Ubuntu on Latitude D820

I’ve been saying for a few years that the next computer I get is going to be running Linux as the primary OS. Well, now I’ve done it: I got a new work laptop (Dell Latitude D820) and decided to put Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Dapper Drake) on it.

The initial experience was much better than I expected; all the stuff that used to give me trouble before just worked: wireless, screen resolution and sound.

After using it for several days as the main computer now, and testing all kinds of things and peripherals, the picture is no longer so rosy. I can still get work done, but there are some major annoyances. The biggest one is probably the flaky hibernate-suspend support.

I practically never rebooted my Windows XP laptop (well, at least once a month when new security patches came out). But on this box suspend and hibernate fail so often that I am forced to do hard reboot just about daily, sometimes several times a day. And when suspend or hibernate “works”, some things break: occasionally sound stops working completely until reboot, usually wireless stops working until I twiddle with the settings – sometimes a reboot is required.

Another headache is that Fn+CRT/LCD does not work. This means that if I want to give a presentation or hook into external monitor I have to usually edit xorg.conf by hand and at a minimum restart X.
I am still going to continue using Ubuntu on this computer. I love how fast everything is, and don’t exactly want the Windows experience where everything degrades in performance over time. Using Linux also gives a nice feeling :)

You can read about my Ubuntu experiences here.

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  1. Richard Rowell:

    You needn’t twiddle the xorg.conf every time, just setup a few different layouts. Then you can just do a startx — -layout presentation8x6. There is a decent tutorial on it here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=2510689&postcount=1

  2. heikki:

    Thanks, that helps a little. However, it still requires restarting X (and losing all my currently open applications) to give a presentation, for example.

    I installed Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon beta on this computer as well, and the display options seem to indicate it might be possible to specify another screen using the GUI. I have not tested that, but if it enabled me to connect to a projector or secondary screen without restarting X I would be a happy camper indeed.

    By the way, Ubuntu Feisty Fawn already seemed to have fixed most of the things with hibernate and suspend – I experienced only minor annoyances with it and even then doing suspend/wake again always fixed things.