbour’s fence. It came with the 6858U Advanced Port Replicator (built in 10/100 NIC), a very nice carrying case, two batteries, charger, and the Linksys WPC54GS v1 wireless card. Unfortunately it didn’t come with any of the system discs, only a Window 2000 Pro disc. When I got it the top cover, hinges, bezel, and palm rest were either cracked or broken. When I picked it up it would shut down. I was able to find the parts cheap and rebuilt the thing so it looks like new and works well, albeit rather slowly.

I’d like to use a Linux distro that’s close to the enterprise versions available for both learning and experience. I have RedHat versions 7.2 and 7.3 on CD’s, but I’d rather use an openSUSE version since I have the book “SUSE Linux 10 Unleashed (SAMS)” I know I could get other books, but I kinda like openSUSE. Not sure why, I just do.

My Inspiron 5000 doesn’t have a modem or built in NIC. It does have a floppy drive in addition to the CD-ROM. The APR also has a built in 10/100 NIC that W2K recognizes but I haven’t tried to use it yet. The Linksys wireless card uses a Broadcom chipset. Under W2K the driver used is BCMWL5.sys. I found the LSBCMNDS.inf file and some people have gotten the card to work with 10.1 using ndiswrapper and the aforementioned .inf file. The .inf file refers to the BCM43XX and BCM430G drivers which I am unable to pull out of the W2K installation. I think there are some other options like using bcm43xx-fwcutter but I think the best thing is to plug it in and see if it works.

I think I’ll download the openSUSE 10.3 live CD and try that when I get my RAM modules.

Thanks for your help, Hoku