Dell Latitude E6420

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The Dell Latitude E6420.

This article will tell you how to get the basic components of the laptop running with Arch.

Hardware

Very stable seems to work very well.

Some devices are optional, although the motherboard seems to be standard and supports all of them.

Supported

  • Hibernate / Resume (lid and Fn + F1 works)
  • Volume keys (hardware keys)
  • Brightness keys (Fn + up/down arrows)
  • WiFi card and switch
  • HDMI/VGA out
  • USB
  • Ethernet
  • Audio
  • Optical Drive

Unsupported

  • Fingerprint reader (BCM5880)
  • NFC (BCM5880, optional)

Unchecked

All devices were detected and should work, but were not actually tested.

  • Bluetooth (optional)
  • HDMI audio
  • SD/MMC Card reader (PCIe device)
  • RFID (BCM5880, optional)
  • SmartCard reader (BCM5880)
  • Modem (optional)
  • Dock
  • Nvidia Optimus

Installation

The Installation guide should get you running. UEFI booting also works perfectly when enabled in the BIOS.

Touchpad/PointStick

Seems to work out of the box.

GPU

Nvidia NVS 4200M + Intel HD 3000

Disable Nvida Optimus in the BIOS and install the nvidia-390xxAUR package.

It seems like it only supports a maximum of two monitors (including the internal one) at the same time with the built in ports (dock untested), and has a weirdly low maximum pixel clock (1280x1024 at 60Hz on VGA or HDMI won't work for me).

Hardware Modification

I have experimented with modifying the hardware a bit, don't try unless you know what you are doing and have a decent reason to.

What can be removed

You can remove most devices and the BIOS and OS won't complain. These are what I've tested, excluding stuff like the optical drive or WiFi card.

  • Trackpad
  • PointStick (I replaced it with an IBM Trackpoint)
  • Finger print reader
  • Microphone/webcam module (the connector has USB low voltage + audio)
  • SmartCard reader
  • Any of the optional devices (Bluetooth connector probably has USB, I think the modem is serial)

Other notes

The hard drive and optical drive SATA connectors are not hot-pluggable, but the eSATA one is (eSATA should always be). You can (but are not recommended to) take out the optical drive while on, but it won't show up until you restart.

The BIOS supports Intel RAID if you have more than one hard drive plugged in, but md is recommended.

The optical drive bay has some extra connectors and pins for a battery and maybe something else, although I wouldn't be surprised if they were never used.