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Dell Precision M4500


This is a guide to running Linux with the Dell Precision M4500 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 M4500. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Dell Precision M4500 page on LapWik.

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For full specifications see the Dell Precision M4500 specifications page.

NameDell Precision M4500
ProcessorIntel® Core™ i7 Quad Core
Screen15.6“FHD LED Back-Lit Display (1920×1080)
RAM4GB to 8GB (Actually I have 16GB DDR3L-1600 [2x8GB] working fine in my M4500.)
HDDUp to 500GB or 64GB SSD
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsNVIDIA Quadro FX 880M or Quadro FX 1800M w/1GB
NetworkEthernet, Dell 6200 (BCM) 802.11bg or Intel 6300 802.11abgn, Bluetooth
Tochpad(/Stick?)ALPS GlidePoint

Linux Compatibility

Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYes/PartialNeeds the Nvidia 260.19 driver installed, see notes below - but 880M under Ubuntu 11+ may experience issues when changing modes (docked with external monitor(s) v. undocked with LGD) where suspend/resume will not typically recognize a change in outputs (subject to further testing with notes below)
SoundYessound buttons work also fine
WirelessYesIntel controller tested, see notes below - Dell/BCM 6200 tested successfully under Ubuntu 11+
TouchpadNo/Yes (Ubuntu 11+)Detected as standard PS/2 mouse, Detected as ImPS2 ALPS GlidePoint (Ubuntu 11+) NOTE: Touchpad sensitivity can cause input cursor to jump without warning; potential need to implement configuration to disable ALPS GlidePoint when typing.
FirewireNot Tested I just bought a firewire cable and I'm going to use it to debug noveau crashes on my M4500
Card ReaderYes
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested
PCMCIANot Tested
Fingerprint ReaderNoBCM5880 does not work



The M4500 was tested with Fedora 14. Installation without problems.

Though some problems arise with the graphics card when installing Ubuntu 10.04 and later and a possible solution can be found here.

Nvidia Quadro FX 880M

*3D Performance - Compiz : Enable 'loose binding, indirect rendering'
*2D Performance - Bug in Cairo, use patched version
*Font Size issue, DPI does not translate well into X enforce dpi 'Option “DPI” “96 x 96”'

Fingerprint Reader

Bus 002 Device 005: ID 0a5c:5802 Broadcom Corp. BCM5880 Secure Applications Processor with fingerprint touch sensor
BCM chip not supported?

Sound Card

Internal Microphone (Stereo) does not work


There are a few problem with the Dell Precision M4500 in Linux but the main functionality is usable.


Bruce, 2016/04/13 19:11

Where can I get this

dmillfree, 2014/01/13 12:54

I have had Slackware linux on the M4500 for nearly 2 years now. I cannot comment on the fingerprint reader as my M4500 does not have one. However everything else worksas it should. The graphics are slightly better with the Nvidia driver installed. I stuck with The Open source Nouveau driver though. If you are going to use google chrome then you need the nvidia drivers installed. Linux is not for the faint of heart depending on which distro you choose. I have certainly tweaked a bit with getting the M4500 to the way I want it. Out of the box though everything functions. The way Microsoft is going people should adopt linux now. Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter are all partners of the NSA. At least linux you can SEE the source code and know exactly what the software is doing.

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dell_precision_m4500.txt · Last modified: 2017/03/20 01:45 by
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