This document describes how to get the most out of a Dell Latitude D820 laptop running the 32bit version of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) Linux.

Warning: This system died, possibly due to overheating less than a week after I did the upgrade from 7.10 to 8.04. I suspect 8.04 caused the system to unsuspend on its own from a suspended state while the lid was down, causing overheating and hardware damage. If you experience a situation where the power light should be in the slowly blinking state indicating suspend state but it is continuously fully illuminated instead, immediately open the lid and investigate the system. If the system is fully on, or not unsuspending, I suggest either downgrading to 7.10, trying clean installation of 8.04 (if yours was an upgrade), try some other version or distribution, or stop using suspend (try hibernating instead). The hardware is currently under investigation to try and verify the cause of the problem and see if something could be salvaged. Oh, and remember to make backups, folks!

Update: The system is back from warranty repair. The slip that accompanied the computer has a checkbox on "System Board" entry. The system has run fine after repairs.


I decided to do a dist-upgrade (System > Administration > Upgrade Manager) from Ubuntu 7.10. Normally I have done a clean install.

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

After hitting the upgrade button, I was informed I would need to download over 1GB of files to do the upgrade. I let it proceed. During installation it asked me what I wanted to do with modified Apache and Bluetooth config files. For Apache I let it overwrite, for the bluetooth ones I saved the diff first and applied my changes manually after the installation process. During the cleanup the system suggested removal of several packages, including vmware-server that I had downloaded and converted with Alien to deb. There was no option to select only some packages for uninstallation, so I let it uninstall everything it suggested, meaning I needed to do some post installation steps.

After reboot I started synaptic, updated everything just in case, and removed some more packages it hadn't removed earlier (obsolete kernel etc.)

The CPU frequency scaling applet had changed location in the panel, so I needed to do some rearranging. Otherwise the panel and the applets stayed correct.


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

Intel Core 2 Duo T7600 (2.33GHz), 4M L2 Cache, 667MHz Dual Coreworks
15.4 inch Wide Screen WSXGA+ LCD Panel, 1680x1050 pixelsworks
2.0GB, DDR2-667 SDRAM, 2 DIMMSworks
100GB Hard Drive, 9.5MM, 7200RPMworksMay 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 w/Roxio Digital Media™ and Cyberlink Power DVD™works
512MB NVIDIA® Quadro NVS 120M TurboCache™ worksUse 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 Networkuntested (Tested and worked in 7.10.)
Intel® 3945 802.11a/g Dual-Band Mini Card worksSlow to connect coming from suspend, regressed from 7.10.
Dell Wireless® 350 Bluetooth Module untestedOS detects bluetooth, but otherwise untested. (Tested and worked in 7.10.)
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). Regressed from 7.10.
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
Sound/loudspeakersworksAfter I switched to pulseaudio, Flash sound disappeared until I installed libflashsupport package.
Display brightnessworks
Display sleepworks
Fn keysworksHaven't tested all, but suspect Fn+CRT/LCD does not work; use nvidia-settings instead.


HP PhotoSmart C5180 All-in-One Printer, Scanner, Copierworks
Microsoft 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.
Garmin Nüvi 760worksAppears as USB storage device. Might still need Windows for some Garmin updates.
Imation 8 GB USB Flash Driveworks
HP 321AA USB Multimedia KeyboardworksBy default some special keys do nothing, but these are easy to map with System > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts


VMWare Server

I had terrible problems trying to get VMWare Server 2.x running, and reverted back to 1.x series. Just get the tarball and run per instructions.


All in all I was positively surprised that the upgrade didn't seem to do any damage to my system, even though I had done some manual configuration changes to the system config and so on. I am quite annoyed about the regression with the wireless light and especially the slow speed; 7.10 had been fast and rock solid for me in this area over the past several months.

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.