Installing Mandriva Linux 2006.0 Free on a Dell Latitude X1 Subnotebook


Below are some installation notes outlining the steps I took to install Mandriva Linux 2006 Free Edition on my Dell Latitude X1 laptop. The installation using the D-Bay went smoothly, and the device was recognized and mounted okay. The only trouble to speak of was the display: it needs to be patched to use the native 1280x768 resolution. You will also need the firmware for the Intel Pro Wireless 2200 card before you can configure it. Links below take you to a detailed page with fixes for each problematic device.


Intel 915GM Graphics/Display

Intel Pro Wireless 2200


Everything else pretty much installed and ran just fine by default.

I installed Mandriva 2006 from the DVD download using the D-Bay DVD +/- R/RW drive. Installation recognized the device and installed from it just fine. It is recognized and mounted as a normal CDROM drive, and designated "sr0". Installation went smoothly with no errors, pop the disc in and follow the on-screen instructions. You can download the Mandriva 2006 Installation DVD or 3 CD set, or, if you'd just like to try things out, the Mandriva Move LiveCD, at the Mandriva mirrors here.

Here's a list of what's working, not working, or untested:


Device Status
Pentium M Ultra Low Voltage processor Working "out of the box"
D-Bay external drive enclosure w/ DVD +/- R/RW drive Working "out of the box"
Synaptics touchpad Working "out of the box" - all features (side scrolling, etc,.)
Intel 915GM graphics/display Working - see link above
Intel Pro Wireless 2200 802.11 b/g Working - see link above
Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit ethernet Working "out of the box"
Soundcard (speaker, headphone, mic/line) Working "out of the box"
Hard disk Working "out of the box"
IEEE 1394 Firewire Untested - I do not own any Firewire devices
Bluetooth Untested - I do not own any Bluetooth devices. Bluetooth was recognized, support packages installed, and the Bluetooth light turns on at bootup, so it is believed working "out of the box".
USB Working "out of the box"
Compact Flash card reader Working "out of the box"
SD card reader Untested - Not working by all accounts due to proprietary interface
56k Win/soft modem Untested - I have broadband internet. For info on Win/soft modems under linux, see
VGA out Untested


I haven't tested the VGA out, so I can't offer anything on that. The Compact Flash card reader works fine by default, but I don't really use CF anymore, and to be honest, I would have been a lot happier with a PCMCIA slot in it's place. Unfortunately, it seems the SD card reader uses a proprietary interface of some kind, and is as yet unusable under linux (not tested , but this is what I've read). I don't own any Firewire devices, but the controller is recognized, and I have no reason to believe it won't work. I use broadband internet, so I haven't tested the modem at all, but being a Win/soft modem, it may or may not work. On the bright side, the D-Bay, sound, USB, CF, touchpad, gigabit LAN, and Bluetooth all work just fine by default. Overall, I'd rate this laptop very good for compatibility, at least with Mandriva Linux 2006.

Also, note that the installation stuff outlined here should also work with PCLinuxOS .92 as well, as it is based on Mandriva 2006 (I've used the LiveCD version, and it is a kick-ass distro. I'm strongly considering giving it a try on my hard drive soon. It seemed to run quite a bit zippier than Mandriva, uses the APT package manager with Synaptic front-end, and installs more multimedia and p2p software by default)


If you have any comments or questions, or anything to contribute, email me at