Linux on a DELL Latitude E5400

by Martin Monperrus
I currently have a Dell Latitude E5400, and run Linux on it.


(OK with default installation of Ubuntu 8.1 Intrepid)

Graphics works perfectly with the "intel" driver of xorg (at least as of X.Org version 1.4.2). I have a nice WXGA widescreen (1280x800), I am able to use a docking station and can switch to a video projector with the powerful randr extension (I recommend to use arandr).

Section "Device"
Identifier "intel"
Driver "intel"
Option "AccelMethod" "UXA" # with kernel > 2.6.28 and the new graphics stack of Linux (GEM memory management)

Section "Screen"
Identifier "intel-config"
Device "intel"
DefaultColorDepth 16

SubSection "Display"
Depth 16
# "1280x1024" is for the external monitor
# "1280x800" is to get the WXGA at startup
Modes "1280x1024" "1280x800" "1024x768"
See also dual head with Intel GM45 on Linux.


(OK with default installation of Ubuntu 8.1 Intrepid)

For other distros:
The Intel wireless card (B/G/N) works well with kernel 2.6.27 and the firmware provided by (here is the download page for iwlwifi-5000-1.ucode).

Just put in /lib/firmware/iwlwifi-5000-1.ucode and load the iwlagn module. Note that if the module has been loaded without the firmware during initrd, you have to unload it before ($ rmmod iwlagn && modprobe iwlagn).


The processor provides hardware support for virtualization. It is disabled by default in the BIOS.

To enable it:
* press F12 at startup, choose Bios setup
* in the BIOS, select Virtualization Support >> Virtualization >> Enable Intel Virtualization Technology

You can then use KVM as a virtualization solution (e.g. for running Windows under Linux, see report on using kvm for virtualization on linux).
(note that I don't use the BIOS VT for Direct I/O feature).


For other distros:
Sound works with the module snd-hda-intel ($ modprobe snd-hda-intel).
You don't need to have special options in /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.


You need to make somewhere after module loading (rc*.d or in a udev rule):
$ amixer -c 0 -q set Front "80%" unmute
(found in sanify_levels_on_card() of /etc/init.d/alsa-utils -- unfortunately not called at boot time)


To get the microphone (plugged to the laptop, not to the docking station) to work with skype:
* press F4 in alsamixer
* enable capture for the "Capture" entry (then press space under "Capture")
* set "Capture" level to ~ 90
* set "Digital" to ~ 40
* set "Input Source" to Mic

There is also an integrated microphone, you can enable it by setting "Input Source" to "Front Mic"

Note that both "Capture" and "Digital" influence the microphone recording volume. However, it seems that setting "Digital" to high reduces the overall quality. Note that IEC958* is off, analog loopback* is off.

martin@beethoven:~$ lspci -s 00:1b.0 -vn
00:1b.0 0403: 8086:293e (rev 02)
Subsystem: 1028:0262
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 21
Memory at f6afc000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Capabilities: <access denied> Kernel driver in use: HDA Intel
Kernel modules: snd-hda-intel

martin@beethoven:~$ head -n 1 /proc/asound/card0/codec*
==> /proc/asound/card0/codec#0 <==
Codec: IDT 92HD71B7X

==> /proc/asound/card0/codec#2 <==
Codec: Generic 8086 ID 2802
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