How do you rate this laptop with Linux?
Excellent
 
70% (119)
Good
 
18% (30)
Fair
 
5% (9)
Poor
 
4% (7)
Unusable
 
4% (6)

Dell Latitude D630

Introduction

This is a guide to running Linux with the Dell Latitude D630 laptop. This laptop is similar to the Dell Latitude D830 in terms of its linux compatibility.

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 D630
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo T7100 2.0GHz
Screen14.1“ WXGA+
RAM2GB (4GB Max on Some Models)
HDD120GB
SoundSigmatel High Definition Audio
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsNVIDIA Quadro NVS 135M / Intel GM965 Express Chipset / Intel PM965 Express Chipset
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet, Intel 3945 802.11g Wireless or Broadcomm Based Wireless, Bluetooth
Other4 x USB2.0, 1 x Firewire, Fingerprint Reader, O2 Micro SmartCard Reader

Note: This is a sample configuration; as usual, other processor speeds, HDDs, optical drives, etc., are available as options. The choice of video adapter is relevant to linux compatibility (see below).

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYes
ScreenYes
HDDYes
Optical DrivePartialSee notes below
GraphicsYesSee notes below
SoundPartialSee notes below
EthernetYes
WirelessYesUse ipw3945 or iwlwifi
BluetoothYes
56K ModemNot Tested
USBYes
FirewireYes
Card ReaderNot Tested
PCMCIANot Tested
Fingerprint ReaderYes

Notes

Wireless

If you haven't purchased this laptop yet try and get it with the Intel 3945ABG wireless controller. The versions with the 4965AGN and the Dell 1390 are harder to get working. The laptop tested here has the 3945ABG which works fine. See the related resources section below for installation details for these cards (the Dell 1390 would probably require the ndiswrapper module).

Two different linux drivers are available from the Intel 3945ABG wireless controller, both created by Intel:

  • ipw3945 - the original driver created specifically for this card. It requires a userspace regulatory daemon to function properly (a requirement that Intel attributes to the limited firmware space available on the card). This driver is considered relatively stable and functional, though some d630 owners have reported problems.
  • iwlwifi - a unified driver for both 3945 and 4965 wireless adapters (using separate microcode images). Intel describes this as a “development driver”.

DVD

Depending on the kernel configuration of your Linux distribution, the DVD drive may not be detected. Because of this you may need to use an external USB optical drive or some similar method to install Linux. This is a problem with Fedora 7. Recent Debian install images recognize the DVD drive correctly.

Video

The Nvidia Quadro NVS 135M video adapter does not function with the built-in nv module; you will need to use the proprietary nvidia driver. You can find installation details for the nvidia driver here. Support for the NVS 135M under linux has improved significantly with the 100.14.19 driver release; the earlier 100.14.11 release caused problems with suspend/resume, power management, and in some cases prevented proper shutdown.

The D630 is also available with an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 video adapter. According to Intel, this adapter is supported under linux.

Sound

An ALSA module compiled from a CVS snapshot is necessary to get sound working properly on the Dell Latitude D630 (as of September 2007). ALSA support for the Santa Rosa chipset (through the -+hda-intel+- driver) is limited but improving. The external microphone jack on the D630 may not function properly.

HDD

Through a BIOS option (disabled by default) the D630 supports the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI), an open standard for SATA and PATA controllers. AHCI is well-supported under linux due to the availability of full documentation for driver developers.

While NCQ is supported under linux on the D630, problems with spurious command completion (like those reported on LKML for the Thinkpad T60 ) have been observed in at least one instance. This may be a drive-dependent or controller-dependent problem. If this occurs, disable NCQ by adding the command

echo 1 > /sys/block/sda/device/queue_depth

to a system startup script (e.g. /etc/rc.local).

NB: The NCQ problem has been fixed with this patch and was actually a coding bug

Summary

The Dell Latitude D630 has fairly average support for Linux. It does take quite a bit of work to get sound and graphics working properly. Some of these problems are common to newer laptops based on the Santa Rosa chipset; support for this chipset is likely to improve.

External Guides


Discussion

Daniel, 2014/04/22 13:25

I tried Kubuntu 13.10 , Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and CentOS 6.5 on my aging Dell Latitude D630 . Both Ubuntu flavors had issues with the WiFi , but CentOS worked perfect right off the bat . I tried installing the wifi driver on Ubuntu , but the make was giving me errors that were too much for me to resolve , so I kept CentOS .

Adam Filipczyk, 2013/07/08 02:31

I just installed Xubuntu 12.04 LTS 64 bit on this laptop and basically I had no problems with anything. Specification is a little bit different but not so much. CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo CPU T7500, 2.20GHz; RAM: 4GB, HD: 160 GB. It is second hand laptop. Originaly there was Vista business and someone upgrade it to the Windows 7 when I grab it. After I installed Xubuntu it automatically recognized my Wifi and the USB modem connected into it. The modem is Huawei K3765. As you can see on the screenshot https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/99196355/video-driver.png , I have got recomended Nvidia driver from the list and it works perfectly. The only issue with that driver is that I cannot change the resolution of the screen anymore. It is fixed to 1440×900. Kernel version is 3.2.0-49-generic. Sounds works with no additional config, bluethoot and dvd is recognized as well. I mean, there is nothing else, just use it.

good luck lads

Marc Beneteau, 2012/11/29 16:29

Yes Hani, performance of out-of-the-box Ubuntu on this platform is unbearable. Instead use Windows installer from XP and choose “Lubuntu” install (or else install base Lubuntu) and you will be pleasantly surprised ;). It dual-boots and even shares filesystem with Windows – amazing

Also Ubuntu does not recognize the network, there were good instructions here somewhere that were removed, i don't know why. If I find I will repost.

Hani, 2012/12/02 10:38

Hi Marc,

I run Kubuntu 12.04 (64-bit) on this machine know. But I have not installed the proprietary NVIDIA driver. I use the Linux standard driver “noveau”. The NVIDIA has to much issues. This did the job for me. With KDE the D630 performance is OK.

Do not use Unity with noveau. It utilized both processor cores up to 100% even when I flipped through my photos only.

I have no problems in recognizing networks (wired or wireless). Weired.


For the files:
To remove the Nvidia driver (depends on what driver you have installed):

sudo aptitude purge nvidia-current

or

sudo aptitude purge nvidia-current-updates

After a reboot Kubuntu uses the noveau driver. Or if you want to install Kubuntu from scratch do it without Internet connection and updates. That prevents the installation of NVIDIA's driver. You just have to install language packets, etc. after.

Regards Hani

nathan, 2012/02/18 12:40

I have been an Dell fan for as long as I know. My first Dell lasted ten years straight, if you can imagine that. We really had quite a ride together. Of course I chose Dell again when the old one let me down for good. The only problem I had with it was a couple of software installation kits that broke down on short notice without being able to run properly. Someone recommended me some ParetoLogic products that would set things straight and I am looking forward to download them and try them out so I can fix my small problem.

Hani, 2011/12/05 00:07

After updating from Ubuntu 11.04 to 11.10 the graphic performance decreased significantly (e.g.: Scrolling through the application/file list in the dash of Unity has a intolerable delay). Unity 2d works much better. So I guess that this is a (3d) graphic issue.

I tried all possible nVidia drivers of the oneiric/restricted repository: nvidia-current and nvidia-173. But none improved the performance.

Has anyone made the same experience or has a solution?

Regards, Hani

CJ, 2011/11/27 11:26

Selecting the Nvidia property driver on my Dell Latitude D630 Ubuntu 11.04 solved suspend problems.

Renard Patrick, 2011/09/08 10:01

Must be 11.04 ubuntu

Renard Patrick, 2011/09/07 15:24

Dell Latitude D630
Ubuntu 4.11 installed and everything works perfectly and much faster than Windows XP

Maxwell_Taylor, 2011/05/09 00:38

installs and duel boots well with mandriva 2010.2 needed to install wireless drivers and change a couple of setting for full 3d effects.

pramodkumar p, 2011/02/07 01:32

I want to know Com. Port is available on Lattitude D630 laptop

Daniel Stoinski, 2011/01/01 12:43

In your description I was missing information on the UMTS modem located on the bottom of Dell Latitue D630 behind the battery. The modem can be found with lsusb as:

Bus 004 Device 002: ID 413c:8137 Dell Computer Corp. Wireless 5520 Voda L Mobile Broadband (3G HSDPA) Minicard Status Port

The kernel module usbserial in SuSE 11.3 (and surely also other distributions) makes this modem available as ttyUSB0 or ttyUSB1, dmesg:

usbserial: USB Serial Driver core
USB Serial support registered for GSM modem (1-port)
option 4-2:1.0: GSM modem (1-port) converter detected
usb 4-2: GSM modem (1-port) converter now attached to ttyUSB0
option 4-2:1.1: GSM modem (1-port) converter detected
usb 4-2: GSM modem (1-port) converter now attached to ttyUSB1
usbcore: registered new interface driver option
option: v0.7.2:USB Driver for GSM modems

The modem can be used by simply putting the SIM card into the slot behind the battery of the notebook and using wvdial for initializing the SIM card with the PIN and making a connection to the provider. Here my /etc/wvdial.conf for connecting with the German provider FYVE (D2 Vodafone):


[Dialer Defaults]
Init1 = AT
Init2 = ATV1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2
Baud = 460800
New PPPD = yes
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0

[Dialer umts-pin]
Init3 = AT+CPIN=1969

[Dialer umts]
Dial Command = ATD
Carrier Check = no
Phone = *99*1#
Password = notneeded
Username = notneeded
Stupid mode = 1
Init4 = AT+CGDCONT=1,”IP”,”web.vodafone.de”
stoinski@daniel:~> lsusb | grep -i voda
Bus 004 Device 002: ID 413c:8137 Dell Computer Corp. Wireless 5520 Voda L Mobile Broadband (3G HSDPA) Minicard Status Port
stoinski@daniel:~> dmesg | less
stoinski@daniel:~> cat /etc/wvdial.conf
[Dialer Defaults]
Init1 = AT
Init2 = ATV1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2
Baud = 460800
New PPPD = yes
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0

[Dialer umts-pin]
Init3 = AT+CPIN=1234

[Dialer umts]
Dial Command = ATD
Carrier Check = no
Phone = *99
*1#
Password = notneeded
Username = notneeded
Stupid mode = 1
Init4 = AT+CGDCONT=1,”IP”,”web.vodafone.de”

The SIM card has to be initialized once after booting using wvdial umts-pin and connection is made using wvdial umts. Under circumstance you'll have to call wvdial as root or using sudo.

Best thanks to kampmann for this good hint.

Don't also forget to activate the modem using the switch on the left of the D630, the same used for Bluetooth and wireless. Be also aware, that the UMTS modem doesn't seem to understand AT commands ATZ or ATQ0, used in every example or defaults for wvdial.

Daniel Stoinski, 2011/01/01 12:48

The phone number for connecting with Vodafone is STAR NINE NINE STAR STAR STAR ONE HASH. Please apologize, I have no idea, how to get rid of the special meaning of double star in the listing of wvdial.conf.

fess, 2010/12/13 11:51

this laptop works very well with ubuntu 10.04, with the exception that
(1) need to keep an XP partition so that bluetooth can be disabled/enabled - is not possible to activate the bluetooth via ubuntu
(2) suspend/resume works 9/10. on the odd occasion it may fail to resume

Cory, 2010/11/06 18:29

Hey everyone. I am running Fedora 13 on a Dell D630 with little trouble. I had some challenges getting the wireless to work, but was able, using some of the methods outlined above. One thing that is bugging me, though is that the system doesn't seem to recognize that this is a laptop. It doesn't have a battery meter or any power management options like I am used to. Has anyone out there dealt with this?

gradinaruvasile, 2010/05/29 02:36

I use a Dell D630 at work. I installed Ubuntu 8.04 throught 9.10 on it and worked fine. From 9.04 everything worked without workarounds.
Now i use it with Debian Squeeze and it works perfectly. Suspend/hibernate/wireless/bluetooth.
The only thing to install is the video driver (190/256 series at athe time of writing).
I get ~2.5 hr batery life in Debian and the laptop is ~2 years old.

musik-maker, 2010/03/29 05:30

Linux Mint 8 works flawlessly on the Dell Latitude D630 laptop. I've installed it on 3 D630's so far with no issues, no extra steps to do in order for things to work.

keltor, 2009/09/27 01:59

Just to let anyone who cares know, this laptop is fully supported on all the hardware by any recent (08-09) Linux distribution.

piyawat, 2009/07/22 09:01

i want buy notebook dell d630 Intel Core 2 Duo T7100 2.GHz

simo , 2009/05/27 08:24

what are the drivers that i should install it after windows

hamid, 2009/03/11 09:42

hi,

I have Dell D630 but i don't know how can use Sim card. please guide me.

Br,

hamid

khadgaray, 2009/03/30 19:53

Hi,

sim card is a no go, as the modem in question is a winmodem, and is not supported.  Your best bet would be - http://www.linuxant.com/drivers/
Dolores, 2008/12/21 13:05

Installed Gentoo and the hardest parts are just described in the main article. Since ALSA is included in recent kernels now, please use the in-kernel one to make sound work. My build is shipped with DELL 1390 which needs ndiswrapper and a proper driver (I used x64 which made it harder to find one). May need to try several ones from all around the internet to decide which one is usable. It should be bcmwl5.

Stjepan Brbot, 2008/10/11 04:03

FW,FP

I can confirm that firewire and fingerprint reader (using ThinkFinger driver) work on Dell Latitude D630 (Ubuntu 8.04)! BTW, my D630 does have mobile SIM card reader (under battery lid).

David Flir, 2007/12/27 01:54

Pitfalls when installing linux on the laptop DELL D630

This is a not-too-short list of pitfalls when installing linux on a DELL D630. This list may help others when they face similar issues.
Because I did not own the laptop on which I installed linux, I decided to go for wubi, which is a ubuntu (7.0.4) derivative. The major advantage of wubi is that it can install linux into files on a NTFS (Windows XP) partition, so I avoided messing with the partition table of someone elses computer.
I installed linux directly from the internet as described on the wubi http://wubi-installer.org/ homepage. As I used a WLAN connection to transfer of the corresponding files, this took approximately 3 h (for 690 MB).
After the installation, I first hid my linux installation from any administrator who could possibly mess with it. To do so, I edited c:\boot.ini. Before I could edit this file, I had to remove its write protection by using the command
C:\attrib -s -h -r boot.ini
on the command line (cmd). I then changed changed the line timeout=15 to timeout=0. After this manipulation, I changed the write protection back by entering
C:\attrib +s +h +r boot.ini .
After this step no curious admin will see a bootloader when my notebook starts. This also implies that I had to press F8 during startup to load the Windows XP boot manager, which had a menu entry that allowed me to load a different operating system. Apart from hiding the bootmanager, I also hid the directory c:\wubi (attrib +h c:\wubi) and two other files c:\wubildr and c:\wubildr.mbr (attrib +h c:\wubildr; attrib +h c:\wubildr.mbr).
Once I felt safe enough, I fixed an issue with the X-window server. Instead of a graphical environment, all I got was a blank screen and an error message. To overcome this problem, I used

 # lspci


to look up the graphics controller inside my laptop:
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile Memory Controller Hub (rev 0c)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 0c)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 0c) .
Apparently, my DELL D630 came with an Intel and not with an NVIDIA graphics controller. I looked up a solution for this issue on the internet and found that I had to
- replace my /etc/X11/xorg.conf by a version that can be found under http://shadowarts.nonlogic.org/projects/thinkpad/xorg.conf and
- upgrade the packages xserver-xorg-video-intel, linux, linux-headers,linux-modules etc. from Ubuntu version feisty (7.0.4)to Ubuntu gutsy (7.10). This requires a modification of /etc/apt/sources.list: I added the line
deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu gutsy main restricted
to this file. Afterwards I entered

 # apt-get update


to rebuild the list of (Ubuntu) packages and installed the required packages:

 # apt-get -t gutsy install xserver-xorg-video-intel
 # apt-get -t gutsy install linux linux-generic linux-headers-generic linux-image-generic linux-restricted-modules-generic .


Since the 3rd command upgraded the kernel of the operating system from version 2.6.20 to version 2.6.22, I rebooted the system for the changes to take effect.
Upon reboot the X-server worked properly. Unfortunately the kernel upgrade broke the ALSA sound card support. This is also a known issue. To enable sound support, I had to download (wget ftp://ftp.alsa-project.org/pub/driver/alsa-driver-1.0.15rc3.tar.bz2) and compile the latest ALSA module:

 # bzip2 -d alsa-driver-1.0.15rc3.tar.bz2
 # tar xvf alsa-driver-1.0.15rc3.tar
 # cd alsa-driver-1.0.15rc3.


Before I could compile the driver I had to download the C header files for the gcc compiler:

 # apt-get install build-essential .


Once I had both the source code of the driver and the compiler ready to use, I compiled and installed the driver sources

 # configure --with-cards=hda-intel
 # make
 # make install .
 # rm -r -f /lib/modules/2.6.22-14-generic/ubuntu/media/snd-hda-intel


I then adjusted 3 files:
The path to the newly compiled module has to be modified in /lib/modules/2.6.22-14-generic/modules.dep by finding the section that contains snd-hda-intel and replacing it with
/lib/modules/2.6.22-14-generic/kernel/sound/pci/hda/snd-hda-intel.ko: .
Also, the two lines
snd_hwdep
snd_hda_intel
had to be appended to /etc/modules.
Eventually, I added one line
options snd-hda-intel model=3stack
to /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base .
When I rebooted, my linux system was well-hidden, had a working X-server and had a working sound system.
After working for a while, I found the console font annoying. Whenever I used a graphical command like the midnight commander (mc) on the linux console, I got a graphical environment made up of weird characters. To fix this problem, I
changed the console font permanently by adding the following lines to my ~/.bashrc:
if $TERM == “linux” ; then
consolechars –font=Lat2-VGA16
fi .
In addition, I had to resize my home directory from 1 GB to 2 GB. The introduction that I found on the internet froze my computer several times, so I decided to include a modification: The first required step involves the creation of a file of the size of the new home directory (2 GB in this case):

 # cd /media/host/wubi/disks
 # dd if=/dev/zero of=extra.virtual.disk bs=1000 count=2000000


This file is then formated with an ext3 file system as if it was a partition,

 # mkfs.ext3 -F /media/host/wubi/disks/extra.virtual.disk


and mounted it as a (loopback device). The “sync” option in the below command is missing in most introductions on the internet.

 # mount -t ext3 -o loop,sync /media/host/wubi/disks/extra.virtual.disk /media/extra


If this statement is omitted, the system is likely to freeze when the files are copied.

 # rsync -avx /home/ /media/extra
 # umount /media/extra .


It also helped to quit all other programs including the X-server before issuing the rsync command mentioned above.
Eventually, I had to boot windows, change to the directory c:\wubi\disks\ and swap the names of the files extra.virtual.disk and home.virtual.disk.
In conclusion, it is possible to build a well-hidden linux system with sound-support and a graphical environment on a DELL D630 laptop. There are, however, a few practical difficulties during the installation. I tried to point these out in this document, so the installation of linux on a DELL D630 may become easier in the future. Good luck!

Børge Kjeldstad, 2007/11/10 14:11

The 4965AGN works on D630

I made the 4965AGN work on my D630 with Fedora 7. I followed a mix of the instructions from here:
http://w3.ualg.pt/~aanjos/misc.html
and here:
http://www.intellinuxwireless.org/?p=iwlwifi&n=HOWTO-iwlwifi

but I also used Yum install iwl4965-firmware in the end. I cannot tellexactly what made it run. At the bginning I started out with just:
Yum install iwl4965-firmware
but that did not work. Maybe it was the advise:

cp iwlwifi-4965-ucode-4.44.17/iwlwifi-4965.ucode /lib/firmware/iwlwifi-4965-1.ucode


NOTE*: the destination filename has an extra ”-1”.

from http://w3.ualg.pt/~aanjos/misc.html that did it.

After my first “Yum install iwl4965-firmware” which did not work, I did “Yum remove iwl4965-firmware”

Then I did this:

//getting the firmware
wget http://intellinuxwireless.org/iwlwifi/downloads/iwlwifi-4965-ucode-4.44.17.tgz
tar xvf iwlwifi-4965-ucode-4.44.17.tgz
cp iwlwifi-4965-ucode-4.44.17/iwlwifi-4965.ucode /lib/firmware/iwlwifi-4965-1.ucode


NOTE*: the destination filename has an extra ”-1”.

And then I tried this:

% wget \
http://intellinuxwireless.org/iwlwifi/downloads/iwlwifi-1.1.21.tgz
% tar xvf iwlwifi-1.1.21.tgz
% cd iwlwifi-1.1.21
% make
% make install

but got errors on make, and was unable to run make install.

So then I did:

Yum install iwl4965-firmware


rebooted, and everything worked fine : )

Børge

and tried to install iwlwifi-1.1.21 with “make” and “make install” but got errors.

Linuxiac, 2007/10/11 03:07

Linux on laptops

Been running GNU/Linux since 1997. I still have much knowledge to acquire. It grows faster than our ability to absorb!

When partitioning drives, I prefer GPartEd. It can be used as the stand-alone application, available on it's own website, or, it is often the partitioning tool included in most GNU/Linux distros.

Thanks for the details on the set up of accessories. Dell did a great thing for users the world over, by selling computers with Linux pre-installed.

However, being too frugal to buy a new Dell at full price, we shop one of the 500 refurbish shops in the USA, where we get Dells with the one year warranty at less than half the new prices. Most are fresh off of executive lease.

One such shop is cheaptronicsdepot, near our home in Florida. They have a dotcom website. Your review would go a long way towards letting folks know there are other options than new, or eBay. As a service tech. on Macs, and on PCs, I see at least one new customer each week who has a non-functional laptop or desktop computer, or component, that they paid for on eBay, that should have been scrapped as garbage.

That is heart breaking to watch. There are too many scoundrels on eBay for anyone I know to shop there for high tech. gear. Most is defective. Your experience might vary, but, I am the technician who tries to repair that junk bought off of eBay.

Let's break the chain of disappointment. Either require a 30 day warranty from eBay, or stop shopping there!

eric, 2007/09/16 04:30

Optical drive problems

Regarding problems with the optical drive during installation, at the time of writing, Ubuntu 7.04 fails right at the start. Debian 4r1 works.

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dell_latitude_d630.txt · Last modified: 2014/06/04 04:53 by darkenlx
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