Running Linux on a Dell Latitude D610

This page documents my attempts (and successes!) to get Linux fully working on a Dell D610 laptop.

NOTE: The information contained herein assumes that you know how to work from the commandline, patch kernels and compile programs.

DISCLAIMER: This information is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. If you fry your system by using this information that’s _your_ problem. Not mine. I accept no responsability for what happens with this information whatsoever.

Update notes

I no longer have access to the Dell Latitude D610 laptop since I changed work, so I can no longer update this page. I’ll keep it up as a reference.

Technical Specifications

Intel Pentium M processor (1024KB L2 Cache), supports Enhanced Intel SpeedStep
Intel PRO/Wireless 2915AB network connection
Intel 915 chipset
Standard 512MB DDR SDRAM, upgradeable to max. 2048MB
Toshiba MK8026GA – 80GB Ultra ATA/100 HDD
14.0″ SXGA+ TFT colour LCD, 1400×1050, 16.7M colours
Intel 915 video chip, up to 128mb shared memory
SoundBlaster-Pro and MS DirectSound compatible
10/100/1000Mbps Fast Ethernet; Wake-on-LAN ready
56K ITU V.92 data/fax software modem; Wake-on-Ring ready
Integrated Bluetooth

PCI Specs

0000:00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/PM/GMS/910GML Express Processor to DRAM Controller (rev 03)
0000:00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Graphics Controller (rev 03)
0000:00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Graphics Controller (rev 03)
0000:00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 03)
0000:00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 03)
0000:00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 03)
0000:00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 03)
0000:00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 03)
0000:00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 03)
0000:00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev d3)
0000:00:1e.2 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 03)
0000:00:1e.3 Modem: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) AC'97 Modem Controller (rev 03)
0000:00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801FBM (ICH6M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 03)
0000:00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801FBM (ICH6M) SATA Controller (rev 03)
0000:02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5751 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express (rev 01)
0000:03:01.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCI6515 Cardbus Controller
0000:03:01.5 Communication controller: Texas Instruments PCI6515 SmartCard Controller
0000:03:03.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 2915ABG MiniPCI Adapter (rev 05)

Here’s a detailed pci listing.

Linux 2.6.x kernel

The latest 2.6 kernel is:
Here’s my kernel configuration.


Hardware: this is the Intel 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB chip.

USB worked out of the box by loading the following modules:

  • usb-uhci (USB 1.x support)
  • ehci-hcd (USB 2 support)
  • usbcore (which is automatically loaded by the previous ones)

It is advisable to install the hotplug system so the necessary modules are loaded upon plugging. For Debian, install the hotplug package.

These days you’re actually better of installing the udev package, which also handles hotplug.

10/100/1000 MBit ethernet LAN

Hardware: this is a Broadcom Corporation Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5751 Gigabit Ethernet chip.

Lan also worked out of the box, using the tg3 module.


Hardware: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) AC’97 Audio Controller

What can I say? It worked perfectly with the ALSA module called snd_intel8x0 module.

For Debian, install the alsa-base and alsa-utils packages.

VGA Framebuffer console

Hardware: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Graphics Controller

You can use the intelfb framebuffer driver (titled Intel 830M/845G/852GM/855GM/865G support which comes included with the kernel.

To use it, specify this on your kernel command line: video=intelfb:mtrr,noaccel vga=0x834.

VGA XFree86/X.Org

Hardware: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Graphics Controller

To make it working just set your video driver to i810:

		Section "Device"
			Identifier	"Generic Video Card"
			Driver		"i810"

The screen section looks like this:

		Section "Screen"
			Identifier	"Default Screen"
			Device		"Generic Video Card"
			Monitor		"Generic Monitor"
			DefaultDepth	24
			SubSection "Display"
				Depth		24
				Modes		"1400x1050" "1024x768"

To get the 1400×1050 resolution working, you have to patch the video bios. There’s a utility for that called 915resolution.
(for debian install the 915resolution package). The command to run at every bootup is 915resolution 3c 1400 1050.
After this, X will accept the resolution.

Here’s my complete xorg.conf file

TV Out

This is rumored to work with the standard i810 X.Org driver. Not tested.


Hardware: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) AC’97 Modem Controller – Winmodem.

This modem can be gotten to work using the Linuxant HSF Softmodem drivers. Unfortunately, they are payware.
They also have a limited-speed test driver, you can see if that works for you before deciding to buy the driver.

NOTE: You have to compile your kernel without CONFIG_4KSTACKS! If you use this driver with 4K stacks enabled, it _will_ crash your system!


Hardware: SONY DVD+-RW DW-Q58A.

To get this device working with the SATA driver, put libata.atapi_enabled=1 in your kernel parameters, in your boot loader (which usually is /etc/lilo.conf or /boot/grub/menu.lst.

You can use /dev/scd0 (the cdrom device) directly for cd burning.


Hardeware: Dell Wireless 350 Bluetooth – connected to the USB bus.

Works perfectly with the bluez and hci-usb modules. In fact, if you install hotplug the driver will be loaded automatically if you press the bluetooth button!

Debian users might want to install the buetooth package.


Hardware: Toshiba MK8026GA

I’m not sure if this drive is a SATA or a PATA drive, but it’s behind the SATA bus. As such, you need to activate the SCSI SATA driver ata_piix.

DMA is automagically enabled. I use hdparm to set an extra parameter: hdparm -F /dev/sda


  • -F: set security-freeze (so that nothing can accidentily lock your disk with a password)

For Debian; check the hdparm package.


You need this if you don’t want your CPU to eat your batteries empty. It’s included in the kernel config.

It works perfectly after loading the speedstep-centrino and any of the cpufreq- modules.

You can either install the cpufreqd daemon, or use the cpufreq_ondemand module (which modulates the speed by requirement).
I use this init script to setup everything at bootup.

For Debian, check the cpufreqd or powernowd packages.

Wireless Lan

Hardware: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 2915ABG MiniPCI Adapter

Driver status: native linux driver available at

The native driver works out of the box. Just extract, compile (using make; make install) and run modprobe ipw2200.
For information on how to configure your wlan card, please see the above website.

If you want your nifty wlan led to light, add led=1 to the modprobe line, or add options ipw2200 led=1 to a file in /etc/modprobe.d/.

For Debian there are the ipw2200-source and ieee80211-source packages available, which simplifies following up on new releases.


Hardware: Texas Instruments PCI6515 Cardbus Controller

You have to install the pcmciautils package, and enable the yenta_socket module in the kernel.

For Debian, check the pcmciautils package.

SmartCard reader

Hardware: ??

Not tested at the moment.


Works with the FIR smsc-ircc2 module.

To get the smsc-ircc2 module, you need to enable ISA Support in the Bus Options menu.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Enable the port in the BIOS, and assign it to e.g. COM2
  2. Disable the tty port in linux: setserial /dev/ttyS1 uart none
  3. Load the smsc-ircc2 module with the correct parameters: modprobe smsc-ircc2 ircc_irq=3 ircc_dma=3 ircc_sir=0x2f8 ircc_fir=0x280
  4. Launch irattach on the irda0 device: irattach irda0 -s

For Debian, I advise the irda-utils package.

Multimedia Keys

This laptop has several ‘function’ and ‘multimedia’ keys, which are not mapped by the bios but generate scancodes.
These include:

  • Volume up (Fn-PgUp)
  • Volume down (Fn-PgDown)
  • Mute (Fn-End)
  • Hibernate (Fn-F1)
  • Battery (Fn-F3)
  • Eject CD (Fn-F10)

Normally the Mute, Eject CD, Battery and Hibernate buttons don’t generate key-up events, causing the, to ‘hang’. You can solve that problem by using this kernel patch. (apply it by using cat d610-fnkeys-fix.patch | patch -p1 in the kernel sourcedir)

The last three keys generate scancodes, but no keycodes by default. To fix this, you can map them using setkeycodes. You can also use this init.d script.

I used the hotkeys for it, with this delld610.def file in /usr/share/hotplug/ and then starting hotkeys as
hotkeys --no-splash --cdrom-dev=/dev/scd0 --osd=off from your .xsession file. I also use a seperate script to get the ACPI Battery status into a kdialog window, this is mapped to the Battery Status key.

Debian users can install the hotkeys package.

Thanks to Alexander Wintermans for the extra info on getting this to work.

Software Suspend

Not yet tried.

Suspend to RAM

This works pretty well – there are some caveats to take note off tho:

This site has some hints with respect to the SATA side of suspending.

On kernels < 2.6.16 you have to apply this patch to get the SATA suspend/resume to work.

To get the display back to life, you have to use vbetool (debian package vbetool).

I use the following suspend script in /etc/acpi/events (which is triggered when I press my suspend button), and this suspend2ram script to do the actual suspending.

Touchpad in XFree86/X.Org

This is a ALPS touchpad. You can use it with this driver.
Extract from the INSTALL file:

1. Copy the driver-module "synaptics_drv.o" into the XFree-module path
"ex. /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/input/".

2. Load the driver by changig the XFree configuration file through
adding the line 'Load "synaptics"' in the module section.

3. Add/Replace in the InputDevice-section for the touchpad the
following lines:

Section "InputDevice"
  Driver        "synaptics"
  Identifier    "Mouse[1]"
  Option        "Device"                "/dev/psaux"
  Option        "Protocol"              "auto-dev"
  Option        "LeftEdge"              "120"
  Option        "RightEdge"             "830"
  Option        "TopEdge"               "120"
  Option        "BottomEdge"            "650"
  Option        "FingerLow"             "14"
  Option        "FingerHigh"            "15"
  Option        "MaxTapTime"            "180"
  Option        "MaxTapMove"            "110"
  Option        "EmulateMidButtonTime"  "75"
  Option        "VertScrollDelta"       "20"
  Option        "HorizScrollDelta"      "20"
  Option        "MinSpeed"              "0.3"
  Option        "MaxSpeed"              "0.75"
  Option        "AccelFactor"           "0.015"
  Option        "EdgeMotionMinSpeed"    "200"
  Option        "EdgeMotionMaxSpeed"    "200"
  Option        "UpDownScrolling"       "1"
  Option        "CircularScrolling"     "1"
  Option        "CircScrollDelta"       "0.1"
  Option        "CircScrollTrigger"     "2"

Change the Identifier to the same name as in the ServerLayout-section.

4. Add the "CorePointer" option to the InputDevice line at the ServerLayout section:

Section "ServerLayout"
InputDevice "Mouse[1]"  "CorePointer"

Here’s my complete xorg.conf file

Debian users can install the xfree86-driver-synaptics package (for both XFree86 and X.Org).

LID-switch problem

There’s a BIOS bug in this laptop which causes the display to stay blank when the lid is closed. As a workaround, we re-enable the LCD display after the lid has been opened again.

For this to work, you need to activate the video ACPI module.

Install this lidswitch event script in /etc/acpi/events, and lidswitch trigger script in /etc/acpi.

What we basically do is echo 0x80000001 > /proc/acpi/video/VID/LCD/state, which reactivates the LCD screen.


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