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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Phila, Pennsylvania

    General Question for Linux and Hardware

    Hi everyone.

    I bought myself a Dell Inspiron 6000 about 2 months ago and since then I have been struggling to get not only all the hardware going but also the essential things I need, so that I always had to come back to my windows partition.
    I have pentium m centrino with 1.6 gh, 2 gb of RAM, 128 mb ati Radeon graphics card, Intel PRO 2200bg WLan.

    I mean, when one buys a new Laptop and you install Linux you have to work on quite a lot of things (I installed fc3 on my system):

    -my power saving options are not working at all, which would be a major advantage vor a centrino cpu. Also to just turn the screen off after some time doesn't work, even though you can set that in the GUIs.
    -the WLAN is not detected
    -the modem of course neither
    -the ATI Radeon x300 is detected but I guess no 3d acceleration since I tried to play 'tux racer' and it didn't run fluently.
    -a connection to a windows computer in a LAN will not be easy with samba.
    -write permissions on a fat32 partition is only possible as root and thus not in a GUI.
    -same for writing cds
    -some gnome progs like rhythmbox or Sound Juicer can't read from the cd/dvd drive even though I can acces it through a terminal and nautilus.
    -the touchpad can't be turned off during writing on the keyboard, at least I don't know how.

    So guys! This is the List I have to go through before I can do all the things I want to! And As you can recognize by the fact that I am complaining here, you know that I am new to linux.

    But HOW do you advice me to solve all these things? I have about 2-3 hours every other evening time for this business here, and I have a very slow connection to the internet of about 3kb/sec via a Windows LAN (which was just accesible for me with a simple lan cable, surprise and relief for me!).
    I mean I was trying to work on it by posting here and searching or google. And I found things such as the following but it doesn't really help me since I cannot follow these instructions or installing packages just skips or doesn't have effect.

    And do you guys go through this whole story when you buy yourself a new computer?? Do you have the same problems?

    So actually I am not really able to handle this since I am not a linux expert. Do you guys think, I might better go with another distribution, like unbuntu? Or Do I need to invite s.o. who can explain things to me?

    I don't want to just complain here, but this is just my situation and I guess I am not the only one like that. So what do I do?

    greetings, Boris

  2. #2
    Linux Guru AlexK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Well, some people are having trouble installing Linux on the Sonoma platform. Most of the problemss (power saving, wlan) can be fixed by recompiling the kernel. However, since you are a newb, this may be a bit of a hassle. my suggestion would be to try a Distro such as Suse 9.3 or Mandriva 2005 as i have heard that they support Sonoma Pc's.

    Now about the write permissions to a fat32 partition, you need to edit the /etc/fstab file to include permission for a user to mount it. e.g. it would look something like this:
    /dev/hda1 /mnt/windows ntfs umask=0,iocharset=iso8859-1,nls=iso8859-1,codepage=850,rw 0 0
    For writing cd's you need to edit the fstab entry for the cdrw and include an rw entry instead of ro.

    Try Mplayer or Kaffeine for your media woes...

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Hi All,

    I've just installed FC3 on my inspiron 6000, and was wondering if there's a way to configure my display.

    I have ATI radeon 128mb 300 video card

    15.4' USXA display

    I am unable to adjust resolution, and select proper monitor on my system.

    Thanks for your help!


    -- Boaz

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Hi Boaz,

    Starting to learn Linux with a laptop is definitely a fairly difficult situation. It took me a month to setup my laptop to the state that you are requiring, and that's after extensive research before hand that all the hardware on the laptop has been tested to work on Linux (most importantly, vid. card + wireless).

    You're fine though, as it seems like your hardware should work, as long as you know how to configure them.

    For power save (hibernate), leave that to later. Some options require recompilation of kernel, which is definitely NOT what you want to start with. Other options you should search for ACPI.

    To configure your resolution and stuff the file should be /etc/X11/XF86Config-4. Use "man XF86Config-4" as a reference, and search extensively on how to configure each thing, like touchpad, radeon driver, etc.

    3D should work fine with a properly configured X11 config file. Read the ATI Radeon Linux How-To

    As for your wireless card, the instruction you found is already pretty detailed. As you're a new to Linux, you're probably confused because a lot of the things in there don't make any sense, and you are looking for a download button + double cliking + Next + Next + Finish to install your wireless driver. Unfortunately most installs in Linux are done manually, especially hardware. You have to open up a console and after downloading the appropriate file start typing in the commands listed in "BUILDING EXTERNAL" of the INSTALL file.

    Samba is supposed to be easy... Install SWAT and use it to set up Samba. It took me less than 10 minutes when I tried it last year... (new to Linux at that time too).

    Suse is pretty user-friendly. You might also try the newly released FC4.
    I personally use Debian, as it has "apt-get", which allows you to install any programs easily. Hardware on Debian is a lot harder to set up though...

    Hope this helps,

  6. #5
    Just Joined! Jux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    yeah, laptops ey... seem to be a hassle.

    i just put Xandros on my dell 510m and cant recognize my modem or sound card. pretty painless apart from that though!!

    good luck guys,


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