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Dell Latitude C640

Introduction

This is a guide to running Linux with the Dell Latitude C640 laptop. The Latitude C640 is a lower end laptop and doesn't have very impressive specifications at all. Its Linux compatibility is excellent however.

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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Specifications

NameDell Latitude C640
ProcessorIntel Pentium4-M 2.0GHz
Screen14.1“ XGA
RAM256MB
HDD40GB
Optical DriveCD-ROM
GraphicsATI Mobility Radeon 7500
Network10/100 Ethernet
Other1 x USB1.1

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYes
ScreenYes
HDDYes
Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYes
SoundYesUse the snd-intel8x0 module
EthernetYes
56K ModemNot Tested
USBYes
PCMCIAYes

Notes

There is nothing really interesting to note about the Latitude C640.

Summary

You shouldn't have any problems installing any distribution on the Dell Latitude C640. Its hardware is straight forward and fully compatible with Linux.

Dell Latitude C640 Intel Pentium4-M 1.8GHz

Introduction

This is information on installing and running Ubuntu 9.10 on the Dell C640 with Pentium4-M 1.8GHZ and no optical drive.

Specifications

NameDell Latitude C640
ProcessorIntel Pentium4-M 1.8GHz
Screen14.1” XGA
RAM1 GB
HDD40GB
Optical DriveNone
GraphicsATI Mobility Radeon 7500
Network10/100 Ethernet
Other1 x USB1.1

Ubunutu Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYes
ScreenYes
HDDYes
Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYes
SoundYesUse the snd-intel8x0 module
EthernetYes
56K ModemNot Tested
USBYes
PCMCIAYes

Notes

* Since there is no optical drive and no option to boot from USB from the bios, 1 of 2 things can be done.
1. Install with a USB flash drive. The BIOS does not allow for booting from a flash drive but there is a work around. Burn the .ISO file on the flash drive then run it. On the first setup screen choose demo and installation and you will be asked to install the CD Boot Helper, choose yes. This will install a file on your computer that will force a boot into Ubuntu.
2. Do the same as above but with an external USBCD Drive.
-note- The laptop has a USB 1.1 port so install will take quite a while.
* There are no drivers available for Ubuntu for the VGA card on this computer. Neither with drivers in system>admin>hardware drivers nor with ATI's official site.
1. The wireless connection indicator sometimes shows up as black rubbish that's un-readable.
2. Watching videos online is sluggish.
3. Google Earth crashes within 5 seconds and causes abnormalities in Ubunutu. Hard restart is required and OS won't startup. Fsck is required and deleting Google Earth is mandatory.
4. Putting the computer to sleep causes the screen to go black with red lines going across. Hard restart is necessary.
5. I tested Compiz and the computer froze on the first test. No compiz functionality for this computer.
6. Online videos are sluggish but bearable.
* Fn commands are not working.
* No ability to change screen brightness either with hardware or software.
* Mouse has one time gotten stuck in right click requiring a hard restart to fix it.

Summary

There are issues, but for everyday internet, email, and photo storing, the computer runs at a decent speed for Ubuntu. The computer previously had Windows 98 on it and it took 15 minutes to startup and was incredibly slow. With Ubuntu it feels brand new, but not without it's issues.


Discussion

ionligue, 2014/12/16 01:29

I wish to show thanks to you just for bailing me out of this particular trouble.As a result of checking through the the net and meeting techniques that were not productive, I was thinking my life was done.

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Richard, 2014/02/18 13:45

My dell latitude c640 doesn't display on screen but show 3 light then the 2nd light will start bliking,what should i do please,i don't have money

James S., 2013/10/18 13:49

My c640 Dude3 The third machien in this line of lattitudes Dude1 being a cpi, Dude2 being a c610, all urnning a Ubuntu operating system.

Dude3 is a p4m@2.4 with 2GB ram, Sometimes a 60 gig hd and sometimes a 128 gig ssd.
I scraped the crappy brodcom wifi card Yes it can be made to work with linux but really for 6 bucks you can have Intel Pro Wireless-G 2200BG 2200 MINI-PCI 802.11g Card. Just pop out the old one and pop in the new. Works with no driver manipulation in ubuntu. The ram upgrade is about 44$ available on the ebay most of the time. Two gigs with a 32 bit ubuntu is a thumping good machien remember to giv it at least 2 gigs of swap. ( if you are wanting to compile youre own kernals and make coustom install disks 10 gig of swap is nessesary but that is for super users) The machien realy perfers a ssd hd, (most othe modles do to). The optical drive that comes from dell is crap, Upon disasembly you will find a plain ide cd or dvd rom give it a toss to the street, keeping the outer case and screws install a nice sony ide dvd burner of your choice. you may have to file the opening in frount a little to fit the flat door pice but it will work. stay away from toshiba optical drives as some have funny cable select problems. Panasonic drives are also dandy and blue ray is available to. Generaly I use a two port usb 2.0 cardbus usb card as the single 1.1 port sucks but works like a trooper is just a little hard to get to on the fly. This is the machien that I live in it is running ubuntu 12.04 everything seems to work. I also installed gnome pannel as I DISPISE unity. The 2.4 processor is an upgrade 10 to 12$ on Ebay and not too hard to swap. When apart be sure to clean out the dust mights as cooling is the bigest problem for very old laptops (some new ones two). When choosing a up grade processor be sure to get one with a 400 mhz frount side buss, 2.5 and 2.6 are out there but rare and still expensive(Dude4 has a 2.5 but is in the hands of my father traveling the world) dont see any apriciable dif betwien a9 and a10 bios but if < a9 consider bios upgrade before linux.

virginia garcia, 2011/05/02 21:02

My Dell Latitude C640 reads and say my 10/100 Linksys card is working properly but I'm still unable to get on the internet and I don't know what else to do
Please help me

MG, 2009/12/20 23:54

Dell Latitude C640 Intel Pentium 4M 2.4 mhz, 2 gigs (yep 2 gigs running fine) of RAM, Optical drive, 1 USP 1.1, And a broadcom wireless card and ethernet card.

Ubuntu 9.1 with full wireless functionality (after much screwing around) via a broadcom BCM4306 based 802.11 g chipset/module. Got wireless working by blacklisting bcm43xx, b43, b43 legacy, and SST(?) drivers and using the driver at http://www.suseblog.com/bcmwl5.tar.bz2 (the .inf file) as noted at http://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Broadcom_%28BCM4306%29_WLAN_Installation_under_SUSE in conjunction with NDISWrapper (Google to figure out the several files you will need to install). LAN cable yielded internet conectivity right out of the box.

I'm a linux noob but I've got this set up as a dual boot with XP and it runs great. XP is a lite install and nice and fast but UBUNTU is at the moment faster boot/ shutdown even though it's loaded on the second half of a 120GB disk. Have not done much else with the system yet so am not sure what it's capable of/ weaknesses are.

Kevin, 2010/01/10 17:30

Where do buy and how much is the 2 gig memory?

Aljoscha Rittner, 2009/01/15 17:15

Ubuntu 8.10 is running on C640 very well (with high resolution panel 1400*1040), aprox. 700MB RAM, 80GB harddrive.
No problems with installing.
I play around with Kubuntu, KDE4.2 nightly. Very impressive on this very old notebook.

I've only problems to control the backlight.

best regards, josh.

Ubuntu Feisty on C640, 2007/07/25 08:12

Ubuntu Feisty on C640

there are plenty of problems with running Ubuntu Feisty on this laptop.
Please read this thread for the details:
http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-421733.html

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dell_latitude_c640.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/11 14:02 (external edit)
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