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Dell Precision M6300

Author(s)

James McArthur (jamesm at the-workbench.com)

Introduction

This is a guide to running Linux on the Dell Precision M6300. This is a “workstation” class laptop that has great Linux support.

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 M6300. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Dell Precision M6300 page on LapWik.

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Specifications

For full specifications see the Dell Precision M6300 specifications page.

NameDell Precision M6300
ProcessorIntel Core Duo T9500 - 2.63 Ghz
Screen17.0”
RAM4096MB
HDD160GB
Optical DriveDVD+/-RW
GraphicsnVidia Quadra FX1600M
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet, Intel 4965AGN 802.11a/g/n Wireless
Other6 x USB2.0, 1 x Firewire,SD/MMC, Smart Card Reader, Bluetooth

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
BIOSYesDell Provides a Linux BIOS update tool as well!
ProcessorYes
ScreenYes
Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYesCurrent stable nvidia driver (169.09) doesn't compile with 2.6.25, use the beta nvidia driver (173) instead
SoundYesUse snd-hda-intel module
EthernetYesUses the tg3 module
WirelessYesDriver inbuilt in 2.6.25
BluetoothYes
56K ModemNot Tested
USBYes
FirewireNot TestedAppears in dmesg output
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested
SD/MMC Card ReaderYesRequires the kernel modules ricoh_mmc, sdhci, mmc_block and mmc_core
Smart Card ReaderYesRequires the pcsd and pcsc tools

Notes

General

The laptop has two modes for SATA drive access - ATA and AHCI - changeable in the BIOS. For the installation from the Gentoo LiveCD, ATA was used as the kernel didn't support AHCI. Once installation was complete the change to AHCI was possible and everything worked fine.
The Ricoh card reader was a little confusing to setup - the ricoh_mmc module was required, but nothing happened until the sdhci was also loaded.

Wireless

The wireless light doesn't appear when using wireless.

Wireless took a bit of fiddling to get working. The modules ieee80211_crypt_ccmp, ieee80211_crypt_tkip, ieee80211_crypt_wep needed to be loaded before the iwl4965 module.
Every now and then the module goes into 'rf_kill' mode and stops responding. The driver needs to be reloaded to get it out of this state.

wpa_supplicant was used to test the wireless. The driver option for wpa_supplicant was '-Dwext'.

Summary

Installation of Gentoo Linux went off without a hitch. Like all Intel Core based laptops, it is recommended you use a Linux distribution with kernel version 2.6.16 or greater.


Discussion

Yuval, 2009/12/01 20:38

No sound after kubuntu upgrade from 8.04 to 9.10

Anybody share the same problem?
I tried to play around with options in the /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf file, but to no avail.

any hint will be appreciated!

Steve, 2009/02/06 07:05

Have you had any luck getting twinview or dual head to work?

yotu, 2009/03/26 14:54

I did with the kmod-nvidia from Livna(←Install with yum). Then use the [nVidia Display Settings] to configure your monitors and when finished click [Save to X Configuration File], then don't save it, click on [Show preview], and copy it, then backup your actual /etc/X11/xorg.config (with su privileges) and create new one and paste it.
It,s important that you have in the xorg.conf this section:
Section “Files”

  ModulePath      "/usr/lib64/xorg/modules/extensions/nvidia"
  ModulePath      "/usr/lib64/xorg/modules/drivers"
  ModulePath      "/usr/lib64/xorg/modules"
  FontPath        "/usr/share/fonts/default/Type1"

EndSection
Logout and login.
My settings is dual monitor with the dell screen disable + fusion-icon and work great.

James McArthur, 2008/05/19 21:51

Smart Card Reader

For the smart card reader to work, I needed to install the pcsd daemon first. In Gentoo it was simply enough to emerge it,

emerge -v pcsc-lite

Then I had to download the applications to make the card reader work from http://www.linuxnet.com/middle.html, in particular the perl tools (pcsc-tools) and the perl library (pcsc-perl).

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dell_precision_m6300.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/13 15:21 (external edit)
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