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Dell Precision M4400


This is a guide to running Linux with the Dell Precision M4400 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 Precision M4400. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Dell Precision M4400 page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the Dell Precision M4400 specifications page.

NameDell Precision M4400
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo
Screen15.4” WSXGA+ or WUXGA Widescreen
HDDUp to 500GB or 64GB SSD
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsNVIDIA Quadro FX 770M or FX1700M
NetworkEthernet, Dell 802.11bg or Intel 5100 802.11abg or Intel 5300 802.11abgn, Bluetooth

Linux Compatibility

Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYesNeeds the Nvidia 177.80 driver installed
SoundYessound buttons work also fine
WirelessYesOnly Intel controller tested, see notes below
BluetoothYesWith HCIBTUSB kernel module
56K ModemNot Tested
Card ReaderYes
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested
Fingerprint ReaderNot Tested
CameraYeskernel module UVCVIDEO
TouchpadYes vertical and horizontal scrolling works but no multitouch capability



The M4400 was tested with openSUSE 11.0.

The HDD sometimes make a “click” noise (I think the HDD is parking), you can fix it by using the performance HDD mode in the BIOS and the “clicking” is gone.

The fan is going on on max. speed after about 37-40°C. This is very annoying! Here, you can downgrade the BIOS to A03 (it was delivered with A06). See also:
Bios A13 solved this problem.


In OpenSuSE 11.0, the Intel 5100 works great using the compat-wireless driver (use following repository: It should also work with distributions using kernel 2.6.27 or greater.


There are a few problem with the Dell Precision M4400 in Linux but the main functionality works fine.


Anders Trier, 2012/08/25 15:24

Got audio over displayport to hdmi working, by adding “options snd-hda-intel model=dell-m4-2” to /etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf

Martin, 2011/09/19 19:38


The easiest way to get the touchpad working is to use the microtouch-driver (Ubuntu 11.04):

1. install xserver-xorg-input-mutouch

2. add something like this to your xorg.conf:

Section “InputDevice”

  Identifier     "Touchpad"
  Driver         "microtouch"
  Option         "Device"   "/dev/input/mouse1"



CmDeMatos, 2010/11/02 01:11

I have a Dell M4400 on Ubuntu 10.04 and now 10.10. Had it before with OpenSuse 11. Big difference in polish and hardware support. Absolutely no issues with hardware, dock works great too, fans behave, everything is perfect. Just got a dock, looks great, have not tried external monitors yet on the doc


CmDeMatos, 2010/11/12 23:30

The Dell EDock PRO2X works perfectly. It does not detect the monitor through the Dock, and I am using nvidia proprietary drivers.
Open NVidia XServer Settings, select the external monitor, select [configure], select TwinView, hit apply. It should now detect the monitor and optimal resolution.
Everything should work on Ubuntu 10.10 without any hassles.

Thats 100% everything working with no exceptions.

My config:
Dell M4400, 8Gb Ram, Dual 500GbHDD on linux Raid-0, FX770 with WUXGA, Dell E-Dock Pro2X and stand. Love it!

DavidL, 2010/08/09 15:06

Anyone using the M4400 with the docking station PRO2X? I don't seem to get video pass through at all. Can't tell if anything else is broken. Fedora Core 13 x64.

Martin Assarsson, 2010/08/10 08:28

Using the docking station (with analog output).
Digital output do not work properly since nouveau came into picture.
The problem seems to relate to the video card in combination with nouveau.
I've sent a bios ripof to the nouveau team so they can fix the issue.
This problem also occurs on DisplayPort on the laptop.
When I have some time left I will try to use NVIDIA:s own driver, but I would
really prefer nouveau driver. If you try this, please let me know the outcome.

Martin Assarsson, 2011/01/14 13:04

Now running external display on digital output with nouveau.
Dist: Fedora 13

Fabian, 2010/09/11 13:12

Standby issues:
Standby does not work with SD-Card plugged in.
modprobe -r sdhci_pci
before going into standby
(write this in a script in /etc/pm/sleep.d/)

after wakeup:
modprobe sdhci_pci

DavidL, 2011/01/14 14:08

Just to update. The kernel patch put in by Fedora/Red Hat has solved the issue of the pass through and thus far, there have been no other real issues (at least related to the unit).

William Hazen, 2010/07/24 04:49

I have Ubuntu 10.4 installed with no major issues except not being able to use the Dell in the Edock with a monitor because there is no “do nothing” feature when closing the laptop lid.

Jim Turner, 2010/04/23 17:05

Ubuntu Linux 9.10 does not work on my Dell Precision m4400 - the mouse/trackpad is going crazy, the GUI is completely useless because the pointer location on the screen is different from the coordinates reported to software, and sometimes it doesn't even show up (pointer lost), or is jumping around the screen, with the message in the bottom right corner of the Dell display saying “NUM LOCK ON” and “NUM LOCK OFF”, switching back and forth.

Can anyone help me figure out how to solve this issue?

Thanks a bunch!!

Orm Finnendahl, 2010/04/08 15:51


USB is not working on my Dell Precision M4400. The lamp is off. Bluetooth is enabled in the Wireless Settings of the BIOS but it is not even detected with lsusb. I tried to load the btusb module, but that doesn't help (no wonder since the device doesn't seem to even get detected). Unfortunately I don't have any Windows to test whether it is working at all…

lsusb gives me this:

orm@varese:~$ lsusb
Bus 008 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 007 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 006 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 003 Device 003: ID 0a5c:5800 Broadcom Corp.
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub

Any help is greatly appreciated…

cyba, 2009/11/17 22:00

This is going to make a big difference, I've been going crazy over this problem:

Sebastian Kapfer, 2009/11/23 08:10


the patch is nearly complete now. Would you want to help me by testing a small patch? It involves compiling a patched kernel module and some fiddling with the touchpad (obviously).

Please contact me if interested.


Orm Finnendahl, 2010/04/08 15:45


I'd be happy to test it out. Can you send install instructions? I got Ubuntu 8.10.

OrmBold Text

steffen, 2009/08/06 14:07

For completness: Sound works fine now.

Without any options or other fiddling, the built-in mic and the line-in/-out on the docking station work right away, provided that an ALSA Driver Version 1.0.20-git20090806 or later is used. This model recognizes the sound hardware of the m4400 all by itself. Enjoy!

steffen, 2009/07/08 20:03

Thanks to Dave Donovan for the hint about getting the built-in mic working! :-)

However, this prompted me to investigate further and I found out that model option dell-m43 is not among the model options for the codec chip used in my M4400 (STAC92HD71B*). Instead model option dell-m4-3 is recommended for that codec chip - mind the dash between 4 and 3!

This variant works even better, as the volume sliders in the mixer (e.g. Kmix) are then linear (with dell-m43 only the upper fraction of a volume setting is audible).

Dave Donovan, 2009/06/05 21:40

Got the mic to work in opensuse 11.1. Had to edit /etc/modprobe.d/sound.
Here it is

options snd-hda-intel model=dell-m43
options snd slots=snd-hda-intel
# u1Nb.ztWiP1hTtl5:82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller
alias snd-card-0 snd-hda-intel

I also enabled “Capture” using kmix and selected “Digital Mic 1” under “Digitial Input Source” but I do not know if this was required. Anyhow…Skype is working and I am happy.

steffen, 2009/04/13 16:09

Sound: One question and and one answer to another question here.

1. My question: Could anyone here get the built-in microphone (next to the webcam) to work?

2. My answer to another question posed here: The docking station's audio ports work (or at least the line-out does).

I am using Suse11.1 and using Yast→Sound→ModelOptions I entered “dell-m4-2”. I think all this does is simply adding the line “option snd-hda-intel model=dell-m4-2” to the file ”/etc/modprobe.d/sound”.

This then makes several switches and sliders available in my (KDE-)mixer. The labels of the sliders and switches are completely useless, but some of them control the volume for the line out of the docking station (e.g. the docking station line-out is labelled as “Import1 Mux” and instead of a “mute” button, it has a “record” button which needs to be ticked. I am still struggling to figure out most if the sliders and buttons, any help appreciated.

Phil Stein, 2009/03/29 21:59

On 32 but Fedora 10, the Broadcom wireless works when using the Broadcom wireless driver here:

Installation instructions here:

Built and installed the driver and NetworkManager picked it right up and listed local access points.

Bill's wireless chip-set detector give me this on my M4400:

Linux Wireless Chipset Detector - V1.1
Copyright 2008 Bill Giannikos

For best results you should ensure you have the latest version of this utility from:

Scanning for PCI Cards…
Found - Broadcom Corporation BCM4322 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless LAN Controller [14e4:432b]

Fabian, 2009/02/18 18:49

does anybody know how to get the headphones and microphone jacks in the docking station to work under linux?

Fabian, 2009/02/13 11:13

How to get your Tochpad to work using HAL:

The Touchpad is an ALPS touchpad using the synaptics driver which following capalities:
vertical and horizontal scrolling, no two finger scrolling

0. backup your xorg.conf ;)
1. install synaptics drivers
2. delete everything related to input from xorg.conf. Nowadays HAL manages input devices and no longer xorg.conf.
3. create fdi files in /etc/hal/fdi/policy (10-x11-input.fdi 11-x11-input-synaptics.fdi)
(use google for further information)
in 10-x11-input.fdi there should be any input device except synaptics (number “10” must be smaller than “11” in 11-x11-input-synaptics.fdi)

no the touchpad should work fine and can be configured with gsynaptics under gnome e.g.

my 11-x11-input-synaptics.fdi looks like:

<?xml version=“1.0” encoding=“utf-8”?>
<deviceinfo version=“0.2”>

  <match key="info.capabilities" contains="input.touchpad">
      <merge key="input.x11_driver" type="string">synaptics</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.SHMConfig" type="string">on</merge>

<merge key=“input.x11_options.VertEdgeScroll” type=“string”>true</merge>

	<merge key="input.x11_options.HorizEdgeScroll" type="string">true</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.VertScrollDelta" type="string">20</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.HorizScrollDelta" type="string">20</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.LeftEdge" type="string">80</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.RightEdge" type="string">880</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.TopEdge" type="string">150</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.BottomEdge" type="string">630</merge> 
<merge key="input.x11_options.TapButton1" type="string">1</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.FingerLow" type="string">3</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.FingerHigh" type="string">20</merge>


Bill M, 2009/01/29 17:53

I installed Debian 4.0r5 on my Dell Precision M4400. The graphics required downloading the proprietary NVIDIA driver, and the wired ethernet also required a driver that wasn't included in the distro.

I have the Dell Wireless 1510 card by Broadcom, and though I downloaded the Broadcom proprietary driver I haven't been able to get this to work. I think my last conclusion on this was that there was a “encryption not supported” error or some thing like that was preventing wpa_supplicant from running with the driver. I have not tried using the driver with an unencrypted wireless network yet.

Victor P, 2010/04/13 22:52

I too have an M4400. I'm looking for a driver for the 1510 and wondering if you were able to get it working? I installed Mint 8 didn't have any success with the pre-installed drivers.


Fabian, 2009/01/09 20:41

Hi Geeks,

here my kernel configuration for the M4400.

My problems are with my M4400:
- Fan is annoying load and doesn't calm down after no load for a while

Linux Kernel Module Configuration for Dell Precision M4400

Device Module Description

Ethernet E1000E
WLAN IWL5000 Intel Wireless Lan 5100
Soundcard SND_HDA_INTEL Intel High Definition Audio Stack:?
Blootooth CONFIG_BT_HCIBTUSB 413c:8158 Broadcom USB Device
Video Adapter NVIDIA Nvidia Proprietary Driver

GRUB vga=0x37d for WUXGA display

Martin A, 2009/01/04 08:55

Just installed fedora 10 (64) on separate eSATA drive.
Works fine after a couple of grub issues with boot on external drive.
BT kicks in fine and mouse is recognized automatically without any sync at all.
Screen resolution is 1920 * 1200 from start after installation of
Mouse: Logitech BT.

Michael Hust, 2008/11/08 01:09

Opensuse 11.0 on Dell Precision M4400


I installed Opensuse 11.0 on the Dell Precision M4400 (2.4Ghz, 400 GB 5400 rpm HD, Intel 5300 WLAN, Dell Bluetooth, 1440×900 non glare display).

Nvidia Quadro FX770M: Nvidia 177.80 driver installed using console
CPU speed step: works fine
Touchpad: works but scrollfunction up/down left/right is not working (no possibility to configure by Xorg, because there was no entry).
Bluetooth: lamp is on, but not working
Webcam: works out of the box
Intel WLAN: works great using the compat-wireless driver (use following repository:
sound: works fine, sound buttons works also fine
display buttons: works fine

Strange: the HDD sometimes make a “click” noise (I think the HDD is parking)
Update: Using the performance HDD mode in the BIOS and the “clicking” is gone.

The fan is going on on max. speed after about 37-40°C. This is very annoying! Here, you can downgrade the BIOS to A03 (it was delivered with A06). See also:



What works also without any problems:
- SD Card Reader
- Ethernet

Yorch, 2009/06/27 09:13

Thanks, that now works fine for me in kubuntu 8.04

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dell_precision_m4400.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/13 15:21 (external edit)
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