Install Fedora Core 4 on Dell Latitude D610

As a gift for christmas 2005 my wife became a Dell Latitude D610.

This document tries to cover out howto install and configure linux on the mentioned hardware.


Why Latitude D610

We discussed it for several weeks, and decided to get a Dell Latitude D610, because pricing was okay, shipping was free as a special offer, and Dell doubled the amount of memory with no extra cost. Also the Latitude Series are business notebooks with better quality and 3 years on-site support.

Notes on the hardware

The Dell D610 is so called Sonoma platform, this describes that the device contains Intel 915GM chipset with Pentium M Dothan CPU and Intel WLAN 811.2b/g. Also there are a number of things interesting on this platform. As there is:

The following things should be mentioned:


The installation works smoothly, the hardware was completly detected by the installer.

Fedora Core uses kernel 2.6.14 in conjunction with glibc 2.3.5 and gcc 4.0.2.

I used the following disk layout for :

Here you can find the lspci output as a complete overview of the builtin hardware.


The GigaBit Ethernet card is a Broadcom, the kernel module used is "tg3. The Intel WLAN can be used in conjunction with ipw2200 module, firmware can be downloaded at sourceforge. Both works well and perform good.

X11 graphical userinterface

First of all i had to "patch" the bios by adding the following line to my rc.local file, to get 1400x1050 work.

/usr/sbin/915resolution 3c 1400 1050

Therefor the utility 915resolution is required. It can be found here. Also you find there a usefull i810_drv.o module as a replacement for xorg i810 driver.

Fedora uses xorg 6.8.2 for the graphical interface.

The i810 driver as described above is used to get it work. I used the Option "VideoRAM 65535" to tell the Xserver that there is 64MB memory avaible for the video adapter. i810_drv supports different pipes for the display types supported, including television on the TV Out connector.

The touchpad is a AlpsPS/2 ALPS GlidePoint (can be found in /proc/bus/input/devices), the trackpoint is detected as PS/2 mouse.

The touchpad can be used with the "synaptics" driver. There are special options available to this driver for the ALPS touchpad. Take a look here. But i do not use them.

Here my xorg.conf.


Sound works well with the i810 alsa driver. To get Volume control work for the internal speakers, you have to enable the "External Amplifier" button in the mixer (don't ask me why), external speakers work without this settings.

DVD/RW and the module thing

The DVD/RW device is detected correctly. The DVD is connected to the secondary master IDE port, so it is named /dev/hdc. DMA is NOT enabled by default, to enable DMA the following way will work:

The DVD drive shows a much better performance, also the systemload was extremly lower than before.

DVD burning works well with growisofs, playing audio also. mp3 support in xmms and gstreamer requires special rpm packets, because of mp3 licensing issue RedHat removed mp3 support. I installed libdvdcss from livna yum respository, so watching commercial DVD's also works.

Next i will try if hotswapping the DVD will work on linux, i'll keep you informed when i'll have success.


The D610 has a SATA harddisk drive. It will be detected as SCSI device, because of 2.6.14 kernel libata. The device is so called /dev/sda. The drive was a 40gb with 5400 u/min. We replaced it with a Hitachi 60gb HTS548060M9AT00 drive with 8MB cache.

The harddisk produces a high noise klick sound while idle. This can be disable with the kernel parameter



USB is detected correctly, controller one as ehci, controlle no. two as uhci, all ports work.

TV Out connector

The TV Out connector can be used by using the i810 driver option MonitorLayout. Consult i810 driver man page for details. I haven't tried it yet, because i have no cable available, and there was no cable delievered with the notebook.

Power Management

Power Management is done via ACPI. I does not have much time at the moment to configure in details. Display specific settings are done via X11 screensaver options for DPMS. Details will follow within the next 4 weeks ;). The battery will take the system 2:50h up, not really much but enough to do some work. In case of wireless usage or the optical drive is used, the battery will take down to 2 hours.

Software repositories

I use yum for installing and updating software. I added the livna repository. The config file can be found here. At the moment i am waiting that Dag Wieers will update his repository to Fedora Core 4.


I can say this notebook is pretty fine, it is really small, with a nice display, great keyboard and lightweight too. The battery should perform longer, because 2:50h is not really much for a Centrino. The only hitch is the lack of DMA for the DVD drive, but i think i'll fix this next week. I'll keep you informed ;)

Config Files and Links

My xorg.conf can be found here

A complete lspci -v -v output is lspci output

Additional yum repository configuration

Take a look at Livna and FreshRPMS, this two contains various nice add-on packages including mp3 and dvd software.

Two of the best Linux laptop ressources:


Linux Laptop Net

last updated: Dec 28 2005 04:30 pm