How do you rate this laptop with Linux?
77% (36)
9% (4)
2% (1)
9% (4)
4% (2)

Dell Inspiron 6400


This is a guide to running Linux with the Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop. The Inpiron 6400 has good support for Linux without any real issues.

This guide is intended to provide you details on how well this laptop works with Linux and which modules you need to configure. For details on how to actually install and configure the required modules have a look at our guides section for distribution specific instructions.

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NameDell Inspiron 6400
ProcessorIntel Core Duo T2300 1.66Ghz
Optical DriveDVD-+RW
GraphicsIntel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
Network10/100 Ethernet + Intel 3945 802.11g Wireless
Other4 x USB2.0 + 1 x Firewire

Linux Compatibility

SoundYesUse Alsa snd-hda-intel module
EthernetYesUse b44 modules
WirelessYesUse the ipw3945 module
Wireless BCMYesUse the bcm43xx module
56K Modem YesUse the Dell Linux drivers.


As default the native screen resolution of the Dell Inspiron 6400 is 1280×800, however due to the way the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 functions this resolution would not be usable right away. You can view our Configuring the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 & 950 guide for more information.


For best results you need a Linux distribution with at least the 2.6.15 kernel, such as Ubuntu Linux 6.06 or Fedora Core 5.


Ricdk, 2015/11/22 00:13

i want to try baktrak

Bill, 2014/12/15 12:15

I have been experimenting with this for quite sometime now.I must say I have been quite impressed with it so for.Keep up the great work.

Till, 2013/06/25 15:22

Hi guys,

I have installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on my Inspiron 6400. I really like it.
But I have one annoying problem: I can not watch clips/streams in Fullscreen without sound issues.
When I start playing a movie (from DVD or Youtube, does not matter) in fullscreen, I experience strange sound artifacts and cracking noises. What is my problem?
Unfortunatly Im a total Linux noob, so I would appreciate every helpfull tip or link.

Thank you very much for your time!


Kurt Caulley, 2012/04/11 22:31

IF your computer is the Dell Inspiron 6400 with the GeForce Go 7300 video adapter, and you get a black screen or shows tons of thin vertical bars of white, yellow, purple, etc. and then slowly dims to some ugly dark grey color. It occurs in the very beginning of the installation process (right after the very first loading of Linux kernel), or after the welcome screen. You need to check out for a solution to this issue.

loyal, 2012/03/24 10:10

I switched to linux 100% about 3 years ago but began 19 years ago with core's version of linux. As far as Dell Inspiron 6400 the only thing I have had trouble with is getting the wireless to work. But I figured it out. Im still no linux guru but I highly recommend it and I'd suggest having a internet connection via line to get thing set up. Then it is easy! I love distro hopping just to learn. Some distro's that set things up right is dream (a xfce - but I never figured out how to get repository to allow me to add new repositories) Tails (a gnome) remastersys squezze that I dont think is available now. Puppy Racy is very easy to set up but I like lxde - but never found on that ran from the get go. Always have had to get wireless set up while connected to a line.

sridharan, 2012/03/20 05:51

i am using dell inspiron 6400 , i have installed ubuntu 10.4 (32 bit) …everything is working fine,expect my wifi… Bluetooth is working fine and wifi is working in windows..i think drivers of the wifi is not there in ubuntu …how can i get them??

dastagiri, 2011/10/29 15:13

Dear Sir/Mam,

          I want to download Linux os for my dell inspiron 6400. How it possible could you please provide guidelines.

Thank you.

Vahe Pezeshkian, 2011/05/31 16:45

Everything is fine.
Except that I couldn't find touchpad drivers for using shortcut actions, like maximizing/minimizing windows and also horizontal scroll doesn't work.

Mark Mina., 2010/06/08 18:10

If anyone has this laptop running a more modern version of Ubuntu or any other starter distro can you please post? A friend is considering it.

David Lepine, 2011/12/14 04:15

Good day,

To answer your question,


I have been running all type of linux distro on my Dell Inspiron 6400 for the past decade or almost.

Tested about every linux distro but my favorites are, Ubuntu since 9.10 up to 11.10 but I prefer 10.04 with Macbuntu feel and work like a real Mac.

All worked great (very stable)

There is a dual head issue (fuzzy external screen) from 10.04 on, easy fix that need manual config.

For your video card you could also either choose the software rasterization or hardware via Mesa MMX. via the ppa
Note that software rasterization is more stable and hang less, but use lot more of your cpu's)

you will have to select a few package to have full media accessibility (like flash player for Youtube, etc).

Setup your firewall (Firestarter via Software Center)

There is the IPW3945 package for the Wireless card

And one of the famous question for Windows users that are considering migrating to a more stable platform…

yes you could use all of your Windows/dos applications on Linux (via VirtualBox) you could run a complete functional Windows Machine on your linux desktop…at the same time without noticeable slowing down (example: looking at a youtube clip in one windows on Linux via Firefox on screen #1 and at the same time with the same computer, another clip in the Internet Exploror window form the Windows Machine sitting on your linux desktop on Screen #2 …except windows itself is not any faster…with all the crap it loads by default….but the nice part is that if it freeze (blue screen) it dosent affect the computer itself and just close that window…

and note that all applications like Office (word, excel, powerpoint, etc), Photoshop, SoundStudio, Dvd burning software, are all free of charge…Same for the exploitation system….

David Lepine, 2011/12/14 04:23

I will never go back…this is so much more stable…

I have a Mac for 200$ (the value of the computer at this time)
the only thing is that if you buy a Inspiron 6400
you will most likely need a new battery (100$)…
and maybe an external hard drive (100$
but even then

400$ for a Mac “alike” with all the software I use, for free…that a no brainer for me…and there is more performance in this old machine than the new ones at Stapples for 400$ ….

Eduardo, 2008/09/19 06:08

I have been testing BACKTRACK 3 on my 6400Inspiron and in adition to detect my neightbours WAP password, it has been a great experience.

With BT3 wireless compatibility is automatic.

I'm moving on from microsoft to BT as my main OS.

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dell_inspiron_6400.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/11 14:02 (external edit)
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