Solve Graphics Problems with Ubuntu 8.04 (Dell Latitude E6510 / Dell Inspiron 510m)

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How to install Ubuntu Linux 8.10 LTS on a Dell Latitude E6510 with Nvidia Quadra NVS3100M:

  1. Load CD with Ubuntu 8.10 image, start laptop (64-Bit version is said to be not fully stable -> 32-bit-version used)
  2. If colored screen appears, press right (->) button, which leads you to a menu
  3. select english, press F3, select 'swiss german'
  4. press F6, select 'Install Ubuntu', append nomodeset (after --), put space between
  5. execute whole install process
  6. the installation process then requires a system start: press e in grub menu
  7. add nomodeset behind splash, go on with Ctrl-x
  8. Ubuntu should now start up again, log in
  9. open a terminal: cd /etc/default, sudo gedit grub
  10. put nomodeset into variable GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX: line should now look like: GRUB_CMD_LINUX="nomodeset"
  11. close editor, execute sudo update-grub This should update file /boot/grub/grub.cfg (See Editing Grub for more information.)
  12. Now you can restart and start Ubuntu without updating the command line in Grub. This setting also has effect for starting Linux in safe mode.

How to install Ubuntu Linux 8.10 LTS on a Dell Inspiron 510m:

How to install Ubuntu Linux 8.10 LTS on a Dell Latitude E6510 This is very similar as above, but:

  • use i915.modeset=1 instead of nomodeset
  • My Inspiron still uses old Grub installation:
    • cd /boot/grub
    • Make backup: cp menu.lst
    • sudo vi menu.lst
    • Add i915.modeset=1 under the given entry
    • :wq
    • Restart computer


  • mail from trOn on page [1] for how I came to this solution.
  • [2]
  • [3]
  • [4]
  • [5]

Fix blank screen when gone into energy save state

  1. edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf to add following line into "Devices" section:
Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"

See [6]