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Dell XPS M2010


This is a guide to running Linux with the Dell XPS M2010. This is more of a desktop replacement rather than a notebook. It includes some very powerful components for its time (2006), with a very big screen making it not practical to carry it around much, but very powerful once deployed.

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 XPS M2010
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo T7200 2.0GHz
Screen20.1“ WSXGA+
RAM3.2GB max
Optical DriveDVD+-RW/BlueRay
GraphicsATI Mobility Radeon x1800
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet, Intel 3945 802.11g Wireless, Bluetooth
Other4 x USB2.0, 1 x Firewire, ExpressCard, PCMCIA, Multiformat Card Reader, Multiformat Audio Connectors

Linux Compatibility

Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYes Use opensource Radeon module for full 3D acceleration
Sound outputYes See solution of bug * The Alsa bug-tracker has been taken down; the solution is available at
Sound inputPartially Internal mic array still not working
WirelessYesUse the ipw3945 module
BluetoothPartially Bluetooth doesnt switch from HID mode, allowing to use keyboard and mouse without scroll wheel, see and bugs at launchpad
56K ModemNot Tested
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderYesNo xD support
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested


Full 3D support with opensource Radeon driver and working very well, tested with Compiz, Warzone, GoogleEarth and others.


The Dell XPS M2010 is more a high-end mobile desktop replacement than a notebook. It's a great showcase for Linux, with full support for all important hardware at last, as of 06.09.2009.


Indianescortindubai, 2015/07/02 06:48

Any update on XPS 2010 affinity with Linux? What about Ubuntu 9.04?

Z, 2014/10/19 00:58

For anyone still trying to get the speakers to work, see (updated in the table above) or have a look at the M2010 page on the Arch Linux wiki:

Stan Scheerder, 2014/03/23 13:51

Any more updates? :-)
I'am about to upgrade my XPS 2010 to linux Mint 16 Cinnamon. Like to install it from a DVD and install Mint directly and deleting Windows XP. Are there improvements regarding sound and bluetooth since 2012?

Human, 2012/12/20 19:56

Well - it's 3 years on, and I can still get no sound on my XPS M2010. I'm running Fedora 17 and I've patched the kernel with the sigmatel patch and it's still not working. It's a pity, but it seems Dell have done something odd with this machine. I may get the screwdrivers out and have a look inside…

Human, 2012/12/23 14:36

Not a lot to be done inside.

Louis W. Adams Jr., 2010/09/03 19:20

Which Release?

For newbies like me who own a Dell XPS M2010, here is what I know about which releases of Ubuntu run on this PC. In my system I have an Intel Core Duo CPU, and ATI Radeon X1800 video card.

8.04: Runs fine from Live CD, installs and boots fine.
8.10: Runs fine from Live CD, installs and boots fine.

9.04: Does not run from Live CD. Nor does it install using Wubi. However, upgrading from 8.10 works using Ubuntu's Update Manager, but you must select kernel 2.6.27-17 from the boot menu to run. The PC locks up if you try using kernel 2.6.28-19, the first one on the (my?) boot menu list.

9.10: Does not run from Live CD. Nor does it install using Wubi. Upgrading from 9.04 using Update Manager produces an unbootable install.

10.04: Does not run from Live CD. Nor does it install using Wubi. Upgrading directly from 8.04 to 10.04 works (Yay!). I have not tested upgrading from 9.04 to 10.04, but I would expect that to work. So getting Lucid to run on this hardware is straightforward, but it's necessary to skip over 9.10.

Because trying to install 9.10 trashed my Ubuntu system, I chose to not reformat the mount point partition when I reinstalled 8.04. This preserved my personal files (documents and email) and some configuration settings. That way I didn't have to start totally from scratch. I also backed up my stuff on a USB flash drive using Simple Backup just in case.

The Bluetooth keyboard is a problem with dual boot. If you pair the keyboard in Windows, then it won't connect in Ubuntu. If you pair the keyboard in Ubuntu, it won't connect in Windows. That is because when you manually invoke pairing, each OS assigns a different passcode. So the strategy should be to use the same passcode for the keyboard in Windows and Ubuntu. I haven't worked out how to do that yet, but it ought to be doable.


R@M_Z, 2009/11/09 22:29

Hey peeps…

Just got energy to finally get round to reinstalling my windows to give me 15 gig of born again virgin unpartitioned space for ubuntu install on my M2010. I just burnt off the latest ubuntu 9.10 and got the Error message (after selecting language then install) “error reading boot cd!” any input about this would be greatly appreciated.

The Ram

just gonna try n reburn it…. maybe i should redownload it too… hmmmmm…..

shirotsume, 2009/11/13 21:39

yeah that would be a corrupt disk issue.
my experience on ubuntu 9.04 / 9.10 ist that it goes to a halt, e.g. i need to unplug power and take out the battery for a reboot.
still running fine on ubuntu 8.10.

if anyone has an ideas … news ..


Jack, 2009/09/05 23:19

Just solved it (kind of):

GPIOs values must be set properly. Going to prepare a patch next week, too tired now.

Two years later and the monster speaks again… :)


SwayG, 2009/08/21 12:51

I can confirm that RHEL4.6 (alsa 1.0.6) installs fine on the M2010. However,can't get the speakers to work. Although I was able to get the headphone a mic working decently. I also installed RHEL5 (alsa 1.0.17) but for some reason the mic doesn't work for that version.

Clinton, 2009/07/31 08:53

Wow, is this disappointing to learn the XPS M2010 is a Linux clunker. I loaded MEPIS 8.0 on an XPS M2010 tonight, only to hear sound through the headphones, but not the speakers.

Does anybody know *why* the internal speakers on this machine don't work?

I also tried to start KBlueTooth Manager, but it said there was no bluetooth device.

I don't think the owner is going to settle for this… unless ANYBODY has reason for hope?

MEPIS 8.0 is a Debian 5.0 Lenny derivative. Wireless works great.

Thx for any potential help!

Dennis Nezic, 2009/07/31 12:05

Sound still doesn't work with the latest kernel ( or newer), nor with that .diff kernel patch mentioned below? :| If not, I would bug the alsa[1] forums to improve snd-hda-intel support :\.

I'm not sure about bluetooth… the detachable keyboard works via bluetooth right?


Clinton, 2009/07/31 19:13

Thanks for the reply, Dennis,

Current kernel is

Let me confirm that applying the patch is exactly as follows between the two lines of stars, running as su:

cd /usr/src/linux
patch -p1 < patch_sigmatel.c.diff

I've never run “patch” or “make” so want to be as sure as possible!

Yes, the detachable keyboard and mouse both require bluetooth, but oddly, the OS does not pick up the Toshiba bluetooth, even though the Windows XP driver for this bluetooth is a Dell “standard” driver used in different machines.

Will be going to this site today and hopefully make a little progress and hopefully you see this before I get there, just to confirm the c.diff patch confirmation!

thank you!

Don Kassim, 2009/06/27 15:21

how do you use the .diff file ??

Dennis Nezic, 2009/06/27 16:09

Kassim: it's a patch against the linux kernel source, so:

cd /usr/src/linux
patch -p1 < patch_sigmatel.c.diff

Then recompile the kernel:


don kassim, 2009/06/27 18:09

can you please advise the steps as am getting stuck on the above

thank you very much

Daniel T Chen, 2009/05/11 21:12

Please try against current sound-2.6.git HEAD.

John Coles-Carr, 2009/05/05 12:02

Any update on XPS 2010 compatibility with linux? What about ubuntu 9.04?

Murray MacBeath, 2009/05/07 01:24

I am using the M2010 with ubuntu 9.04.

Everything works perfectly, except (as always) the laptop speakers and the bluetooth adapter.

They did an amazing job on improving video with ubuntu 9.04. I've always had problems with the video drivers prior to this version, but now I am using the open source radeon driver, and it's beautiful.

Daniel T Chen, 2009/05/10 22:55

We're working on getting the M2010 supported.

Louis W. Adams, Jr., 2009/11/02 01:18

Did you get 9.04 working by installing 8.04 or 8.11 via Live CD, and then upgrade the installed version using an Internet connection? 8.04 and 8.11 LiveCD boot on my M2010, but not 9.04 nor 9.10.

Dennis Nezic, 2009/04/01 14:54

Korb, I don't remember the exact details when I last worked on it (in Gentoo), but wireless works in the latest kernels with CONFIG_IWL3945 *plus* an additional binary blob microcode file (which I manually placed in /lib/firmware), which I believe I got from the “ipw3945-ucode” linux package (name may vary).

Bill Korb, 2009/04/01 12:52

I have been running Ubuntu 8.10 on my M2010 for about four months now. As noted, sound only works through the headphone jack and not the internal speakers. However, the dongle with audio outputs can be connected, and speakers connected to the dongle will then output sound. However, in that case, the channels are not correct (e.g., left front comes out the center speaker, center comes out left rear, etc.).

I also have not been able to get the wireless working properly. The OS detects that I have wireless, but I cannot switch the radio on. I don't use the wireless all that much, so that's not been a priority for me, but I would like to get that working at some point.


Dennis Nezic, 2009/03/09 18:15

It's early 2009 now :S… has anyone gotten speaker sound to work?

# cat /proc/asound/card0/codec#0
Codec: SigmaTel STAC9221 A1
Address: 0
Vendor Id: 0×83847680
Subsystem Id: 0x102801bf
Revision Id: 0×103601

Joseph A., 2007/10/12 18:06

Me & Myself

well…i can say im such a noob at this linux thing, but it would help if any of you could explain me how can install linux on my m2010 since i'm pretty sick o windows, one more thing, i
currently have no usb mouse-keyboard so thats a double screw up for me since bluetooth wont work with linux for the time being…mail me at…thx

bleed, 2007/06/26 16:41

well soon they will be releasing ubuntu gutsy (7.10). I think it should work fine with the distro upgrade.

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dell_xps_m2010.txt · Last modified: 2014/10/17 18:36 by
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