Ubuntu Gutsy 7.10 on Dell inspiron 6400/9400 laptop

Cedric Lagneau
26 October 2007

Table of Contents

1. Laptop features

Here are some tips/tweaks for dell laptop support on ubuntu. (see http://debian.helicroc.com/inspiron.html for feisty version).

Now with compiz 0.6 inside Gutsy and newer ATI driver 8.42.3 AIGLX works but here is too many AIGLX bugs to be usable.
I've not found how to tweaks or configure fglrx to have suspend/hibernate support (ubuntu driver version and last amd/ati 8.42.3).

If you want resume/hibernate full support you can use testing opensource avivo driver but it's a 2D only driver.
See resume/hibernate section to see how to install avivo driver.

I've tested two similar laptop hardware:

Dell inspiron 6400
1.8GHz dual core processor
1280x800 widescreen
ATI X1400 mobility 128MB
1024MB Ram
ipw3945 wireless

Dell inspiron 9400
1.66GHz dual core2 processor
1440x900 true life widescreen
ATI X1400 mobility 128MB
1024MB Ram
ipw3945 wireless

2. Gutsy Installation

There is no more X detection problem. So you can install Gutsy with alternate or live cd without "tricks".

3. Suspend / Hybernate

 for now with fglrx i've no hybernate / suspend support. It seems to be a kernel option problem, i've tested a compilated kernel 
 with SLAB instead SLUB option  and it works but this method breaks system packaging and futur kernel update.

 So if you can't wait Ubuntu or amd/ati fix and need hibernate support you should try the avivo driver :
 This is an opensource driver for r600 ati chipset. X1400 mobility is one of them and you can have widescreen resolution 
 with full suspend/hibernate support.
 You can install opensource avivo r600 driver. I'ts currently not for production usage but it works for 2D. 
 There is not direct rendering / opengl support.
 Now you can change resolution in the ubuntu screen setup. (from system/admin menu).

4. Ati powermod

 you can manually change ati power.
 aticonfig --lsp list all power mod available
 aticonfig --set-powerstate=x set power level (ati clock).

5. Tools / Tweaks

5.1. Dell fan control

5.2. Gnome system temperature applet

computertemp is now a universe ubuntu package.

5.3. Cpu frequency manually choice

 You can change cpu frequency with left mouse click on gnome cpu applet
 then allow superuser bit to cpufreq applet

5.4. AIGLX with Gutsy compiz 0.6 and ATI 8.42.3 drivers.

AIGLX provide 3D effects out of the box with composite support for amd/ati card.
There is some bugs and no hibernate/suspend support out of the box.

But ati 8.42.3 are not included in gutsy release so you need to compile them.

if you want to disable compiz just edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf files and change composite option from enable or 1 to disable or 0.
and restart X.

 Contact :lagneau 'at' ifrance.com
Linux On Laptops