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Dell Latitude D510 under Linux

Dell Latitude D510 under Linux

As usual, the following informations are provided as is, with no warranty of any kind. Use this at your own risk.

Linux adventure continues, now with a Dell Latitude D510. This page describes my settings for this laptop and tells the story of the installation.

Summary

The Dell Latitude D510 may be used under linux but installation is not straightforward in order to obtain a stable and usable configuration. Briefly one has to:
  1. Install linux using (for instance) Debian stable distro and a 2.4 kernel.
  2. Upgrade to a 2.6 kernel
For more information and limitations, see below.

TODOs

Those are tasks remaining to do for complete installation of linux on the Dell Latitude D510:
  • Everything !
Please let me know if you perform some of the tasks above.

Specifications

Unfortunately, there is a lot of different hardware that you can discover under the D510 reference. Almost everything can change ! The good news is that this laptop can run linux and that it is rather stable.

Installing Linux

Kernel

The installation process of Debian uses either a 2.4 or a 2.6 kernel. Only the 2.4 kernel seems to work. Problem is that the hard disk is a SATA one, so that it is seen as /dev/hda (IDE driver) under 2.4 and /dev/sda (SCSI driver) under 2.6.

It is therefore necessary to recompile 2.6.X kernel (I used 2.6.15 the first time) and manually switch from 2.4 kernel to 2.6 kernel. This was well described in MaF page on D810.

Compilation of the kernel must incorporate:

  • Pentium M support
  • SCSI disk support
  • AHCI SATA support
  • Intel PIIX/ICH SATA support
  • ext2, ext3 or whatever filesystem you use for your root partition. Double check this, trust me, I spent nearly four hours figuring it wasn't the SATA driver that was in cause in the unknown-block(8,X) kernel error :-(

To install your kernel, copy the resulting arch/i386/boot/bzImage in /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-PentiumM, edit /boot/grub/menu.lst in order to have:

# kopt=root=/dev/sdaX ro resume=/dev/sdaY
# kopt_2_4=root=/dev/hdaX ro
then run update-grub. Don't forget to make modules, and to install them.

Once you have a bootable kernel, you'll have to change /etc/fstab in order to reflect the devices for your new kernel. Of course, that means you cannot easily keep a dual boot with 2.4 and 2.6 kernel.

X11

The debian installer works fine. Usable driver is vesa with 1024x768 resolution. This resolution seems small, but that's the hardware limitation. If you wan't to reconfigure: dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree.

Networks

Ethernet

Ethernet card is a Broadcom 10/100. Module b44 (broadcom 4400) will work.

Modem

Todo

Wireless

Driver ipw2200 in version 1.0.8 is included in kernel at least in 2.6.15 version. One has to download proprietary firmware version 2.4 and place the detarred files in /usr/lib/hotplug/firmware.

Bluetooth

Todo

IRDA

Todo

Sound

alsaconf recognizes correctly the sound card as an intel8x0. The blue keys are recognized and can be configured by the gnome keyboard shortcuts panel.

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Florent Chabaud
E-mail: florent.chabaud@m4x.org
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