Dell 6400/e1505

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Dell 6400/e1505


This article is depreciated as of SabayonLinux 3.4 Loop3a. However this shall remain here so people who use older versions, or those who have issues, may come here for some guidance. --Element 01:01, 13 July 2007 (PDT)

This article contains set-up information for the Dell 6400/e1505 series of laptops. The Dell website ( implies that the hardware specifications are instrumentally the same for the 9400/e1705 and the 5400/e1405 series of laptops - the primary difference is the base package (processor speed, HD and memory) and the size of the LCD screen.


The only known variable that is relevant to set up in Sabayon (or any Linux distro) is the graphics adapter. Dell offers a choice between integrated Intel 950GMA (945GM chipset), ATI x1300/x1400, and the NVIDIA 7300/7800/7900 graphic adapters. The instructions contained in this article are for the integrated Intel 950GMA (for information on the x1300 see Radeon_X1300). As of the writing of this article, both the ATI and the NVIDIA graphics adapters require proprietary drivers and may not be included in or fully supported in Sabayon at this time. Please visit the Sabayon forum or #sabayon on for more information regarding issues with ATI or NVIDIA graphics adapters in Sabayon. For general Gentoo information you can visit here[1] for NVIDIA driver information or here[2] for ATI driver information [the information on those websites is unconfirmed with Sabayon Linux].


The information in this wiki-page was compiled from personal experience, based upon resources found at the following:

Also, a word of thanks needs to go out to lxnay, CVill64 and JHawk for their work on Sabayon and their help on IRC regarding some of the issues dealt with in this article.

System Information

Dell Inspiron e1505

  • Intel® Duo Core T2050 (1.6GHZ)
  • Intel® 82801/G/GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Controller
    • Hi-Def Audio Controller
    • PCI & ISA Bridges
    • USB2, SMBus & Serial ATA Controller
  • Intel® Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub
  • Intel® Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express
    • Integrated Intel® Media Accelerator 950 Graphics
    • 15.4" Display - WSXGA (1280 x 800) with TrueLife
  • 80GB Ultra SATA 5400rpms Hard Drive
  • Combo Drive - 24x/10x/24x CD Burner and 8x DVD-ROM
  • Ricoh Co Ltd SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro Card Reader
  • Broadcom Corp 100Base-TX NIC

LSPCI Output

 00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
 00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
 00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 01)
 00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 01)
 00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 01)
 00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 01)
 00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 01)
 00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 01)
 00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 01)
 00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 01)
 00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e1)
 00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GBM (ICH7-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 01)
 00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller IDE (rev 01)
 00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 01)
 03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4401-B0 100Base-TX (rev 02)
 03:01.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Ricoh Co Ltd Unknown device 0832
 03:01.1 Class 0805: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C822 SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro Host Adapter (rev 19
 03:01.2 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd Unknown device 0843 (rev 01)
 03:01.3 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C592 Memory Stick Bus Host Adapter (rev 0a)
 03:01.4 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd xD-Picture Card Controller (rev 05)
 0b:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection (rev 02)

Out of the Box

Installation was done with Sabayon Linux 3.0 Stable DVD. After a complete install, before any modifications, emerges or tinkering the following list describes the state of the system. As more feature sets of this hardware are tested, this section will be updated.

  • Sound: Native Support for ALSA [seems to work well]
  • ACPI: Native Support for ACPID [seems to work well]
  • SMP: Native Support for SMP Kernel [seems to work well]
  • CD/DVD Burning: Native Support [both K3B and Gnomebaker work well]
  • NIC: Native Support for Broadcom device [seems to work well]
  • Video: X.Org 7.1 w/ latest Intel video driver [seems to work well]
    • KDE 3.5.4: K Desktop Environment [seems to work well]
    • Gnome 2.14: Gnome Desktop Evironmet [works - some issues with icons - needs work]
    • XFCE4: Not Tested
    • e16: Enlightenment Window Manager - [seems to work well]
    • Fluxbox: Not Tested
    • XGL (Compiz): Supported but slow as dirt - see note below - Video Support
    • Widescreen: Not supported see note below - Video Support
  • WiFi: Not supported see note below - Intel Pro Wireless 3945ABG
  • Card Reader: Not Tested
  • FireWire: Not Tested

Video Support

See the note above regarding support for ATI and NVIDIA or visit the Forum[4] or IRC ( #Sabayon). Out of the box the integrated graphics card is supported as the latest Intel drivers are integrated into X.Org 7.1. But the widescreen needs to be supported. In the websites listed above there are two methods to getting the resolution working - both methods have been tested and work. The instructions below are for the 855resolution method - the same instructions work for either except for Step 4 (the syntax is different for 915resolution but that is outlined within the file you are editing).

  • Check to make sure 855resolution will install properly
 emerge -pav 855resolution
  • Emerge 855resolution
 emerge -av 855resolution
  • Add 855resolution to runlevel boot (so it loads at startup)
 rc-update add 855resolution default
  • Edit /etc/conf.d/855resolution then added the following the end of the document:
 with[0]="1280 800"
  • Edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf to add "1280x800" to the Monitor modes section (see xorg.conf section below - this is from my xorg.conf - yours might differ, but just be sure the above quoted resolution is in the modes section)
  • Restart the x server or reboot the computer and it should come up with the proper resolution (if you have a monitor with a different resolution, replace "1280 800" with your resolution)

xorg.conf section:

 Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Screen 1"
    Device "VESA"
    Monitor "Generic Monitor"
    DefaultDepth 24
    SubSection "Display"
       Depth 8
       ViewPort 0 0
       Modes "1280x800" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
    SubSection "Display"
       Depth 16
       ViewPort 0 0
       Modes "1280x800" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
    SubSection "Display"
       Depth 24
       ViewPort 0 0
       Modes "1280x800" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"

XGL Support

If you installed with XGL support you probably noticed some pretty crappy performance, if you didn't then power to you. After reviewing some information, it seems that XGL and Intel video don't play well together - that being said it is nice to see some of the cool effects even though it is slower than a snail so, I did the following:

emerge -s xgl

Wouldn't you know there was an entry for something called xglswitch so:

emerge -av xglswitch

Run xglswitch and turn off XGL - it works WELL and you can choose between using XGL or not. Rock On!

AIGLX Support

With the release of 3.0mini AIGLX support comes out of the box with Sabayon. And, much like XGL, it has some initial issues with the Intel graphics adapters. This section will be updated as solutions are found.

Intel Pro Wireless 3945ABG

This information is duplicated here: ipw3945

Intel Pro Wireless support is a little trickier as there are many different websites out there that have a varying degree of difficulty in set-up for support of the ipw3945 - and most of the claim to work. The following instructions have worked, but please remember there are many paths to take in this, follow some of the links above and when all else fails consult the Gentoo Wiki [5].

  1. Remove the default ieee80211 stack installed in the kernel - it is not compatible with the ipw3945 driver
    /bin/sh /usr/portage/net-wireless/ieee80211/files/remove-old /usr/src/linux
  2. Emerge the ipw3945 firmware, driver and daemon (there are other options as well available - but check to see if you need them first, i.e. WPA support)
    emerge ipw3945d ipw3945-ucode ipw3945
  3. Load the module into the kernel
    modprobe ipw3945
  4. The little Wifi light should start flashing, if it doesn't try again. If the light flashes, check to make sure the system is recognizes it
  5. Add the regulatory deamon to start on boot
    rc-update add ipw3945d default

After this, use your favorite tool to configure for your access points and you should be golden. For more information visit the Gentoo Wiki[6].