Video Drivers for Dell Inspiron 2600?


OSNN Newbie
6 May 2008
I have an old Dell laptop (Inspiron 2600) from 2002. Because it can no longer run XP well, I've been trying to revive it by putting a Linux distro on it. Here are a few of my issues so far:

1) Tried Ubunutu (then Kubuntu) - both installed fine but booted to black screen.

2) I've always had great luck on servers with Suse and Fedora so I decided to give openSuse a try. Same story here - installed correctly but booted to black screen. Booting into option 3 gives me a display but it is not useable. Looks like the resolution is 800x600 (even though it is supposedly in 1024). The video also does not fit the screen.

Please note that during the actual installation and when using a LiveCD, the display is fine (Suse even did 1024x768 during the install).

Can anyone point me to the things I should try?
Anyone have any luck with a particular distro on old Dell laptops?
Is this gnome or KDE? With a KdE install on my laptop I am limited to the 1024 res, but I never had this problem on gnome.

Is this /or does this laptop have a dedicated graphics card?
This is not a gnome vs KDE problem. This is an Xorg problem. It does not matter one bit what window manager you run on top of Xorg.
I've been trying KDE but I've had the same thing happen both in Ubuntu and Kubuntu so KDE vs. Gnome does not seem to matter.

The "video card" is an Intel (integrated on the motherboard). According to Suse it is an Intel 830.

Its an Intel 830 integrated video card. Old as dirt...

Both KDE and Gnome have displayed the same "black screen" behavior. I've gotten KDE to actually display but the display is way off (see original post). I guess I can't really expect a specific answer with the information I've given but does anyone have any idea where I should start to look for a solution? Google has been little help so far.

Not sure why my previous replies are not showing up...

Anyways, to answer a few of the questions...

1) Its an integrated graphics "card" - Intel 830
2) Gnome and KDE have behaved identically for me. I've gotten KDE to a point right now where the OS is usable but barely. Suse claims 1024x768 resolution but on my screen it looks more like 800x600. The right and bottom 1/4 of the screen is off of the LCD (for example, I don't see the entire clock I only see the first digit and the rest is off the right of the screen).

I was thinking of trying Damn Small Linux. Anyone have any experience?
Last edited by a moderator:
Looks like the Vesa driver and Puppy Linux is the answer.
Have a Dell 2600. Ubuntu 10.10 would not fit in the small RAM it's got.
I could not get Damn Small Linux to install on the hard drive.
Lubuntu loaded on the drive but locked up after a moment or an hour; total lockup; did not seem an X issue.
As of now Puppy loaded after I followed X instructions here
Puppy Linux Discussion Forum :: View topic - USB - boots kernel followed by blank screen and bark.

and my next step is to install on the HD.
So, again, choose the Vesa video driver and a low resolution

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