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Linux on a Dell Inspiron 3700/7000/7500

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Free Driver

The I7k uses an ESS Maestro-2 or 2E wavetable sound system. As of stable linux kernel 2.2.14, support for the Maestro chip is now part of the standard kernel. The first thing you should do if you want sound is to install the 2.2.14 kernel (make sure it has support for the Maestro chipset compiled in or built as a module).

Maestro Notes:

  • If you built Maestro support in the kernel as a module, then you need to add the line alias sound maestro to your /etc/conf.modules or /etc/modules.conf file (depending on your distribution, it will be named one or the other). Make sure there isn't another "alias sound" line in the file. If there is, remove it.
  • If you also use PCMCIA services, check your /etc/pcmcia/config.opts file to make sure you have the following lines inside somewhere. If not, then add these lines:
       exclude port 0x200-0x27f, port 0x300-0x3ff
       exclude irq 5
  • The Maestro driver doesn't support /dev/sndstat, so don't try looking at that to determine if sound is working. You can send a .au file to /dev/dsp, play a CD, or check the last few lines of /var/log/messages.

Commercial Driver

There is a commercial driver available from 4Front Technologies which supports the ESS Maestro-2. The cost is $30 and can be ordered and downloaded from their web site.

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