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Dell Latitude E6500


This is a guide to running Linux with the Dell Latitude E6500 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 E6500. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Dell Latitude E6500 page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the Dell Latitude E6500 specifications page.

NameDell Latitude E6500
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo P8400 2.26GHz and P9600 2.66GHz
Screen15.4“ WXGA Widescreen and 15.4” WUXGA+ Widescreen (1900×1200)
RAM1GB and 8GB
HDD160GB and 64GB High-performance Flash SSD
Optical DriveDVD+-RW and DVD-ROM w/ CD+-RW
GraphicsNVIDIA Quadro NVS 160M
NetworkEthernet, Intel 5100 802.11abgn, Intel 5300 802.11abgn, Bluetooth, Broadcom BCM4322 802.11abgn, Dell 5720 Sprint Mobile Broadband (EVDO Rev-A) Minicard

Linux Compatibility

Optical DriveYesAlso supports replacement with HDD caddy seamlessly
GraphicsYes Needs proprietary nVidia driver for nVidia card
WirelessYes Tested Intel 5300 @ 54Mbps, Broadcom BCM4322
3G Mobile Broadband MinicardYesTested with Dell 5720 Sprint Mobile Broadband (EVDO Rev-A) Minicard
Wireless Kill SwitchYesKills both Wifi and 3G; once had probs re-enabling Wifi
BluetoothNot Tested
eSATApYes Tested with its own optical drive.
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderYes Tested with multiple SD/mSD cards
ExpressCard SlotYesTested with Sprint AC597 3G card
CameraYesTested with 'cheese' in Ubuntu



The NVIDIA Quadro NVS 160M in the Dell Latitude E6500 is not supported 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.

If you want only basic 2D graphics then it should work out of the box with current distributions.


Works with current Linux distros (kernel version 2.6.27 or higher) with Intel 5100/5300 controllers.

Some versions of the Dell Latitude E6500 include the Dell 1397 and 1510 wireless controllers. These are Broadcom based controller and support for Broadcom devices has greatly increased.

To find the Device IDs of Broadcom cards on your machines do:

# lspci -n | grep 14e4

OS agnostic driver support for Broadcom's BCM4322 based hardware can be found at Broadcom 802.11 Linux STA driver site.

Build details and installation instructions are provided by Broadcom and this kernel module was tested on Fedora Core 13 (2.6.33 & 2.6.34) and worked without issue.

Touchpad Settings

Should work with current distros such as Ubuntu 9.04. If not, try the instructions below.

Configuring the touchpad (disable tapping, scrolling, etc) requires the SHMConfig variable to be enabled. The gsynaptics configuration tool will complain if it isn't. The guides Googling give you do not work, since they set options for Synaptics touchpads, while the E6500 actually has an Alps touchpad. Put the following in /etc/hal/fdi/policy/shmconfig.fdi to enable SHMConfig. You need to reboot after that.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<deviceinfo version="0.2">
<match key="info.capabilities" contains="input.touchpad">
<match key="info.product" contains="AlpsPS/2 ALPS DualPoint TouchPad">
<merge key="input.x11_driver" type="string">synaptics</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.SHMConfig" type="string">True</merge>

DualPoint Stick

Should work with current distros such as Ubuntu 9.04. If not, try the instructions below.

To enable scrolling by clicking with the middle mouse button and scrolling with the DualPoint stick (also sometimes referred to as a TrackPoint - using IBM's terminology), put the following in /etc/hal/fdi/policy/dualpoint.fdi

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<deviceinfo version="0.2">
<match key="info.capabilities" contains="input.mouse">
<match key="info.product" string="DualPoint Stick">
<merge key="input.x11_options.EmulateWheel" type="string">true</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.EmulateWheelButton" type="string">2</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.EmulateWheelTimeout" type="string">200</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.XAxisMapping" type="string">6 7</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.YAxisMapping" type="string">4 5</merge>


Works as of approx. April/May 2009, because current Linux distributions include a newer ALSA version than the minimum 1.0.17 needed for sound to work. For example, Ubuntu 9.04 has alsa 1.0.18. If using an older distro, you will need to install it manually. See our guides section here for installation instructions on several distributions.


In Ubuntu 9.04: Works, but sometimes hangs on resume if you suspended with Fn-F1 and then open the lid to resume. Seems to work better if you select “Suspend” from the menu.


Most things work with current distros as of approx. April/May 2009.

There are potential issues with some of the Dell Latitude E6500 wireless controllers if you're using an older distro. For example, the Intel 5×00 cards were supported starting in Linux kernel 2.6.27.

There are possible stability issues observed on a E6500 with 8GB RAM and Intel 5300 wireless controller running Ubuntu 9.04 x86_64 + Compiz + proprietary nVidia drivers, where the system will occasionally hang, requiring forced power off.


- ???
- Vinod K.
- Josh M.
- Jerome G. (Some addendum: eSATAp, Optical w/HDD, Broadcom Wireless)


Nicola Manini, 2016/05/19 07:08

To the report, let me add that current (2016) free drivers (nouveau) do a good job with this graphics card. You don't need to install the nvidia drivers any more as was needed in the early years of this model.

WtbyCop, 2015/10/11 16:18

Can anyone tell me if the network card (wifi) in this laptop supports packet injection of not?

Nicola Manini, 2016/05/19 07:06

Yes it does. I used kismet several times, you need to switch off the network manager to prevent conflicts though.

steve, 2014/10/31 01:29

Ok so i have this laptop and figured i can install Ubuntu as my OS since it did not have any OS, i kept getting issues while booting it would freeze. Reading through all these forums i figured it has to be this nvidia card, what else can i do? i tried acpi_osi=, acpi_osi=“windows 2006”, noacpi, and nothing…anyone had the same issue while install?

Colin, 2014/09/04 07:11

I ran into trouble with suspend/resume, caused by the problems with the default Nvidia 160M driver. The solution was found [ here].

Dan, 2011/08/04 19:34

With Ubuntu 11.04, all the hardware seems to work OK. Restricted drivers are required for the nVidia Quadro 160M, and for the broadcom WiFi card, and the ones that Ubuntu suggests work just fine. The only problem encountered so far is that suspending does not work. The screen goes black, but the fan etc. stays on, and it requires a hard reset.

Joe, 2011/09/30 05:11

Suspending/resuming for me work fine. What doesn't however is hibernation. I can hibernate successfully but upon boot it ignores the saved state and just boots normally.

I have 4GB of ram and a 2GB swap partition.

(Ubuntu natty)

Carl Ponder, 2011/05/09 17:33

I'm running 10.04 on my laptop.
I get an intermittent problem that the mouse gets disoriented: the left-click doesn't work, and the right-click pulls up a menu away from where the mouse is pointing.
Touching the mousepad seems to cause this.
I think this only started happening with software upgrades in September 2010.
Do your above instructions apply to 10.04?
It looks like they were designed for Ubuntu 9 and you figured you didn't need them after that.

Marc, 2010/06/01 19:07

has anybody problems with suspendtoram when there is no swap?
hat jemand probleme mit dem Suspendtoram wenn er keine SWAP hat?

Duoxi, 2010/05/22 13:21

Installed Ubuntu 10.04 and everything (wireless, bluetooth, video card, projector) worked right out of the box… First time this happened to me with any distro and laptop combination that I tried.

Gui, 2010/05/27 00:31

Same with me.

First time I have ever had a good experience with linux without having to waste several hours setting up devices! 10.04 works a treat on my E6500. Recommended! :)

Glenn Wouda, 2010/06/30 19:46

I have a 1 year old e6500 and it worked very good with ubuntu 9.04 in approx 9 months, then it started to freeze.. could not click with mouse, just with the keys… installed 10.04.. same thing again immediately! I have bios a13 now, for you who said that it worked right out of the box - what bios version do you have?

Glenn Wouda, 2010/06/30 19:46

I have a 1 year old e6500 and it worked very good with ubuntu 9.04 in approx 9 months, then it started to freeze.. could not click with mouse, just with the keys… installed 10.04.. same thing again immediately! I have bios a13 now, for you who said that it worked right out of the box - what bios version do you have?

loris, 2010/03/13 11:48

Same here: Dell Latitude E6500 installed first with Fedora 12 and then with Kubuntu/Ubuntu 9.10. Each time I installed latest drivers released from intel (e1000-8.0.19.tar.gz along with e1000e- but network card has never been recognized.
Looking at /var/log/messaged|grep e1000
there was an error saying e1000e failed with error -5

Desperation came all around me after more than 2 day of different retries :-(

roadrage, 2010/02/22 01:51

I have installed Linux Mint 8 w/ out issue and the only thing I needed to work around was using a wired connection to update apt-get so I could install proprietary drivers. Once that was installed all is working and the only PITA is I can't get touchpad to disable. I have tried the .fdi listed above as well as many other suggested fixes and after reboot the stupid thing keeps reading my palm or thumb dragging across it. I HATE TOUCHPADS.

solon, 2012/09/21 03:46

I have the same view to touchpads, the space it uses is for my palms. Running gnome on debian squeeze I can't get System→Settings→“Pointer devices” to disable the touchpad (even after adding the above fdi) but I've found a workaround:

xinput set-int-prop “AlpsPS/2 ALPS DualPoint TouchPad” “Device Enabled” 8 0

Unfortunately after suspend to ram and resume the touchpad is re-enabled again so I have to execute that line again; sometimes even after longer working times. Still a PITA but at least it's off now…

Ben Butler-Cole, 2009/10/22 08:25

I am running Ubuntu 9.04 on this model. I saw the problem referred to in passing where reenabling the wireless after turning it off with the hardware kill switch doesn't work. The workaround for this is to disable and then reenable the wireless in network manager.


Ben Butler-Cole, 2009/10/20 14:57

Ubuntu 9.04 has a problem which causes data corruption on these laptops.

This is described (with a workaround) at

I think the workaround at ( is better because it ensures that you never run the buggy system.


CarterBarns, 2009/09/15 23:57

This is my 3rd computer from DELL and they have been unable to make the DVD burner burn a DVD. They also refuse to refund as I let the 30 day window pass while working with them to let them: uninstall and reinstall soft and drivers, flash the Bios, wipe the drive and reinstall the operating system, and replace the optical drive. On the two prior laptops (not E6500s) they did all of the above repeatedly and changed out the hard drive. In exasperation I have been scouring the web trying to find someone who has solved the problem. I see lots of people that have DELLs that will not recognize a DVD the way mine won't but I can't seem to find a solution. I have lost 100s of hours in work time. I finally admitted that DELL just can not make their machine burn a DVD. Since I bought the original DELL laptop to burn DVDs and be able to do seminars I now plan to buy a machine from another company and have crossed DELL off my list of suppliers.

PuppyKhan, 2009/09/04 15:12

Smart Card Reader trouble

See Dell's support thread:

David Davis, 2009/02/01 03:54

Ubuntu 8.10

Wifi (Broadcom STA) and Nvidia video both work. Just enable them in System > Admin > Hardware drivers

No need to waste your time with FC9 :)

Filip Hanik, 2008/11/11 20:27

*2.6.27 kernel for FC9**

you can find it here

John Conroy, 2008/10/04 21:44

Up and running…

Dell e6500 with working Intel wireless and NVIDIA adapter…

Base system is fully updated Fedora 9 install (wireless not working under 2.6.26 kernels). Download newest update kernel ( from Fedora update mirror and have ready after F9 install (to get e1000e working). Install/enable Livna repo, install kmod-nvidia, and verify that it's working.

To get working wireless and ethernet (that won't kill your Gigabit card):
Run the kernel-2.6.27-0.380.rc8.git3.fc10 series (or newer…DO NOT run an older 2.6.27 build, trust me…I run 382) from Red Hat's Koji server with the required dependencies (plymouth, mkinitrd, nash, libbdevid, etc…).

To get video acceleration with new fc10 kernel:
I wanted to keep my system clean…so I took the long route (building RPMs…hope you're comfortable).
Using Livna, install kmod-nvidia.
Install kmod-nvidia and buildsys SRPMs.
Edit the “kerneldevpkgs-newest” file (and maybe add to ”-current”, also), build buildsys against fc10 kernel (use '–target i686', or whatever your arch is), and install.
Download NVIDIA patch for 2.6.27 from
Remove the “EXTRA_LDFLAGS” line around line #52.
Remove the patch section for the file “nv-vm.c”.
Moidify the patch to fit your nvidia-kmod and arch specific build (sed -i 's/NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-177.13-pkg2/nvidia-kmod-173.14.12\/nvidiapkg-x86/' nvidia-fixed.patch.txt).
Incorporate the patch into the nvidia-kmod.spec.
Build kmod-nvidia against the fc10 kernel (using the '–target' from earlier) and install.
Will need to update buildsys for each new Koji kernel you install, rebuild, and then –force on RPM install…and then rebuild kmod-nvidia.

For compiz blank screen issue after resuming from suspend:
Not sure if this is necessary/proper, but I edited /usr/lib/hal/scripts/linux/hal-system-power-suspend-linux and added “killall -HUP compiz &> /dev/null” before the “exit” at the end. This will need to be updated after each update to “hal” RPM.


Pedro Roque, 2008/09/20 02:01

Ethernet not recognised

I'm installing FC9 on a Dell Latitude E6500, and the ethernet (Intel 82567LM Gigabit) was not recognized.

Anyone can help me !

Many Thanks !

Jan, 2008/10/24 04:55

Same here: No network with FC9.
Ubuntu 8.04 and Open Suse 11.0 are OK.

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dell_latitude_e6500.txt · Last modified: 2011/10/02 13:03 by
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