This document describes how to get the most out of a Dell Latitude D830 laptop running the 64bit version of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) Linux x86_64.

You may find my notes on running Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) 32bit on Dell Latitude D820 of interest as well.


I installed from 8.04 beta which had many problems with display, wireless and so on, but I'd assume most of the issues I faced were fixed by the final version. It is still quite possible that you won't get the correct display resolution out of the box, but need to install nvidia-settings and use that for setting the correct options - see the Hardware section below.

I also experienced a hang during installation at 82% mark when connecting to mirrors. Waiting for 15 minutes solved the issue.

Once you have done the basic install, be sure to update to latest packages, as there have been many security, stability etc. fixes since the 8.04 release!


The hardware support is pretty good, and there are no major issues unsolved.

Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 (2.4GHz), 4M L2 Cache, 800MHz busworks
15.4 WUXGA Wide Screen LCD Panel, 1920x1200 pixelsworksFonts will probably look too small with default DPI. To change them for Gnome, System > Appearance > Fonts > Details... and try 120. Note: this still leaves Firefox fonts too small, but haven't found a full solution for this yet (layout.css.dpi preference supposedly controls this but does not seem to work for me).
4.0GB RAMworks
160GB 7200RPM hard driveworksMay park and unpark drive heads too frequently leading to shortened life of drive. Setting "ENABLE_LAPTOP_MODE=true" in /etc/default/acpi-support and "CONTROL_HD_POWERMGMT=1" in /etc/laptop-mode/laptop-mode.conf may solve issue. Other potential hacks for example at Temporary solution when bad behavior starts: sudo hdparm -B 255 /dev/sda.
8X DVD+/-RW optical driveworks
256MB Quadro NVS 135M nVidia video cardworksUse nVidia drivers (xserver-xorg-video-nv package), install nvidia-settings to set correct display resolution and if you want to use multiple monitors etc. Do not use compiz (lots of artifacts and other problems).
Microphone and Headset portsworks
Wired Networkworks
Intel Wireless Minicard 4965 agnworksSlow to notice and connect to wireless networks.
Dell Bluetooth DW360does not workOS detects bluetooth, but the laptop does not see any other bluetooth devices, nor do any other bluetooth devices see the laptop.
Bluetooth lightdoes not workBug 219089
Wireless switchworks
Wireless activity light, frontworksInstall linux-backports-modules-hardy to get a partial fix for missing indicator light (solid light when wireless on).
Wireless activity light, sidedoes not work
TouchpadworksTouchpad is too slow. Set the following options in xorg.conf for synaptic: "MinSpeed" "0.7", "MaxSpeed" "3", "AccelFactor" "0.03".
Mouse buttonsworks
Display brightnessworks
Display sleepworks
SuspendworksMost of the time coming out of suspend beeps several times to indicate there was a problem with suspend. However, I haven't noticed any problems in use. Very rarely (about once a month) will not suspend, so it is better to ensure that suspend has finished before leaving the computer unattended. Very rarely the keyboard has not been active coming out of suspend, but closing the lid to suspend again and then opening to awaken has fixed the problem.
HibernateworksSee notes about suspend above.
Fn keysworksFn+CRT/LCD does not work; use nvidia-settings instead. Fn+Esc suspends even though it is not marked on the keyboard.


HP PhotoSmart C5180 All-in-One Printer, Scanner, Copierworks
Dell USB Wired Optical Mouseworks
Maxtor OneTouch III Mini 160 GB USB DriveworksFormatted with ext3, then made an rsync-based backup script that I run every now and then manually.
Imation 8 GB USB Flash Driveworks
Canon PowerShot SD450worksRecognized with different name, but image import still works.


Although the software support is good, using the 64 bit version of the OS causes some problems.

Cisco VPN

Install vpnc and network-manager-vpnc for Cisco VPN.

Problems: disconnects on its own after a few minutes, "only use VPN connection for these addresses" settings don't seem to work.

VMWare Server

Kernel in 8.04 was not supported by VMWare, so some hacks were needed, and 64bit support is not complete. The situation has become a bit better:

Install xinetd, g++ and ia32-libs, then follow the instructions here: (these are new instructions for VMWare Server 1.0.6 and Ubuntu 8.04).

VT support may not be on by default (you will know by launching VMWare). You can turn it on from BIOS settings during boot: press F2 to get into settings, then navigate to POST Behavior > Virtualization and turn it on, save and exit.


Eclipse is unusably crashy with any Java version from the package repositories. I found help from

Download and install IBM Java x86_64-60 for Eclipse use (you can use other Java versions for other programs) into ~/opt. Download and install Eclipse also into ~/opt.

mkdir ~/.mozilla/eclipse

Create ~/bin/eclipse with following contents:

export MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME="/usr/lib/mozilla"
export ECLIPSE_HOME="$HOME/opt/eclipse"

$ECLIPSE_HOME/eclipse -vm $HOME/opt/java/ibm-java-x86_64-60/bin/java $*

Flash Plugin

I used to have instructions for the 32bit plugin using nspluginwrapper, but I have since then switched to using the native 64 bit version (although it is still considered an alpha by Adobe).

If you have any other flash plugins installed, uninstall them now. Then read the 64bit linux flash release notes, which include the installation instructions and download link.

Java Plugin

Download a Linux x64 RPM (which is actually a self extracting .bin file), make it executable, run it. This will error out, but now you have the rpm. Install alien. Then alien --script -d <name of rpm>. This will create a .deb you can install by for example double clicking the file in Nautilus.

Then need to symlink one file as described here (seems slightly different path is required):

ln -s /usr/java/jre1.6.0_14/lib/amd64/ ~/.mozilla/plugins/.


If you found any errors above, or have found solutions for areas that are still problematic, or have found better solutions to issues, please let me know. Also, if you found this document useful, consider making a small donation to help cover the hosting costs.