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James McArthur (jamesm at the-workbench.com)
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.
If you would like to edit this page please first view our Editing Guidelines.
For full specifications see the Dell Precision M6300 specifications page.
|Name||Dell Precision M6300|
|Processor||Intel Core Duo T9500 - 2.63 Ghz|
|Graphics||nVidia Quadra FX1600M|
|Network||10/100/1000 Ethernet, Intel 4965AGN 802.11a/g/n Wireless|
|Other||6 x USB2.0, 1 x Firewire,SD/MMC, Smart Card Reader, Bluetooth|
|BIOS||Yes||Dell Provides a Linux BIOS update tool as well!|
|Graphics||Yes||Current stable nvidia driver (169.09) doesn't compile with 2.6.25, use the beta nvidia driver (173) instead|
|Sound||Yes||Use snd-hda-intel module|
|Ethernet||Yes||Uses the tg3 module|
|Wireless||Yes||Driver inbuilt in 2.6.25|
|56K Modem||Not Tested|
|Firewire||Not Tested||Appears in dmesg output|
|ExpressCard Slot||Not Tested|
|SD/MMC Card Reader||Yes||Requires the kernel modules ricoh_mmc, sdhci, mmc_block and mmc_core|
|Smart Card Reader||Yes||Requires the pcsd and pcsc tools|
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.
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'.
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.