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Dell Latitude D531

Introduction

This is a guide to running Linux with the Dell Latitude D531 laptop.

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 D531
ProcessorAMD Turion 64 X2 TK57 1.9GHz
Screen15.4“ WXGA Widescreen
RAM1GB
HDD120GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsATI Radeon Xpress X1270
NetworkEthernet, Dell Wireless 1390 802.11bg

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYes
ScreenYes
HDDYes
Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYesSee notes
SoundYes
EthernetYes
WirelessYesSee notes
56K ModemYesget the HSF-driver here
USBYes
BluetoothYes
FirewireNot Tested
PCMCIANot Tested

Notes

Most (all?) Linux distributions do not yet properly support the ATI Radeon Xpress X1270. In this case you will need to install the proprietary ATI driver.

The wireless controller doesn't seem to work properly with the (still being developed) bcm43xx module which means you will have to use ndiswrapper. You can find the Windows drivers that are required here.

For most current distributions you may need to install ALSA version 1.0.15 or higher to get functioning sound support.

Summary

The installation of Linux on the Dell Inspiron D531 is not the easiest process. You will need at least medium level Linux knowledge to fix the issues above.


Discussion

jerry howell, 2014/08/14 06:20

runs 12.04 ubuntu nicely, newer kernels seem to kill the opensource vid driver thoough.

If you want to have the actual ati driver, at this time i reccomend centos 5 or scientific linux 5, they're supported until 2017 and dont run a lot of modern shit, but the driver DOES work.

Dan, 2010/06/29 01:10

Im having a lot of trouble getting wireless to work i have been fumbling with ndiswrapper for hours. can u please give a tutorial specific to this laptop and driver.

Ps im using opensuse 11.2

Wayne Foutz, 2010/06/29 02:15

Dan I'm completely unfamiliar with openSuse, but I can tell you that the Linux driver for your wireless should be the Broadcom STA driver. Either open up whatever package manager uses and install it from there, or you can get it from Broadcom's site here:

http://www.broadcom.com/support/802.11/linux_sta_SUSE.php

Wayne Foutz, 2009/11/22 22:11

I've had this laptop for a year. My previous laptop, a Dell C10, ran Ubuntu 6.10 on it, which ran great. The D531 came preloaded with Vista on it, after a year of that, I decided to come back to Ubuntu. I installed 9.10 on it. The ATI drivers for the Radeon X1270 will will not work with modern linux distros. The last version of Xorg the driver (ATI Catalyst 9.3) works with is 1.5.2. When Jaunty (9.04) came out, there were numerous guides written on how to downgrade Xorg so as to get the ATI Catalyst 9.3 driver to install. I was able to accomplish this, but it made the system unstable. ATI Cat 9.3 is the last working driver for this graphics chip.

The open source drivers in 9.10 work real nice, you get the desktop effects, but 3d gaming is very limited. Ubuntu 8.10 is the sweet spot. That build of Ubuntu seems tailor made for this machine. Everything works, out of the box. 9.04 and later will cripple the ATI Radeon x1270.
In my quest to get it working, I've read that the next linux kernel due out this December (2009) will start to address this issue. For now I'm running 8.10.

So the bottom line is, as of right now, it works, but don't expect to play any Unreal Tournament type games, unless you are willing to install an obsolete build of Ubuntu.

If anyone knows of another distro with better support, please let me know.

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dell_latitude_d531.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/11 14:02 (external edit)
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