Debian on a Dell E4300

December 10th, 2008 by lucas

I received a new laptop, a Dell Latitude E4300. I was a bit anxious with its level of support on Linux, because it only recently started being shipping, and it’s full of recent Intel hardware. Also, with lenny being frozen for 5 months, we are currently a bit behind regarding hardware support.

I installed lenny on it, as I usually run testing+APT pinning. What I’m describing here is what is unsupported in lenny out of the box.

Wireless:
Needs a 2.6.27 kernel (iwlagn driver), Lenny only has 2.6.26. Downloaded from the kernel team’s unofficial repo. Firmware isn’t packaged in Debian (firmware-iwlwifi needs an update). Needed to download it from Intel.

Graphics:
Intel device, unsupported with lenny’s driver (but vesa works surprisingly well, oI only noticed that I was using vesa when I tried to play a video and found out I had no xv support).
Works with experimental’s Xorg and the experimental intel driver, but that Xorg needs some polishing. The evdev driver now handles all inputs, so the keymap has to be configured differently (as usual, #debian-x people were very helpful).

Suspend/Resume:
Works out of the box using pm-utils. No need for quirks.

All in all, it was easier than I expected, and support will probably be perfect for lenny+1/2 ;)

10 Responses to “Debian on a Dell E4300”

  1. jo Shields wrote on 12/10/08 at 11:56 pm :

    I’m running Ubuntu 8.10 on mine.

    T’is a shiny beast!

  2. Loris wrote on 12/11/08 at 12:44 am :

    How’s the internal OMAP3 system? (The Latitude ON market-speaking feature)

  3. Lucas wrote on 12/11/08 at 8:16 am :

    @Loris: I didn’t buy it.

  4. Martin-Éric wrote on 12/11/08 at 7:37 pm :

    What I have is a D430. Not quite the same beast, but the wireless was covered by “iwl4965″ until 2.6.26, which was then rewritten and replaced by “iwlagn” starting with 2.6.27. Personally, I find the “iwlagn” rewrite to be less stable than the original “iwl4965″. Somehow, I wouldn’t be surprised if the same drivers apply to the D630 also.

  5. EugeneVC wrote on 12/13/08 at 10:10 pm :

    How much size screen on Dell E4300?

  6. Dell Latitude E4300 with Debian | Buxy rêve tout haut wrote on 12/16/08 at 7:34 pm :

    [...] Nussbaum bought the same laptop, you might want to read his remarks as [...]

  7. Jo Shields wrote on 12/16/08 at 9:40 pm :

    @EugeneVC

    13 inches or so

  8. ek wrote on 12/21/08 at 9:23 pm :

    Lucas what version of pm-utils are you using? I can’t get suspend/hibernation to work using pm-utils 1.1.2.4 under ubuntu.

  9. Jon wrote on 12/25/08 at 10:23 am :

    @Jo Shields
    Mind if I ask – does the headphone jack work? According to the Ubuntu wiki the headphone jack doesn’t function correctly (possibly not at all). Noticed any other hardware problems under Ubuntu 8.10 on the E4300? Headphone jack seems rather important…

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