model: Alienware M11x R1(model id: 524)
subtype (notebook, netbook, motherboard, tablet):
does it have a free boot firmware (BIOS,UEFI,...) ?
can free operating systems be installed?
does the device prevent installing wifi cards not-approved by the vendor?
year of commercialization:
compatibility with free software:
gNewSense 3.0 Parkes
Trisquel 4.5 Slaine
tested with the following kernel libre:
video card model:
nVidia GeForce GT335m + GMA 4500MHD (works with 3D acceleration)
Broadcom 4353 802.11 ABGN (it works)
unknown (it works)
GPU offloading to the nVidia GPU works with bbswitch and bumblebee with the free nouveau driver. Additionally, you can choose to use the nVidia GPU at all times in the BIOS, however, it has a huge impact on battery life. Bumblebee and bbswitch are suggested in order to get the full battery life, otherwise the nVidia GPU is always running and the fan kicks on more than it's supposed to (it barely ever kicks on to begin with).
Stock wi-fi card used to require non-free firmware to operate. Progress has been made and the Broadcom 4353 802.11 ABGN is now operational under brcm80211(brcmsmac on some debian-based systems). Also the wireless card can be extracted and replaced.
Stock bluetooth card works perfectly without non-free firmware.
Changing the AlienFX keyboard backlighting does not work "Out of the box" on any distribution I know of, however a GPL'ed solution is available here https://code.google.com/p/pyalienfx/ from this gentleman. It is very straightforward to install and configure and I have encountered no trouble with it.
Thusfar, no free boot firmware is available for this machine.
Other than that, everything else works perfectly with a libre GNU/Linux distribution.
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 1.3 GHz
- GPU: nVidia GeForce GT335m + GMA 4500MHD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR3-1066
- HDD: 120 GB Intel SSD
- Screen resolution: 1366x768
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