Dell Latitude D630

Kubuntu 8.04.1 on Dell Latitude D630

My new work laptop finally got to me. After some work, I’ve finally got a Linux installation running on it. First, I will detail the laptop and then my reasons for choices and formatting schemes.

Dell Latitude D630

The laptop is a Dell Latitude D630. The laptop follows in the tough construction of the recent Latitude series of laptops. Further, the look continues from the D620 with black beveling and gray highlights.

The laptop is equipped with the following hardware:

  1. Intel Centrino Core 2 Duo T7250 at 2.0 GHz.
  2. 4 GB of RAM
  3. 128 MB nVidia NVS 135M
  4. IEEE 1394 Port
  5. 120 GB Hard disk
  6. 1280×800 Resolution LCD Monitor

Here are the results from ‘/bin/lspci’

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile PM965/GM965/GL960 Memory Controller Hub (rev 0c)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile PM965/GM965/GL960 PCI Express Root Port (rev 0c)
00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 02)
00:1a.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #5 (rev 02)
00:1a.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #2 (rev 02)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 02)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 02)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 02)
00:1c.5 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 6 (rev 02)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 02)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 02)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #1 (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev f2)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801HEM (ICH8M) LPC Interface Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801HBM/HEM (ICH8M/ICH8M-E) IDE Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801HBM/HEM (ICH8M/ICH8M-E) SATA IDE Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 02)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation Quadro NVS 135M (rev a1)
03:01.0 CardBus bridge: O2 Micro, Inc. Cardbus bridge (rev 21)
03:01.4 FireWire (IEEE 1394): O2 Micro, Inc. Firewire (IEEE 1394) (rev 02)
09:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5755M Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express (rev 02)
0c:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection (rev 02)

I decided to install a 64-bit version of the Kubuntu distribution variant of Ubuntu found at http://www.kubuntu.org/. I had traditionally used a 32-bit version of Linux in order to keep difficulties low. I felt that Linux might now be mature enough for 64-bit versions of a distribution to be strong.

Another reason for my examination of Kubuntu was the overall ease of hardware detection. My Intel Pro Wireless 3945 ABG NIC was flawlessly detected and “modeprobe -l | grep iwl3945” reveals that the iwl3945 module is loaded and not an ndiswrapper. Further, the nVidia card was easily detected and the required software was downloaded with little fanfare.

I used GParted to partition my hard disk. I left approximately 35 GB of the formatted 111 GB for the current Windows XP installation. I set aside 4 GB for a swap which enables me to use the hibernate feature if so desired, 20 GB for the / partition (containing everything but /home), and 50 GB for /home.

I gave a quick ‘sudo apt-get install firefox’, followed by similar commands for pidgin, and Mozilla Thunderbird. I did not download the bulk of updates required to bring Hardy Heron to full speed. I waited until this morning, at work, to download the updates while on campus allowing me to take advantage of a much faster network connection.

Conclusion

Surprisingly enough, the updated (‘sudo apt-get dist-upgrade’) Kubuntu still uses a 2.6.24 kernel (2.6.24-19-generic #1 SMP Fri Jul 11 21:01:46 UTC 2008 x86_64 GNU/Linux, to be exact as ‘uname -a’ tells). I’m sure this has to do with the fact that the x86_64 kernels are probably slightly behind their 32-bit brothers.

Regardless, the laptop works well with this version of Kubuntu. ¬†If you haven’t been convinced to convert your laptop to using Linux, you should. ¬†Ubuntu is probably the place to start.

2 thoughts on “Kubuntu 8.04.1 on Dell Latitude D630”

  1. Hello. Excuse my poor english. I don’t understand. Linux 64 in Centrino Duo??? This it’s 32 bits, not 64……. Thanks for your response.

  2. You’re partially correct. The original Centrino chipset came with the Pentium M processor which was a 32-bit processor. However, examine this article. According to that site, this is definitely a 64-bit processor. Reading the mobile processor brief on this site also explains pretty clear that this chip has a 64-bit architecture.Thanks,Jon

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