Dell D600

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Older Dell Latitude D-series laptops can still be useful online devices. While they are getting quite long in the tooth, running Ubermix can give them a second life in the classroom.


General Comments and Ideas:

  1. 512MB of memory works, but it generates a lot of disk swapping. More memory is better.
  2. I lower the resolution to 1024x768 so the user will have a better experience.
  3. Wireless doesn't work right away so make sure you have a wired connection to get started.
  4. If your model of D-series has an ATI Radeon Mobility 9000 or similar chip, definitely update the video drivers.
  5. D-series laptops with i915 graphics (such as the D510) may need "nomodeset" added to the GRUB linux entry.
  6. Web browsing, Google Apps, and Libre Office run just fine. Anything more and the user experience will be less than desirable.
  7. I enabled "tap to click" in mouse options since some of these old laptops have broken primary mouse buttons.


Fixing Wireless (for Latitude D600 and D505):

  1. Press CTRL+ALT+T to open a terminal window.
  2. Remove the newer broadcom drivers by typing "sudo apt-get purge bcmwl-kernel-source".
  3. Install the specialized broadcom drivers by typing "sudo apt-get install firmware-b43legacy-installer".
  4. Restart.
      • If the above driver doesn't work, try "sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer" instead.


Updating ATI Video Drivers (for Latitude D600):

  1. Follow the instructions on the AMD Video Acceleration page to install


Changing Display Resolution (for Latitude D600 with ATI chip):

  1. Press CTRL+ALT+T to open a terminal window.
  2. Type "xrandr --output LVDS --mode 1024x768 --rate 60".

Notes about resolution changing on the D600:

  • LVDS is for the laptop's integrated LCD screen. You can change the resolution of other video devices by changing LVDS to the following:
    • VGA-0: Analog VGA output.
    • S-video: Integrated TV output via s-video.
    • DVI-0: Not available unless using a dock with DVI output.
  • For more information, see Ubuntu's help page at: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Config/Resolution


I have tested the above fixes on the following Models:

  • Dell Latitude D600 with ATI Radeon Mobility 9000 Graphics Chip
  • Dell Latitude D505 with Intel 855GM Graphics Chip
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