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Dell Latitude E6400


This is a guide to running Linux with the Dell Latitude E6400 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.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Dell Latitude E6400. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Dell Latitude E6400 page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the Dell Latitude E6400 specifications page.

NameDell Latitude E6400
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo P8400 2.26GHz
Screen14.1” WXGA Widescreen
RAMup to 8GB
HDDup to 500GB SATA; 256GB SSD
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsNVIDIA Quadro NVS 160M or Intel 4500MHD
NetworkIntel 1Gb 82567LM, Intel 5100, Bluetooth

Linux Compatibility

Optical DriveYes
WirelessDepends on configuration, see text
BluetoothYesUbuntu 9.04
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderYes
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested



The NVIDIA Quadro NVS 160M in the Dell Latitude E6400 is not supported fully by many Linux distributions and you will need to install the proprietary NVIDIA modules if you want 3D support from this graphic controller. Instructions for doing this on a few Linux distributions is available in the guides section here.


The Intel 5100 wireless controller is supported by Linux kernel version 2.6.27.

Some versions of this laptop include the Dell 1397 and 1510 wireless controllers. These are Broadcom based controller with poor support for Linux and should be avoided.


For sound support you will need to install ALSA 1.0.17 or greater. Most current Linux distributions do not include this so you will need to install it manually. See our guides section here for installation instructions on several distributions.


The main issue with the Dell Latitude E6400 is the wireless controller. You will need to wait until 2.6.27 of the Linux kernel is released to get proper support for this.


HD-man, 2014/03/08 01:52

Running Fedora 20 KDE and no wireless detected…

A Cornishman eating a pasty, 2011/08/19 12:16

Just adding that Ubuntu 11.04 works fine, and so does Fedora 15 (Linux Kernel 2.6.38)

Although, I have had some fun trying to get the wifi to work with Fedora and no physical internet connection to get the drivers ;-)

(Broadcom Corporation BCM4322)

The auto brightness function doesn't appear to work in Fedora (might be something I've just not setup yet), but it does work with Ubuntu.

Sounds works fine, so I'm guessing the original comment about needing to manually install ALSA is just an old comment.

Something I've noticed with Ubuntu, is that powering on the laptop with the wifi physically switched off, won't enable the wifi when the switch is turned on again.

If this happens, just open a terminal and run rfkill (use the “list” option first to work out which device you need, then “rfkill unblock x” where x=the device to unblock), then it all works fine.

Job's a good un

Please Read The Guidelines, 2011/08/19 12:04

To those writing comments asking for help - please use the forum instead.

earthq, 2010/05/26 09:11

I have installed ubuntu 8.04 on my Dell Latitude E6400 , but can not use internet on it because it says no active device i.e. both lan card and wireless also not working.
kindly someone tell me how can I solve my this problem.

Bud, 2010/03/04 01:59

Just loaded Ubuntu 9.10 on my new E6400. I have no camera. Everything seems to be fine. Monitor, fans, mouse, wireless, ethernet, sound all work fine. I cannot say the same about the built in modem. I could certainly use some advice. Thank you in advance.

Rijan, 2009/11/07 15:29

I have installed Kubuntu 9.10 on a Dell Latitude E6400 alongside Windows XP and though XP can see
my wireless network automatic, Kubuntu seems to miss it. Even the Wireless tab in the connection
manager is greyed out. Has it something to do with drivers for the wireless network card (Dell Wireless 1510
Wireless-N WLAN Mini-Card)?

0c:00.0 Network Controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4322 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless Lan Controller (rev 01)

Earlier this week I was succesful in deploying Ubuntu and Xubuntu on a Dell Latitude D630; no problems at

prashanth, 2009/10/21 06:44

I have a dell e6400 laptop. I installed ubuntu 9.04. Evrything looks fine except the intel 5150 wireless. Ubuntu recognizes it as 5100 and couldnot bring it up. Please suggest.

Genius, 2009/08/27 08:07

I'm running Jaunty Jackalope on my E6500 with 180 driver for NVIDIA. However, it doesn't allow to make resolution higher then 1280:800, although it's marked as 'recommended' in 'Drivers' section.

brooke a, 2009/08/25 02:35

I can't get my webcam to work on my Latitude E6400. It says device isn't connected. What do I do?Bold Text

Paul, 2009/11/27 20:25

Did you ever get this to work? I am having the same problem with 9.10 ubuntu.

Gustin, 2009/08/10 20:39

First, the fan problem is related to the nvidia drivers. My previous Latitude had an nVidia GPU, my E6400 has the Intel GPU. When I moved the hard drive from my old latitude to this one, the fan problem disappeared (this was with Ubuntu 8.10). Everything seemed to work out of the box with 8.10 except for the fingerprint reader.

I also do not seem to have the same problem with the touchpas as everyone else, though if you want to disable it, all you need to do is “sudo rmmod psmouse”. If you want this to persist place psmouse in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

I have since moved to Jaunty (9.04) and there has been no noticeable difference for me, both releases have just worked.

Peter, 2009/07/06 21:00

I reviewed Dell Latitude E6400 with using Ubuntu 9.04.

I observed that the fan does not stay always on if you boot the system without power-cables connected.


Tania, 2009/06/04 23:04

I've just installed Ubuntu 9.04 on a new Dell Latitude E6400, and everything is fine, except the fact that the fan is running all the time and is very noisy. The 2 CPUs are idle, and running at only 800MHz.

I've googled to figure out a solution for the fan problem, but I could not find anything that works yet.

Any pointers to a solution would be much appreciated! Thanks!

CaptainFalafel, 2009/06/28 17:07

I've got the same problem.. the fan runs at full blast for a long time when idling and the processor speeds are only at 800 MHz.. what's wrong?
Let's keep this alive and try to figure out what's wrong; I'm sure there are others with this problem.

Here's a link I found:

Scott Jones, 2009/04/30 04:38

Everything is working on my E6400 under Ubuntu 9.04. I have not had do any manual configuration whatsoever. Hibernating works perfectly, as does the suspend. The webcam and microphone are working perfectly, as well as the volume control buttons. I have the Intel 5100 wireless card, and the NVidia graphics chip.

With the 9-cell battery, I am getting just over 4 hours of battery life, which feels like plenty to me. The machine seems quiet to me – I have not noticed problems with the fan as described above.

The WXGA+ LED backlit display is incredibly bright and things look great on it. Since it's not glossy, I have no reflectivity problems.

I'm very happy with this laptop.

idar, 2009/05/18 12:42

Hi, I have similar setup, but with a 6 cell bat instead. When I select to test Ubuntu live 9.04 from the menu, then nothing happens…. only one option works - start from first partion.

Did you install/test from a USB flash?

rOKO, 2009/03/26 08:06

Hi, i got Linux on my Dell Latitude E6400 working now.
Works really nice but the fan is running all the time :-| and my GPU is not supported fine, got some small resolution.

But im still happy :)

plopiplop, 2009/03/26 08:32

about the fan, which cpu do you have ?
personnaly, I encountered some problems in begining with my fan and my nvidia card, now with the 180.22 nvidia driver, the gpu temp stay low, and the fan isn't running all the time, so if you have an nvidia card have a try on the proprietary nvidia driver.

Don Odiorne, 2009/02/12 21:20

I absolutely hate my Dell Latitude E6400 this time. Give me the old silver rounded corners Dell and I would be very happy. The touch pad, when accidently bumped by typing a g, h, or b either tries to highlight entire sections of the page or worse yet inserts the typed sentence into the middle of what you have already typed. I have switched to a wireless mouse to stay as far away from the pointer as possible, but can't make it thruy a single memo of over two paragraphs without activating the “bump” feature. Did it twice in this short reply.The black case scratches easily and shows every fingerprint.

Paul, 2009/01/06 12:50

Ive been trying to install Rhel5 onto my Dell E6400 from DVD but keeps asking for drivers to install the software.

Can anyone help?

slinkp, 2009/01/03 20:18

Has anyone here had touchpad problems? I'm running Ubuntu 8.10 and my pointer wanders all over the screen from time to time making the laptop totally unusable.

I thought I had it fixed, as written up here:
… but today the problem returned, and shortly thereafter the touchpad stopped responding at all, even after a power cycle. Googling turns up an awful lot of hits for problems with this touchpad.

dnarg, 2008/12/30 14:43

I have a latitude e6400, all is ok under linux.. all but not the fan :
I have only a problem with the fan, under linux the fan runs too often (under windows, the fan never start under web navigation for example), but under linux, the fan runs for a long time (more than 30minutes.. sometimes never stop).

Did you have the same issue on yours latitude ?

Bill Giannikos, 2008/12/31 01:03

Which Linux distribution are you using? It's probably because you don't have a CPU throttling program running so the CPU is at full speed all the time.

dnarg, 2008/12/31 10:58

I use debian, and my cpu run at 800Mhz (cpufreq-info give me this), and the cpu temp is really low 30°).

Bill do you have the same laptop with nvidia card ? Can you provide some time about the fan ? how long does it takes to shutdown ?

dimril, 2008/11/29 23:31

On Gentoo: after downloading 2.6.27 kernel I managed to run wireless/cable net, bluetooth, graphics and sound. Still can't run card reader and synaptics driver (although touchpad works sufficiently). About others - I have no idea.

jher, 2008/11/26 13:06

esata, card reader works

Connected a seagate Esata 1TB drive to my laptop via the esata port. worked without a hitch.

Plugged a 16GB SDHC into the card reader with no problems.

ubuntu 8.10 2.6.27-7 kernel

Hannes Schniepp, 2008/09/23 10:56

Webcam, touchpad, wireless (part 2)

Oh, I forgot to mention above that the 5300 wireless works out of the box in Intrepid (ubuntu 8.10-alpha5), which indeed uses the 2.6.27 kernel. The hack described in the thread above is only necessary in earlier kernel versions.

Hannes Schniepp, 2008/09/23 10:53

Webcam, touchpad

In ubuntu 8.10-alpha5, the webcam, speakers and microphone worked out of the box for me (using skype to make video calls).

The touchpad is currently not recognized (I have tried ubuntu 8.04.1–kernel 2.6.24-21 and ubuntu 8.10-alpha5/6–kernel Touchpad is not existent in /proc/bus/input/devices. It works, but only in PS/2 legacy mode, so no fancy features like scrolling, fine tuning of sensitivity, etc.

I have the onboard graphics (Intel 4500MHD), which also works out of the box in 8.04.1 and 8.10 (not 8.04, though!). The wireless controller Intel 5100/5300 can be made working flawlessly with a few command line hacks (see link below). Also, I have the WXGA+ screen, which also works fine.

Links and a few more details can be found here:

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dell_latitude_e6400.txt · Last modified: 2013/11/09 15:59 by
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