OK, system (Debian ‘etch’) was installed and then upgraded to ‘sid’. Everything is working with Linux (kernel 2.6.18 from Etch):

  • ACPI reports battery status, battery is charging without problems.
  • Dell Wireless 1450 card works — I only had to install bcm43xx firmware (which I took from Cafuego’s Sarge Backports repository). There is also other way — Debian contain package bcm43xx-fwcutter which extracts firmware from Windows drivers.
  • Gigabit Ethernet works with tg3 kernel module (tested with 100Mbps Ethernet only).
  • CPU Frequency scaling works with speedstep-centrino module and provides wide range: 1600MHz, 1400MHz, 1200MHz, 1000MHz, 800MHz, 600MHz so it is possible to extend battery life with it.
  • Backlight control (via Fn+Up/Down buttons) works — it is handled by hardware/BIOS probably.
  • Touchpad was wrongly recognized — it is not Synaptic but ALPS so edit of /etc/X11/xorg.conf was needed. All informations what to change are described in README.alps (part of xserver-xorg-input-synaptic package). Idea found on Ubuntu blog.
  • Suspend to disk works, suspend to RAM also works.

In other words — no problems yet — everything works like it should.

Dell D400 – installation report