Meego 1.0 on the Dell Inspiron Mini 1012

While on the topic of Meego, just a quick note for those looking to install on the Dell Inspiron Mini 1012.

Meego itself generally runs quite well on this device, but this machine has a Broadcom BCM4212 wireless chipset (also known as a Dell Wireless 1397) which although supported by the Linux b43 driver is not supported by Meego 1.0. Although Meego 1.0 has a new enough kernel (, it is unfortunately not a simple case of using the firmware cutting tool to extract the firmware, the module itself is compiled out. This is Meego bug #287.

Your other (non-free) option is to use Broadcom’s STA driver. You’re going to need to yum install make gcc diffutils kernel-netbook-devel to build the module.

Finally if you’re looking to buy a netbook, also know that the trackpad is on this device is pretty frustrating under X due to the buttons being under the touch surface (it’s only slightly less frustrating in Windows 7, to be honest). Collabora X Guru Daniel Stone tells me support for trackpads with buttons under the touch surface is getting better so it’s a lot less annoying jumpy, but it still needs more work. I’ve been using an external mouse.

Author: Danielle

Danielle is an Australian software engineer, computer scientist and feminist. She doesn't really work on GNOME any more (sadly). Opinions and writing are solely her own and so not represent her employer, the GNOME Foundation, or anyone else but herself.

5 thoughts on “Meego 1.0 on the Dell Inspiron Mini 1012”

  1. Isn’t this chip supported by openfirmware for broadcom? There’s b43-openfwwf.noarch : Open firmware for some Broadcom 43xx series WLAN chips package in Fedora.

  2. I also got bit by the Dell Mini wireless bug. Although…I’m not sure bug is the proper term for something that was intentionally left out.

    Such a pitty, because I’m willing to be a fair share of the netbooks out there are from Dell and have the Broadcom.

  3. Ben: Broadcom wireless is right up there with mp3 codecs as the number one most requested thing that we can’t ship in community meego which makes it annoying to use.

    Thankfully we have awesome commercialisation partners like Novell or Wind River who make everything ‘just work’ if you buy a computer with MeeGo inside.

  4. We have a Mini 10 (10v, apparently) at home too, running Ubuntu, which was installed by default. The trackpad-with-combined-buttons is indeed incredibly awful, and I came close to returning it. It helped a lot to install Ubuntu Lucid, which lets us turn off the touchpad while typing (don’t think about the implementation) but it’s still so easy to move the mouse when trying to click the button, making it really hard to actually click on anything in the UI.

    I wonder how the software could ever make this hardware less annoying.

  5. I recommend enabling tapping and ignoring the physical buttons. If the TP is multi-touch you’ll be fine. The 10 has a single-touch only which makes the problem harder.
    The touchpad itself is awful. It’s gotten a bit better with the latest git master but it’s far from perfect and I’m slowly running out of ideas on how to make this crap better (in a non-hacky way). Anyway,

    Option “AreaBottomEdge” “4000”

    in your config will disable anything below that edge and make the pad better to use, including some limited two-finger usage (you can press a button with one finger while using the other one in the valid area).

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