Linux On A Dell Inspiron 600m

dell inspiron 600m

This is a review. Not a hints and tips sheet.


This is a quiet and fast machine.
The screen resolution is amazing. This machine is great for coding, which is what I do.
The lowdown is that it gets hot and it’s therefore not a LAPtop.
I strongly recommend this machine for coding. I am schocked this machine does what it does, being a “dell”.


The Dell Inspiron 600m

Usually I hate anything that’s not either IBM or Apple. Dell, let’s face it, it’s trash. It’s a computer for users. It’s a fucking windows machine. Right?


This particular model has two 256 meg mem sims, totaling at 512 megs.
The processor is a pentium m.
The video card is ATI Radeon R250 [Mobility FireGL 9000].
Two usb ports.
Built in ethernet and phone jacks.
DVDrom CDrw in same drive.


I don’t have a preference for working unplugged as far as power goes. When I have worked off the battery, I think it does not last long, a couple of hours maybe.
The battery does have a button that lights up to tell you how much juice is left. This is really nice, works unplugged from the machine as well, so if you had two..


I give it a ten.
The resolution is set at 1400×1050 at 60hz. This is really good for coding.
I can set up two gnome-terminals at 750×1050 and they work wonderfully well. You can use some good font like Lucida Typewriter 9 point, and this is really wonderful and clean an environment to work in.


One of the most important things for me when I code is the peace. I need quiet. This machine is incredibly quiet. The fan barely turns on unless needed. I am completely satisfied with the noise level of this machine- I could not ask for more.


This is NOT a *lap*top. This fucker gets hot. It’s a pentium M, 1.6 ghz or so.. (check).
It gets so hot and it’s still quiet, that I was concerned if maybe the os was messing up, and my cpu was slowly melting. But I used lmsensors and indeed I had no problems checking the cpu temperature. Also, the fan *does* kick in when the machine gets hot. I have only seen it kick in with extended cpu usage. For example using a news reader to rip binaries online- the decode plus download action will send the fan working for real.


This machine is snappy as hell.
I have at work a 64bit 1.6Ghz machine with 1 gig mem, and for normal usage, this laptop outperforms it, often.

Of course if I need to queue the machine to do something I am not interacting with.. the 64bit machine will eat this dell alive and spit out the seeds.


I used Fedora Core 8.
First install it fucked up. I went ahead and just reinstalled, ignoring what happened before. Worked great.

Hardware works great..
I can switch to a terminal output with Ctrl+Alt+F* and back to the gui with no problem. Some machines fuck this up.


This machine came with an internal wifi card. I got it to work after much readind and head scratching. If you want to find out if you have the internal card yourself..

# su
# which lspci
# /sbin/lspci | grep troller

I had as one of my listings..
BCM4306 Broadcom rev 3

You will need to use b43fwcutter bcm43xx-fwcutter
Check that the drivers can load up
# modprobe b43


0) Make sure dhclient is dead
# killall -9 dhclient

1) First let’s see if we even detect the dev(ice).
# ifconfig
# iwconfig
You should see at wlan0 (maybe wlan1 also if you have more then one card.)

2) Now we want to configure it for WEP, the following command should NOT issue warnings.
# iwconfig wlan0 essid “MyNetworkName” mode “Managed” key “[1]” 0123456789

3) Make sure you don’t have an entry inside the file /etc/resolv.conf

4) Now we want to bring the device back up
# ifconfig wlan0 up

5) Let’s see if dhclient can get an ip from our network
# dhclient wlan0

6) If it did, kill dhclient
# killall -9 dhclient


Make sure you are fully updated
Run ‘dmesg’ when you want to see general system errors, do this often.
Run the command ‘tail -f /var/log/messages’ on a second terminal emulator when you try to establish a connection to see errors as they happen.


Linux is amazing on a dell inspiron 600m.