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25% (8)
9% (3)
31% (10)
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Dell Latitude D531


This is a guide to running Linux with the Dell Latitude D531 laptop.

This guide is intended to provide you details on how well this laptop works with Linux and which modules you need to configure. For details on how to actually install and configure the required modules have a look at our guides section for distribution specific instructions.

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NameDell Latitude D531
ProcessorAMD Turion 64 X2 TK57 1.9GHz
Screen15.4“ WXGA Widescreen
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsATI Radeon Xpress X1270
NetworkEthernet, Dell Wireless 1390 802.11bg

Linux Compatibility

Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYesSee notes
WirelessYesSee notes
56K ModemYesget the HSF-driver here
FirewireNot Tested
PCMCIANot Tested


Most (all?) Linux distributions do not yet properly support the ATI Radeon Xpress X1270. In this case you will need to install the proprietary ATI driver.

The wireless controller doesn't seem to work properly with the (still being developed) bcm43xx module which means you will have to use ndiswrapper. You can find the Windows drivers that are required here.

For most current distributions you may need to install ALSA version 1.0.15 or higher to get functioning sound support.


The installation of Linux on the Dell Inspiron D531 is not the easiest process. You will need at least medium level Linux knowledge to fix the issues above.


Chris Morison , 2016/06/14 04:16

I have had mixed results with scientific 7.2 runs OKish but has flaws in the graphics and the open source drivers I'm using are very slow…..

From what i have read ATI have ceased support for this video card.. and the last version that was released that has support is no longer usable on modern Linux Distributions so i have 3 equally hideous options

1) Downgrade to to a older Distribution (circa 2007)

2) Hack a modern distribution to run the older drivers (I am crazy but I'm not stupid)

3) Bin a perfectly good laptop.(Grrrrr)

So i Just put up with it and hope the Open source driver improves with time.


Pibie, 2015/12/20 22:57

Currently have this running Xubuntu 14.04, smooth as silk. My particular model (comes with a TL-66 processor) ran out the box, minus wireless the wireless. I had to install the b43 driver for that, which was pretty simple – a quick Google search provided all the answers.

The gpu is running on the open source drivers straight out the box, which appears to have been a big issue with these machines historically. This was also the same with Lubuntu and Ubuntu Mate, so my assumption is that all modern Ubuntu distros will be the same.

Just need to get bluetooth up and running, then I have complete compatibility with Linux. A solid work horse with the right distro.

jerry howell, 2014/08/14 06:20

runs 12.04 ubuntu nicely, newer kernels seem to kill the opensource vid driver thoough.

If you want to have the actual ati driver, at this time i reccomend centos 5 or scientific linux 5, they're supported until 2017 and dont run a lot of modern shit, but the driver DOES work.

Dan, 2010/06/29 01:10

Im having a lot of trouble getting wireless to work i have been fumbling with ndiswrapper for hours. can u please give a tutorial specific to this laptop and driver.

Ps im using opensuse 11.2

Wayne Foutz, 2010/06/29 02:15

Dan I'm completely unfamiliar with openSuse, but I can tell you that the Linux driver for your wireless should be the Broadcom STA driver. Either open up whatever package manager uses and install it from there, or you can get it from Broadcom's site here:

Wayne Foutz, 2009/11/22 22:11

I've had this laptop for a year. My previous laptop, a Dell C10, ran Ubuntu 6.10 on it, which ran great. The D531 came preloaded with Vista on it, after a year of that, I decided to come back to Ubuntu. I installed 9.10 on it. The ATI drivers for the Radeon X1270 will will not work with modern linux distros. The last version of Xorg the driver (ATI Catalyst 9.3) works with is 1.5.2. When Jaunty (9.04) came out, there were numerous guides written on how to downgrade Xorg so as to get the ATI Catalyst 9.3 driver to install. I was able to accomplish this, but it made the system unstable. ATI Cat 9.3 is the last working driver for this graphics chip.

The open source drivers in 9.10 work real nice, you get the desktop effects, but 3d gaming is very limited. Ubuntu 8.10 is the sweet spot. That build of Ubuntu seems tailor made for this machine. Everything works, out of the box. 9.04 and later will cripple the ATI Radeon x1270.
In my quest to get it working, I've read that the next linux kernel due out this December (2009) will start to address this issue. For now I'm running 8.10.

So the bottom line is, as of right now, it works, but don't expect to play any Unreal Tournament type games, unless you are willing to install an obsolete build of Ubuntu.

If anyone knows of another distro with better support, please let me know.

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dell_latitude_d531.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/11 14:02 (external edit)
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