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Dell Precision M65

Introduction

This is a guide to running Linux with the Dell Precision M65 laptop. Linux support for the Precision M65 is very good with most of the hardware working properly.

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.

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Specifications

NameDell Precision M65
ProcessorIntel Core Duo T2400 1.83Ghz
Screen15.4” UXGA
RAM1GB
HDD80GB
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsNvidia Quadro FX 350M
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet + Intel 3945 802.11g Wireless + Bluetooth
Other5 x USB2.0 + 1 x Firewire

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYes
ScreenYes
Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYes
SoundYesUse the snd-hda-intel module
EthernetYes
WirelessYesUse the ipw3945 module
BluetoothYes
56K ModemNot Tested
USBYes
FirewireYes
PCMCIAYes
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested

Notes

The Precision M65's NVIDIA graphics chip can use either one of the Xorg nv module or Nvidia's proprietary module. View our Configuring a nVidia graphics chip guide for further instruction on install the nvidia module.

Some models of the M65 have the Dell 1390 wireless network controller. This card has not yet been tested.

Jorgen sent in the following:
suspend to disk and suspend to ram work with:
2.6.19-beyond2 #7 SMP PREEMPT
For suspend to disk + nvidia-driver it is (strangely) necessary to start an opengl application before starting suspend. When not doing so it crashes during atomic copy. Didn't find out why, yet.

Also suspend to ram only works when the HD password is disabled in the bios. When not disabled, the HD can't be accessed due to missing initialization during wakeup.

the smartcard reader at least recognizes inserted cards, and managed
to powerup one card (SIM 64K, 3V, with 7 contact, many other cards,
including german health insurance cards get recognized, but powerup
fails). So it's a good idea to try whether a card is supported or not
before buying…

To get the card reader to work you need the pcscd daemon and ccid drivers.

Summary

When used with a up to date Linux distribution the Dell Precision M65 works well with Linux. There were no issues during installation.


Discussion

joe f., 2010/10/31 13:24

I've got Slackware64 13.1 running well on an M65. I can confirm the expresscard slot works. I have a 4 GB flash disk in the slot for extra storage, because I replaced the hard drive with a 64 GB SSD. The machine has a 2.1 Ghz Core 2 Duo, and I put in 4 GB of faster RAM but the machine only recognizes a little over 3 GB because of the BIOS, I suppose. Anyway, with the SSD the machine is pretty fast.

It's an excellent Linux box in my experience. I came from a Sony VAIO SZ series and was worried about going to a Dell, but I got a great deal on a refurbished M65 and needed a machine in a hurry. It has a nice keyboard, great screen (1920×1200) and everything is solid. I could do without the pointing nub and the legacy ports, but they don't hurt anything.

Simon Josefsson, 2010/04/21 16:31

I have one of these, and it works well even with latest Debian and Ubuntu releases, see:

http://josefsson.org/etch-dell-m65.html

Jorge Ferrer, 2007/07/24 03:21

Suspend to RAM not working properly

I've recently migrated my Precision M65 to Linux and everything works smoothly except suspend to RAM (and hibernate, but I don't use it anyway).

The system suspends successfully around 95% of the time, but coming back to live fails often. Around 50% of the times it gets stuck with the hard disk light and the wifi light intermittently blinking. Of the 50% of the times when it works it often suspends automatically after around 5-10 seconds and has to be awakened again.

I'm using the nVidia X drivers and my kernel is:
2.6.20-16-generic #2 SMP

Any clue to try to fix the suspend problem is appreciated.

Phi, 2007/06/27 02:06

I also have one of these machines. Generally, itt is a nice, well spec'd machine. There is a page for my setup at:

Linux on a Dell M65

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dell_precision_m65.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/11 14:02 (external edit)
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